NIH-funded study finds no effects of COVID-19 vaccine on menstrual cycle regularity or pain

Premenopausal females who were vaccinated for COVID-19 were no more likely to report irregular menstrual cycles, heavier bleeds, or menstrual pain than a similar group of unvaccinated women, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. However, consistent with several previous studies, participants reported a small increase in cycle length of roughly one day following vaccination.

Prenatal depression may increase risk of cardiovascular disease after birth

Self-reported depression from six weeks gestation through the end of pregnancy may increase the risk of heart and blood vessel disease up to two years after birth, suggests an analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health. Information on cardiovascular disease occurring after prenatal depression could help inform screening and prevention efforts for the condition.

Research Highlights from the Division of Intramural Research (DIR)

Recent DIR scientific advances include understanding how neural circuits process sensory information, optimizing fertility preservation for girls with childhood cancer, exploring the potential link between maternal fibroid tumors and infant birth weight, and understanding the association between adverse childhood experiences and adult health.

NICHD-Developed Guide Sets Framework to Link Maternal, Infant Health Data

A new guide developed by NICHD and its partners promises to standardize the exchange of clinical data on maternal and infant health. The guide is an important step toward establishing a common framework to help clinicians and scientists better understand the root causes and high rates of maternal morbidity and mortality.

NIH selects next round of winners in the Connecting the Community for Maternal Health Challenge

NIH has announced the next round of winners of its Connecting the Community for Maternal Health Challenge—a $3 million prize competition to encourage community-based and advocacy organizations in the United States to develop the infrastructure and capabilities needed to conduct maternal health research.

NIH study finds neurotrophic factor-α1 prevents memory loss and neurodegeneration in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease

Delivery of the gene for neurotrophic factor-α1 directly into the hippocampus of the brain prevents neurodegeneration and memory loss in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. These preclinical findings on a potential therapeutic are among the first to show prevention of Alzheimer’s disease in an animal model.

Umbilical cord milking may increase blood flow to brain and lungs of nonvigorous term and near-term infants

An NIH-supported study suggests that umbilical cord milking, a technique that moves blood from the umbilical cord into a newborn’s body increases blood flow to the lungs and brain, reducing the need for heart and respiratory support among infants classified as non-vigorous—limp, pale, and with minimal breathing. The study adds to previous research suggesting that cord milking leads to better outcomes, compared to the standard intervention of immediate cord clamping and cutting.

Drug reduces fibroids in mice

Tranilast, a drug used to treat allergies and certain types of scars, reduced the size of human fibroid tumors implanted in mice, according to an NIH-funded study. The authors said the results warranted additional studies in animals and perhaps in later human trials to evaluate this potential treatment for these non-cancerous gynecologic tumors that can cause bleeding and pain and sometimes affect fertility.


Selected Funding Opportunities

Requests for Applications, Program Announcements


For links to NICHD funding opportunities, check Active Funding Opportunity Announcements for All NICHD.


NICHD’s Data Sharing Resources

NICHD supports many resources and tools for researchers.

Featured This Month:

  • Seminar: Amplifying Impact Through Data Sharing in the Kids First and NICHD Data Ecosystem

    In the June session of the Data Sharing and Reuse Seminar Series, led by the NIH Office of Data Science Strategy, Nara Sobreira, M.D., Ph.D., a Gabriella Miller Kids First investigator at Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine, presented on PhenoDB, a phenotypic and genotypic data-sharing tool. In her introduction of Dr. Sobreira, Valerie Cotton, deputy director of the NICHD Office of Data Science and Sharing (ODSS), highlighted the importance of data sharing in federally funded research and described how ODSS is leveraging lessons learned from Kids First and other efforts to build the NICHD data ecosystem and advance data science. Dr. Sobreira also presented a poster about her work with Kids First during a special session of the NICHD Advisory Council’s June meeting prior to the seminar.


For information on other resources, visit NICHD’s Datasets & Research Resources.


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