The goal of this Mentored Research Scientist Development Award is to support the Principal Investigator to gain the research knowledge, skills and experience to conduct environmental, gerontological and genetic epidemiology studies. This award will promote the candidate's ability to achieve the long-term goal of developing into an independent investigator. The proposed career development plan aims to build on the candidate's prior research experience in environmental epidemiology with new training in genetics, epidemiology of aging, and neurotoxicology. The scientific goals of this project are to understand how long term environmental exposures to lead and air pollution affect age-related pathological changes, namely, depressed cardiac function, and two novel outcomes that have been relatively little studied in environmental health, age-related cataract and hearing loss. In addition, the project aims to identify factors that impact susceptibility to such pollutants in an aging population. These health endpoints are leading chronic health conditions experienced by the older adults, but the biological mechanisms by which pollution exposures may impact these age-related conditions are poorly understood. The candidate will not only examine independent effects of lead and traffic-related particles, but focus on genes involved in the pathway of iron regulation metabolism which may modify the lead and particle responses. The investigator will also examine if the associations between pollutants and age-related diseases are modified by dietary intake of antioxidants (vitamins C and E, carotenoids, and cruciferous vegetables) and omega-3 fatty acids. In order to apply the candidate's past research background in these research aims in the field of gene-environment interaction and epidemiology of aging, additional training and mentorship is necessary. The proposed career development plan includes working with established experts in metals and air pollution epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, gerontological epidemiology, neurotoxicology, ophthalmology and otolaryngology, and is enhanced by didactic coursework, laboratory training and attendance in seminars and national/international meetings. This proposal will take advantage of the data and archived samples from a large, well-phenotyped, on-going, longitudinal cohort of community-residing elderly men, the Normative Aging Study, and for some of the specific aims, a sub-sample of the Nurses'Health Study will be utilized. Relevance: As the aging population grows, the need to better understand the causes of age-related pathological changes is required, but little is known about the impacts of environmental pollutants on such age-related diseases. This project will identify which sub-population in terms of genetic polymorphisms and nutrient intakes is more susceptible to environmental exposures to lead and air pollution, and ultimately suggest preventive public health strategies to improve the quality of life in the aging population.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1-JAB-C (KR))
Program Officer
Shreffler, Carol K
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
Ann Arbor
United States
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Zheutlin, Alexander R; Adar, Sara D; Park, Sung Kyun (2014) Carbon dioxide emissions and change in prevalence of obesity and diabetes in the United States: an ecological study. Environ Int 73:111-6
Choi, Yoon-Hyeong; Miller, Josef M; Tucker, Katherine L et al. (2014) Antioxidant vitamins and magnesium and the risk of hearing loss in the US general population. Am J Clin Nutr 99:148-55
Wu, Erin W; Schaumberg, Debra A; Park, Sung Kyun (2014) Environmental cadmium and lead exposures and age-related macular degeneration in U.S. adults: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005 to 2008. Environ Res 133:178-84
Park, Sung Kyun; Tao, Yebin; Meeker, John D et al. (2014) Environmental risk score as a new tool to examine multi-pollutants in epidemiologic research: an example from the NHANES study using serum lipid levels. PLoS One 9:e98632
Park, Sung Kyun; Wang, Weiye (2014) Ambient Air Pollution and Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review of Epidemiologic Research. Curr Environ Health Rep 1:275-286
Park, Sung Kyun; Lee, Sunghee; Basu, Niladri et al. (2013) Associations of blood and urinary mercury with hypertension in U.S. adults: the NHANES 2003-2006. Environ Res 123:25-32
Ko, Yi-An; Saha-Chaudhuri, Paramita; Park, Sung Kyun et al. (2013) Novel likelihood ratio tests for screening gene-gene and gene-environment interactions with unbalanced repeated-measures data. Genet Epidemiol 37:581-91
Choi, Yoon-Hyeong; Hu, Howard; Tak, SangWoo et al. (2012) Occupational noise exposure assessment using O*NET and its application to a study of hearing loss in the US general population. Occup Environ Med 69:176-83
Zhang, Aimin; Hu, Howard; Sanchez, Brisa N et al. (2012) Association between prenatal lead exposure and blood pressure in children. Environ Health Perspect 120:445-50
Ren, Cizao; O'Neill, Marie S; Park, Sung Kyun et al. (2011) Ambient temperature, air pollution, and heart rate variability in an aging population. Am J Epidemiol 173:1013-21

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