Mount Sinai Researchers Receive Major NIH Award for Environmental Child Health Research
Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have been awarded more than $9 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate the effects of a broad range of environmental exposures on children’s long-term health from near the time of conception through adolescence. The grant is part of a seven-year, multi-institute initiative called Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO).
Rosalind Wright, MD, MPH, Horace W. Goldsmith Professor of Pediatrics and Dean for Translational Biomedical Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), and Robert Wright, MD, MPH, Professor and Ethel H. Wise Chair of the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, are leading Mount Sinai’s initiative in the multi-institutional study of the effects of chemical, nutritional, and social factors that influence child neurodevelopment. Additionally, Susan Teitelbaum, PhD, Professor of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at ISMMS, and Judy Aschner, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and University Chair of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, will collaborate on another aspect of the ECHO study focusing on exposure to chemicals in neonatal intensive care units (NICU).
In addition to serving as part of the ECHO consortium, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai was awarded a further grant under the NIH’s Children’s Health Exposure Analysis Resource (CHEAR), which is designed to provide laboratory resources and other infrastructure to analyze samples, data, and other information collected through ECHO. Mount Sinai was awarded two CHEAR grants previously: a Laboratory Hub grant, and a grant to serve as the CHEAR network Data Repository, Analysis, and Science Center. Both CHEAR grants received additional funding via the ECHO program. Dr. Robert Wright leads the CHEAR laboratory effort and Dr. Teitelbaum leads the CHEAR Data Center at Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai is one of only two institutions in the nation to be both an ECHO and a CHEAR site.
“We are very excited to be involved with the ECHO and CHEAR programs,” said Dr. Rosalind Wright. “Learning how social toxins and chemicals in our environment affect child health is vital and will help us identify how to best protect children everywhere.”
Along with researchers at other institutions around the country, the Mount Sinai researchers will work to enhance existing cohorts of pediatric subjects who will be followed over the course of the seven-year project. In total, more than 50,000 children from diverse racial, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds will become part of the ECHO consortium. Following an initial two-year planning phase, additional resources may be allocated for the remaining five years, during which the various ECHO sites and researchers will work together to analyze existing data as well as to collect data in a standardized way across the consortium on environmental measures and clinical measures including pregnancy outcomes, obesity, asthma, and neurodevelopment.
“ECHO will make a huge impact in public health, as it is becoming clearer that the environment we experience as children has a major influence on our health as adults,” said Dr. Robert Wright. “Understanding the role of environment and health in children helps all of us, regardless of age.”
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.
The System includes approximately 7,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is in the "Honor Roll" of best hospitals in America, ranked No. 15 nationally in the 2016-2017 "Best Hospitals" issue of U.S. News & World Report. The Mount Sinai Hospital is also ranked as one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Geriatrics, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Ear, Nose & Throat, and is in the top 50 in four other specialties. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 10 nationally for Ophthalmology, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report in "Best Children's Hospitals."