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Marietta College continues C.A.R.E.S. study partnership

MARIETTA — Marietta College will continue working with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center on the Communities Actively Researching Exposure Study of manganese exposure in youth as it relates to brain development.

The partnership began in 2008 and will continue as the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences renewed a $3.18 million grant for a five-year period to UC.

“The partnership with Marietta College and other local organizations, such as the health department, is absolutely essential for the success of the research and the meaningful translation of the findings for the community,” said Erin Haynes, an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health at UC. “I am grateful for their continued collaboration on the study. Dr. Barnas’ students have been excellent to work with.”

The study has expanded into East Liverpool, Ohio.

The Communities Actively Researching Exposure Study was initiated in 2008 based on community concern about exposure to manganese from a metallurgical manufacturing company near Marietta.

“We have more than 300 local children who participated in the C.A.R.E.S. research study, and are now hoping they are able to come back for this round of the study,” said Mary Barnas, McCoy Professor of Psychology at Marietta College. “The data collection takes place at Marietta College and we’re excited to also be able to provide two graduate assistantships.”

Barnas said longitudinal research is exciting, but expensive so the extension of the grant to continue this project was important.

“This is important research, and also valuable experience for our students,” she said.

Philip LeMaster, a Marietta College graduate in 2008, worked on the project as a graduate student at Marietta and he found C.A.R.E.S. to be an enriching opportunity.

“Personally, it was fulfilling to get acquainted with people in my community and see how this research was valuable for parents and their developing children,” he said. “Professionally, C.A.R.E.S. prepared me to execute my own research in graduate school and initiated my interest in developmental psychology.”

LeMaster earned a Ph.D. in life-span developmental psychology from West Virginia University and is an assistant professor of psychology at Concordia College at Moorhead, Minn.

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