Present and Future

The CANDLE Research Study at UTHSC Reaches Enrollment Milestone

Memphis, Tenn. (June 16, 2010) – Organizers of the CANDLE Research Study at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) announce they have enrolled 1,000 pregnant women since recruitment began in December 2006. The goal is to enroll a total of 1,500 participants.

The CANDLE Study (Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive Development and Learning in Early Childhood) is conducted for mothers-to-be who want to follow the development and learning levels of their babies from birth to 3 years of age. Participants must be less than seven months pregnant, have a low-risk pregnancy and live in Shelby County. The study identifies factors that impact a baby’s development and ability to learn during pregnancy and its first three years. CANDLE studies the effects of social, economic and cultural conditions, as well as psychological, genetic, environmental, and dietary factors that influence child development and behavior. Recently, The Urban Child Institute has supported presentations about study findings at national research meetings.

Since 2006, a broad range of faculty experts at UTHSC have contributed to the development and continued progress of the CANDLE Study. In addition, CANDLE has expanded its recruitment efforts community-wide.

"Our enrollment milestone could not have been achieved without the teamwork shown by everyone who works on this study," said Patricia Simpson, study manager for CANDLE. "Everyone on staff is dedicated to the spirit of this research and is remarkable at what they do."

For more information about CANDLE, visit or contact Patricia Simpson in the UTHSC Department of Preventive Medicine at 901-448-1318 or e-mail her at Pregnant women who are interested in participating in the study should call 901-448-8400 or visit