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International Perinatal Brain and Behavior Network

Perinatal Pre-Conference

Program Director: Marion van den Heuvel

PRE-CONFERENCE PERINATAL SYMPOSIUM:

TELOMERES – A CRITICAL DISCUSSION OF BIOMARKER METHODOLOGY AND EVIDENCE OF THE ASSOCIATION, WITHIN AND ACROSS GENERATIONS, OF TELOMERES AND MATERNAL RISK

Session Chairs

Discussant:

Elizabeth Shirtcliff

Iowa State University, United States

Session Co-Chairs:

Stacy Drury

Tulane University, United States

Sonja Entringer

Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany

Idan Shalev

Penn State University, United States

Marion van den Heuvel

Tilburg University, Netherlands

Symposium Description:

Biomarkers, including telomere length, cortisol, and inflammatory markers are often examined as parts of the mechanistic pathways through which maternal stress influences the health and biology of her offspring. This symposium tests several pathways by which fetal telomere biology and other stress response systems are affected by maternal prenatal and life course stress, providing evidence of programing of telomere biology by maternal stress with differing pathways for maternal life course and prenatal stress. Recognizing the critical importance of methodologic rigor in biomarker studies this symposium will also discuss key pre-analytic factors related to telomere studies providing ample data for a lively discussion relevant for studies utilizing stored samples as well as new studies that are designed to ensure the highest level of methodologic rigor for telomere studies moving forward. Presents are also part of the Telomere Research Network, an NIA/NIEHS funding initiative with direct ties to the Stress and Biomarker Networks focused on methodologic standardization and rigor for studies related to telomeres, stress and other biomarkers with the expectation that these methodologic standards with be applicable not just to telomere studies but also to other biomarkers. To ensure a lively discussion Dr. Shirtcliff has been selected as a discussant given her expertise in neuroendocrine biomarkers. Dr. Entringer will present first on data related to fetal programming of telomere biology and maternal resilience and stress. Second Dr. Drury will present data, using complex systems analyses, on maternal life course stress and its affect on TL and other infant outcomes across the first two years of life. Lastly, Dr. Shalev will discuss important findings related to DNA integrity and reproducibility and replicability of TL measurement as studies exploring transgenerational and intergenerational effects of maternal stress on offspring development often utilize samples collected over a long time-span and at varying locations. Ensuring the methodological rigor of telomere studies, and discussing similar debates in relation to other key biomarkers is imperative to the quality of current and future biomarker research.

Robust Developmental EEG Practices from Collection to Analysis Workshop

Sponsored by MagstimEGI

Presenters:
Laurel Joy Gabard-Durnam, PhD, Northeastern University, Boston, United States Trey Avery, Ph.D., Magstim / EGI

This workshop addresses how to collect and analyze high-density EEG in developmental populations with Magstim EGI systems and the Harvard Automated Processing Pipeline for Electroencephalography (HAPPE) software. Current best practices and strategies to promote robust, standardized data collection and analysis will be emphasized. Participants will be guided through processing publicly available developmental Magstim EGI data or their own data through HAPPE 2.0 software for resting-state EEG (HAPPE pipeline) and ERP analyses (HAPPE+ER pipeline). The workshop is suitable for both novice and experienced EEG users.