Childhood Development

picThe NC Research Campus scientists below are exploring areas of genetics, nutrition and human performance that impact brain development, risk factors for disease and the overall health of infants, toddlers, young children and teenagers. Learn more about the scientists and their institutions using the links below. To the right, read the latest headlines and journal articles on research impacting nutrition and brain development from the NC Research Campus.

Omega-3 Intake Linked to Higher Cognition in Infants, Toddlers and Young Children

Carol L. Cheatham, PhD, developmental cognitive neuroscientist with the UNC Chapel Hill Nutrition Research Institute, investigates the role of fatty acids and nutrients like choline, iron, and zinc on the cognitive abilities of children. Her most recent findings prove just how critical fatty acids are to the cognitive development and functioning of infants, toddlers and young children. Learn more.

Less Birth Defects in the World: FASD Prevention and Intervention

Philip May, PhD, a research professor with the UNC Chapel Hill Nutrition Research Institute, is one of the world’s leading experts in the field of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). He conducts epidemiological or population-based studies that include everything from genetics to community education. Since 1979, his research has defined the understanding of FASD and provided new methods for prevention and treatment. Learn more.

For Kids, a Little Exercise Goes a Long Way to Prevent Disease

Led by David Nieman, DrPH, FACSM, the Appalachian State University (ASU) Human Performance Laboratory conducted studies that demonstrate that children who increase their level of physical activity benefit from less body fat, increased muscular strength and reduced risk factors for major diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other metabolic and lifestyle-related disorders. Learn more.

Maternal Choline Intake Impacts Brain and Eye Development

Natalia Surzenko, PhD, is an assistant research professor with the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, who studies how the availability of choline and other nutrients affect brain and eye development. She specifically looks at nutritional influence of the generation of different types of neural cells that make up the brain and the retina, the light-sensing structure of the eye. Learn More.

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