Environmental Health SIG
During this year's PAS meeting that was held in Baltimore, the Environmental Health SIG capitalized on expertise available in the Baltimore area to assemble an expert panel of speakers from the John Hopkins Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center to review the extent to which dietary intake and obesity mediates the association between air pollution exposure and asthma in children.
The first speaker, Dr. Gregory Diette, has an extensive portfolio of patient-based research in asthma and COPD. Dr. Diette's research focuses on identifying factors that cause or provoke asthma with special interest in air pollutants (particulate matter, NO2, secondhand smoke) and allergens (including mouse) that are especially problematic in inner-city homes. Dr. Diette discussed the history behind the Center for Childhood Asthma in the Urban Environment.
Next, Dr. Nadia Hansel discussed "Indoor Air: Problems and Solutions". Dr. Hansel's research focuses on the environmental and genetic determinants of obstructive lung diseases. She is widely recognized as an international expert in defining the indoor air quality on asthma and COPD health. Her work has been instrumental in showing that indoor pollutants contribute to respiratory morbidity in patients with COPD and children with asthma.
The third speaker, Dr. Elizabeth Matsui, has extensive experience in the clinical investigation of allergen and pollutant exposure and asthma and allergic disease and directs the Data Management and Analysis Core responsible for data management and statistical analysis of studies related to environmental exposures and allergic diseases. Dr. Matsui discussed "Rethinking Indoor Allergens in Inner-city Asthma".
Finally, Dr. Meredith McCormack, an environmental epidemiologist and pulmonologist with a research focus on the effects of environmental exposures, including air pollution, diet, obesity, and climate change on human health discussed "The effects of obesity and diet on lung disease".
The four cutting-edge presentations stimulated a rich dialogue among the attendees, who reflected their enthusiasm for both the forum and topic through overwhelmingly positive reviews. Evaluations of the SIG meeting were completed by attendees immediately after the session; the summarized results are pending. This year's allotment of SIG funds were offered to our speakers as an honorarium.
Our SIG continues to build its membership base and actively encourages members to pursue cross-collaborative work across institutions and subject areas. Goals for the coming year include collaborating with the advocacy SIG for next year's PAS meeting.
This past year our SIG benefitted from the expert guidance of immediate past co-chair, Dr. Heather Brumberg, who generously volunteered her time by serving in an advisory capacity. We thank Heather for her continued involvement in SIG activities and for providing invaluable guidance. We also wanted to thank Dr. Matt Karwowski for serving as our SIG co-chair from 2013-2016 and wanted to welcome Dr. Marissa Hauptman as our newly-elected SIG co-chair.
Abby Fleisch, MD, MPH,
Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Mamta Fuloria, MD, the Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Albert Einstein College of Medicine,
Mateusz Karwowski, MD, MPH (Outgoing EH SIG Co-Chair)
Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chamblee, GA
Marissa Hauptman, MD, MPH (Incoming SIG Co-Chair)
Boston Children's Hospital; Harvard Medical School; Region 1 New England Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit
During this year's PAS meeting that was held in San Diego, the Environmental Health and Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics SIGs held a joint session. We capitalized on expertise available on the west coast to assemble an expert panel of speakers from the UC Davis MIND Institute on an environmental health topic of critical importance to children: environmental exposures and autism risk.
The first speaker, Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto, is an internationally renowned environmental epidemiologist who directs the Program in Environmental Epidemiology of Autism and Neurodevelopment. She discussed "Community and household environmental chemicals and risks for autism and other developmental delays: an assessment of the scientific evidence." Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto discussed the CHARGE Study, the first large, comprehensive population-based study that is assessing the role of environmental influences on autism, and the MARBLES Study (Markers of Autism Risk in Babies - Learning Early Signs), the first longitudinal study of autism to begin in pregnancy. Specifically, she focused on the role of air pollutants and pesticides on childhood autism risk.
The next speaker, Dr. Judy Van de Water's laboratory pursues research programs pertaining to autoimmune and clinical immune-based disorders including the biological aspects of autism spectrum disorders. Her work involves the dissection of immune anomalies noted in some individuals with autism, and in the differentiation of various autism behavioral phenotypes at a biological level. Dr. Van de Water discussed "The effects of in vitro exposure of persistent organic pollutants on immune function in children with ASD."
The final speaker was Dr. Schmidt, a molecular epidemiologist, who researches the role of gene-environment and nutrient-environment interactions in relation to autism risk. Dr. Schmidt is also investigating potential mechanisms behind these associations, including those relating to epigenetics, as this field provides groundbreaking framework for these intersections. She discussed "Folate Pathways for Autism Prevention: Interactions with Environmental Risk Factors".
Our SIG collaboration put on a successful joint session at PAS, drawing a broad audience composed of members from both interest groups. The three cutting-edge presentations described above stimulated rich dialogue among the 35 attendees, who reflected their enthusiasm for both the forum and topic through overwhelmingly positive reviews. Evaluations of the SIG meeting were completed by attendees immediately after the session; the summarized results are pending. This year's allotment of SIG funds were offered to our speakers as an honorarium.
Diane Langkamp, MD, MPH
Environmental Health SIG
Heather Brumberg, MD, MPH
Current SIG Co-Chairs:
Abby Fleisch, MD, MPH
300 Longwood Ave
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: (617) 355-7476
Mamta Fuloria, MD
1601 Tenbroeck Avenue
Bronx, NY 10461
Phone: (718) 904-4105
Marissa Hauptman, MD, MPH
300 Longwood Ave
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (617) 355-3612