• Keen, Carl L (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (Investigator's) Abstract): Despite intensive investigative
efforts over the past several decades, causative factors can be
identified for only a relatively small percent of the developmental
defects reported in humans. During the last decade there has been
increasing interest in the idea that maternal nutritional status may be
a critical factor for normal human embryonic and fetal development. For
example, during the last few years there has been considerable
controversy about the hypothesis that the use of
multivitamin/multimineral supplements during pregnancy is associated
with a reduced risk of birth defects and other aspects of abnormal
development; this controversy is due in part to a lack of consensus on
the extent to which modest to severe changes in the nutritional
environment of the embryo and fetus influence development. This lack of
consensus can also be attributed to the fact that until recently, there
was little information on how, mechanistically, specific nutrients
affect development. However, due to the development of novel in vitro
methodologies, and the application of advanced molecular biology
techniques, there has been a recent upsurge in the investigators'
understanding of the role of specific nutrients in embryonic and fetal
development. One problem in dissemination of the advances made in this
area is that investigators with different backgrounds and expertise lack
a common forum to share and discuss their results. To better integrate
the results obtained from human pregnancy studies, and from experimental
animal work, basic scientists in biochemistry, cell and molecular
biology, embryology and nutrition need to meet with clinicians with
expertise in obstetrics, physiology and epidemiology. The investigators
are proposing an international conference which will be concerned with:
(1) the investigation of mechanisms underlying the role of specific
nutrients in prenatal development, 2) the influence of specific nutrient
deficiencies on prenatal development in experimental models, and 3) the
critical examination of current information on the influence of maternal
nutritional status on pregnancy outcome in human populations.
Effective start/end date4/1/923/31/93


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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