Environmental Stressors in Disease and Implications for Human Health

October 26 – 29, 2014 │ Boston Marriott Long Wharf Hotel, Boston, MA

PPTOX IV hosted the world’s leading experts in endocrinology, toxicology, and environmental health to provide interdisciplinary discussions on the current landscape, future directions, and ongoing global implications of early life exposures in research, medicine, and regulation. The conference aimed to:

  • Examine current evidence from animal and human studies investigating the developmental basis and mechanism of disease
  • Identify knowledge and training gaps and strategies to address them
  • Integrate basic, clinical, and translational sciences that address early life exposure science
  • Identify implications for public health and clinical medicine in building research agenda consensus for the next five years

Program and Presentations

View and download participating faculty presentations.

Sunday, October 26, 2014 │ 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Session Time Session
Opening Session
  • PPTOX as a developmental origin of new science and new public health
    Philippe Grandjean, Univ of Southern Denmark/Harvard Sch of Pub Hlth
  • Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD): A good start lasts a lifetime
    Linda S. Birnbaum, PhD, NIEHS/National Toxicology Program/NIH
  • Developmental origins of global health
    Emiko Todaka, PhD, WHO


Monday, October 27, 2014 │ 8:30 AM – 6:30 PM

Session Time Session

Plenary Session I: Developmental exposures and altered reproductive systems in men and women
Chairs: Sylvaine Cordier, PhD, DSc, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (France) and Jorma Toppari, MD, PhD, University of Turku (Finland)
10:00-10:30 Break
Breakout Session 1: Advances and insights from epigenetics
Chairs: Andrea Baccarelli, MD, MPH, PhD, Harvard Sch of Pub Hlth and Frederica P. Perera, DrPH, PhD, Columbia Univ Mailman Sch of Pub Hlth
  • Environmental estrogens activate non-genomic signaling to developmentally reprogram the epigenome
    Cheryl L. Walker, PhD, Texas A&M Hlth Sci Ctr
  • Validation of altered epigenetic marks in human blood cells
    Douglas A. Bell, PhD, NIEHS/NIH
  • Cell distribution prediction from DNA methylation data using a reference set derived from umbilical cord blood
    Julie Herbstman, PhD ScM, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health
  • Are differences in methylation in cord blood DNA associated with prenatal exposure to alcohol?
    Luisa Zuccolo, PhD, MSc, MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol
Breakout Session 2: Role of the placenta in developmental origins of health and disease
Chairs: Peter van den Hazel, MD, PhD, Intl Network for Children’s Hlth, Envir & Safety (The Netherlands) and Claudine Junien, PharmD, PhD, Institut National de Recherche Agronomique (France)
  • Placental epigenetic mechanisms
    Carmen J. Marsit, PhD, Dartmouth, Geisel Sch of Med
  • Sex-specific placental responses in fetal development
    Cheryl S. Rosenfeld, PhD, DVM, Univ of Missouri Coll of Vet Med
  • First trimester phthalate and phenol exposure is associated with miRNA alterations in the placenta
    Karin Michels, ScD, PhD, Harvard Medical School
  • Sexually dimorphic effect of gestational exposure to BPA on DNA methylation pattern in the rat placenta
    Julie Fudvoye, University of Liege
12:00-13:30 Lunch and Posters
Plenary Session II: Trans-generational inheritance
Chairs: Lisa H. Chadwick, PhD, NIEHS/NIH and Ruth Etzel, MD, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
15:00-15:30 Break
15:30-17:00 Breakout Session 3: Effects of developmental exposures on immune functions
Chairs: B. Paige Lawrence, PhD, Univ of Rochester Med Ctr Sch of Med & Dentistry and David H. Sherr, PhD, Boston Univ Sch of Pub Hlth
Breakout Session 4: Novel strategies for prospective birth cohorts
Chairs: Ludwine Casteleyn, MD , Univ of Leuven (Belgium) and Kimberly A. Gray, PhD, NIEHS/NIH
Poster Reception

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 │ 7:30 AM – 6:30 PM

Session Time Session

Breakfast discussions - Concurrent discussion sessions moderated by expert faculty
  • Experimental approaches to DOHaD
    B. Paige Lawrence, PhD, Univ of Rochester Med Ctr Sch of Med & Dentistry
  • Consideration of developmental exposures in risk assessment
    Babasaheb (Bob) R. Sonawane, PhD, US EPA
  • Communicating with the public on developmental origins
    Ami R. Zota, ScD, MS, George Washington University and Elise Miller, Med, Collaborative on Health and the Environment
  • Clinical implications of developmental exposures
    Jean-PierreBourguignon, MD, PhD, Univ de Liège (Belgium)
  • Biomedical ethics
    Ruth Etzel, MD, PhD, Univ of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Carl F. Cranor, PhD, MSL, University of California-Riverside
8:30-10:00 Plenary Session III: Developmental exposures in obesity etiologies
Chairs: Bruce Blumberg, PhD, University of California-Irvine and Sharon Munn, PhD, European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (Italy)
10:00-10:30 Break
Breakout Session 5: Developmental exposures and diabetes pathogenesis
Chairs: Ana Navas-Acien, MD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Sch of Pub Hlth and Qi Sun, MD, ScD, MMS, Harvard Sch of Pub Hlth
Breakout Session 6: Challenges in improving exposure assessments
Chairs: Eun-Hee Ha, MD, PhD, Ewha Womans Univ Sch of Med (Korea) and William Suk, PhD, MPH, NIEHS/NIH
12:00-13:30 Lunch and Posters
Plenary Session IV: Developmental exposures and neurobehavioral disorders
Chairs: David C. Bellinger, PhD, Harvard Sch of Pub Hlth and Peter D. Sly, MBBS, MD, FRACP, DSc, FThorSoc, The Univ of Queensland
  • Novel approaches to assessing cognitive function in early infancy
    Susan L. Schantz, PhD, Univ of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Air pollution and developmental neurotoxicity
    Jordi Sunyer, MD, PhD, Centre for Res in Envir Epidemiology (Spain)
  • Early-life lead exposure in vulnerability to Alzheimer’s-like neurodegeneration
    Nasser H. Zawia, PhD, Univ of Rhode Island
  • Prenatal Synthetic Glucocorticoids and Multigenerational Paternal Programming of Offspring Behaviour and HPA Function
    Vasilis G. Moisiadis, BSc, University of Toronto
15:00-15:30 Break
15:30-17:00 Breakout Session 7: Emerging concepts, new endpoints and methodologies
Chairs: Margaret R. Karagas, PhD, Dartmouth, Geisel Sch of Med and Toshihiro Kawamoto, MD, PhD, Univ of Occupational and Envir Hlth(Japan)
Breakout Session 8: Early life antecedents of cancer
Chairs: Robert Barouki, MD, PhD, Univ Paris Descartes Centre Univ des Saints Pères (France) and David Christiani, MD, MPH, MS, Harvard Sch of Pub Hlth
Poster Reception

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 │ 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Session Time Session
8:30-10:00 Plenary Session V: Early-life stresses and late-life disease
Chairs: Emily Oken, MD, MPH, Harvard Med Sch and Alvaro Puga, PhD, Univ of Cincinnati
10:00-10:30 Break
10:30-12:00 Plenary Session VI: Developing a global definition of DOHaD
Chair: John M. Balbus, MD, MPH,NIEHS/NIH and Elizabet Paunovic, MD, World Health Organization
12:00-13:30 Lunch
Plenary Session VII: Translating science to improve public health
Chairs: Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai and Gwen W. Collman, PhD, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/NIH (Canada)
  • The precautionary principle in action
    Hans Bruyninckx, PhD, European Envir Agency
  • The clinician's role in protecting early development
    Jeanne A. Conry, MD, PhD, The Permanente Medical Group
  • Translating ecological effects to protection of human health
    Louis J. Guillette Jr., PhD, Med Univ of South Carolina
  • Incorporation of principles from research on early life exposure and effects into analysis for environmental health policies: case studies from the US
    Amy D. Kyle, PhD, MPH, University of California-Berkeley
15:00-15:30 Break
Plenary Session VIII: Developing a global DOHaD network
Chairs: Claudia L. Thompson, PhD, NIEHS/NIH and Emiko Todaka, PhD, WHO
Closing remarks
  • The PPTOX IV conference statement
    Philippe Grandjean, MD, DMSc, Univ of Southern Denmark/Harvard Sch of Pub Hlth
  • Future directions and meeting summary
    Jerrold J. Heindel, PhD, NIEHS/NIH
  • The future of PPTOX