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Center for Epigenetic Research in Child Health & Brain Development

Welcome to CERCH

The Center for Epigenetic Research in Child Health & Brain Development (CERCH) is a centralized resource uniting basic scientists and clinicians across the university, providing them research consultation and grant services, to stimulate collaborative translational relationships in the areas of neuroscience, mental health, obstetrics and pediatrics. 

Mission & Vision

Our mission is to raise awareness on the factors important for healthy child development through research, education, and public outreach emphasizing the epigenetic mechanisms that influence development and long-term disease risk.

Learn more about CERCH

Pregnant woman and 3d fetus

Baltimore Trauma Summit

CERCH is excited to be hosting a unique two-day summit focusing on the impact of trauma in our community and its effects on the body, bringing together community leaders and experts in the field of stress and trauma research to build collaborations for the benefit of Baltimore and beyond. Check out our Events Page for more information on the 2022 Baltimore Trauma Summit. 

Science & Research Highlights

Dr. Bale, Director of CERCH, discusses epigenetic transmission and gene by environment by development (GxDxE) in "Shaping the Brain: Before, During, and After Birth" on the Evesdrop on Experts podcast. LISTEN HERE. 

Reading on the Brain

Communicating the brain-building benefits of reading to Baltimore’s Children

CERCH is committed to engaging the Baltimore community in the science of healthy brain development. In pursuit of that goal, we’ve teamed up with Jay Wolf Schlossberg-Cohen, renowned community engagement activist and acclaimed local artist, to bring a unique program combining science, art, and reading to Callaway Elementary School in northeast Baltimore.

Through interactive workshops and field trips to places such as a neuroscience laboratory, Reading on the Brain invites selected students to participate in the discussion and artistic interpretation of how reading improves brain development. The students learn about the different parts of the brain, how activities such as reading and meditation improve brain connectivity and help protect against the negative impact of stress on brain function and mental health. Jay then teaches the students to express their knowledge and vision through art. Ultimately, translating their work into a large community mural that will decorate Callaway Elementary School and serve as a positive message on the importance of reading for strengthening relationships and building healthy brains.

Support Reading on the Brain by donating to the Center for Epigenetic Research in Child Health and Brain Development!

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Latest News 


Listen to Dr. Tracy Bale's interview with Sheilah Kast on WYPR's On The Record where they discuss the importance of our Reading on the Brain program.


Contact Us

670 West Baltimore St.

Health Science Research Facility III, 9th Floor

Baltimore, MD 21201