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Your Environment. Your Health.

FERNALD COMMUNITY COHORT: RESEARCH RESOURCE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EPIDEMIOLOGY

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Principal Investigator: Pinney, Susan Mengel
Institute Receiving Award University Of Cincinnati
Location Cincinnati, OH
Grant Number R24ES028527
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 30 Sep 2018 to 30 Jun 2024
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The Fernald Community Cohort (FCC) consists of the 9782 persons who participated in the Fernald Medical Monitoring Program (FMMP) from 1990-2008. The FMMP was an 18-year medical surveillance program for community residents living near the former US Department of Energy uranium processing site at Fernald (near Cincinnati), Ohio. Although eligibility for the FMMP was based on living within 5 miles of the plant, much of the cohort never received radiation exposure beyond the background exposure received by the general population. At the end of the examination program, the study was renamed the Fernald Community Cohort (FCC). This cohort embraces the complexity of discovery in environmental health. Multiple components of the exposure are captured through the questionnaire data and exposure pathway modeling. The large collection of blood and urine biospecimens obtained throughout the 18-year period can be used to measure exposure, early biologic effects and disease biomarkers, and the periodic comprehensive medical examinations accurately assigned phenotype. This cohort can be used to study a wide range of exposures and their health outcomes. The FCC has an established procedure for providing access to data and biospecimens, which have been shared widely and have been used in 80 research studies, resulting in 35 manuscripts published in peer-review journals. In this revised application, we incorporate biomedical informatics expertise to convert to codes standard ontologies, create new portals to FCC metadata, and deposit our meta data into the NIH and other repositories. Our Biomedical Informatics team will develop a new online portal for investigators to explore the FCC individual and meta data (FCCPortal), which will also increase our efficiency in managing resource sharing. We propose to: Aim 1: Maintain the cohort while increasing the value to the scientific community, by updating health status information, enrolling 800 “next generation” of cohort members and collecting their data and biospecimens, maintain our biorepository with periodic quality assurance assessments, and increase communication cohort members and with community physicians regarding our research activities and findings. Aim 2: Enrich the cohort through obtaining new health outcome and exposure data, converting our codes for medical terms, diagnoses, and medications to standard ontologies, developing new biomedical informatics tools and by exploring the feasibility of using banked samples in new technologies(ccfDNA for DNA methylation biosmarkers; exosomal miRNA for expression molecular markers). After 25 years of follow-up, the FCC is a primed research resource. Resources are well documented, including a website with detailed information, searchable data dictionary, and extensive biospecimen inventory database. With funding from NIEHS, we will be able to both maintain this valuable resource and increase its value of the cohort for investigating generational effects of exposures, and serve additional research projects.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 15 - Exposure Assessment/Exposome
Publications See publications associated with this Grant.
Program Officer Kimberly Gray
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