On February 9th, Mount Sinai CEC staff (Maida Galvez, Sarah Evans, and Luz Guel), Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF), and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH) led the first professional development session for NYC middle school teachers as part of the “Citizen Science in NYC School Communities” program. The project was funded for Year 2 through the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYS P2I) Community Grant Award which will allow for CELF, CUNY Center for Urban Environmental Reform, NYC Department of Education, NYCDOHMH, NY Hall of Science, and the Mount Sinai CEC to engage NYC public school students as environmental health researchers to collect and analyze air pollution data from their neighborhoods.
During the 1st workshop, the middle school teachers were introduced to the principles of Education for Sustainability and pedagogy of Citizen Science. The Mount Sinai Community Engagement Core led the environmental health and justice portion of the workshop. Maida Galvez & Sarah Evans presented on the impacts of pollution in relation to human and environmental health and Luz Guel presented on the role of research in environmental justice communities. Workshop #2 will be at the NY Hall of Science on March 9th–Anthony Negron from the NY Hall of Science will present on the protocol for the AirBeam monitor and AirCasting app and NYCDOHMH will present on the “MY NYC AIR: Environmental Health Citizen Science” tool that allows anyone in the community to collect air quality and environmental health concerns using their smartphones. Through this training, teachers will begin to work with their students to create pollution prevention plans that can inform public health interventions that promote healthy communities.
The Mount Sinai NIEHS Core Center has announced the awardees for its sixth call for Pilot Grant proposals. The Center’s mission is to increase the Environmental Health (EH) research portfolio at Mount Sinai and to bring non-EH researchers into the field through new transdisciplinary collaborations.
One $70,000 grant and five $25,000 grants were awarded. To learn more about the funded the research projects for this year, visit our Funded Pilot Projects page.
Congratulations to our P30 Center Member, John Doucette, for being elected to the to the Executive Committee of the Section on Teaching Statistics in the Health Sciences of the American Statistical Association. In January 2019, John Doucette will be taking over as their blog (online newsletter) editor. The American Statistical Association is the world’s largest community of statisticians, the “Big Tent for Statistics.” It is the second-oldest, continuously operating professional association in the country. Since it was founded in Boston in 1839, the ASA has supported excellence in the development, application, and dissemination of statistical science through meetings, publications, membership services, education, accreditation, and advocacy. To learn more about The American Statistical Association click here.
From July-Sept 2018, several of our center members received research funding from NIH and foundations. To find out more information about the grants and research, click on the corresponding link. Congratulations to our center members for continuing to advance environmental health research.
- SWAN – 3R01ES025169-04S1 Phthalate Exposure and Gender-related Development 09/20/2018 – 01/31/2019 (click here)
- MEYERS – R03OH011540-01 Transgenerational work exposures, EDCs and male fertility 09/30/2018 – 09/29/2020 (click here)
- HORTON – 1R01ES028927-01A1 Early life exposure to metal mixtures and neuroimaging of internalizing behaviors in childhood 09/30/2018 – 08/31/2023 (click here)
- TEITELBAUM – 3U2CES026555-01S3 CHEAR Center for Data Science 09/30/2015 – 08/31/2019 (click here)
- CHEN – 1R01ES029212-01 (subcontract with EMORY UNIVERSITY) Placental Functional Networks Linking Developmental Pesticide Exposure and Offspring Neurodevelopment 07/01/2018 – 06/30/2023 (click here)
- GARLAND – Enterprise Community Partners Studying The Optimal Ventilation for Environmental Indoor Air Quality (The STOVE IAQ project) 09/01/2018 – 10/31/2019 (click here)
On Friday, Oct. 12th, 2018, the second joint networking event between the Columbia and Mount Sinai p30 EHS Core Centers was held at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center campus. The event was well attended by close to 60 researchers. The agenda centered around smaller discussion groups, focusing on four important topics that are part of the NIEHS 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. The groups included: The Microbiome, Co-Exposures, The Exposome, and Outreach, Communications and Engagement. The participants in each group brainstormed for about an hour, focusing on questions such as research gaps, the strengths of each Center/institution, datasets that are available, data analysis tools, and possible funding mechanisms. Everyone then reconvened for a quick summary by one member of each group, followed by a reception and social hour.
Our Project Coordinator, Luz Guel, presented our collaborative project “Team Science: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Engaging Schools in Citizen Science” in the Youth Education Session at the Air Sensors International Conference (ASIC) on Sept. 13th. ASIC brought together stakeholders from academia, government, communities, and commercial interests to promote and advance air pollution sensors, improve the data quality from these sensors, expand the pollutants measured, and foster community involvement in monitoring air quality. During the session, Luz shared how Team Science can be utilized as a replicable training model to empower urban educators and their students. Luz highlighted how NYC teachers and students collected and analyzed air quality around their school community using AirBeam monitoring devices and as a result gained an understanding of the interdependence of economic, environmental, public health and social justice factors around air quality. To read more about the conference and the UC Davis Air Quality Research Center click here.
The Pilot Projects Program is the engine that drives research that is relevant to our Center’s theme—Transdisciplinary Research in Early Environmental Exposures. This program has enabled Center Members to turn interesting new research ideas, perhaps sparked at a Research Group seminar, into fully developed research proposals with the goal of generating preliminary data for larger R01 applications (or K awards). Pilot grants enable junior faculty to access the Center’s cutting-edge core facilities and attract faculty from different departments into the Center to add environmental health to their research programs.
Pilot Project Program Application click here
Previously Funded Pilot Projects click here
Using evidence found in baby teeth, researchers from the Institute for Exposomic Research and the Mount Sinai Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures at the Icahn School of Medicine found that Zinc and copper metabolic cycles in baby teeth are linked to autism. The researchers used the teeth to reconstruct prenatal and early-life exposures to nutrient and toxic elements in healthy and autistic children. Results of the study were published online in Science Advances, a journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
This is the first study in the world to generate a 90 percent accurate fetal and early childhood biomarker of ASD using a longitudinal analysis of distinct metabolic pathways, and to replicate it in 4 independent study populations. The results of this research could produce a new diagnostic approach for ASD early in life before the disorder presents and catalyze new treatments and prevention strategies.
To read more about this study, read our Department of Environmental Medicine blog.
For the past year, NYC middle school teachers and their students have been collecting and analyzing air quality data from their neighborhoods using Air Beams as part of the “Citizen Science in NYC School Communities” project funded by the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute. On April 28th, the Mount Sinai CEC staff, the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation, CUNY Center for Urban Environmental Reform, and NYCDOHMH, led a one-day symposium where the students and teachers presented their pollution prevention plans. The students presented and proposed innovative solutions to air pollution to community leaders, city agencies, and parents in hope of informing public health interventions that promote healthy communities.
From Left to Right: Dr. Robert Wright, Erik de Water, and Jeanette Stingone
The Honest Company has awarded The Institute for Exposomics Research at Mount Sinai $100,000 to fund two postdoctoral fellows conducting research in children’s environmental health. Click here to watch a video about the grant.
The grant recipients are Erik de Water, PhD, and Jeanette Stingone, PhD. Each fellow will receive $50,000 to fund their research programs. Dr. de Water will study the effects of maternal metal exposure on their children’s developing brains. Dr. Stingone will study the correlation between prenatal and early life exposures to environmental chemicals and early puberty, a risk factor for adult adverse health outcomes including breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. To learn more click here.