EH Fellows supported research: Stress, Resilience and Vulnerable Populations
Assistant Professor Allison Appleton from the University at Albany started the “Albany Infant and Mother Study (AIMS)” to determine if toxicants and stress in pregnant mothers can together explain low birth weight of their infants. Professor Appleton plans to enroll 300 pregnant mothers from disadvantaged communities in the Albany area. Professor Appleton will also measure for potential epigenetic alterations that relate to infant growth. Professor Appleton will study a broader range of prenatal exposures among a more diverse population than has been previously examined. Professor Appleton will advance the understanding of the factors that promote infant health.
Assistant Professor Annie Belcourt from the University of Montana started the “Indigenous environmental Health Science Study in collaboration with the Blackfeet Community College.” This study will examine the relationships between social and cultural resources, environmental exposures, and the mental and cardiovascular health of American Indians. Also, the study will look at metabolic syndrome — increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels — which increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Professor Belcourt will advance the understanding of how to build resilience to cope with environmental health challenges in vulnerable American Indian communities.