Author Archives: mountsinaitceee

P30 Center Member’s New Study on Autism and Exposure to Specific Toxins Published in Nature Communications

Using evidence found in baby teeth, P30 Center Researchers from The Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Environmental Health Sciences Laboratory and The Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai found that differences in the uptake of multiple toxic and essential elements over the second and third trimesters and early postnatal periods are associated with the risk of developing autism spectrum disorders (ASD), according to a study published June 1 in the journal Nature Communications. The critical developmental windows for the observed discrepancies varied for each element, suggesting that systemic dysregulation of environmental pollutants and dietary elements may serve an important role in ASD. In addition to identifying specific environmental factors that influence risk, the study also pinpointed developmental time periods when elemental dysregulation poses the biggest risk for autism later in life

High Levels Of Prenatal Air Pollution Exposure And Stress Increase Childhood Asthma Risk

A new study has found that children, especially boys, whose mothers were exposed to higher levels of outdoor particulate air pollution at the same time that they were very stressed were most likely to develop asthma by age six. The study was presented at the 2017 American Thoracic Society International Conference.  The team, led by senior investigator Rosalind Wright, MD, MPH, dean of translational biomedical research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, conducted this study because of their overarching interest in understanding how these and other environmental factors interact to produce respiratory health disparities. “We know from prior research that lower income, ethnically mixed urban populations are more greatly burdened with asthma and other respiratory health problems,” said lead author Alison Lee, MD, assistant  professor, medicine, pulmonary, critical care at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.”

– Rosalind Wright, MD, MPH, Professor, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Medicine, Pediatrics, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Dean, Translational Biomedical Research, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

– Alison Lee, MD, Assistant Professor, Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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PERSPECTIVE: Recycled Rubber Playing Surfaces Should be Prohibited Until Proven Safe

P30 Center Director, Robert Wright, MD, MPH and Center Member, Sarah Evans, PhD, MPH wrote an article for Connecticut By the Numbers about Recycled Rubber Playing Surfaces. This article is based on testimony provided to the Connecticut General Assembly’s Committee on Children during the current legislative session regarding HB 6998, An Act Concerning the Use of Recycled Tire Rubber at Municipal and Public School Playgrounds. Dr. Wright and Dr. Evans identified  several potential dangers that playing on recycled rubber playing surfaces pose to children. To read the full article click here.

P30 Researcher Bruce Gelb Named President-Elect of the American Pediatric Society

P30 Center Member, Bruce D. Gelb, MD, has been elected President of the American Pediatric Society (APS) by the organization’s members. Dr. Gelb will serve as President-Elect from May 2017, and as President starting in May 2018.


Dr. Gelb is the Gogel Family Professor of Child Health and Development and Professor of Pediatrics, and Genetics and Genomic Sciences, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Director of The Mindich Child Health and Development Institute.  He is an internationally acclaimed translational pediatric investigator and expert in Noonan syndrome. He has developed an extensive program in genomics, focusing on traits associated with heart malformations and the causes of congenital heart disease.


“I am honored to have been selected to lead the APS,” said Dr. Gelb. “Given the opportunities and challenges facing us today as we strive to improve the health and well-being of our nation’s children, the importance of the APS’s mission has never been clearer.”


The mission of the American Pediatric Society is to advance academic pediatrics.  The APS’s first president was Abraham Jacobi, who established the first pediatrics department in the United States at The Mount Sinai Hospital.

Dr. Horowitz interviewed by Genome Web About Patient Diversity in Cancer Research

On April 17, 2017, COEC Co-Director Dr. Carol Horowitz was interviewed by Genome Web about patient diversity in cancer research following her attendance at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, DC. In the “Patient Diversity in Cancer Research Essential to Addressing Health Disparities, Scientists Say” article, Dr. Horowitz emphasizes the importance of addressing the lack of diversity in many large genomic datasets. Dr. Horowitz suggests that one way to ameliorate the problem is for researchers to come out of their silos. Researchers must recognize the problems faced by their target patient populations, and must work with as many stakeholders as possible to not only recruit a diverse set of people into studies, but to also clearly communicate how these studies could possibly help the participants themselves, or help their communities. To read the full article from Genome Web click here.

Dr. Perry Sheffield Featured in JAMA Article About Climate Change Health Effects

On March 22, 2017, P30 Center Member Perry Sheffield was featured in The Journal of the American Medical Association’s (JAMA) article “Medical Community Gathers Steam to Tackle Climate’s Health Effects.” The article recommends for health professionals to combat climate-related health dangers.

Dr. Sheffield’s week-long course on global health for first-year medical students at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai was highlighted. In the course, Dr. Sheffield covers climate change and each year, 1 or 2 Mount Sinai students also conduct research on climate change and health. In one project, Dr. Sheffield said, a student examined how New York City’s extreme heat preparedness activities meet the needs of its elderly populations. Dr. Sheffield also is working on a climate change curriculum project with medical educators who represent about 9 medical schools. They’re addressing the call for increased medical education on the topic, a subject that Mount Sinai’s medical education department supports. To read the full article click here. 

“Identifying sensitive windows for prenatal particulate air pollution exposure” paper featured in NIEHS Newsletter

Allan Just, PhD

Rosalind Wright, MD

Robert Wright, MD, MPH











In March 2017, P30 Center Member’s paper “Identifying sensitive windows for prenatal particulate air pollution exposure and mitochondrial DNA content in cord blood” was featured in NIEH’S Environmental Factor Papers of the Month. The study involved participants in the NIH-funded Programming Research in Obesity, Growth, Environment, and Social Stressors cohort in Mexico City. The researchers measured the mitochondrial DNA content of white blood cells in umbilical cord blood collected from mothers at delivery.

P30 Center Members found that increased prenatal exposure to particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) during a specific portion of the third trimester may increase oxidative stress and susceptibility to health effects mediated by white blood cells, such as infections and immune response to allergens. During this window in late pregnancy, increased exposure to PM2.5 air pollution was associated with lower mitochondrial DNA content in cord blood, a marker of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance in the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to counteract their harmful effects. To read the full article click here.

Infant diet and neurodevelopment K99/ROO Grant

Dr. Christine Austin was awarded a K99/R00 grant which proposed the development of an index of breast milk and infant formula intake using biomarkers of diet in naturally shed children’s teeth. The index will then be applied to study the association of infant diet and neurodevelopment. The study will be conducted within Dr. Wright’s, P30 Center Director, ELEMENT cohort and will provide training for Dr. Austin in neurodevelopment, advanced statistics and nutrition from mentors Dr. Robert Wright, Dr. Manish Arora, Dr. Chris Gennings, and Dr. Emily Oken.

Dr. Alison P. Sanders Recipient of the “Celebrating Women in Toxicology Award”

Dr.SandersP30 Center Trainee, Dr. Alison P. Sanders, was awarded the “Celebrating Women In Toxicology Award” from the Society of Toxicology for scientific merit and outstanding demonstration of leadership and service to the scientific/toxicology community. This award was inspired by the generosity of Ms. Anne Wolven Garrett, one of the early leaders in the field of toxicology. As a tribute to Ms. Wolven Garrett and all past and future female leaders of SOT, the Celebrating Women in Toxicology Award will recognize and encourage women who are in the early stages of developing their careers in the field of toxicology. The award will be presented at the SOT annual meeting on Wednesday March 15 5:00-7:00PM in Baltimore MD.