On Thursday, October 10th, The Mount Sinai TCEEE and the New York State Children’s Environmental Health Centers hosted a wonderful event in honor of the 2nd Annual Children’s Environmental Health Day! During the CEH Day ceremony, Clean and Healthy NY presented on the newly passed Child Safe Products Act. We also honored student intern, Subhana Zafar, who participated in the Children’s Environmental Health Summer Intern Program and developed environmental health educational materials for youth. Mount Sinai participated in activities led by Children’s Environmental Health Network to celebrate CEH Day.
The Mount Sinai P30, CTSA and Exposomics Institute and Brown University partnered in sponsoring the 16th Academic Pediatric Association Environmental Scholars Retreat November 1-3 in Providence Rhode Island. Trainees from 12 different universities across the country participated. The annual Environmental Health Scholars Retreat, supported by Mount Sinai since its inception gives trainees an opportunity to present research in progress in an informal setting with faculty input on the project and presentation. Drs Allan Just, Joseph Braun, Heather Burris and Robert Wright lead the planning committee each year. Many past attendees have gone on to successful research careers. Every year, national and international leaders in environmental health give talks and keynote symposium; past speakers have included the Director of NIEHS and Administrator of the EPA. Our Theme this year was Gender Issues in Academics. Each year we hold a pre-meeting workshop on Friday afternoon designed to build academic and research skills. This meeting the workshop was themed on Grant Writing: “From Specific Aims to Understanding Reviewers” led by Dr. Robert Wright of Mount Sinai School of Medicine. It was followed by small group sessions led by faculty participants. Keynote speakers this year included Dr Carol Shreffler, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, who spoke on obtaining K awards, Dr Rosalind Wright, Mount Sinai, who spoke on Disentangling Impact of Chemical and Non-Chemical Stressors on Child Health Outcomes, and Dr Tamara James-Todd, Harvard University, spoke on her research in environmental chemical exposures and racial ethnic disparities in children. Dr Heather Burris, Penn University, led a panel discussion Navigating and Supporting Gender Equity in Academics, a Focus on the Career Development of Women. and Dr Joseph Braun, Brown University, spoke on using Directed Acyclic Graphs in Epidemiologic Research. Invited participants from Columbia University (Andrea Baccarelli), Tufts (Abby Fleisch),and Mount Sinai (Chris Gennings, Douglas Walker, Elena Colicino, Corina Lesseur, and Allan Just) led the small group sessions of the workshop and provided in depth feedback to trainees on their works in progress.
The Mount Sinai NIEHS Core Center has announced the awardees for its seventh 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, one $69,608, two $50,000 grants, three $25,000 grants, and one $20,000 grant were awarded. To learn more about the funded the research projects for this year, visit our Funded Pilot Projects page.
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.
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.