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.
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.
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.
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.
P30 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.
Dr. Wright and Dr. Allan Just’s new published paper on lead and growth in Mexico was highlighted as an extramural paper of the month by The National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences. The new study involved participants in the NIH-funded Programming Research in Obesity, Growth, Environment and Social Stressors (PROGRESS) cohort in Mexico City. To determine how lead exposure during pregnancy is associated with children’s growth, the researchers collected blood lead levels in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, as well as at delivery. They also assessed the bone lead levels of the mothers as a long-term exposure marker. The researchers measured the height, weight, body mass index, and percentage body fat of the participants’ children 4 to 6 years after the prenatal lead exposure. To read the full article click here.
P30 Center Member, Dr. Maida Galvez, shares her insight in a January Huffington Post article about “Why You Should Avoid Antibacterial Soap.” Dr. Galvez recommends avoiding soap products labeled “antibacterial” and washing your hands with plain soap and water for at least 20 seconds. To read the full article click here.
P30 Center Member, Dr. Scott Sicherer, weighs in on the new peanut-allergy guidelines for infants from the National Institutes of Health. The guidelines state that most babies should start eating peanut-containing foods well before their first birthday to protect them from developing the dangerous food allergy. Dr. Scott Sicherer, who represented the American Academy of Pediatrics on the guidelines panel, states “Just because your uncle, aunt and sibling have an allergy, that’s even more reason to give your baby the food now” — even if they’re already older than 6 months. To read the full article click here.
P30 Center Member, Dr. Landrigan, shares his insight in the December CBS news piece “Children suffer from lead poisoning in 3,000 U.S. neighborhoods.” A new study of public health records has discovered 3,000 neighborhoods in America where children suffer from lead poisoning. The study, by the Reuters news agency, found lead poisoning twice and even four times higher than what was seen in the recent contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Dr. Landrigan weighs in “It’s a very pervasive toxic chemical and there’s absolutely no level of lead in the human body which is safe.” To read the full article click here.
P30 Center Member, Dr. Ruth Loos, shares her insight about genes and obesity in Tucson.Com’s article “Some Kids’ Genes Might Make Food Ads More Tempting.” Children with a genetic trait linked to obesity may be more likely than other kids to respond to fast-food commercials on TV, a new study suggests. The research, based on brain scans, isn’t definitive. Dr. Loos states “Genetic studies have shown that willpower might be controlled by people’s genetic make-up. The current study shows that, potentially, the reason why people with this genetic trait gain weight is because it is hard for them to resist food when they see it, compared to people who do not have the variant.” To read the full article click here.