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

Newswise — (New York – 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. 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 Giovanni Lorenzini Medical Foundation.

To learn more about the First 1,000 Days Project, please visit  

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 ( 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 (

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 7,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 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. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is in the “Honor Roll” of best hospitals in America, ranked No. 15 nationally in the 2016-2017 “Best Hospitals” issue of U.S. News & World Report.  The Mount Sinai Hospital is also ranked as one of the nation’s top 20 hospitals in Geriatrics, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Ear, Nose & Throat, and is in the top 50 in four other specialties. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 10 nationally for Ophthalmology, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. Mount Sinai’s Kravis Children’s Hospital is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report in "Best Children's Hospitals."

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