Marj Plumb, DrPH, MNA Plumbline  
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Consultant, Child Health and Development Studies

Marj is consulting with a long-running research project, the Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS), to increase collaboration between the investigators and families who participate in the studies. About 50 years ago, more than 15,000 families in the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan joined the Child Health and Development Studies, a landmark study of pregnancy and child development. Today, families continue to participate in the CHDS, allowing scientists to discover how disease starts even before birth—not just by genes, but also through social, personal, and environmental surroundings.

Marj is working with Dr. Barbara Cohn, a principal investigator in the CHDS, on three projects:

  • MyCHDSReport (funded by the California Breast Cancer Research Program). The major goals of this project are to test the hypothesis that personal report-back will increase participant's commitment to research, knowledge about environmental chemicals, and motivate personal and community-level action to reduce exposures; and that personal report-back will motivate women who are often asked for health advice to discuss environmental chemical exposures with their broad networks, spreading the message. This is the first study of its kind, and is likely to change common practices in environmental research studies that generate exposure data on humans. Marj is responsible for training the 10-12 CHDS participant member Participant Advisory Council to fully partner with Dr. Cohn in the development, conduct, analysis, and results dissemination of this study.
  • Prenatal Environmental Determinants of Intergenerational Risk (funded by the NIH, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences). This research project examines both the role of the pregnancy and prenatal environment on both the mother’s and daughter’s lifetime risk of breast cancer.  Marj is responsible for recruiting and training a diverse group of 15 CHDS participants to create a Participant Advisory Council to work with Dr. Cohn in the development, conduct, analysis, and results dissemination of this study. 
  • Environmental Causes of Breast Cancer across Generations (funded by the California Breast Cancer Research Program). The goal of this five-year $5 million research project is to find out if women exposed to certain chemicals while they were developing in the uterus are more likely to get breast cancer.  Marj is recruiting and managing the external advisory committee comprised of scientists, community advocates and participants in the study.
Plumbline Consulting & Coaching, Inc.
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