Research Projects

Listed below are selected projects that highlight the DCC’s experience providing leadership and organization in the management of large research projects:

  • Global Health
    global-healthGlobal Health

    Alliance for Maternal and Newborn Health Improvement (AMANHI) Study

    This multi-centre study in Zambia aims to achieve a better understanding of the epidemiology of maternal morbidity and mortality, stillbirths and neonatal deaths.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Analyzing Patterns in Epidemiologic and Toxicologic Data

    Applying toxicologic approaches to mixtures analysis in environmental epidemiology, both developing methods and applying them in ongoing epidemiology studies. This aim includes the application of mapping methods to analysis of mixtures.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Be Well, Work Well Total Worker Health Center

    Assessing the feasibility of an integrated intervention designed to protect and promote health in order to reduce musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and improve health behaviors among healthcare workers.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Biologic Responses to E-cigarettes

    This laboratory-based study assesses the potential risks, including cancer, of smoking e-cigarettes.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Breathe Easy at Home Evaluation

    A web-based referral system to link clinical sites with housing code inspections and enforcement for patients with asthma.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Chelsea Collaborative EPA STAR Project

    Investigating new methods to assess cumulative risk to social and environmental stressors in urban populations.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Children’s Exposure to SVOC Mixtures Indoors and Associations with Obesity

    This project will test testing the hypothesis that early life exposure to mixtures of SVOCs found in house dust leads to increased odds of obesity in children.

  • Community Health Sciences
    community-health-sciencesCommunity Health Sciences

    Communicating Genetic Information for Obesity

    This study examines the impact of providing personalized genetic risk information for obesity on people’s attitudes and beliefs about obesity, as well as several health behaviors and weight outcomes.

  • Community Health Sciences
    community-health-sciencesCommunity Health Sciences

    Communication of Risks in Colorectal Cancer Prevention

    This study experimentally tests the impact of genetic and environmentally-focused risk communication messages for colorectal cancer on patterns of causal attributions and health behaviors among unaffected individuals.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Development of AHR Modulators as Triple Negative Breast Cancer Therapeutics

    A preclinical study designed to determine the efficacy and safety of non-toxic therapeutics that target the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) signaling pathway in the most aggressive forms of human breast cancer.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Effects of High Fat Diet and Environmental Obesogen Co-Exposure on Osteoporosis

    Examining how high fat diet and chemical exposure may contribute to osteoporosis.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Effects-Based Cumulative Risk Assessment in a Low-Income Community near a Superfund Site

    Develop and apply novel statistical and analytical methods to consider the effects of joint exposure to chemical and non-chemical stressors on multiple health outcomes in New Bedford, MA.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Epidemiology of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    Investigating head and neck squamous cell carcinoma risk and survival focused on exploring the role of HPV infection, epigenetic factors, gene-environment interactions, and occupational exposures.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Epidemiology of Immunotoxicant Exposure in Children

    This project evaluates the contribution of PCBs and dioxin-like compounds to decreased immune responses to childhood vaccines in children living on the Faroe Islands.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Exposomic Analysis of Mixtures Via Effect Directed Analysis.

    Analyzing mixtures of dust and serum using effect directed analysis to “take apart” mixtures. We then use toxicologic modeling and experiments to determine if the activity of the parts matches the activity of the whole.

  • Community Health Sciences
    community-health-sciencesCommunity Health Sciences

    Genetics Education and Outreach for Autism Spectrum Disorders

    This education outreach program focuses on improving knowledge, awareness, and increasing access to genetic services as they pertain to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for both families and providers.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Gulf War Illness Consortium

    Nearly 250,000 veterans of the 1991 Gulf War suffer from a chronic disorder called Gulf War Illness. The Gulf War Illness consortium (GWIC) is designed to identify biomarkers of the illness and to develop targeted treatments for these ill veterans.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Health Impacts of Aviation-Related Noise and Air Pollution

    The influence of flight activity on concentrations and comparing outputs with dispersion modeling predictions, health risk assessment models to predict the public health burden of aviation emissions, and epidemiological studies of the cardiovascular effects of aircraft-related noise.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Hoarding Intervention in Public Housing: A Pilot Study

    Addressing the challenge of hoarding among public housing residents.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Impact of Contractor Utilization on Health and Safety

    This research analyzes the extent to which contracting out extraction of coal from underground mines affects the safety of coal miners.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Intranasal Insulin Therapy for Cognitive Problems in Veterans with Gulf War Illness

    Intranasal insulin has been used with some success to treat cognitive disorders including Alzheimer’s disease. In this study, we will compare the effectiveness of intranasal insulin to treat memory and attention problems in 1991 Gulf War veterans.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Jet Fuel Exposure and Neurological Effects Among Military Personnel

    A large-scale investigation of the potential neurological health effects associated with exposure to JP8 among US Air Force personnel. JP8 is the most common exposure among US military personnel and affects over 2 million workers worldwide.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Longitudinal Health Survey of the Ft. Devens Cohort of 1991 Gulf War Veterans

    The Ft. Devens cohort of 1991 Gulf War veterans has been followed since shortly after their return from the war. The current resurvey is designed to assess chronic health symptom patterns over time and treatments tried in this veteran cohort.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Longitudinal Investigation of Chronic Kidney Disease Among Central American Workers

    A large-scale epidemiologic investigation of chronic kidney disease in Central American workers, which disproportionately affects younger men.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Mathematical Foundations of Descriptive Epidemiology

    A new formulation of descriptive epidemiology using Formal Concept Analysis is being developed. The formal representation uses Galois lattices.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Mathematics of Binary Mixtures

    Developing mathematical formulations for combining dose-effect relations in mixtures.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Measuring Human Exposure to PBDEs

    Examining how PBDEs enter the indoor environment, how people are exposed, and the extent to which they may be associated with human hormones levels.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Modeling the Air Quality and Public Health Benefits of Increased Residential Insulation in the United States

    We are developing models of the energy savings associated with increased residential insulation in the United States, which are linked to combined risk assessment/life cycle assessment models to estimate the public health and greenhouse gas benefits.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Modeling the Impact of Building-Wide Energy Retrofits on Environmental Exposures and Occupant Health

    Building, calibrating, and validating a simulation model of the effect of residential environmental exposures on pediatric asthma in low-income multi-family housing.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Mortality Consequences of Non-Fatal Occupational Injuries

    This study uses linked workers’ compensation, Social Security Administration, and National Death Index data to determine the impact of non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses on all-cause mortality.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    New Methods for Analyzing Cumulative Risk in Urban Populations

    This study uses qualitative research methods and structural data analysis to characterize environmental burden on an individual and community level in a small but densely populated, ethnically and economically diverse city.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Newly Recognized Contributions of Environmental Obesogens to Bone Toxicity

    Osteoporosis does not usually call to mind exposures to chemicals, but our Superfund Research Project has shown that environmental toxicants can cause accumulation of fat in the bone marrow that not only impairs bone building leading to osteoporosis, but also compromises support of immune cell development leading to susceptibility to infection.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Novel Genomic Models to Predict Environmental Chemical Carcinogenicity

    This project is developing a platform for predicting the carcinogenicity of thousands of chemicals using a novel, high throughput genomic assay in conjunction with advanced computational analyses.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Residential Exposure of Young Children to SVOCs

    Examining residential exposure of children to semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) found in many consumer products.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Role of Environmental Chemicals in the Development of ALS and Other Neurological Diseases

    This study is designed to investigate the molecular mechanisms through which environmental chemicals increase susceptibility to degenerative neurological diseases including amyotropic lateral sclerosis.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Role of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AHR) in Thrombosis

    This project evaluates how the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) controls blood clotting (thrombosis), particularly in patients with chronic kidney disease. A secondary aim is to determine the potential contribution of environmental AHR ligands (activators) to clinically relevant increases in blood clotting.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Role of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor in Blood Cell Development

    Evaluating how the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) and environmental chemicals that activate the AHR affect development of red blood cells and platelets. One subaim is to develop an off-the-shelf protocol for generating unlimited numbers of human red blood cells from induced pluripotent stem cells for transfusions.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Role of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor in Mammary Tumorigenesis

    This project is designed to investigate the molecular mechanisms through which ubiquitous environmental chemicals increase breast cancer metastasis and chemotherapy-resistant cancer stem cell generation.

  • Environmental Health
    environmental-healthEnvironmental Health

    Superfund Basic Research Program at Boston University

    The Boston University Superfund Research Program is an interdisciplinary program that conducts and communicates research on the impacts of improperly managed hazardous wastes.

  • Community Health Sciences
    community-health-sciencesCommunity Health Sciences

    Using Virtual Counselors to Overcome Genetic Literacy Barriers: Project VICKY

    This study aims to determine whether a virtual counselor can overcome many of the existing barriers to using traditional web-based family history collection tools.