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Your Environment. Your Health.

Tooth Matrix Biomarkers in Environmental Health Research

The Exposure Science and the Exposome Webinar Series
July 26, 2016

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Purpose

The NIEHS Strategic Plan places a significant emphasis on transforming exposure science through the development of new approaches to exposure assessment, the definition and dissemination of the exposome concept, and the development and demonstration of the exposome as a tool for both epidemiological and mechanistic research. In order to achieve this goal, NIEHS launched the Exposure Science and the Exposome Webinar Series on April 4, 2014 to foster discussions on international efforts in advancing exposure science and the exposome concept as well as challenges and opportunities in incorporating this concept in environmental health research.

Abstract

The exposome concept emphasizes the importance of measuring human environmental exposures over the life span. Implicit in this concept is the importance of exposure timing, including exposures during fetal development. Researchers have been limited in their ability to determine critical developmental periods specific to environmental chemicals because such studies invariably require prospective data and exposure assessment tools that may not reflect the correct life stage. This barrier is perhaps most detrimental to the study of fetal environmental exposures, which rely on maternal biomarkers, typically assessed in blood or urine. Maternal biomarkers do not always accurately reflect fetal exposure because of the complex portioning of chemicals across the placenta. To address these challenges, the speaker will present a methodology that combines detailed histological and chemical analyses of deciduous and permanent teeth layers corresponding to specific life stages. This approach allows reconstruction of exposure to individual chemicals and chemical mixtures in the second and third trimesters, in early childhood, and also cumulative life-long exposure. Examples will be provided from the application of tooth matrix biomarkers to the study of neurodevelopmental trajectories.

Bio

Manish Arora is Director of Exposure Biology and Division Chief of Environmental Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. He graduated as a dentist from India, undertook postgraduate public health training in Australia and postdoctoral training at the Harvard School of Public Health. He has used a number of advanced analytical chemistry and nuclear beam methods, including laser ablation-coupled mass spectrometry, and synchrotron and proton-based x-ray emission for bio-imaging of hard and soft tissues. Dr. Arora has published his work in leading journals including Nature and Nature Reviews Neurology, and his work was recently recognized by the New Innovator Award from the NIEHS and NIH Director's office.