The Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Environmental Health Sciences Laboratory
1428 Madison Avenue, 3rd floor, Room 002
New York, NY 10029
Phone: 212 824-7370
Exposure to Specific Toxins and Nutrients During Late Pregnancy and Early Life Shapes Autism Risk
Nature Communications – June 1, 2017
Researchers at the Icahn School of Mount Sinai in New York along with colleagues from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden set out to investigate the contribution to autism risk of specific environmental factors including environmental pollutants (lead, for example) and essential nutritional components of our diet, such as zinc and manganese.
Wild Orangutan Teeth Provide Insight Into Human Breast-Feeding Evolution
Science Advances – May 17, 2017
Tanya Smith, PhD (Griffith); Christine Austin, PhD (Mount Sinai); Manish Arora BDS, PhD (Mount Sinai), and their teams study the maternal milk intake of our primate cousins the orangutans in the hopes to guide our understanding of human breast-feeding evolution and current practices. Orangutan nursing habits have been difficult to study due to challenges in observing this behavior in their natural environment. Using teeth as a biomarker is a novel method to work around these challenges. Due to the ring-like growth pattern of teeth, investigators can determine concentrations of the maternal elements in the infants’ teeth over time.
Our projects integrate innovative and groundbreaking laboratory techniques with population based studies in a highly efficient model that expands the frontiers of children’s medical research.
- CHEAR Center for Data Science
- Developmental impact of NICU exposures (DINE)
- ECHO Consortium on perinatal programming of neurodevelopment
- Mount Sinai CHEAR Network Laboratory Hub
- The Mount Sinai Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures
Epigenetics and Prenatal Programming
Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression independent of DNA sequence. Fetal environment is widely believed to be critical to programming later life disease and epigenetics is the likely mechanism behind these observations. The interplay between fetal environment and epigenetics may even explain diseases of adult life.
- Early life environmental toxicant exposure and oral health
- Environment, fetal tissue DNA methylation & birthweight
- Perinatal programming of infant stress reactivity and the atopic phenotype
- Prenatal stress and epigenetic programming of the HPA axis and autonomic balance
- Reconstructing fetal toxicant exposure and homeostatic disruptions
Increasing rates of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and ADHD in recent years cannot be fully explained by genetics or changing diagnostics. Our studies employ novel techniques and biomarkers to dissect whether environmental exposures during critical periods of brain development lead to dysfunction.
- Chemical exposures and infant outcomes in the neonatal intensive care unit
- Determining the neurodevelopmental effects of transition from breastfeeding to infant formula using a novel biomarker
- Environment, imprinting, and neurodevelopment
- Manganese exposure windows and neurologic function in adolescence
- MicroRNA & breast cancer: Functional characterization in a population-based study
- Novel biomarker to identify critical windows of susceptibility to metal mixture
- Prenatal timing of heavy metal exposures from autistic and non-autistic children
- Stress-lead interactions and child development
Environmental Pediatrics Training Program
Endocrine Disruptors and Obesity
Childhood obesity is now a worldwide epidemic. While caloric intake is an obvious cause, other not so obvious causes may include environmental exposure that program our appetite or metabolism of food and could lead to increased risk of obesity.
- BPA, phthalates & stress: Mechanisms and interactions for childhood obesity
- Breast cancer genomics in windows of susceptibility to endocrine disruptors
- MicroRNA & breast cancer: functional characterization in a population-based study
- Prenatal exposure to endocrine disrupters, DNA methylation, and childhood obesity
Air Pollution, Stress and Respiratory Health
Our goal is to better understand the how factors in the environment such as stress and exposure to air pollution influence children’s lung growth and development. By identifying windows of susceptibility during pregnancy or childhood we can more efficiently elucidate mechanisms through which these environmental factors affect respiratory health and better inform public health efforts.