Translational Research Teams

The M-LEEaD mission has two overarching goals: accelerate research that defines and explains impacts of environmental exposures during vulnerable stages of life and promote translation of these findings to improve clinical and public health interventions for the mitigation of human disease. To achieve the goal of promoting translation, our Translational Research Teams engage members in the acceleration of public health impacts and promote opportunities for collaboration.

Led by M-LEEaD Associate Director Vasantha Padmanabhan, the teams will work to actively engage diverse stakeholders in identifying community priorities and create knowledge from data. The three Translational Research Teams are:

  1. Cumulative Exposures & Population Health Team (Karen Peterson, Leader & Erica Jansen, Co-Leader)
  2. Climate Change & Health Disparities Team (Toby Lewis, Leader & Carina Gronlund, Co-Leader)
  3. Toxicological Mechanisms & Improving Health Outcomes Team (Vasantha Padmanabhan, Leader & Laurie Svoboda, Co-Leader)

Toxicological Mechanisms & Improving Health Outcomes Team

The Toxicological Mechanisms and Improving Health Outcomes Team seeks to advance mechanistic toxicology research that will inform behavioral, nutritional, and pharmacologic interventions aimed at mitigating the effects of exposures in human populations. This objective is met through the use of in vitro cell and tissue organoid models, animal models including sheep and mice, analysis of clinical specimens, mining of public databases, and epidemiologic studies.

Climate Change & Health Disparities Team

The Climate Change and Health Disparities Team's objective is to advance research to inform interventions that reduce the health impacts of climate change-related exposures and disparities within these impacts. The team works to meet this objective by using exposure assessments related to climate (such as indoor temperatures and outdoor pollen levels); epidemiologic studies that link weather-related exposures and health; evaluations of interventions designed to reduce the impact of climate change (such as weatherization programs); and community-based participatory research that engages with key community and regulatory stakeholders.

Cumulative Exposures & Population Health Team

The Cumulative Exposures and Population Health Team aims to understand how environmental exposures over sensitive life stage impact health. Information learned from this can then be used to inform clinical and public health interventions. The team is utilizing longitudinal studies to gather data on relationships between toxicant co-exposures and modifiers, such as diet and stress, over multiple life stages and a variety of health outcomes, such as cognition, growth, metabolic disease, and reproductive health.