Having such a large group of participants and a genetic biobank as part of APrON provides the opportunity to conduct ancillary studies to help answer future questions.

Our investigators are also involved with other studies in child and maternal health and nutrition. An interdisciplinary team approach particularly allows us to look at new research questions from many angles.

Visit the CHILD Studies site to learn more about projects related to APrON or view some of the projects below.

APrON-D Study

The primary aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of vitamin D (25[OH]D 3 ) insufficiency in a subset of maternal-child pairs from a large cohort study on nutrition in pregnancy in Alberta and to examine maternal factors that relate to vitamin D status in mothers and their cord blood. The APrON-D study recruited a subset of APrON participants during their third trimester and obtained consent to collect cord and maternal blood samples at the time of delivery. The findings suggest that the use of high dose vitamin D was associated with greater odds of sufficiency in pregnant women and cord blood in Alberta.

Brain Development Imaging Study

The imaging study focuses on the structural and functional brain development in young children, and links between this development and language/reading abilities. Participation in our study requires at least one visit to the Alberta Children’s Hospital to undergo a short language assessment and a brain scan using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Click here to view the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab’s website

Fetal Programming Study
Gastrointestinal Microbiota and Behaviour in Teenagers (GAMBIT) Study

Gut microbiota are an exciting new frontier in mental health research. We want to understand the therapeutic potential of the gut microbiota to prevent or reduce mental health problems in youth. Our aims are to determine the longitudinal association between gut microbiota and mental health, whether the stress response systems mediate this association, and whether findings differ by sex and/or puberty status. This study fills an important gap in knowledge about the ways that gut microbiota may influence mental health outcomes, especially in youth for which there is little microbiota data. This research will help us generate targeted interventions to test the therapeutic value of the gut microbiota for mental health in youth.

Click here to learn more about the study
Click here to view the Developmental Psychobiology Lab’s website


The PROMISE Study’s primary objective is to understand whether mothers’ and fathers’ parenting moderates the influence of childhood adversities and genetic susceptibility to environmental influences on 3‐5 year old children’s neurodevelopment (in behavioural and cognitive domains).

Click here to continue reading about the study

Neurotox Study
Title of Study: Neurodevelopment of preschoolers exposed perinatally to bisphenol A and phthalates: Interactions with diet and neurotoxicant co-exposures

Substances that are harmful to brain development are called neurotoxicants. Studies have shown that exposure to environmental neurotoxicants such as mercury and lead can affect the health and development of the fetus. There is growing evidence that the negative effects of these neurotoxicants may be increased by poor nutrition, or blocked by proper nutrition. However, for most neurotoxicants that are harmful to brain development, there are no detailed human studies. Therefore, it is essential to examine substances in our environment that are known to be harmful to brain development (e.g., lead and mercury) or suspected of being harmful to brain development (e.g., Bisphenol A and phthalates). The purpose of this study is to determine whether exposure to neurotoxicants affects cognitive, motor, memory, emotional and behavioral development in children at 3 and 5 years of age and whether the mother’s diet during pregnancy increases or decreases the effects of the exposure.

Sweet Moms Study

The purpose of the Sweet Moms study is to examine the effects of sugar intake during pregnancy on the health of moms and their babies. Women can join the study at any time during their pregnancy but must currently reside the in the Edmonton area.