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Genetic Epidemiology Group

Respiratory Population Studies

Stephanie J. London, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Stephanie J. London, M.D., Dr.P.H.
Principal Investigator

Research Summary

The Genetic Epidemiology Group investigates the environmental and genetic factors involved in asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease in adults and children. The group performs genetic analyses on samples collected by London and her collaborators in the Epidemiology Branch. London currently has several ongoing studies.

Mexico Asthma Trios

This study focuses on examining the genetic susceptibility of children in Mexico City to allergic asthma. Ozone exposures in Mexico City are the highest in the Americas making the location a rich venue for studying asthma candidate genes that may be involved in response to ozone. This case-parent triad study has over 550 triads.

Singapore Chinese Cohort

London investigates the dietary, environmental and genetic factors in adult asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease within the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a large prospective cohort. This study has yielded several important published results:

  • Fiber intake and a traditional Chinese dietary pattern protect against the development of chronic bronchitis symptoms. Fiber appears to explain protective effects of antioxidants.
  • Childhood exposure to a smoking parent relates to the development of adult chronic respiratory symptoms among nonsmokers.

She has also published studies on occupational factors for chronic respiratory symptoms in this cohort. Future research will examine gene-diet and gene-environment interactions for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Norwegian Mother and Child Birth Cohort

In collaboration with Norwegian investigators, London is planning studies of gene-environment interactions in asthma within the Norwegian Mother and Child Birth Cohort. In this study she is currently examining changes in patterns of prenatal exposure to risk factors for asthma and allergies across successive pregnancies.

Obesity and Ozone Response

London is also conducting an acute ozone exposure study in collaboration with investigators from the Environmental Protection Agency Human Exposure Facility on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This study will examine whether obesity increases acute respiratory responses to ozone, as has recently been observed in mouse models.

For more information, please see London's NIEHS Epidemiology Branch ( web page.

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Last Reviewed: May 13, 2008