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|Principal Investigator: Rice, Jessica Lynne|
|Children'S Hosp Of Philadelphia
|National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
01 Jun 2019
to 31 May 2023
Project Abstract and Summary
This mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award will provide Dr. Jessica Rice with the
experience and training to become an independent investigator in pediatric pulmonology with a focus on the
effects of indoor air pollution (fine particulate matter, PM2.5) on respiratory morbidity in premature infants.
Premature birth affects 10 percent of infants born in the U.S. and is the leading cause of infant mortality.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is one of the most common and serious complications of preterm birth and
infants are at risk for chronic respiratory symptoms and lung function abnormalities throughout childhood and
into adulthood. While exposure to indoor air pollution has been shown to be detrimental in other populations
(children with asthma) and secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure has been linked to adverse respiratory
outcomes in premature infants, the effect of measured indoor PM2.5 on respiratory outcomes in a vulnerable
population of premature infants is not known. The central hypothesis is that exposure to PM2.5 leads to an
increased risk of respiratory-related morbidity among premature infants. To test this hypothesis, we propose a
prospective observational study evaluating the effect of PM2.5 in two cohorts of patients who will be followed for
one year. The first cohort will be recruited at the time of initial hospital discharge and will include infants born ≤
32 weeks (with and without BPD) (aim 1) and the second cohort will include preschool aged children who were
born prematurely with established BPD (aim 2). These two cohorts will allow us to evaluate a full clinical
spectrum of chronic lung disease related to prematurity. Outcomes will include healthcare utilization,
medication use, symptoms, and markers of SHS exposure (air nicotine and salivary cotinine). The goal of this
proposal is to collect preliminary data and obtain the necessary training and skills in environmental
epidemiology and clinical trial methods in order to design a future intervention trial to evaluate the impact
improving indoor air quality in this population. This approach focuses on identifying a modifiable risk factor and
intervening early when developing tissues are most susceptible to environmental insults in order to prevent
disease. Results of this study have the potential to impact clinical practice and eventually, public policy. Dr.
Rice has assembled a multidisciplinary research team with extensive research and mentorship experience. Her
primary mentor, Dr. Gregory Diette is the co-director of the EPA/ NIEHS funded Center for Childhood Asthma
in the Urban Environment and is an international expert on inner city exposures and their contribution to
obstructive lung disease. Her co-mentors Dr. Sharon McGrath-Morrow and Dr. J. Michael Collaco, are both
pediatric pulmonologists and experts in the field of chronic lung disease of prematurity. Dr. Kirsten Koehler, an
expert in environmental health science will provide guidance related to exposure measurement and analysis.
This career development award will provide Dr. Rice with the necessary skills, training, and mentorship needed
to develop her research program and will be key to her success in transitioning to an independent investigator.
Primary: 69 - Respiratory
See publications associated with this Grant.