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Matthew W. Gillman, M.D., S.M.
A broad range of experiences during sensitive developmental windows from conception to early childhood can have long-lasting effects on the health of our children. These experiences encompass a wide variety of factors, from exposure to air pollution and chemicals in our neighborhoods, to societal factors such as stress, to individual behaviors like sleep and diet. They may act through any number of biological processes, for example changes in the expression of genes or development of the immune system.
The Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program aims to determine what factors give children the highest probability of achieving the best health outcomes over their lifetimes.
ECHO focuses on five key pediatric outcomes with large public health impact: Pre-, peri-, and postnatal; Upper and lower airway; Obesity; Neurodevelopment; and Positive Health, or well-being. The program has two major components, the ECHO cohorts—for observational research, and the ECHO IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network (ISPCTN)—for interventional research.
The ECHO cohorts weave together information from 72 long-term ongoing maternal-child cohort studies totaling about 58,000 children from racially, socioeconomically, and geographically diverse backgrounds.
The ECHO ISPCTN provides access to state-of-the-art clinical trials in rural or underserved populations in 18 states.
I believe that ECHO has the right formula of cohorts, clinical trials and supporting resources, including a range of new tools and measures, to advance our understanding in this important area of research. I’m excited to work with many of our nation’s leading scientists to help improve the health of all children.
—Matthew W. Gillman, M.D.
Messages from Matt
The bimonthly Messages from Matt cover the latest ECHO research and news, child health topics, relevant NIH guidance and policies, and other related health information.
About Dr. Gillman
Dr. Matthew W. Gillman joined the NIH in 2016 as the inaugural director of ECHO. He joined NIH from Harvard Medical School where he was a professor of population medicine; he was also professor of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health.
This page last reviewed on October 3, 2023