Research Project at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center

We would like to invite you to participate in a research project at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. We are recruiting families in which there is a patient with epispadias, bladder exstrophy, or cloacal exstrophy. Our ultimate goal is to identify genetic and environmental factors that cause these congenital anomalies. This will help us understand how to provide better management and care for patients and their families.

Participation in this project will entail filling out a questionnaire designed to identify environmental factors that may cause exstrophy and providing a saliva or mouth swab sample that can be sent through the mail. We are collecting samples from the patient and his/her biological parents.

Participation in this study will not cost anything. Families will not benefit directly from participation in this research project. However, we hope that you will join us in our effort to improve our understanding of this birth defect for the benefit of our future patients.

Please, contact Dr. Joan Ko by e-mail ( or by phone (410) 955-5358 if you would like to find out more.

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