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The Early Life Exposome—from Concept to Implementation
Martine Vrijheid, PhD, Research professor, Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), Spain
Jean Wactawski-Wende, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and dean, School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP)
9:05 a.m--Keynote Lecture --The Early Life Exposome—from Concept to Implementation.
Martine Vrijheid, Research Professor and Head of the Childhood and Environment Programme of ISGlobal, received her doctorate degree from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in 2000. She worked as lecturer at LSHTM and then as staff scientist at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, Lyon), specialising in environmental epidemiology.
Since joining ISGlobal, she has focused her research activities on the topic of environmental (chemical, physical, social) exposures and child health. She is PI of the INMA-Sabadell birth cohort study. Under several national and international grants, she has studied exposure to obesogenic chemical pollutants and to the urban environment (bisphenol A, phthalates, PFASs, persistent organic pollutants, tobacco smoke, air pollutants, green spaces) in relation to childhood obesity and cardiometabolic/cardiovascular health, work that she is now expanding to other European cohorts.
In recent years she has spearheaded the push to collect more accurate and complete data on many exposures during early life periods as PI of the HELIX (Human Early Life Exposome) project, a large collaborative European project involving birth cohorts in 6 European countries and implementing, for the first time, the exposome concept. HELIX constructed a “deep” exposome database with completely comparable biomonitoring data, geospatial data, child health outcome data, and multiple omics signatures, in mothers and children, building the methodological basis for analysing many exposures, describing various aspects of the early life exposome (temporal, geographical, social inequalities), linking the exposome to molecular omics markers, and linking the exposome to child health (e.g. lung function: Agier, Lancet Plan Health 2018; blood pressure: Warembourg, JACC 2019; obesity: Vrijheid, EHP 2020). In 2020, she obtained the ATHLETE project (Advancing Tools for Human Early Life-course Exposome Research and Translation (EC H2020), which aims to advance important challenges in exposome research through improved tools, data, and translation.
Finally, as PI of two previous EC FP7 grants, ENRIECO (Environmental Health Risks in European Birth Cohorts) and CHICOS (Developing a Child Cohort Strategy in Europe) she has been instrumental in the building of a network of birth cohorts in Europe, resulting in a framework for data sharing and harmonization across more than 30 European birth cohorts. She continues this work as WP leader in H2020 project LifeCycle that aims to build the EU Child Cohort Network by implementing a FAIR data sharing and analysis platform.
9:45 a.m.--Long-term consequences of obstetric and neonatal risks associated with air pollution
Dr. Pauline Mendola is currently a Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health in the School of Public Health and Health Related Professions here at UB. She came to us in the Fall of 2020 from her position as a Senior Investigator in the Epidemiology Branch in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Previously, she served as Chief of the Infant, Child and Women’s Health Statistics Branch at the National Center for Health Statistics and Chief of the Epidemiology and Biomarkers Branch of the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory of the US EPA. Dr. Mendola’s research focuses on environmental factors that impact fertility, pregnancy loss, obstetric complications and birth outcomes; chronic disease in women of reproductive age; and factors underlying variation in asthma control during pregnancy.
10:05 a.m.--Climate change, extreme weather and natural disaster on human health
Dr. Shao Lin currently is a Professor of both Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Department of Epidemiology/Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University at Albany and the Associate Director of Global Health Research. She obtained her medical degree from Sun Yat-sen University in China and her both MPH and Ph.D. degree at Epidemiology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As the Research Director of the Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology in the Center for Environmental Health, NYSDOH, she has 30 years of research experience in directing various environmental health studies and has successfully completed more than 50 studies since 1990. As a Principal Investigator, she has directed studies assessing health impacts of various environmental exposures including climate change, extreme weather, air pollution, heavy traffic exposure, residential exposure to urban air toxics from outdoor/indoor sources, health effects among New York City residents living near Ground Zero after the 9/11/01 disaster or after Hurricane Sandy, and a series of school environment-health projects. She has obtained over 18 million grants and has published more than 190 papers in environmental health field. Dr. Lin has been involved in multiple national climate change committees on developing climate change indicators, evaluating current heat-stress definitions, and preparing white papers regarding climate change to the US Congress. She was invited to be an Expert Panelist of the two National meetings regarding Climate Change and Health sponsored by NIH, CDC, and EPA where she provided recommendations of climate-health research to the US Congress and the US President. She has been served as a standing member in the NIH IRAP Study Section and is currently a standing member of NIEHS EHS Study Section.
10:25 a.m.--Panel Discussion
10:35 a.m.--Strengthening adolescent capabilities: evidence from a Tanzanian social protection program simultaneously addressing economic and health challenges.
Tia Palermo is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University at Buffalo. Prior to joining University at Buffalo, she was a Social Policy Manager for Social Protection at UNICEF, where she led research examining linkages between social policy, poverty, and health, with a focus on children and adolescents. She has substantial expertise conducting mixed method impact evaluations in Sub-Saharan Africa, including studies of large-scale cash transfer programs in collaboration with national governments, and implementation research in Latin America. Tia previously worked for international NGOs, including Ipas and Family Care International. She is co-Principal Investigator on four studies examining impacts of social protection programs for the The Transfer Project and is also a member of the following Research Consortia: SPARKS Network for Health and Social Protection and The Cash Transfer and Intimate Partner Violence Research Collaborative. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed postdoctoral training in Demography at the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research.
10:50--Adolescent health behavior: challenges and opportunities
Jenn Temple is a Professor in the Departments of Exercise and Nutrition Science and Community Health and Health Behavior and the Director of the Nutrition and Health Research Laboratory. For the past 15 years, her research has focused on factors the influence ingestive behavior in adolescents. Her most recent work has focused on behaviors that promote excess weight gain, but prior work has examined caffeine use and risk taking behavior. Jenn and her partner have five children, two grandchildren, and two COVID puppies. When not homeschooling her younger children during a pandemic, Jenn enjoys running, yoga, cooking and reading.