Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment

Investigator: John Balmes, MD
Sponsor: University of California Berkeley

Location(s): United States


Children's Environmental Health Center based at the University of California, Berkeley is designed to examine the effects of in utero and early life exposure to potentially carcinogenic chemicals present in homes (i.e., pesticides, tobacco-related and epigenetic factors and their interplay in the development of childhood leukemia. The proposed Center, referred to as Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment (CIRCLE) includes three Research Projects and two Cores as follows: Project 1 (Childhood Leukemia International Consortium Studies) will identify the exposures to the most relevant time periods and childhood leukemia subtypes and identify important genetic polymorphisms that can modify the association between childhood leukemia and parental tobacco smoking or home pesticide exposure by pooling data from 19 studies worldwide; Project 2 (Exposure Assessment for Childhood Leukemia) y\/ill assess carcinogen exposures, based upon analysis of house dust and blood specimens, with special interest in tobacco-related contaminants, PCBs, and PBDEs; Project 3 (Prenatal exposures, DNA Methylation, & Childhood Leukemia) will provide a clearer understanding of the association between parental smoking, pesticides, PCBs, PBDEs exposures and DNA methylation patterns in childhood leukemia, using neonatal bloods. The Research Translation and Community Outreach Core (RTCO Core) will disseminate findings from each Project to various audiences with common interest in the etiology of childhood leukemia. The main objectives of Core A are to provide 1) oversight, coordination, and integration of Center activities; 2) scientific leadership; and 3) centralized data management support. Core A will establish and manage Internal and External Advisory Committees; appoint and collaborate with two Pediatric Health Specialists, and support the research career development of new, junior faculty-level investigators within the structure of the Center. Core A will coordinate Community Engagement through the RTCO Core, assisted by the pediatric Health Specialists.