Research center for National Children's Study to be based in Queens

09/29/05

Mount Sinai School of Medicine awarded $20.1 million contract to study and improve the lives of children in Queens

Washington, DC and Queens, NY -- At the National Press Club today, Surgeon General Richard Carmona and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Director Duane Alexander announced that the borough of Queens will be one of the first sites for piloting and conducting the National Children's Study, the largest, most comprehensive, long-term study of environmental effects on human development conducted to date. A consortium of healthcare providers led by Mount Sinai School of Medicine will conduct the research.

More than 100,000 children across the United States will participate in the National Children's Study, as researchers will follow children from before birth until age 21. Study scientists will examine family genetics, neighborhoods and schools, chemical exposures, food and water, as well as children's social and behavioral environments. The Queens Vanguard Center will be led by the Mount Sinai Center for Children's Health and the Environment, our nation's first academic research and policy center to examine the links between exposure to toxic pollutants and childhood illness.

"When completed, the National Children's Study will be the richest information resource for questions related to child health that this country has ever seen." said Philip Landrigan, MD, Director of the Queens Vanguard Center and the Mount Sinai Center for Children's Health and the Environment and Chairman of Community and Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "Conducting this study in Queens, the most ethnically diverse county in the nation, will provide a diverse population essential to ensuring that results are widely applicable."

Joining in the Queens Vanguard Center effort are researchers from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Columbia University Medical Center and the University of Dentistry of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

"Mount Sinai has long been a leader in the study, prevention and treatment of environmental and occupational disease," said Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and CEO of The Mount Sinai Medical Center and Dean of Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "We are proud to be part of this landmark study which holds so much promise for the children of Queens and our nation."

"Many of the diseases that the Children's Study will examine obesity, injury, asthma, schizophrenia, autism and childhood cancer have reached epidemic proportions, and cost Americans nearly $642 billion annually," said Leo Trasande, MD, the Mount Sinai Site Director for the Queens Vanguard Center. "The National Children's Study will form the basis of child health guidance and policy for generations to come, and will not only to improve the lives of so many children, but save our nation billions of dollars in health care costs."

The National Children's Study is led by a consortium of federal agency partners, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services -- through the National Institutes of Health (the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Center for Children's Health and the Environment is the nation's first academic research and policy center to examine the links between exposure to toxic pollutants and childhood illness. CCHE was established in 1998 within the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The mission of the Center for Children's Health and the Environment (CCHE) of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine is to protect children against environmental threats to health.

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