• Press Release

Mount Sinai Initiates International Research Collaboration for the Advancement of Maternal-Child Health

  • New York, NY
  • (May 23, 2017)

Researchers from the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are collaborating with scientists from Brescia, Italy, on a research project for the advancement of maternal-child health.

The collaboration, called the “First 1,000 Days Project,” will investigate associations between prenatal environmental exposures, genetic susceptibility, and physiological changes in pregnancy by analyzing obstetrical, neonatal, and child outcomes. The researchers will collect samples and data from a cohort of mothers and children in Brescia, Italy, from conception through the first two years of the child’s life. Additionally, the project will feature an educational campaign to encourage young couples and adolescents to make healthier choices for themselves and their future children. Brescia is located in the industrial region of northern Italy, a vibrant economic environment where historical pollution is still affecting the population’s health. Research conducted by Mount Sinai and the University of Brescia, and funded by the European Union and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, has already shown health impacts from environmental hazards among adolescents, workers and elderly residing in this region.

“Our innovative and multidisciplinary approach will allow us to better understand the relationship between infants’ health and the surrounding environment,” said Roberto Lucchini, MD, Professor of Occupational Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and at the University of Brescia. “With this understanding, we can develop more effective interventions to target exposures at the source. For example, we can consider the role of paternal and maternal workplace exposures, which is an understudied but very relevant aspect that may pose potential hazards for newborns.”

“This project represents a breakthrough effort to understand the environmental determinants of non-communicable diseases,” said Sergio Pecorelli, MD, PhD, President of Giovanni Lorenzini Medical Foundation, a not-for-profit scientific institution based in Milan, Italy, and Houston, aimed to promote research in the areas of prevention and translational medicine. “Moreover, we have the exciting opportunity to gather an international advisory board with multidisciplinary experts driving the design of the project. We are particularly happy to be partnering with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, given its long-standing collaboration with the University of Brescia.”

Participating researchers from Mount Sinai include Robert O. Wright, MD, MPH; Manish Arora, BDS, MPH, PhD; Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc; Roberto Lucchini, MD; Megan Horton, PhD, MPH; and Luca Lambertini, PhD, MSc, MPH.

Collaborators in Italy include Sergio Pecorelli, MD, PhD; Maurizio Memo, PhD; Maria Elisa Fazzi MD PhD; Alessandro Monaco, PhD (University of Brescia, Italy). Other collaborators are Dennis Bier, MD, PhD (Baylor College of Medicine); Paolo Sassone-Corsi, PhD (University of California at Irvine); Emmanuele Jannini, MD, PhD (University of Rome, Italy); Alberto G. Ugazio, MD, PhD (Bambin Gesù Hospital, Rome, Italy); Andrea Peracino, MD (Giovanni Lorenzini Medical Foundation); and Emanuela Folco, PhD (Giovanni Lorenzini Medical Foundation).

The project is funded by the Brescia Industrial Association and supported by the Giovanni Lorenzini Medical Foundation.

To learn more about the First 1,000 Days Project, please visit http://www.lorenzinifoundation.org/875-2/.

About the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health
The Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health is committed to the prevention of diseases with environmental origins and encompasses the allied fields of occupational and environmental medicine, biostatistics, and behavioral science. Since its creation nearly 50 years ago, our department has been at the forefront of environmental health research, education, and clinical practice, leading to discoveries that have made a positive impact on millions of lives. We aim to prevent disease before it begins.

About The Fondazione Giovanni Lorenzini Medical Science Foundation
(www.lorenzinifoundation.org) consists of two not-for-profit scientific organizations, one based in Milan, Italy (established in 1969) and the other in Houston, USA (established in 1984): both are committed to the international scientific exchange and education in basic and medical research.

The mission of the Lorenzini Foundation is to transfer the most recent developments and results in experimental science to clinical and applied research, to be used for both the individual patient and for the community at large to improve both patient care and health systems.

For more than 45 years as a knowledge facilitator or translator within the health community, the Lorenzini Foundation has promoted and participated in key activities (more than 800) in interdisciplinary scientific and medical fields, and has been instrumental in providing evidence-based and integrated knowledge aimed at both the medical community and the public.

Since many years the Lorenzini Foundation has been coordinating the International Atherosclerosis Society, a federation of 65 national societies representing 54 countries (www.athero.org).

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest integrated delivery system, encompassing eight hospitals, 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 Health System includes approximately 7,480 primary and specialty care physicians; 11 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 410 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. 12 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. 14 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, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Orthopedics in the 2019-2020 "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 12th nationally for Ophthalmology and Mount Sinai South Nassau is ranked 35th nationally for Urology. Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, Mount Sinai West, and Mount Sinai South Nassau are ranked regionally.

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