Ending Disease Where it Begins

Identifying early life factors that influence and drive interventions that will promote long-term health and well-being

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Children’s Health and Discovery Initiative (CHDI) Request for Proposals

Application Submission Deadline: September 10, 2019



  • The origins of childhood and adult diseases often begin in prenatal and early postnatal life. 
  • Early exposure to adverse influences – social, economic, health, or environmental – can create health deficits that last a lifetime.

  • Inequalities in health and socio-emotional functioning emerge by age 3.


  • Identify early life risk factors across four key drivers of health:
    • Genes and Biology
    • Physical Environment
    • Health and Behavior Needs
    • Social and Economic Factors
  • Elucidate mechanisms underlying early effects on long-term health.
  • Utilize Duke’s unique data resources to understand the effects of these factors on population health.
  • Develop novel preventative, diagnostics, and therapeutic modalities to improve both individual and population health.


  • Develop preventive strategies, diagnostics and early therapies to promote health in child and adult populations.
  • Identify and mitigate early risk factors and life adverse events, and improve the health and well-being of children and society as a whole.
  • Gain new insight into the factors that contribute to health and well-being.
  • Develop novel preventative, diagnostic, and therapeutic strategies for diseases that begin early in life.