A theory that proposes the existence of a dynamic interface between the environment and human physiology over someone’s lifetime has earned a leading Mount Sinai researcher the prestigious Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Manish Arora, PhD, MPH, BDS, FICD, vice chair of the department of environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai will receive a total of eight million dollars over eight years to complete research into his theory, known as the Biodynamic Interface. Dr. Arora said, “I am grateful to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for this award that will help unlock the environmental underpinnings to diseases with causes and therapies that remain largely unknown.”
To read more click here.
On Saturday, June 7th students from schools across New York City gathered at CUNY Law School in Long Island City to present their findings regarding air pollution at the 2019 CELF Student Symposium, hosted by the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation together with partners. The CELF Citizen Science: Connecting Classroom to Community is a semester-long program that engages educators and students in project-based STEM learning outside of the classroom. The project was funded for Year 2 through the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYS P2I) Community Grant Award which allowed for CELF, CUNY Center for Urban Environmental Reform, NYC Department of Education, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NY Hall of Science, and the Mount Sinai Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures to engage NYC public school students as environmental health researchers to collect and analyze air pollution data from their neighborhoods. Using this data, students identified sources of air pollution, recognized connections to human behaviors, developed prevention and remediation plans for their communities, and shared their findings with peers and policymakers.
When Dr. Luz Claudio directed a student-prompted research study on the prevalence of asthma in New York City, the results shocked everyone — her research showed the extent of health disparities between zip codes. In this thought-provoking and humorous Ted Talk, Dr. Claudio illustrates a collaborative approach to science called Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR), a scientific method that engages community members, interns, and health professionals to achieve common goals. To see the TedTalk click here.
We would like to congratulate Corina Lesseur, MD, PhD on being awarded a K99 award! Dr. Lesseur’s research study “Integrative Analysis of Human Placental Epi/Genome Relation to Fetal Growth” will develop an integrative placental tissue and cell sub-populations epi/genomic catalogue. This research has the potential to advance our understanding of the placental contribution to fetal growth and lay the groundwork to develop placental biomarkers to inform individual disease risk. This proposed research and training will address the following knowledge gaps: 1) the proposal represents the first comprehensive and integrated genome-wide study of placental DNA methylation, transcriptome and their interplay with fetal genotypes and 2) plan to construct a placental cell-subpopulation epi/genomic reference that can be leveraged in future studies. The knowledge gained through this research study has the potential to inform more broadly on the influence of the intrauterine environment on health throughout the lifespan. To read more click here.
The Mount Sinai Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures (TCEEE) is excited to announce two opportunities for pilot funding. One is a joint collaboration with the Tisch Cancer Institute (TCI) of Mount Sinai.
- To read more about the Environmental Health Pilot Program please click here
- To read more about the Environmental Health/Cancer Pilot Program please click here
On February 12, 2019, The Mount Sinai Transdisciplinary Center on Effects of Early Environmental Exposure and the Conduits, the Mount Sinai CTSA co-sponsored a workshop on Critical Windows and Distributed Lag Regression (DLM) in collaboration with the Harvard P30 Center. There were 35 attendees that included faculty, postdoctoral fellows and data analysts. The facilitators included: Rosalind Wright (MSSM); Robert Wright (MSSM); Chris Gennings (MSSM); Brent Coull (Harvard); Ander Wilson (Colorado State); Leon Hsu (MSSM) and Mathilda Chiu (MSSM).
Recent advances in exposure science allow for very temporally dense measures of environmental exposures, such as air pollution and metals in deciduous teeth. In response, statistical methods were developed by MSSM P30 faculty in collaboration with Harvard and Colorado State faculty to bring together exposure science, biostatistics and developmental biology principles to discover, then validate the time boundaries of critical exposure windows. This DLM workshop was designed to integrate all aspects of these exposure windows so that participants would gain a deeper understanding of 1) why critical exposure windows exist, 2) the types of exposure data needed to identify windows 3) data driven statistical methods to identify windows as well as extensions that can address complex mixtures, effect modification and the overall effect of an analysis and 4) principles for interpreting results within the appropriate biological and statistical framework. The workshop emphasized the importance of timing in epidemiology studies and human development and also introduced how this methodology was first conceptualized in a transdisciplinary collaboration Drs. Wright and Coull, demonstrating the value of transdisciplinary scientific collaborations. As the temporal density and dimensions of health and environmental data keep increasing, we are now better equipped to understand data driven exposure biology methods increase, more and more application of these principles and methods are anticipated, providing new insights into the underlying mechanisms of the developmental origins of health and disease. The DLM workshop provided a hands-on experience for all participants to learn and apply DLM statistical code with exposure and health data. The workshop covered “Bayesian distributed lag model”, “Reversed distributed lag model”, and “Lagged Weighted Quantile Sum Model” in both “R” environment and “SAS” environment, inspiring participants many different approaches to solving environmental health problem with great complexity when dealing both high-resolution time series data and mixtures. After completing the workshop, participants should be able to confidently apply these analytic techniques on their own research.
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.
Dr. Carol Horowitz
We are proud to announce that The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has created a new position, Dean for Gender Equity in Science and Medicine, to advance efforts to provide a supportive, collegial environment in which faculty, students, and trainees will succeed and feel valued without experiencing bias relating to their gender. Carol Horowitz, MD, MPH, Professor of Population Health Science and Policy & P30 Community Engagement Core Co-Director, has been named to the new position.
Dr. Horowitz will interact with constituents to gather information on their experiences and perceptions. She will use this input to tackle a broad range of issues, including correcting possible inequities in compensation, hiring, promotion, and evaluation; raising awareness of and opportunities to promote equity; and working to eliminate bias throughout the Mount Sinai community.
Additionally, Dr. Horowitz will create an inventory of current programs and conduct needs assessments to identify intervention opportunities. She will develop and deploy programs that increase inclusiveness, thereby improving quality of life, recruitment, and retention across the Health System. Dr. Horowitz will also represent the Icahn School of Medicine externally and will strive towards a national and international leadership role on initiatives that promote equity. To read more click here.
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.