September 2014: Director’s Statement

We are very excited about the new Mount Sinai Transdisciplinary Center on Health Effects of Early Environmental Exposures funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Transdisciplinary research goes beyond the multidisciplinary approach to develop a new science. Our emphasis on transdisciplinary research and training means we are integrating methods in molecular biology, chemistry, biostatistics, bioinformatics and phenotyping to develop new methods to address how environment shapes health and disease. Our team is conducting groundbreaking research in exposure assessment in which we objectively reconstruct past environmental exposure and employ novel statistical approaches designed to address both mixed chemical exposure and to uncover the susceptibility windows that underlie toxicity.

The Mount Sinai Center will give investigators access to the remarkable resources not only in the Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Environmental Health Sciences Laboratory, but also to expertise in clinical phenotyping, social environmental, biostatistics, bioinformatics, assessment and molecular biomarkers. Core Center Members are encouraged to join from disciplines outside Environmental Health in order to build new approaches to common illnesses. Within our Center, we have three research groups: 1) Endocrine and Metabolic Disruption (EMD); 2) Oxidant-Antioxidant Imbalance (OAI); and 3) Neuro-Immunomodulation (NI), as well as five Facility Cores: 1) Integrated Health Sciences; 2) Environmental Epidemiology, Statistics, and Informatics; 3) Phenotyping and Stress Assessment; 4) Career Development; and, 5) Community Outreach. This research infrastructure is new to Mount Sinai and designed to integrate across departments and scientific disciplines. Our goal is to discover the environmental causes of disease and disability and develop new methods to prevent and treat these disorders.

The Center will build on Mount Sinai’s remarkable recent growth and on our nationally and internationally recognized programs in children’s environmental health. We are interested in building the careers of young physicians and scientists who will be our nation’s future public health leaders as they translate scientific discoveries into new, evidence-based strategies for disease prevention and treatment.

Mount Sinai has a long tradition as a highly collaborative, hospital-based, urban school of medicine that serves some of New York City’s and the country’s most economically and socially disadvantaged communities. Our Center’s Theme focuses on the root cause of chronic illnesses such as asthma, neurodevelopmental disorders, obesity, and diabetes, which are the principal causes of social disparities and disability among infants, children and adolescents in our local communities. Together with our Community partners we will translate our research into new interventions and prevention programs that will reduce disparities and improve health broadly. We believe that our transdisciplinary emphasis is the distinguishing feature of our Center. Please come back to our site often to see what is new and exciting in the world of environmental health. We will be adding new pages and new pilot projects every year.