The Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Environmental Health Sciences Laboratory is dedicated to supporting cutting-edge research. Our mission is to measure human environment comprehensively, including environmental chemicals, air pollution, social stressors, and nutrition.
Around the world rates of childhood disease are growing. Hazardous exposures in the modern environment are also on the rise, and scientific evidence is beginning to link these alarming increases together. Understanding how, when, where, and to what degree environmental chemicals enter the body is perhaps the main obstacle to understanding how chemicals affect children. While the study of children’s environmental health has made substantial gains in the past 50 years, new approaches are needed to advance the field. In order to prevent and cure chronic illness in children, we must accelerate the rate at which we understand the origins of these diseases. There are over 80,000 chemicals registered for industrial use in the USA. If we are to understand their impact within our lifetimes, then we must change how we conduct research.
Our lab is equipped with innovative technologies that enable the team to:
- Develop new, groundbreaking analytical methods, which assess chemical exposures and the timing of past chemical exposures.
- Expand the scope of research we conduct at Mount Sinai to include areas such as air pollution, metals, organics, chemical mixtures, epigenetics, and the fetal origins of adult diseases.
- Advance interdisciplinary research among our faculty, bringing together scientists with different backgrounds and approaches to environmental health and complex diseases.
- Create a scientific milieu that fosters innovation, encourages the cross-pollination of ideas, and revolutionizes how children’s environmental health research is conducted.
We strive to push the field forward using novel approaches to address environmental health concerns such as:
- Use new statistical methods to analyze the impact of chemical mixtures—which reflect the reality of children’s daily exposures.
- Connect cutting-edge epigenetic marks to chemical exposure to better understand how chemicals “program” health trajectories that underlie why some childhood exposures lay dormant for years and then cause disease in adulthood.
- Develop new exposure biomarkers to facilitate more accurate understanding of the timing, duration, and dose of toxic exposures that may have occurred years previously.
- Integrate animal and human study methodology to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms of toxicity.