Endocrine and Metabolic Disease (EMD)

Co-led by Drs. Sargis (UIC) and TBN (UChicago)The Endocrine and Metabolic Disease (EMD) focus group interrogates the effects of environmental exposures on windows of susceptibility from conception through adulthood and their role in endocrine and metabolic disease, with a particular focus on EDCs present in urban environments. The mission of the group is to address the effects of environmental exposures on urban health disparities.Chemicals of interest to EMD members including PCBs, OC and OP pesticides and PBDEs. Lake Michigan has had the highest concentration of PCBs in all the Great Lakes for many years, with health effects investigated by several EMD members. OPs are of emerging interest due to recycling and waste processing locations proximate to communities of color in Chicago. This is particularly important in Chicago where many communities have >50% morbid obesity and a diabetes epidemic. Given that some chemicals have the capacity to cause serious metabolic dysfunction at very low doses, an improved understanding of their actions is critical. Key areas of ongoing research by EMD members include: a) relationships of POPs with diabetes and metabolic dysfunction, b) association of exposures to environmental metals and metalloids with constituents of the metabolic syndrome, c) molecular mechanisms of toxicant-induced insulin resistance and β-cell dysfunction; d) risk of endocrine gland neoplasias from environmental exposures, e) associations between summary measures of environmental quality and diabetes risk, and f) impact of early life exposures on metabolic and endocrine outcomes in adulthood.