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Why do we need DERIVE?

The lack of research on pregnancy and child health stems from the thalidomide tragedy of the 1950's and 1960's (1), which resulted in stricter regulations around including women of childbearing age in research. Unfortunately, this decision has resulted in a huge knowledge gap in the developmental origins of health and disease.  Although these regulations are no longer in effect, we have a lot to catch up on. 


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We need more research on pregnancy and child health

We need more funding for pregnancy and child health research


Research on pregnancy and child health is underfunded. Maternal and child health research accounts for a mere 3% of health research funding by the National Institutes of Health (2), although pregnant people and children make up a substantial portion of the population and face unique health challenges. Investing in pregnant people and children is critical for a healthy future for us all.

Everyone deserves a healthy start to life. DERIVE is on a mission to make that happen.  


We need to change the way science is done

Historically, science has followed a reductionist paradigm with researchers largely working in silos to try and be the first to discover something. However, this approach has its limitations when it comes to complex developmental diseases. These diseases are not caused by a single factor, but rather arise from a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, social, and behavioural factors. In order to understand how developmental diseases develop:

We need to be interdisciplinary and conduct team-based science by bringing together experts from different scientific fields to solve complex developmental problems.

We need to be innovative to develop cutting-edge methods and tools  to study gene-environment interactions in development.

We need to be visionary with out-of-the-box thinking and conduct high-risk high-reward research to make ground-breaking developmental discoveries.


We need to embrace complexity and diversity from the molecular to the societal level.


DERIVE is doing all of these things plus more to change the future of pregnancy and child health research!

 DERIVE's vision is to push the boundaries of what's possible in pregnancy and child health research.


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