Chronic Kidney Disease in Nicaragua

Funding Source: World Bank Award
PI: Daniel Brooks, DSc, BUSPH
Co-Investigators: Michael McClean, ScD, BUSPH; Ann Aschengrau, ScD, BUSPH; Kate Applebaum, ScD, BUSPH; Madeleine Scammell, DSc, BUSPH

ebrg_3We are currently conducting an investigation of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the northwestern region of Nicaragua in conjunction with the World Bank and Nicaraguan partners. CKD is a major global public health concern that is increasing worldwide, and while the most common causes in developed countries are diabetes and hypertension, the etiology of CKD in Nicaragua is unknown. If not properly treated, CKD can lead to end stage renal disease (ESRD) and often death, particularly in developing countries where patients do not typically have access to dialysis and kidney transplants. Read more…

Jet Fuel Exposure among Military Personnel

Funding Source: Henry M. Jackson Foundation Award #000125796
PI: Susan Proctor, DSc, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine
Co-Investigators: Michael McClean, ScD, BUSPH; Kristen Smith, DSc, Harvard School of Public Health; Ema Rodrigues, DSc, Harvard School of Public Health

ebrg_4Jet propulsion fuel 8, also known as “JP8”, is a common occupational exposure among US military personnel that affects over 2 million workers worldwide. Some of the most highly exposed Air Force personnel include fuel systems workers who performance maintenance activities inside of aircraft fuel tanks. Civilian airline personnel are also exposed to similar kerosene based jet fuels, such as Jet A and Jet A1. Exposures in occupational settings occur primarily through inhalation and dermal absorption, although there is also potential for exposure via incidental ingestion. While there is little information on the human health consequences associated with exposure to JP8, previous studies have suggested that adverse neurological health effects may result. Read more…

Molecular Epidemiology of Head & Neck Cancer

Funding Source: NCI R01 CA078609-07
PI: Karl Kelsey, MD, MOH, Brown University
Co-Investigators: Michael McClean, ScD, BUSPH; Heather Nelson, PhD, University of Minnesota; Carmen Marsit, PhD, Brown University; Brock Christensen, PhD, Brown University

Funding Source: FAMRI Award# 062555-YSCA
PI: Michael McClean, ScD, BUSPH
Co-Investigators: Karl Kelsey, MD, MOH, Brown University; Carmen Marsit, PhD, Brown University

ebrg_5Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the tenth most common cancer in the US and the sixth most common cancer worldwide. While 75% of HNSCC is attributable to smoking and alcohol consumption, a significant proportion of this disease remains unexplained. Polymorphisms of genes, associated with an increased risk for lung, bladder, and breast cancer, may further alter cancer risk by level of tobacco or alcohol exposure. Tobacco and alcohol by-products are clearly associated with HNSCC, and have been found to induce genetic mutations; therefore, investigation into genetic susceptibility to this disease is warranted. In our population-based multicenter case-control study of HNSCC, we focus on exploring the role of risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol, human papillomavirus, secondhand tobacco smoke, diet, marijuana, and the genetic factors that may modify such relationships. Read more…