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2017-02-06   A celebration of the Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort

A very successful celebration of the Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort was held on Tuesday 31st January 2017 in the Aula Maxima in UCC, with a good mix of parents, interested people from the UCC community and from our sponsor National Children's Research Centre (NCRC) Crumlin, Dr Jacinta Kelly & Dr Ruth Barrington attended .  Presentations on the night were given by the principal investigators on the Study, Dr. Deirdre Murray, Prof. Jonathan Hourihane, Prof. Mairead Kiely and Prof. Louise Kenny.  We finished the evening off with tea and chocolate cake!    (The presentations given can be found here)

BASELINE in Numbers.pdf

BASELINE Allergy.pdf

BASLINE Children's Development.pdf

Pregnancy and Birth BASELINE.compressed.pdf

BASELINE Nutrition.pdf 



2017-01-12   Join us for a celebration of the Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort


2016-12-08   5 year appointments completed

The 5 year follow up appointments as part of theCork BASELINE Birth Cohort are now completed, 1240 children completed theassessment at this time point.  Our next step is to look for furtherfunding to follow up all the children again when they turn 10 years ofage.  We hope to do this in 2017 and will let you all know when we aresuccessful in attaining this funding.


The Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort is a very valuable resource and hashelped us understand more about the areas of allergy, nutrition and growth inIrish children.  We have now updated our website with our publishedresearch findings and will continue to do this in 2017 as more papers reachpublication.  We also hope to put together another information booklet onsome of the interesting findings from the 5 year appointments as we didpreviously up to 2 years of age.


Finally we would like to say a big ‘THANK YOU’ to all the parents andchildren that continue to support the study, we really appreciate the time andeffort that you have given to complete questionnaires, attend appointments andbone scans.  We know that this is not an easy thing to do with busy familylife!


Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort team                              cid:image003.png@01D24FB1.DCDFDCF0                  cid:image002.png@01D24FB1.DCDFDCF0                  


Deirdre, Claire, Darina, Klaudia, Carol, Elaine, Mairead, Jonathan, Alan& Louise


2016-09-13   The early origins of eczema studied in the Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort

Eczema, also known as atopicdermatitis (AD) is the most common skin disease of children in developed societies. It is associated with intense itch and loss of sleep in early life and with other conditions such as food allergy and asthma in later life. The early origins of AD are incompletely understood but involve a complex interplay between the skin barrier, immune dysregulation and the microbiome (the collective name for the community of organisms that live on all of our skin).


Eczema has a close relationship with Staphylococcus Aureus (SA) colonization, and this is known to drive flares or exacerbations of AD. It was, however, not known which came first-colonizationby staphylococcus or eczema followed by staphylococcal colonization? Incollaborative work funded by the National Children’s Research Centre,researchers in TCD, UCC, Dundee and the NIH, followed a cohort of patients (theCork BASELINE Cohort) very carefully over a 1-year period and regularly sampled their skin microbiome.


They were able to show that Staphylococcus colonization did not precede development of AD and,surprisingly, several non-aureus species of staphylococcus actually appeared tobe protective for developing AD at 1 year. This is an important new finding in the complex relationship between the microbiome and skin inflammation, suggesting that some commensal bacterial may be anti-inflammatory or protective against developing eczema.

2016-05-24   Directions for DEXA Bone Scan in Human Nutrition Unit, UCC

Directions to DXA Scan in Human Nutrition Studies Unit in UCC

Parking is available in a number of UCC visitor car parks with Perrott’s Inch being the nearest visitor car park to the Human Nutrition Studies Unit. Please see the map on the location of other visitor car parks or disc parking is available on surrounding streets.

Walking Directions to the Human Nutrition Studies Unit from Perrott’s Inch Car Park:

Walking Directions to the Human Nutrition Studies Unit from College Road:

Once inside the FoodScienceBuilding, please follow “The BASELINE Study” signs to the reception of the Human Nutrition Studies Unit on the ground floor of the FoodScienceBuilding.


2015-06-30   Parents Information Evening June 2015

The parents information evening was held in Brookfield health Science Complex on Tuesday 23rd June 2015.  Presentations on the night were given by the principal investigators on the Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort Study, Dr. Deirdre Murray, Prof. Jonathan Hourihane, Prof. Mairead Kiely and Prof. Louise Kenny.  The presentations given can be found here.

BASELINE update 2015 DM.pdf

Early environment and outcome 2.pdf

What did we learn from SCOPE LK.pdf

Baseline Parents evening MK23615eating behaviour only.pdf

hourihane baseline parents evening mtg for website. .pdf

2015-06-04   Childrens Research is essential to understanding childhood illnesses

Nuffield Council on Bioethics’ latest report Childrenand clinical research: ethical issues is now available on their website.  

The report looks at the ethics of involving children inresearch, and at the roles and responsibilities of children, parents/guardians,and professionals. Well-conducted research with children and young people isessential if we are to improve our understanding of childhood disease, andprovide healthcare based on the best possible evidence. Yet, it is often heldback by concerns about the ethical acceptability of asking children (seen as a‘vulnerable group’) to participate.

In line with the Working Party’s emphasis on the importanceof involving children and young people throughout the whole endeavour ofresearch, we have presented our work not only in the form of a full report, but also in a magazine format designed with the help ofyoung people’s groups, and as a one page summary which includes a list of points toconsider when carrying out research with children and young people. In addition,we have produced a short animation, again with the help of children and young people, whichis also available on the Nuffield Council’s website.


2015-05-12   Parents Information Evening June 23rd 2015
2015-02-19   Latest research published on weaning in infants on the Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort

Dr. Sinead O'Donovan has just published a paper on  'Adherance with early infant feeding and complementary feeding guidelines in the Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort.'

We would like to thank all the parents that so carefully filled out the 'weaning diary' for us for the first few weeks of weaning your little infants.  You have given us a great insight into the weaning practices in Ireland. 

We present the largest prospective cohort study to date on early infant feeding in Ireland. The rate of breast-feeding is low by international norms.  Most mothers introduce complementary foods between 4 and 6 months with lengthy gaps between each new food/food product. There is a high prevalence of exposure to infant breakfast cereals, which are composite foods, among the first foods introduced.


2015-01-26   Latest findings regarding skin barrier dysfunction and eczema

We are delighted to share with you our most recent findings of which you and your children played a huge part in achieving.  Do you remember having this measurement taken at birth, 2months, 6 months and 2 years.This was when we tested your child's skin barrier function. 

Our study shows that the first subtle signs of developing eczema can be seen in measurements taken at 2 days and 2 months in asymptomatic infants.  Interventions to potentially prevent eczema could be targeted towards such infants.


2014-11-26   The BASELINE Birth Cohort is now live on facebook!

We are delighted to now be part of the Facebook community!  We hope to bring you interesting facts and findings from our research and also share fun and relevant topics relating to your children's health and wellbeing.  Please like us and share.

2014-10-23   Information leaflet 1 (initial findings on 0-2yr)
  We are delighted to announce that we have put together an Information leaflet on some of our initial findings here at The Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort.  We are in the process of posting a copy to all those families that have completed the study up to 2 years of age and of course some of you have now also completed the 5 years appointment too!
We hope that you find it interesting and any new publications we will have this year will also be made available to you on our website.

Thanks again to all of you for continuing to make this study a success.   Without your support and input we would not be able to carry out this important research into the health and wellbeing of Irish children.

Baseline NEWSLETTER 2014_final9102014.pdf
2014-08-12   Graduation time
Congratulations to two members of the BASELINE Study team that graduated recently, Ms. Jennifer Connolly and Dr. Sinead O'Donovan.
2013-12-17   Happy 5th Birthday!

Today was a big milestone for the Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort, our very first baby returned for his 5 year appointment. We celebrated the continuation of the study, now that we have secured funding to follow up all our little and not so little ones born into the study! 
 We must say thank you again to all the mothers and fathers who have given their time to our study, we really appreciate it as we could not do it without you.  The Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort is one of a kind in Ireland, your children will have been followed from inside the womb to 5 years of age. 

Also thanks to the BASELINE Study team, who continue to work hard to make the the study a success and who cannot belive how much our very first baby has grown in the last 5 years!!

2013-09-26   Two year appointments coming to an end

As we are coming to the end of the 2 year old visits to the BASELINE Study, we would like to say a big thank you to all the parents, grandparents and especially the 2 year olds that came into see us over the last few years!  We are really looking forward to seeing how big you have grown when you return for your 5 year old visit.

2013-07-04   Presentations from the parents information evening 2012

Our speakers on the night included Dr. Deirdre Murray (principal investigator of the Cork BASELINE Birth cohort, consultant paediatrician and lecturer in Dept. Paediatrics and Child Health, UCC), Prof. Jonathan Hourihane (co-investigator, also head of the Dept. of Paediatrics and Child Health, UCC) and Dr. Mairead Kiely (co-investigator, also lecturer in the Dept. Food and Nutritional Sciences, UCC).

Please refer to the publications tab on the left for accessing the talks on the night.

2013-05-16   Research looks at why parents take part in the BASELINE Study

The Psychology Department of University College Cork under the supervision of DR. Audrey DunnGalvin, a paediatric psychologist is currently conducting research on the BASELINE study. The study is looking at the experience of parents in their involvement with BASELINE. You will be contacted via email regarding the study, if you would like to take part then respond to the email. 


2013-03-08   Latest publication from the BASELINE study

We are delighted to share with you the latest findings from the BASELINE study concerning skin barrier function.  You can access this publication by going to the publications tab and clicking on the link. 

As always we would like to thank you for your continued particiation which has helped to make this research possible.

2012-09-27   BASELINE Parents Information Evening 16th Oct 2012

Dear Parent, the Baseline study team is pleased to invite you to an information evening to upate you on the progress of the study and our findings to date.  This meeting will be held on Tuesday 16th Oct from 7-9pm in Brookfield Health Sciences building, UCC. 

Speakers on the night will be Dr Deirdre Murray, Prof Jonathon Houihane, Dr Mairead Keily  and Prof Louise Kenny.

A questions and answers session will follow the meeting.

You can find a map of the area and UCC campus via the following link .  Limited parking is available at Brookfeld and street parking is available in the surrounding area.

Further information to follow.

RSVP - 11th October - 087 9607875

2012-04-12   24 month appointments update

The 24 month appointments are going really well and we have almost seen 500 children for this appointment in the Discovery Centre. 

2011-03-30   Opening of the Discovery Centre

Paediatric Research Facility Opens
More than 2,000 babies and children will benefit over the next six years from a new, dedicated paediatric research facility opening today in Cork. The Health Research Board (HRB) will invest more than €58,000 in the HRB Discovery Centre where one of the leading research programmes will study why some children develop common diseases while others stay healthy.

Located in Cork University Hospital (CUH) the HRB Discovery Centre will provide the clinical space, IT infrastructure and office space to conduct clinical assessments. Five dedicated research staff will help ensure that the children are being cared for and that the research is carried out to the highest standards. Locating the new Centre at CUH is a strategic move due to the established paediatric research programmes and neo-natal care already in place at the hospital.

Lead researcher on the paediatric programme, Professor Jonathan Hourihane, Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at CUH says: "Locating in CUH will ensure that some of Ireland’s leading paediatric researchers in University College Cork will benefit from the opportunity to link their research work to clinical care and training. The centre will support both new and existing research programmes."

"For example; BASELINE, Ireland’s first study to observe children from before birth up to two years of age will examine the development of allergies, metabolic problems such as bone health, diabetes and also common neuro-developmental problems in early life.  Because many adult conditions such as heart disease, obesity and asthma have their origins in childhood, we plan to extend this programme so we can observe the changes in the children as they get older and identify any potential changes or links which could increase understanding of how these epidemic diseases affect Irish children as they grow and become adults. The centre will also be the Irish central point for an emerging international study called NEMO. This study aims to understand, and hopefully mitigate, the effects of hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure) in babies in the womb and related cellular damage that occurs within the brain and spinal cord as a result of the inadequate oxygen", he explains.

The HRB Discovery Centre is part of a much bigger HRB clinical research facility (CRF) and research programme currently being developed by University College Cork, Cork University Hospital and Mercy University Hospital and both centres will be part of a national research network supported by the HRB. The creation of a CRF in Cork represents a critical step towards the development of a clinical research environment within the hospitals in association with UCC. The CRF will facilitate and promote clinical research of an international standard and research results will improve people’s health and patient care as well as providing research career opportunities.

According to Professor Damian O'Connell, Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility in Cork:  "The HRB Discovery Centre will be an integral part of the HRB Clinical Research Facility in Cork. While this latter facility is still undergoing development, we have already commenced a variety of research programmes in heart disease, cancer and pharmabiotics and nutrition. When the facility is finished later this year it will become an essential component and enabler of these existing high quality clinical research programmes extending their investigative range and depth while also affording an opportunity to open up new clinical research efforts."

Speaking about this latest development in the national network of Clinical Research Facilities, Enda Connolly, Chief Executive at the HRB says: "This HRB Discovery Centre at CUH, and its parent Clinical Research Facility is part of a much bigger plan to increase, develop and streamline health research in Ireland. It will link into a network of HRB clinical research facilities in Dublin, Cork and Galway. The aim of these facilities is to systematically bridge the gap from promising research into new drugs, medical devices or diagnostics that benefit patients and are actually useful in clinical care. This in turn will lead to commercial spin offs and economic benefits."


2010-12-02   Directions to our new location
   The 'Children's Discovery Centre'

The BASELINE Study will be carrying out all our appointments in the newly developed 'Children's Discovery Centre' (Sponsered by the Irish Health Research Board).  Please follow the directions and map below to our new location. 

Directions to the 'Children's Discovery Centre'

If you are coming in the through the main entrance to the CUH, you should go left and continue along this road until you reach the roundabout which has the Dental Hospital and a public paying car park on the right hand side.  The Consultants Private Clinic and public paying car park is located on the left hand side of this roundabout.  The 'Children's Discovery Centre' is located straight ahead.  Unfortunately there is no direct access for cars to access the building.  The building is the very last brown 2 storey building, with a slanted roof on the left hand side (see 1st photo below).  The entrance to the building is located at the very end of this building (see 2nd photo below).

The building can also be accessed from the back gates entrance to the CUH.  This road is reached by taking a right at the traffic lights opposite the 'Rendez Vous' bar on the Model Farm Road and continuing straight until you see the back gates entrance to the CUH.  There is on street disc parking available here and we are then the first building on the right you see inside the security barrier.

Picture 1: This is the last building on the left side as you look towards the back gates of the CUH and the first on the right if you are coming in the back gates of the CUH. Picture 2: The front door entrance to the 'Children's Discovery Centre', we are located on the first floor.
2010-09-20   Happy second Birthday

Today was another milestone for BASELINE. Our very first baby returned for his 2 year appointment with us. We celebrated not just his second birthday but also that of the BASELINE Study.  We had cake and balloons and we celebrated the last year of hard work  for mum, dad and the BASELINE Study Team. 

We have a few thank you's to say at this stage of our study, firstly to thank all the mothers and fathers who have given their time to our study, we really appreciate it as we could not do it without you.  This study is unique in Ireland, your babies will have been followed from inside the womb to 2 years of age.  Many more babies have yet to be born into the BASELINE Study, while one thousand babies are already on board!

Secondly to thank all the people in UCC, CUH and CUMH who continue to work hard to make the BASELINE Study a success and who cannot belive that our very first baby is now an adventurous 2 year old!

2010-08-30   BASELINE Study has 1000 babies on board
  30th August 2010:  We now have 1000 babies born into the BASELINE Study!!  We will be seeing our very first baby, now a 2 year old toddler in 2 weeks time.
2010-04-14   We have now seen 500 BASELINE babies at 2 months
  9th April 2010:  The 500th BASELINE baby is seen for their 2 month visit!  We hope to see our first 2 year old BASELINE toddler in August 2010.
2010-01-28   First Scientific Advisory Committee Meeting for BASELINE

On January 22nd 2010, the BASELINE Study held its first Scientific Advisory Committee meeting.  The meeting was designed to invite recognised international research leaders in the fields of allergy, nutrition, obstetrics, epidemiology and ethics. The function of this meeting was  to discuss the progress of the BASELINE birth cohort, and to plan the structure and growth of the project.  This annual meeting was seen as an opportunity for shared research and collaboration. We were delighted with the success of the meeting and greatly appreciate the efforts everyone made to get to Cork. In addition we greatly appreciated all the expertise and advice that was so freely given by the group.  We look forward to meeting our Scientific Advisory Committee again in 2011 and look forward to working with them in the future.


The members of the Scientific Advisory Committee are Prof. Hans Bisgaard, Prof. Carlos Blanco, Dr. Jane Lucas, Prof. Neil Marlow, Prof. Irwin McLean, Prof. Deirdre Murphy, Dr. Ann Prentice, Dr. Nicola Robertson and Prof. Hywel Williams.  For more information on our committee menbers, please follow the links below.

Prof. Hans Bisgaard

Prof. Carlos Blanco

Dr. Jane Lucas

Prof. Neil Marlow

Prof. Irwin McLean

Prof. Deirdre Murphy

Dr. Ann Prentice

Dr. Nicola Robertson

Prof. Hywel Williams


2009-08-26   Happy first Birthday

Today was a milestone for BASELINE. Our very first baby had his 12 month appointment. We celebrated not just his first birthday but also that of the BASELINE study.

Firstly to thank all the mothers and fathers who have given their time to our study. We could not do this without you. Thank you for realising the difference this study can make to our understanding of childhood allergies and eczema and our knowledge of feeding and nutrition in Irish babies. This study is unique in Ireland, your babies will have been followed from inside the womb to 2 years of age.

Secondly to thank all the people in UCC, CUH and CUMH who have worked to make this happen. From the SCOPE midwives who ask "would you like to take part in BASELINE?", the BASELINE midwife who takes the first measurements, the research team who ask the questions at the 2, 6,12 and 24 month visits and the background staff who keep BASELINE organised.

We had cake and balloons and we celebrated the last year of hard work both for mum and us. Thank you again to all the staff, the parents and the babies.

2009-03-26   The arrival of the Pea Pod

BASELINE babies are now having their body composition measured using the new 'Pea Pod' at 1/2 days old and at the 2 month follow up visit.

2009-03-12   BASELINE babies return for their 6 month visits - March 2009

Look how big we have grown!

2009-02-23   First 50 babies complete 2 month check ups!
  16th February 2009: 50th BASELINE baby is seen for their 2 month visit. All is going well!
2009-01-09   The BASELINE study gets started

In August 2008 the first mothers recruited to the SCOPE pregnancy study began to deliver.

In October 2008 these first babies arrived to the Cork University Hospital for their 2 month checks. Their weight, length, head circumference and body fat was measured and mum and dad were asked about the home environment and baby's health. Little things like how they bath their baby, how they wash their clothes, where they live and how many pets they have. Some of the answers to these questions may give us useful information about why some children develop illness, whilst others do not.

We will be seeing all of these babies again in February for their 6 month visit. Look forward to seeing you then!

2008-12-15   First BASELINE baby arriving at the clinic November 2008