Background and activities

Centre Manager, Centre for Digital Life Norway

The Centre for Digital Life Norway (DLN) is a national centre for digital biotechnology research, education, and innovation, supported by the Research Council of Norway since 2016. The goal of Digital Life is responsible and sustainable value creation in Norwegian biotechnology through stimulating deep collaborations that go beyond traditional disciplinary approaches. We work towards building a strong culture for innovative thinking by connecting society, academia, and industry and by training a new generation of transdisciplinary life scientists. Our vision is open science and convergence of biotechnology and life sciences with computer science, engineering, mathematics, physics, and statistics (“big data”) as well as with social sciences and the humanities. Find out more about the Digital Life community of 40+ digital biotechnology projects in Norway and our dedicated team of specialists.

Scientific 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 (@LittleThingsMtr on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

Research featured on NRK, TV2, and internationally

Popular science writing in English, Norwegian, German, Spanish, and French. Video in Norwegian.

• Advisory board for Places and Spaces: Environments and children's well-being (2022), UNICEF's annual report card ranking high-income countries. 

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 JazeeraBBC, and many others.

 

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications

Report/dissertation

Others

  • Sripada, Kam. (2022) Child Brain Development in Pollution “Sacrifice Zones”: A call to action [OECD Forum Network].
  • Sripada, Kam; Venæs, Heidi. (2022) Oppsiktsvekkende funn: – Bytt ut tåteflaska. TV2 [Internett]. 2022-03-21.
  • Sripada, Kam. (2017) Preterm birth in India and Norway: What neuroscience tells us about long-term outcomes. NTNU Global Health Seminar ; 2017-09-14 - 2017-09-14.
  • Sripada, Kam. (2014) Visualizing Children’s Brain Development. Fulbright Seminar . U.S. - Norway Fulbright Foundation; U.S. Ambassador's Residence, Oslo. 2014-02-13 - 2014-02-13.