Ethel H. Wise Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental Medicine & Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Director, Lautenberg Laboratory for Environmental Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Dr. Robert Wright is a pediatrician, epigeneticist, and environmental epidemiologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is the Ethel H Wise Chair of the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health (Formerly the Department of Preventive Medicine), Director of the new Institute for Exposomic Research and Principal Investigator of an ongoing longitudinal birth cohort in Mexico City (Programming Research in Obesity, Growth, Environment and Social Stress–PROGRESS) in collaboration with the National Institute of Public Health, Mexico that addresses the impact of poverty and violence as modifiers of chemical toxicity. He also founded the (Metals Assessment Targeting Community Health) MATCH study in Tar Creek, Oklahoma, a community based participatory research study on health disparities, traditional cultural practices and chemical exposures in partnership with several Native American Tribal organizations. Both cohorts also assess the role of environmental chemical mixtures on child health and development. Dr Wright’s work has evolved into the field of “exposomics”. Exposomics is the study of all human exposures (chemical, physical, nutritional, social) from conception to death. While ambitious, exposomics research is the key to understanding how disease develops and will be critical to developing measures to prevent and treat the common diseases that continue to increase in prevalence (ADHD, autism, asthma, learning disabilities, obesity etc). This mixtures work was the prelude to his establishing the Exposomics Research Institute.
He has published over 200 research studies, and on numerous national committee/advisory boards, such as the EPA scientific advisory board, the CDC National Center on Environmental Health Board of Scientific Councilors, the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health and various National Academy of Sciences Committees. Dr. Wright founded and directs the Senator Frank Lautenberg Laboratory of Environmental Health Sciences at Mount Sinai. Since taking over as department chair, Mount Sinai’s NIH funding in Environmental Health has tripled, even in an era of shrinking federal budgets for research. He also established the new NIH designated Environmental Health Center: the Transdisciplinary Center on Health Effects from Early Environmental Exposures, making Mount Sinai one of just 22 designated research centers of excellence in environmental health and the first time NIH has designated MSSM as an environmental health center of excellence since 1995. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School and completed residency in Pediatrics at Northwestern University, as well as the following fellowships: Emergency Medicine, (Brown University), Medical Toxicology (Harvard University), Environmental Epidemiology, (Harvard University) and Genetic Epidemiology (Harvard University). He studies chemical mixtures, exposomics, and the role of genetics/epigenetics in modifying or mediating chemical toxicity. Prior to joining Mount Sinai in 2012 he was Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and director of the Harvard Superfund Research Center.