Environmental Effects on Cognitive Development (2014-2015)

Environmental conditions can cause changes in gene expression through a process called epigenetics. Such changes in gene expression can increase one’s risk of disease and can even be passed on to one’s offspring. For example, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), either in utero or in one’s living space, can affect cognitive development, resulting in cognitive dysfunction.

This project team used scientific knowledge to develop an infographic explaining the effects of ETS on brain development and cognitive dysfunction. Team members then designed a randomized-controlled intervention to field-test the infographic with pregnant women and family members in Durham health clinics. 



Team Outcomes

Help Babies Avoid Smoke (website)

Help Babies Avoid Smoke (poster by Chenchen Feng, Christine Nuñez, Laurie Hwang)

This Team in the News

Distinctive Global Health Grads (Laurie Hwang)

See earlier related team, Environmental Effects on Cognitive Development (2013-2014).

Team Leaders

  • Rochelle Bloom, School of Medicine-Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
  • Craig Roberts, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
  • Adriana Vidal, School of Medicine-Surgery: Urology

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Chenchen Feng, Biology (BS)
  • Charlotte Hall, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Rha Hyun (Laurie) Hwang, French Studies (AB), Global Health (AB2)
  • Christine Nunez, Psychology (AB)