Author Interviews, NYU, Smoking, Tobacco / 05.08.2016 Interview with: Judith T. Zelikoff, PhD, Professor Department of Environmental Medicine NYU Langone Medical Center. Would you tell us a little about yourself? Response: I am a tenured full professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine with >25 years of experience studying the toxicology of inhaled single contaminants and complex mixtures including metals, nanoparticles, gaseous and particulate (PM) air pollutants, e-cigarettes and combustible products from cigarettes, biomass burning, and diesel exhaust. Over the last decade, studies in my laboratory has focused on the effects of maternal inhalation of environmental toxicants, including fine-sized ambient particulate matter during pregnancy (and/or during neonatal development) on fetal cardiovascular structure, obstetric consequences, and later life disorders including obesity, immune dysfunction, and decreased sociability and reproductive success in adult male and female offspring. Other early life studies associated with inhaled nicotine/tobacco products have demonstrated that maternal and neonatal exposure of mice to aerosols from e-cigarettes (with and without nicotine) alters neurodevelopment and produces hyperactivity in adult male offspring. Our studies with smokeless tobacco products demonstrate dyslipidemia and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in prenatally exposed adult offspring. One of my major scientific accomplishments are my early life inhalation exposure studies demonstrating, for the first time in some cases, that prenatal/neonatal exposure to environmental agents can produce effects persistent into adulthood that can increase susceptibility to a variety of disorders, including cardiovascular disease. In addition, I serve as the Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC)Director for our NYU NIEHS Core Center. In this regard, our COEC team partners with environmentally-impacted communities in the NY/NJ area to assess community concerns associated with environmental pollution and provide educational information that can help build community infrastructure. I am also extremely active as a leader in the Society of Toxicology having served as Secretary of the Society for 3 years and President of the Metals and Immunotoxicology SOT Specialty Sections where i received an Immunotoxicology Lifetime Achievement Award. I currently serve as Chairperson of the SOT Committee for Diversity Initiatives and President of the Ethical, Legal and Social Specialty Section. I am currently a full member of a National Institute of Health Study and have also served on several other Federal/State Advisory Panels including the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, EPA, NASA, NTP, and NJ Department of Environmental Protection. In addition to serving as an Associate Editor and Editorial Board member for numerous toxicology/environmental health journals, I currently serve as vice-President for the NYU School of Medicine Faculty Council. (more…)
Author Interviews, Toxin Research / 18.02.2015

Dr. Prashant Kumar PhD (Cantab), MTech, BEng, FHEA, FCPS, FCCT, CEng(IEI), MIEnvSc, MIAQM, MIAAPC Senior Lecturer in Wind Engineering Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (C5) Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences University of Surrey, Interview with: Dr. Prashant Kumar PhD (Cantab), MTech, BEng, FHEA, FCPS, FCCT, CEng(IEI), MIEnvSc, MIAQM, MIAAPC Senior Lecturer in Wind Engineering Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (C5) Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences University of Surrey, Guildford Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kumar: Pollution is disproportionately spread in urban areas due to scattered mobile and stationary sources. Exhaust emissions from vehicles are one of the major sources of air pollution in urban areas. When vehicles stop at red lights, they go through different driving cycles such as idling, acceleration and deceleration. At the same time, a number of other vehicles are also queuing at red lights, emitting further emissions – these emissions take more time to disperse, especially in built-up areas, and end up accumulating in the air at traffic lights. In our study, we found that because drivers were decelerating and stopping at lights, then revving up to move quickly when lights go green, peak particle concentration was 29 times higher than that during free flowing traffic conditions. We also found that while drivers spent just two per cent of their journey time passing through traffic intersections managed by lights, that short duration contributes to about 25 per cent of their total exposure to these harmful particles. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 15.01.2015 Interview with: Lauren Petrick Ph.D. The Lipid Research Laboratory Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and Research Institute The Technion Center of Excellence in Exposure Science and Environmental Health (TCEEH), Technion, Haifa, Israel What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Petrick: Nanoparticles are becoming ubiquitous in our environment, leading to higher chances of exposure. This exposure may be especially chronic for those employed in research laboratories and in high tech industry where workers handle, manufacture, use and dispose of nanoparticles. Furthermore, nanoparticle exposure to the general population occurs in the form of ultrafine particles (UFP) primarily from transportation exhaust. While nanoparticle toxicity has been investigated in general terms, its atherogenic effects and mechanisms of nanoparticle atherogenicity are not yet clear. Therefore, we decided to expose engineered silica nanoparticles to macrophages in order to investigate cell atherogenicity and cytotoxicity. What we found is that the nanoparticles were cytotoxic and increased oxidative stress and triglyceride (TG) accumulation in the cells.  Triglyceride accumulation in macrophages was not due to a decrease in triglyceride cell secretion or to an increased triglyceride biosynthesis rate, but was the result of attenuated triglyceride hydrolysis secondary to decreased lipase activity and both adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) protein expression. This supports a possible role for ultrafine particles in exacerbating atherosclerosis development, and shows increased cardiovascular risk associated with nanoparticle exposure. (more…)