In October 2000, Congress directed NICHD to plan and implement a national longitudinal study of the effects of the environment on children’s health, now known as the National Children’s Study.
Peter Scheidt, MD, MPH, joined the Study as its Director, from a prior position with Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Dr. Scheidt had previously served the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) as Coordinator for Childhood Injury and Behavioral Pediatric Research.
Dr. Scheidt led the Study through its inception and planning phases, into the current pilot phase. Seven “Vanguard” Centers are now recruiting participants, and the first infants participating in the Study have been born this summer. For FY 2009, Congress allocated up to $192.3 million for the National Children’s Study. The Study is now under way in the Vanguard Centers and Dr. Scheidt has moved on to different challenges. He will provide guidance to the NICHD Director and program directors on activities in perinatal and pediatric epidemiology and medicine.
Capt. Steven Hirschfeld, MD, PhD, NICHD’s Associate Director for Clinical Research, has been appointed Acting Director of the National Children’s Study. Dr. Hirschfeld is board certified in general pediatrics and pediatric hematology-oncology. He worked at the National Cancer Institute as a clinical investigator and then at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. He also serves as the NIH Co-Coordinator of the Child Health Oversight Committee for the National Center for Research Resources Clinical and Translational Science Awards Consortium. He has extensive training and experience in organizational management and operations.
Under Dr. Hirschfeld’s direction, the National Children’s Study will continue all the activities needed to make this Study scientifically, programmatically, and administratively exceptionally strong.