In the mid-1980s we carried out a prospective study of early pregnancy in which we enrolled 221 health women who were planning to become pregnant. These women collected daily urine specimens for up to six months. We've assayed these specimens to describe the hormonal events of the menstrual cycle and early pregnancy. 155 women became clinically pregnant during the study, while 44 had pregnancies that ended so early that the pregnancies were detectable only by assay of urinary human chorionic gonadotropin. This unique study has been called a landmark, and continues to provide a rich resource for the description of the earliest stages of pregnancy. (More than 30,000 urine samples are still being stored.) We've published 50 papers from this study over the past two decades, some of which have led to new understanding of the fundamental processes of conception and early pregnancy. In addition, we have continued to make use of large population registries in order to pursue basic questions on pregnancy and maternal and infant health. We have worked especially closely with Norwegian colleagues in the analysis of the Norwegian Medical Birth Registry. Last year's progress. We have begun a study of events during pregnancy and the subsequent risk of cerebral palsy, based within the two national birth cohorts of Norway and Denmark. This study, in collaboration with Norwegian and Danish researchers will identify approximately 350 children with cerebral palsy whose mothers were enrolled in the two birth cohorts. This is by far the largest cohort study of cerebral palsy ever conducted, and will allow biological specimens collected during pregnancy to be used to identify exposures and early biological changes (such as inflammation) that may lead to cerebral palsy.

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Wilcox, Allen J; Cortese, Marianna; Baravelli, Carl M et al. (2018) When Intuition Invites the Analytical Mind to Dance-The Essential Role of Creativity in Science. Epidemiology 29:753-755
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Haaland, Øystein A; Jugessur, Astanand; Gjerdevik, Miriam et al. (2017) Genome-wide analysis of parent-of-origin interaction effects with environmental exposure (PoOxE): An application to European and Asian cleft palate trios. PLoS One 12:e0184358
Sharp, Gemma C; Salas, Lucas A; Monnereau, Claire et al. (2017) Maternal BMI at the start of pregnancy and offspring epigenome-wide DNA methylation: findings from the pregnancy and childhood epigenetics (PACE) consortium. Hum Mol Genet 26:4067-4085

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