FMUSP Laboratory Research Collaboration

Thanks to an ongoing collaboration between John Godleski, Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH), and Paulo Saldiva, Professor of Pulmonary Pathology and Chair of the Department of Pathology at the Universidade de São Paulo Medical School (FMUSP), FMUSP students have the unique opportunity to conduct laboratory research on the cardiopulmonary effects of air pollution, pollution models, cardiology and other fields and to learn through a combination of didactic activities and lab work at HSPH at Harvard Medical School. The initial success hosting FMUSP students resulted in Professor Godleski reaching out to fellow Harvard faculty members to join him in receiving FMUSP students in their labs and Harvard affiliated hospitals. This program is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Lemann FoundationSandanter Universidades, and CAPES.

Collaborating Faculty

Masanori Aikawa serves as Founding Director and Yoshihiro Miwa Associate Chair of the Center for Interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Sciences (CICS) at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). CICS established a new model of the academia-industry collaboration in drug discovery research. He also runs his research laboratory in the Center for Excellence in Vascular Biology at BWH/HMS, primarily supported by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. His research focuses include atherosclerosis, metabolic disorders, and macrophage biology.

Ellen Grant is the Director of the Fetal-Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center (FNNDSC) at Children's Hospital Boston. The center's purpose is to create the infrastructure and provide the expertise needed to support and foster cutting edge clinical and translational science research involving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) across multiple subspecialties.

John Meara earned his BS from University of Notre Dame, his MD from the University of Michigan Medical School, his DMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and his MBA from the Melbourne Business School at University of Melbourne. He completed his internship in general surgery at University of Michigan Hospitals, his residency in otolaryngology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and his residency in plastic surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Meara also completed a cleft and craniofacial surgery fellowship at Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to his leadership roles described above, Dr. Meara serves as the Vice-Chair of the Health Policy Advisory Group for the American College of Surgeons.

Bernardo Lemos is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Epigenetics in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). His laboratory pursues research themes in systems and environmental epigenetics that are inherently interdisciplinary: the long-term goal is to develop a functional and populational understanding of the mapping between genotypes, phenotypes, and environments. In particular, three complementary sets of research themes are being cohesively pursued. One set is centered on Y-chromosome heterochromatin: its genetic and epigenetic variation, its manifold functional consequences and unique population dynamics. Another related set of questions is centered on the systems biology of regulatory variation, epigenetic networks, and the dynamics of genotype-by-environmental interaction. A third set of questions directly address individual responses to the environment and the consequences of maternal and paternal epi-alleles on subsequent generations. We approach our research questions mechanistically through careful genomic experimentation and integrative computational analyses; these are blended with rigorous genetic manipulations within meaningful environmental contexts. One area of interest has been on developing novel models to understand environmentally modulated human disease risk.

Richard Verrier is an Associate Professor of Medicine, at the Harvard Medical School (HMS) and at Cardiovascular Division, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. His research is focused on neural, behavioral, and environmental triggers of sudden cardiac death and arrhythmias. The laboratory specializes in computerized analysis of electrocardiographic markers, especially T-wave alternans, a beat-to-beat fluctuation in the area and form of the T-wave of the ECG. We demonstrated that T-wave alternans provides an index of vulnerability to life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias as well as a means to identify individuals at risk and to measure the efficacy of pharmacologic therapy. Current investigations include neural triggers of sudden death during ischemia, anger, REM sleep, and exposure to environmental air particles. Our research has led to a novel technique for selective delivery of angiogenic and myogenic factors to the heart via the pericardial sac. This technology provides a natural interface between molecular and integrative biology.

Rick Rogers is a Principal Research Scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Joseph Brain is Cecil K. and Philip Drinker Professor of Environmental Physiology in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). His studies extend from the deposition of inhaled particles in the respiratory tract to their clearance by respiratory defense mechanisms. Of particular interest is the role of lung macrophages and the pathogenesis and prevention of environmental lung diseases and respiratory infection. His research has utilized magnetic particles in macrophages as a noninvasive tool for measuring cell motility and the response of macrophages to various mediators and toxins. Other experiments deal with the use of lung lavage to obtain and characterize macrophages. Another area of study is drug delivery to and through the lungs. A rodent bioassay utilizing lung lavage has been developed; the assay has been used to estimate the relative toxicity of new and complex mixtures such as molds, urban dusts, welding fume, nanomaterials, as well as drugs and excipients administered by inhalation. For more details on Professor Brain's work, please see: visit his HSPH profile.

Philip Demokritou is currently the Director of the Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology at the Harvard School of Public Health. The center draws on decades of experience with environmental pollutants and the health effects of particles to address the unique environmental health and safety (EHS) concerns raised by engineered nanomaterials (ENM) & nanotechnology applications.