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In 2017, CANDLE investigators received funding to combine the CANDLE cohort with two other cohorts of moms and babies: The Infant Development and Environment Study (TIDES) and Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS). Together, these three cohorts are called “PATHWAYS.” With the strength of these three cohorts, PATHWAYS was then awarded a place in the newly formed ECHO Program. ECHO stands for Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes and is supported by the National Institutes of Health. This program seeks to recruit 50,000 participants across the United States to study five key areas of child health: Pre-, peri-, and postnatal; upper and lower airway; obesity; neurodevelopment; and positive health.

Combining with other cohorts in this way maximizes the impact that data previously collected from CANDLE families can have. With more participants (or higher “N”), scientists are able to be more sure that their findings are genuine. Additionally, CANDLE’s participation in these efforts helps ensure that a more racially diverse perspective is shared in studies of child development in the United States. We are so proud to be one of the cohorts with the highest number of African American participants in the ECHO and are grateful to our participants each day for their contributions to this critical research. Click for more information about PATHWAYS and ECHO.