Research Grants/Fellowships/SBIR

Berkeley/Stanford Children’s Environmental Health Center

EPA Grant Number: R834596
Center: UC Berkeley/Stanford Children’s Environment Health Center
Center Director: Tager, Ira
Title: Berkeley/Stanford Children’s Environmental Health Center
Investigators: Hammond, S. Katharine , Balmes, John R. , Gould, Jeffery , Hubbard, Alan , Lurmann, Fred , Mann, Jennifer , Mortimer, Kathleen , Nadeau, Kari , Shaw, Gary M. , Tager, Ira
Current Investigators: Hammond, S. Katharine , Balmes, John R. , Eisen, Ellen , Gale, Sara L , Mann, Jennifer , Nadeau, Kari , Padula, Amy , Shaw, Gary M. , Tager, Ira
Institution: University of California - Berkeley , Sonoma Technology, Inc. , Stanford University
Current Institution: University of California - Berkeley , Stanford University
EPA Project Officer: Callan, Richard
Project Period: May 7, 2010 through May 6, 2013 (Extended to May 6, 2014)
Project Amount: $1,091,783
RFA: Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers: Formative Centers (with NIEHS) (2009) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Children's Health , Health

Objective:

The overall goal of the Berkeley/Stanford Children’s Environment Health (Pre)Center (CHP-C) is to study the effects of in utero and childhood exposure to ambient air pollutants and bioaerosols on birth outcomes (including low birth weight, small for gestational age, structural birth defects), T-cell regulatory function and the relation of these early life exposures on the occurrence of asthma in the lower half Central Valley of California (San Joaquin Valley— SJV; Stockton, CA to Bakersfield). The SJV is the fastest-growing area of California (16.1% growth in 2000-2007 compared to 7.9% for entire state) with an ethnically diverse population, industrial farming and growing cities.

Approach:

The Center will test the following hypotheses through 3 projects:

Project 1:
Hypothesis-- The associations between adverse pregnancy outcomes (low birth weight [LBW], pre-term and small for gestation age) and exposure to ambient air pollutants and bacterial endotoxin are increased in women who reside in impoverished neighborhoods and are socially disadvantaged at the individual level.

Project 2:
Hypothesis:— Exposure to specific air pollutants and mixtures of air pollutants during critical periods of fetal organ development are associated with structural birth defects (so-called “congenital” anomalies or birth defects).

Project 3:
Hypothesis-- The reported associations between ambient air pollution and bacterial endotoxin, asthma onset and asthma exacerbation are mediated through pollutant/endotoxin alterations of regulatory T-cells (Treg), cells that can help control the response of the immune system. Furthermore these effects on Treg are related to exposure in the year prior to specimen collection and exposure during the late 1st and early 2nd trimesters when T-cell differentiation and function begin to develop. T cells are developed by 8.2 weeks and T cell receptor differentiation occurs first in the 10th week. Further development and maturation occur in the second and third trimester and throughout life).

A combination of laboratory and field studies measured with basic immunology and highly refined estimated individual-level exposure will be employed. Data analyses will focus on causal statistical methods (CSM5).

Expected Results:

Our goal is to provide a unifying mechanism that links reported air pollutant associations with asthma and adverse birth outcomes based on an understanding of pollutant effects on Treg function. The combination of refined exposures, study of basic immunology and application of advanced CSMs will provide unique research insights into developmental impacts of environmental exposures on children and, through use of causal statistical methods, will provide more accurate and complete estimates of exposure-response functions need for asthma risk characterization from air pollutants.


Journal Articles: 15 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other center views: All 50 publications 15 publications in selected types All 15 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Balmes JR. How does diesel exhaust impact asthma? Thorax 2011;66(1):4-6. R834596 (2011)
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  • Journal Article Gale SL, Noth EM , Mann J, Balmes J, Hammond SK, Tager IB. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure and wheeze in a cohort of children with asthma in Fresno, CA. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology 2012;22(4):386-392. R834596 (2011)
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  • Journal Article Hew KM, Walker AI, Kohli A, Garcia M, Syed A, McDonald-Hyman C, Noth EM, Mann JK, Pratt B, Balmes J, Hammond SK, Eisen EA, Nadeau KC. Childhood exposure to ambient polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons is linked to epigenetic modifications and impaired systemic immunity in T cells. Clinical & Experimental Allergy 2015;45(1):238-248. R834596 (2012)
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    RD835435 (2014)
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  • Journal Article Kohli A, Garcia MA, Miller RL, Maher C, Humblet O, Hammond SK, Nadeau K. Secondhand smoke in combination with ambient air pollution exposure is associated with increased CpG methylation and decreased expression of IFN-γ in T effector cells and Foxp3 in T regulatory cells in children. Clinical Epigenetics 2012;4(1):17 (16 pp.). R834596 (2011)
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    R834786 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Liu J, Zhang L, Winterroth LC, Garcia M, Weiman S, Wong JW, Sunwoo JB, Nadeau KC. Epigenetically mediated pathogenic effects of phenanthrene on regulatory T cells. Journal of Toxicology 2013;2013:967029 (13 pp.). R834596 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Mann JK, Balmes JR, Bruckner TA, Mortimer KM, Margolis HG, Pratt B, Hammond SK, Lurmann FW, Tager IB. Short-term effects of air pollution on wheeze in asthmatic children in Fresno, California. Environmental Health Perspectives 2010;118(10):1497-1502. R834596 (2011)
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  • Journal Article Nadeau K, McDonald-Hyman C, Noth EM, Pratt B, Hammond SK, Balmes J, Tager I. Ambient air pollution impairs regulatory T-cell function in asthma. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2010;126(4):845-852.e10. R834596 (2011)
    R834786 (2011)
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  • Journal Article Noth EM, Hammond SK, Biging GS, Tager IB. Mapping and modeling airborne urban phenanthrene distribution using vegetation biomonitoring. Atmospheric Environment 2013;77:518-524. R834596 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Padula AM, Mortimer K, Hubbard A, Lurmann F, Jerrett M, Tager IB. Exposure to traffic-related air pollution during pregnancy and term low birth weight: estimation of causal associations in a semiparametric model. American Journal of Epidemiology 2012;176(9):815-824. R834596 (2011)
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  • Journal Article Padula AM, Tager IB, Carmichael SL, Hammond SK, Yang W, Lurmann F, Shaw GM. Ambient air pollution and traffic exposures and congenital heart defects in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2013;27(4):329-339. R834596 (2011)
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  • Journal Article Padula AM, Tager IB, Carmichael SL, Hammond SK, Lurmann F, Shaw GM. The association of ambient air pollution and traffic exposures with selected congenital anomalies in the San Joaquin Valley of California. American Journal of Epidemiology 2013;177(10):1074-1085. R834596 (2011)
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  • Journal Article Padula AM, Tager IB, Carmichael SL, Hammond SK, Yang W, Lurmann FW, Shaw GM. Traffic-related air pollution and selected birth defects in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Birth Defects Research, Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology 2013;97(11):730-735. R834596 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Padula AM, Mortimer KM, Tager IB, Hammond SK, Lurmann FW, Yang W, Stevenson DK, Shaw GM. Traffic-related air pollution and risk of preterm birth in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Annals of Epidemiology 2014;24(12):888-895e4. R834596 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Padula AM, Balmes JR, Eisen EA, Mann J, Noth EM, Lurmann FW, Pratt B, Tager IB, Nadeau K, Hammond SK. Ambient polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and pulmonary function in children. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology 2015;25(3):295-302. R834596 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Yang W, Carmichael SL, Roberts EM, Kegley SE, Padula AM, English PB, Shaw GM. Residential agricultural pesticide exposures and risk of neural tube defects and orofacial clefts among offspring in the San Joaquin Valley of California. American Journal of Epidemiology 2014;179(6):740-748. R834596 (Final)
    R834596C002 (Final)
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    ambient air, particulates, oxidants, nitrogen oxides, epidemiology, immunology, causal statistical methods, exposure assessment, asthma, San Joaquin Valley, CA, EPA Region 9

    Progress and Final Reports:

    2011 Progress Report
    2012 Progress Report
    Final Report

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R834596C001 Effect of Multi-Level Environmental Exposure on Birth Outcomes
    R834596C002 Exposure to Air Pollutants and Risk of Birth Defects
    R834596C003 Ambient Pollutant/Bioaerosol Effects on Treg Function