Grant Abstract: Zinc Nutrition and Brain Development in Southern Ethiopia

Grant Number: 1R21TW006729-01
PI Name: Michael Hambidge
Project Title: Zinc Nutrition and Brain Development in Southern Ethiopia

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The objectives of this proposal are: [1] to develop the necessary resources, including human resources at or/and associated with Debub University, Southern Ethiopia, supported by collaborations with and between the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and Oklahoma State University, to initiate and sustain a durable research program linking nutrition [micronutrients] and maternal-child brain development and function; [2] to complete pilot studies that will provide an essential cornerstone for the development of a major R01 grant proposal that will be designed to test the following hypotheses: Provision of an optimal quantity of bioavailable zinc during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and to offspring through the first 2 years will be associated with improved maternal cognitive and behavioral; greater head circumference of neonate [adjusted for gestational age] and improved attention/habituation/intellectual and motor development throughout the first 2 years of life and beyond. These objectives will be achieved by: fully developing a research team in Awassa and associated institutions; an initial planning, consortium-building, needs assessment meeting in Awassa; supporting the development of an IRB with FWA at Debub University; training and cross-training [nutrition and brain function research] in Awassa, Colorado and Oklahoma; pilot testing of tools for studies of brain function in Awassa; pilot nutrition studies including: dietary, biomarker and anthropometrics assessment; assessment of zinc nutritional status, zinc absorption and zinc requirements for this particular population; a second planning meeting to review progress and plan details of R01 proposal; and, finally, the development of the R01 proposal based on the experience and knowledge acquired with this preparatory/pilot R21-supported research.

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