The goal of this career development plan is to launch an independent research career in children's environmental health, specializing in climate change research, with a focus on the health vulnerabilities of children. Climate change will impact health by changing the landscape with respect to allergens, pollution, extreme storms, and thermal stress. The health care community can best reduce the burden of climate change on health through targeted interventions for specific vulnerabilities. Research on these vulnerabilities requires advanced epidemiologic skills. This career development plan will build on the candidate's formal training in pediatrics to obtain the background in environmental epidemiology needed to develop hypotheses and design environmental health studies that are well-grounded in biological mechanisms of toxicity. This plan incorporates didactic training in environmental epidemiology and complex statistical techniques. The research component builds on a dual-site prenatal cohort recruited in Boston and New York: the Programming of Intergenerational Stress Mechanisms (PRISM) study. The research will examine the role of prenatal air pollution, psychosocial stress, and immune mechanisms in maternal-child health. The candidate is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, a nationally and internationally recognized center of excellence in preventive medicine, occupational and environmental medicine, community health, and environmental pediatrics. An interdisciplinary mentorship team has been selected to provide guidance and expertise in environmental epidemiology, psychosocial stress, immunology, and psychiatry. The proposed training and research program will position the candidate to work effectively with a number of active, multidisciplinary groups at the completion of the award period. The project is guided by the following career objectives: 1) to gain knowledge on diverse methods of spatial modeling for social and physical environmental exposure assessment;2) to gain experience working with observed and modeled climate data, in particular, downscaled climate model outputs;3) to develop expertise in advanced statistical methods relevant to climate and health work specifically focusing on air pollution, stress, and inflammatory biomarkers;4) to acquire familiarity with additional climate-sensitive outcomes such as birth and mental health outcomes and mechanistic intermediaries. This career development plan will facilitate the candidate becoming a leading expert and independent investigator in children's environmental health and advance the NIH's mission to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.

Public Health Relevance

Climate change is estimated to result in over 200,000 premature deaths per year - over 80% of which are among children - and projected to cause additional health effects in the coming decades. Air pollution and psychosocial stress exposures, and the underlying immune mechanisms of maternal and child health are important climate-sensitive factors in this public health issue. This project aims to build the epidemiologic skills of a pediatrician dedicated to finding ways to reduce climate health impacts both within the USA and globally.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1-LKB-J (K3))
Program Officer
Shreffler, Carol K
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
New York
United States
Zip Code
Hess, Jeremy J; Lm, Sathish; Knowlton, Kim et al. (2018) Building Resilience to Climate Change: Pilot Evaluation of the Impact of India's First Heat Action Plan on All-Cause Mortality. J Environ Public Health 2018:7973519
Wellbery, Caroline; Sheffield, Perry; Timmireddy, Kavya et al. (2018) It's Time for Medical Schools to Introduce Climate Change Into Their Curricula. Acad Med 93:1774-1777
Sheffield, Perry E; Speranza, Rosa; Chiu, Yueh-Hsiu Mathilda et al. (2018) Association between particulate air pollution exposure during pregnancy and postpartum maternal psychological functioning. PLoS One 13:e0195267
Rosa, Maria José; Pajak, Ashley; Just, Allan C et al. (2017) Prenatal exposure to PM2.5 and birth weight: A pooled analysis from three North American longitudinal pregnancy cohort studies. Environ Int 107:173-180
Sheffield, Perry E; Uijttewaal, Simone A M; Stewart, James et al. (2017) Climate Change and Schools: Environmental Hazards and Resiliency. Int J Environ Res Public Health 14:
Chiu, Yueh-Hsiu Mathilda; Sheffield, Perry E; Hsu, Hsiao-Hsien Leon et al. (2017) Subconstructs of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale in a multi-ethnic inner-city population in the U.S. Arch Womens Ment Health 20:803-810
Shmool, Jessie Loving Carr; Kinnee, Ellen; Sheffield, Perry Elizabeth et al. (2016) Spatio-temporal ozone variation in a case-crossover analysis of childhood asthma hospital visits in New York City. Environ Res 147:108-14
Sheffield, Perry Elizabeth; Zhou, Jiang; Shmool, Jessie Loving Carr et al. (2015) Ambient ozone exposure and children's acute asthma in New York City: a case-crossover analysis. Environ Health 14:25
Ito, Kazuhiko; Weinberger, Kate R; Robinson, Guy S et al. (2015) The associations between daily spring pollen counts, over-the-counter allergy medication sales, and asthma syndrome emergency department visits in New York City, 2002-2012. Environ Health 14:71
Dutta, Priya; Rajiva, Ajit; Andhare, Dileep et al. (2015) Perceived heat stress and health effects on construction workers. Indian J Occup Environ Med 19:151-8

Showing the most recent 10 out of 12 publications