Mount Sinai Scientific Computing Skills Workshop
On October 30th-31st 2017, the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health along with the Mount Sinai CTSA hosted a special two-day workshop that taught research computing skills for scientists, trainees, and data analysis staff. The workshop was led by instructors from Software Carpentry, a volunteer non-profit organization specializing in teaching computing skills for researchers. The hands-on workshop included short tutorials that alternated practical exercises and live coding to teach software tools for more reproducible and collaborative scientific research. Additionally the workshop covered basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, and task automation. 36 people registered for the workshop. Day 1 had 27 attendees and Day 2 had 26 attendees. For more information about Software Carpentry click here.
Intern Spotlight: Joseph Wilson, Summer 2017
Meet Joseph Wilson, who from June-August 2017, joined the PEHSU team as a summer intern. During his time here, he took the initiative to create five different environmental health infographics on topics such as mold, pests, rodents, bed bugs, and smoking cessation (see below). These educational materials will be used to inform community members on how to reduce environmental exposures in their homes and protect their health.
Jospeh Wilson’s Bio: “My name is Joseph Wilson, Jr., and I am from Augusta, GA. I am a junior at Williams College, where I am on the pre-medical track and studying psychology and public health. I aspire to become a pediatrician, so my time at the PEHSU was truly enriching and rewarding. It opened my eyes to environmental health and provided me the opportunity to learn and apply skills I acquired before and during my internship. Whether it was creating infographics, talking to patients, riding bikes with neighborhood children or taking air quality samples, this internship revealed just how interdisciplinary medicine can be! I look forward to seeing the ways I integrate what I learned this summer during my future years of schooling and life in general.”
Thank you Joseph for your hard work!
American Academy of Pediatrics Conference
The Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center (CEHC) attended the American Academy of Pediatrics Conference in Chicago, IL in September. The CEHC provided environmental health information and resources for pediatricians and healthcare providers. Among the attendees were CEHC Director and P30 Director, Dr. Robert Wright, CEHC Deputy Director and P30 PSAFC Director, Dr. Rosalind Wright, and P30 Center Member, Dr. Phil Landrigan who spoke on climate change and children’s health and environmental neurodevelopmental risks. The conference had over 16,000 attendees from around the world and of those were 10,000 key decision makers in pediatric healthcare.
10th Annual Winter Symposium “Decade of the Developing Brain”
The Children’s Environmental Health Center hosted its 10th Annual Winter Symposium, “Decade of the Developing Brain” on February 24th, 2017 at The New York Academy of Medicine. Physicians and researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health discussed how early-life stress can disrupt development and negatively impact long-term health trajectories. The symposium featured talks on environmental and genetic factors and how they contribute to the etiology of autism and neurodevelopment toxicity associated with environmental chemicals.
Did you miss the symposium? Click here to access the presentations, photos, and videos.
4th Annual The Mindich Child Health and Development Institute Retreat
On November 22, P30 faculty and trainees attended and presented at the 4th Annual The Mindich Child Health and Development Institute Retreat which was held at the Harmonie Club this year. The MCHDI Retreat has been held annually since 2013 and is designed to promote interactiveness among the MCHDI faculty and trainees. The research topics covered typically span the wide range of disciplines in the institute and expose faculty and trainees to different approaches to scientific research. The program usually consists of a keynote talk, presentations by pilot program recipients, young investigators competitions (pre- and post-doctoral divisions), poster sessions, and a discussion panel with faculty/trainees on a topic of particular relevance for them. Each year, an interview is conducted with parents from a family affected by a child health disorder.These interviews, which have each been poignant, have highlighted the mission of the MCHDI and been inspirational, particularly for MCHDI faculty and trainees who otherwise have minimal contact with patients.
October, 2016: Autumn Food Lecture
This year our Autumn Food Lecture was held in Sherman, Connecticut at Strawberry Fields Farm. Dr. Sarah Evans of the CEHC and a P30 Center member lectured on Simple Steps to Eating Health in a Toxic World. — From natural to organic to GMO, from canned to fresh or frozen, consumers are bombarded with difficult choices at the supermarket. As a result, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to make safe, healthy food choices for our families. The goal of this workshop was to provide simple, practical steps that individuals can take to protect themselves from harmful chemicals in the foods they eat. Dr. Evans educated participants on the current scientific evidence for how agricultural practices affect human health with an emphasis on the unique vulnerability of children. Topics covered were concerns about pesticides, GMOs, food packaging materials, and reducing harmful exposures. To see more images from this event please visit the CEHC Facebook page!
Missed the event or simply want to view the presentation again?
Download Dr. Sarah Evans Powerpoint presentation below.
Related Resource Fact Sheets
July, 2016: Dr. Arora Leads Exposome Webinar
On July 26, Dr. Manish Arora led an NIEHS webinar titled “Tooth Matrix Biomarkers in Environmental Health Research.” Dr. Arora discussed his research using teeth as biomarkers to identify the effects of environmental exposures early in life, such as exposure to chemicals and chemical mixtures during fetal development. This webcast was part of the NIEHS Exposure Science and the Exposome Webinar Series.
July, 2016: Dr. Galvez Participates in COEC/PEHSU Collaboration Webinar
On July 21, Dr. Galvez participated in an NIEHS webinar highlighting institutions that host both a Community and Outreach Translation Core (COTC) as well as a Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU). Dr. Galvez is the Co-Director of Mount Sinai’s P30 Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) as well as the Director of the Region 2 PEHSU. She presented on recent projects within Mount Sinai that have benefited from joint involvement of both the COEC and PEHSU teams.
July, 2016: COEC Partners Collaborate for Teacher Training on Citizen Science & Social Justice
From July 12-14, Mount Sinai COEC staff and community advisory board members led a three-day course titled “Citizen Science and Social Justice in Your Neighborhood,” a professional development session for elementary, middle and high school teachers. This three-day course brought together experts in environmental health, law and policy, environmental protection, and education to help teachers incorporate citizen science and environmental health topics into their classroom lessons. Several investigators from Mount Sinai’s P30 Center participated, as well as COEC partners from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, The Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF), and The Center for Urban Environmental Reform (CUER) of CUNY Law School. COEC staff and community board members presented on topics including pediatric environmental health, health data tools, DNA replication, epigenetics, preterm birth, and environmental justice. This course was developed and facilitated by the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation, and the sessions were hosted at both CUNY Law School and Mount Sinai. To view more information about the course, including presenter profiles and course outline, please click here.
July, 2016: Children and Climate Change PEPH Podcast
On July 7, 2016, the NIEHS Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) released a podcast titled “Children and the Changing Climate,” featuring P30 Center Member Dr. Perry Sheffield. As a pediatrician and Deputy Director of the EPA Region II Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) at Mount Sinai, Dr. Sheffield conducts research on the health impacts of climate change and public understanding of these issues, with a particular focus on children.
June, 2016: Put Some STEAM in Your STEM
On June 27, teachers from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC participated in a day-long multidisciplinary workshop on teaching climate change at Fox Haven Organic Farm and Learning Center in Jefferson, MD. The workshop was sponsored by Honoring the Future®, a nonprofit project dedicated to harnessing the power of art to educate and engage the public on climate change. The workshop, titled “Put Some STEAM in Your STEM,” featured science, art, law and policy experts to present the latest information on climate change and show teachers how to integrate climate change into middle and high school science, math, language arts, and art curricula. A featured activity included “Life in One Cubic Foot” as featured on the Smithsonian’s “Q?rius website.” P30 Center Member Dr. Perry Sheffield, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, presented on the potential human health impacts of climate change.
June, 2016: P30 Center Members Participate in EPA Roundtable on Children’s Environmental Health
Drs. Maida Galvez and Perry Sheffield participated in a Roundtable on Children’s Environmental Health hosted by the EPA on June 28, 2016. Topics included asthma, healthy homes and schools, and climate change. Dr. Ruth Etzel, Director of EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection, and EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck were present.
June, 2016: P30 Center Members Participate in NIH Toolkit Workshop
May, 2016: Dr. Sarah Evans speaks to parents of Pear Tree Point School
On May 10th, Dr. Sarah Evans spoke to the parents of Pear Tree Point School in Darien, CT. This event provided simple steps to parents on ways to make healthier consumer choices, provided education on pesticides and flame retardants as well as steps to get involved in their community.
April, 2016: The Empowerment Parent’s Workshop-Prevent, Nourish, Protect & Heal
On April 26th, the CEHC participated in a panel discussion hosted by Documenting Hope. The Empowered Parents Workshop took place at Coco-Mat in downtown New York City. Dr. Sarah Evans represented the CEHC in the panel discussion on ways to better understand sources of harmful toxins in various items in the home.
April, 2016: Dr. Sarah Evans Gives Talk about Environmental Exposures to The Hudson River Park Mothers Group
Dr. Sarah Evans of the CEHC gave a talk to The Hudson River Park Mothers Group on simple steps to safeguard their families from toxic environmental exposures.
Dr. Evans discussed ways to reduce exposures to potentially harmful chemicals that families and children are exposed to every day. Areas covered included flame retardants, personal care and cleaning products, and pesticides and GMOs. She educated families on the links between harmful environmental exposures and chronic disease, and the unique vulnerability of children to the negative health effects associated with many of these exposures.
Dr. Evans emphasized the need for consumer action and legislative advocacy to ensure the safety of products in the marketplace. Following her lecture, Dr. Evans answered questions from mothers and fathers on various topics including chemicals in toys, scented candles, toothpastes, arsenic in foods, and crumb rubber.
January, 2016: Greening our Children and the CEHC Hosted a Community Event to Reduce Exposures to Flame Retardants
Greening our Children and the CEHC hosted a community educational event at the Greenwich Library in Greenwich, Connecticut on how to reduce exposures to flame retardants and other prevalent toxins. The event featured Dr. Arlene Blum of the Green Science Policy Institute, who provided an overview of the adverse effects on human health and the environment associated with the widespread use of flame retardants and other toxic chemicals in household products.
Dr. Blum explained that weak federal regulations governing the safety of chemicals in consumer products leads to toxic exposures and emphasized the importance of advocating for change at the legislative level. She described steps that individuals can take to reduce exposures such as purchasing products made with materials that are naturally fire resistant, hand washing, and wet mopping to remove dust where toxic chemicals settle.
December, 2015: Drs. Galvez and Zajac Lead PEHSU Webinar
Dr. Maida Galvez and Dr. Lauren Zajac from the Region 2 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) led a webinar titled “Doc, What’s the Answer? Addressing parents’ environmental health concerns about a community-level exposure.” Dr. Galvez is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, as well as director of the Region 2 PEHSU and co-director of the P30 Community Outreach and Engagement Core. Dr. Zajac is a pediatrician completing a fellowship in pediatric environmental health in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Topics discussed during the webinar included responses to asthma symptoms, asbestos exposure, and community-level environmental concerns.
October, 2015: Dr. Perry Sheffield Featured on Fossil Fuels and CEH Panel
Dr. Perry Sheffield, P30 Center member, participated in a forum titled “Today’s Fossil Fuels and the Future of Our Children’s Health” at Stony Brook University on October 15, 2015. Three panels of experts discussed solutions to children’s environmental health problems brought on by fossil fuels in the context of science, politics, family, community, and the law. This event was organized and presented by Stony Brook University Sustainability Studies Program, the Center for Environmental Health, the Mothers Project & Climate Mama.
July, 2015: CELF Launches Greenpoint Summer Institute
In addition to the Annual CELF Summer Institute at Manhattanville this summer (to read the full story, click here), The Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF) conducted a professional development Institute in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Held July 14-16 at John Ericsson Middle School in Greenpoint, CELF’s Greenpoint Summer Institute is part of the Greenpoint Eco-Schools: Creating a Legacy of Sustainability grant proposed by National Wildlife Federation, which received financial support from both the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, and the NY State Office of the Attorney General and Department of Environmental Conservation.
In partnership with Eco-Schools USA, the workshop provided training for teachers and administrators from four NYC public schools in Greenpoint in an effort to integrate sustainability and environmental awareness into their classroom curricula. Participating schools will have access to a full-time sustainability coach, who will serve as a support for teachers during the course of the three-year program. In addition to offering technical assistance with lesson planning and classroom activities, these coaches help implement sustainability initiatives at the school, including reducing energy and water use and promoting an awareness of environmental health issues in the community. Given Greenpoint’s history as a Superfund site, this topic is particularly relevant to students and their families. CELF’s mission to integrate environmental education into local schools exemplifies the efforts our COEC stakeholders and community partners are contributing towards making our city a greener and healthier place to live.
Drs. Alison Sanders and Christine Austin, postdoctoral fellows in Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai, participated in the 2015 “Harbor Day” festivities at the local Boys & Girls Harbor in East Harlem. This was a great opportunity to gain valuable teaching experience and have fun exploring STEM with kids from the local community. Drs. Sanders and Austin represented the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) postdoc community at Harbor Day by hosting an exhibition that promoted their collaboration with the 4th and 5th grade after-school science class. Throughout the spring and fall, Dr. Sanders and other invited ISMMS postdoctoral fellows work with students at the Boys and Girls Harbor to conduct hands-on experiments that promote environmental health and nutrition. At the event, the pair led visitors through a fun and interactive hands-on module that teaches young and older audiences alike about groundwater flow, contaminants, and how engineers address these issues.