Background and activities
Centre Manager, Centre for Digital Life Norway
Background: Children's brain development is influenced by their environment. Caring relationships, safety, and learning opportunities all contribute in positive ways. By contrast, healthy brain development can be hindered by toxic chemicals in our environment — such as air pollution, heavy metals, pesticides, e-waste, and their "cocktail" effects. Children's fast-growing nervous systems and neuroplasticity also mean children are particularly sensitive to the effects of toxic chemicals. Children's levels of exposure to environmental pollutants varies widely, often based on where they live and their socioeconomic status.
My work aims to bridge neurodevelopment and environmental exposures in light of social inequalities globally, in collaboration with UNICEF and international organizations. More generally, I seek a greater understanding of how early experiences influence long-term health and wellbeing — especially in children who face biological, social, and environmental risks in early life. I am interested in science writing, education, and policy towards the goal of supporting these children and their families.
As UNICEF Research Fellow, I spearheaded the creation of the "Healthy Environments for Healthy Children" global program for children's environmental health, launched in 2021. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Global Health Inequalities Research (CHAIN) focusing on children's enironmental health inequalities and social determinants of health. I am a member of the International Society for Children's Health & the Environment (ISCHE) and a co-lead for the organization's communications and outreach. I previously worked at NTNU's Center for Early Brain Development, using neuroimaging to study the long-term effects of preterm birth on brain structure, thinking, and behavior.
Communications: It is important that scientists make their work accessible to a wide non-academic audience. To do so, I share my research for general audiences and co-lead communications for ISCHE on children's environmental health (ⓕ @LTMische, ⓣ @ltm_ISCHE, ⓘ Instagram: @ltm_ische).
• Collaborated on the UNICEF and Pure Earth report The Toxic Truth (2020), on childhood lead poisoning, which was featured widely in international media, including in The New York Times, Al Jazeera, BBC, NRK (in Norwegian), and many others.
• Contributed to UNICEF and Norges Bank's guidance on "Children’s Rights in the Garment and Footwear Supply Chain" (2020), which was profiled in Norwegian media.
Scientific, academic and artistic work
Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database
- (2021) COVID-19 and children’s health in the United States: consideration of physical and social environments during the pandemic. Environmental Research.
- (2020) Phthalate exposure and allergic diseases: Review of epidemiological and experimental evidence. Environment International. vol. 139.
- (2020) The International Society for Children’s Health and the Environment Commits to Reduce Its Carbon Footprint to Safeguard Children’s Health. Environmental Health Perspectives. vol. 128 (1).
- (2020) Five insights from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. The Lancet. vol. 396 (10258).
- (2019) Reduced hippocampal subfield volumes and memory function in school-aged children born preterm with very low birthweight (VLBW). NeuroImage: Clinical. vol. 23.
- (2019) Europe’s Environmental Pollution & Children’s Brain Development. EuroHealthNet Magazine. vol. 13.
- (2018) Childhood epilepsy and ADHD comorbidity in an Indian tertiary medical center outpatient population. Scientific Reports. vol. 8.
- (2018) Trajectories of brain development in school-age children born preterm with very low birth weight. Scientific Reports. vol. 8:15553.
- (2017) "Beginning with the Smallest Intake": Children's Brain Development and the Role of Neuroscience in Global Environmental Health. Neuron. vol. 95 (6).
- (2017) Utsatt for miljøgifter tidlig i livet. Morgenbladet.
- (2016) Limited microstructural and connectivity deficits despite subcortical volume reductions in school-aged children born preterm with very low birth weight. NeuroImage. vol. 130.
- (2015) Visual-motor deficits relate to altered gray and white matter in young adults born preterm with very low birth weight. NeuroImage. vol. 109.
- (2012) Neuroscience in the Capital: Linking Brain Research and Federal Early Childhood Programs and Policies. Early Education and Development. vol. 23 (1).
- (2021) Healthy Environments for Healthy Children: Global Programme Framework UNICEF. 2021.
- (2020) Children’s Rights in the Garment and Footwear Supply Chain. 2020.
- (2020) The Toxic Truth: Children’s Exposure to Lead Pollution Undermines a Generation of Future Potential. 2020.
- (2018) Brain development, connectivity, and cognitive skills following preterm birth with very low birth weight: Neuroimaging findings from childhood, early adulthood, and the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet. 2018. ISBN 978-82-326-3059-2.
- (2020) Forskningsdagene 2020 - På labben: NTNU - Kam Sripada. Digital [Internett]. 2020-09-16.