Tracy Manuck, MD

Tracy Manuck, MD, received a $817,905 grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for her five-year project, “Patient-oriented research and mentoring in preterm birth toxicogenomics.”

This new grant allows Manuck to leverage her ongoing prospective, longitudinal study of spontaneous preterm birth in a new way, studying how environmental exposures also impact preterm birth.

Beyond furthering and enhancing her current preterm birth study, this grant will allow her to mentor aspiring clinical researchers, such as fellows and junior faculty, as they work to improve the care of women who are at highest risk for prematurity.

During this study, Manuck and her team will quantify exposure to environmental contaminants during pregnancy through self-report and biomonitoring of maternal urine, serum, and placentas and determine which contaminant, or combination of contaminants, is most strongly associated with spontaneous preterm birth. This study will focus on air pollution, endocrine disrupters and heavy metal exposure.

“With this grant, I can incorporate the added risk factor of environmental contaminants into prematurity studies, which could impact the more than 450,000 babies who are delivered too soon in the U.S. each year,” says Manuck. “This also gives me the time and occasion for meaningful mentorship opportunities with future investigators who are also committed to patient-oriented research in maternal health.”