Dr. Perzanowski's research is focused on understanding exposures that lead to allergic sensitization and asthma. While many environmental exposures are hypothesized to have contributed to the global asthma epidemic that started in the latter half of the 20th century, a unifying theory has not been proven. Dr. Perzanowski began his research career at a preeminent allergen exposure laboratory and participated in studies conducted in communities as different as inner-city Atlanta and rural Kenya. He continued with his doctoral research working with the OLIN group in northern Sweden at the Arctic Circle where asthma is common but dust mites and cockroaches, exposure to which is important to asthma elsewhere, are not found. As a co-investigator on several established prospective cohort studies, his current research at MSPH is exploring paradigms of exposures related to asthma in an area of the world with one of the greatest asthma burdens, low and middle-income neighborhoods in NYC. He is the principal investigator on the NIH (NIEHS), HUD, CDC and ASPR funded, NYC Neighborhood Asthma and Allergy Study which is examining neighborhood differences in asthma prevalence and persistence to better understand the great disparity in asthma risk between children living just city blocks apart. The primary exposures his group is investigating are indoor allergens, combustion byproducts and fungi (including from Hurricane Sandy related water damage). Other major research aims his group is working on include investigating associations between early-life autonomic nervous system dysregulation and school age asthma morbidity, implementing non-invasive measurements of airway inflammation in pediatric population based studies and evaluating the relevance of the 'hygiene hypothesis' to inner-city asthma.
Honors & Awards
Areas of Expertise
Child Health and Development, Asthma, Pollution--Air/Ground/Water, Environmental Epidemiology, Environmental Risk Factors, Molecular Epidemiology, Global Health, Public Health Education, Urban Health
Select Urban Health Activities
NYC Neighborhood Asthma and Allergy Study: Within New York City, the reported prevalence of pediatric asthma and hospitalization rates for asthma vary markedly between adjacent neighborhoods. The NYC Neighborhood Asthma and Allergy Study is examining neighborhood differences in asthma prevalence and asthma persistence to better understand the great difference in asthma risk among children living just city blocks apart. The study team hypothesizes that the differences are due to greater exposure to asthma/allergy environmental triggers, including indoor cockroach and mouse allergens and local sources of combustion byproducts. The study enrolled seven year-old children who reside in NYC and are enrolled in the HIP Health Plan and following them to age ten. This study is novel in that it is examining populations with striking difference in asthma prevalence despite being geographically close (and thus exposed to many of the same things), of a similar income, and with similar access to health care. Recently, the study has been expanded to study domestic fungal exposure, including following Hurricane Sandy, and its relevance to allergic disease and asthma morbidity.
Select Global Activities
Obstructive Lung Diseases in Northern Sweden : Dr. Perzanowski is a senior researcher involved with a longitudinal cohort study of pediatric asthma and allergy.
World Health Organization (WHO) Urban Pests and Health Project : Dr. Perzanowski was a scientific contributor to the WHO Urban Pests and Health Project, co-authoring a chapter on asthma and allergy in the urban environment.
Rosa MJ, Yan B, Chillrud SN, Acosta LM, Divjan A, Jacobson JS, Miller RL, Goldstein IF, Perzanowski MS (2014). Domestic airborne black carbon levels and 8-isoprostane in exhaled breath condensate among children in New York City. Environ Res. 2014;135:105-10 [PMCID: PMC4346209]
Perzanowski MS, Chew, GL, Divjan A, Jung KH, Ridder R, Tang D, Diaz D, Goldstein IF, Kinney PL, Rundle AG, Camann D, Perera FP, Miller RL (2013). Early-life exposure to cockroach allergen and airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons predict development of sensitization to cockroach among inner-city children. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 131 (3):886-93. [PMCID: PMC3678290]
Mainardi T, Mellins RB, Miller RL, Acosta L, Cornell AG, Hoepner L, Perera FP, Quinn JW, Jacobson JS, Goldstein IF, Rundle AG, Perzanowski MS (2013). Exercise-induced wheeze is a more common phenotype among asthmatics in NYC neighborhoods with high asthma prevalence. Pediatrics. 131(1):e127-35. [PMCID: PMC3529949]
Just AC, Whyatt RM, Miller RL, Rundle AG, Chen Q, Calafat AM, Divjan A, Rosa MJ, Perera FP, Goldstein IF, Perzanowski MS (2012). Children's urinary phthalate metabolites and fractional exhaled nitric oxide in an urban cohort. Am J Resp Crit Care Med. 186(9):830-7 [PMCID: PMC3530221]
Cornell AG, Chillrud SN, Mellins RB, Acosta LM, Miller RL, Quinn JW, Yan B, Divjan A, Olmedo OE, Lopez-Pintado S, Kinney PL, Perera FP, Jacobson JS, Goldstein IF, Rundle AG, Perzanowski MS Black carbon and dust mite exposures are associated independently with exhaled NO in children in NYC J Exposure Sci Enir Epi 22 258-66 2012
Price JB, Divjan A, Montfort WR, Freyer GA, Perzanowski MS IgE against bed bug (Cimex lectularius) allergens are common among adults bitten by bed bugs J Allergy Clin Immunol 129 863-5 2012
Olmedo OE, Acosta LM, Goldstein IF, Divjan A, Rundle AG, Chew GL, Mellins RB, Hoepner L, Andrews H, Lopez-Pintado S, Quinn JW, Perera FP, Miller RL, Jacobson JS, Perzanowski MS Cockroach, mouse and dust mite allergen exposure and sensitization among children living in high and low asthma prevalence neighborhoods in New York City J Allergy Clin Immunol 128 284-92 2011
Perzanowski MS, Ronmark E, Platts-Mills TA, Lundback B The protective effect of having a cat or dog at home on developing asthma in pre-teen age children. Amer J Respir Crit Care Med 166 696-702 2002
Perzanowski MS, Miller RL, Tang D, Ali DB, Garfinkel RS, Chew GL, Goldstein IF, Perera FP, Barr RG Prenatal acetaminophen exposure and risk of wheeze at age 5 years in an urban, low-income cohort. Thorax 65 118-23 2010
Rosa MJ, Divjan A, Hoepner L, Sheares BJ, Diaz D, Gauvey-Kern K, Perera FP, Miller RL, Perzanowski MS Fractional exhaled nitric oxide exchange parameters among nine year-old inner-city children Ped Pulmonolgy 46 83-91 2011