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The Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), a joint effort funded by NIEHS and NCI, is the next phase of the program that began with the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers in 2003 (2003-2010) and sponsors a network of scientists, clinicians, and breast cancer advocates on determining how chemical, physical, biological, and social factors in the environment interact with genetic factors to cause breast cancer. The network engages in bench and population research and takes a developmental approach to integrate time, susceptibility, and exposure in order to better understand the impact of environmental exposures on the development of the mammary gland through a woman’s lifetime that could, eventually, influence breast cancer risk

The program has three parallel efforts: the Puberty Study, an ongoing multi-site epidemiologic cohort study with 1000 young girls that is looking at determinants of pubertal maturation; Windows of Susceptibility, laboratory and epidemiological sub-studies addressing windows of environmental influences throughout the lifespan; and a Coordinating Center with responsibility for managing communications and the data collection for the cohort study.