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 New York City's largest integrated delivery system encompassing seven hospital campuses, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai's vision is to produce the safest care, the highest quality, the highest satisfaction, the best access and the best value of any health system in the nation. The System includes approximately 6,600 primary and specialty care physicians; 10 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. The Icahn School of Medicine is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools", aligned with a U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" Hospital, No. 13 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding, and among the top 10 most innovative research institutions as ranked by the journal Nature in its Nature Innovation Index. This reflects a special level of excellence in education, clinical practice, and research. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 18 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of top U.S. hospitals; it is one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Nephrology, and Neurology/Neurosurgery, and in the top 50 in six other specialties in the 2018-2019 "Best Hospitals" issue. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital also is ranked nationally in five out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 11th nationally for Ophthalmology and 44th for Ear, Nose, and Throat, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally.