• Press Release

Mount Sinai Researchers Receive Major NIH Award for Environmental Child Health Research

  • NEW YORK, NY
  • (October 04, 2016)

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

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in several pediatric specialties. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: It is consistently ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools," aligned with a U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll" Hospital, and top 20 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding and top 5 in the nation for numerous basic and clinical research areas. Newsweek’s “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals” ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital as No. 1 in New York and in the top five globally, and Mount Sinai Morningside in the top 20 globally.

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