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Robert Wright

  • PROFESSOR AND SYSTEM CHAIR Preventive Medicine
  • PROFESSOR Pediatrics
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Research Topics


  • B.S., University of Michigan-Dearborn

  • M.D., University of Michigan

  • MPH, Harvard School of Public Health


    Dr. Robert Wright is a pediatrician, epigeneticist, and environmental epidemiologist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is the Director of the Division of Environmental Health in the Department of Preventive Medicine, and Principal Investigator of an ongoing longitudinal birth cohort in Mexico City (Early Life Exposures in Mexico and Environmental Toxicology-ELEMENT) in collaboration with the National Institute of Public Health, Mexico. He also founded the (Metals Assessment Targeting Community Health) MATCH study in Tar Creek, Oklahoma.  Both cohorts assess the role of environmental chemicals on child health and development. His research expertise is in the field of gene-environment interaction in child development. He has published over 100 research studies, most of which deal with Environmental Health and has served on numerous national committee/advisory boards in the field of Pediatric Environmental Health. Dr. Wright directs the new Molecular Environmental Health Laboratory at Mount Sinai. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Environmental Health, the EPA Scientific Advisory Board, the CDC/ATSDR Board of Scientific Counselors and a standing member of the Neurology, Aging, and Musculoskeletal Epidemiology study section at NIH. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School and completed residency in Pediatrics at Northwestern U, as well as the following fellowships: Emergency Medicine, (Brown U), Medical Toxicology(Harvard), Environmental Epidemiology, (Harvard) and Genetic Epidemiology(Harvard). He studies chemical susceptibility and the role of genetics/epigenetics in modifying or mediating chemical toxicity. Prior to joining Mount Sinai he was Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Attending Physician at Boston Children’s Hospital Emergency Department, and Director of the Harvard Superfund Research Program.


  • - 2001
    Young Investigator Award
    Society for Academic Emergency Medicine


Dr. Robert Wright’s research focuses on environmental factors which influence child health and neurodevelopment. He is specifically interested in effect modifiers of metal toxicity including gene-environment interactions in neurodevelopment and reproductive health. His research combines state of the art research techniques in both environmental health and genetic/epigenetic epidemiology. He believes that these disciplines clearly have relevance to complex disease etiology; however, the findings of each field are not being incorporated by the other. As an interdisciplinary scientist, he bridges the communication gap between these fields and is leading the design and conduct of sophisticated epidemiologic research in children’s environmental health. He is the PI of 3 ongoing RO1’s  (R01 ES013744, R01ES020268, R01ES021357) which are epidemiologic cohort studies in Mexico City.  In these studies he assesses the role of environmental chemicals as predictors of neurodevelopment, fetal growth and obesity respectively. Before joining Mount Sinai the overall PI of a NIH funded Superfund Program Project grant (P42 ES016454) in which he will conduct perhaps the first genome wide gene-environment interaction studies of lead toxicity and neurodevelopment. He is also conducting a methylomic analysis of fetal growth comparing results multiple tissue (umbilical artery, vein, white blood cells and placenta) in ES020268.  He remains co-investigator on the Superfund grant which also establishes a birth cohort in Bangladesh which will be linked to his cohorts in Mexico City and Oklahoma to study metal mixtures and neurodevelopment. The genome wide gene-environment interaction study of lead toxicity will involve discovery in Mexico with replication in Bangladesh and Tar Creek.


Schreier HM, Bosquet Enlow M, Ritz T, Coull BA, Gennings C, Wright RO, Wright RJ. Lifetime Exposure to Traumatic and Other Stressful Life Events and Hair Cortisol in a Multi-Racial/Ethnic Sample of Pregnant Women. Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 2015 Nov;.

Cowell WJ, Bellinger DC, Coull BA, Gennings C, Wright RO, Wright RJ. Associations between Prenatal Exposure to Black Carbon and Memory Domains in Urban Children: Modification by Sex and Prenatal Stress. PloS one 2015 Nov; 10(11).

Burris HH, Baccarelli AA, Wright RO, Wright RJ. Epigenetics, linking social and environmental exposures to preterm birth. Pediatric research 2015 Oct;.

Sanders AP, Burris HH, Just AC, Motta V, Amarasiriwardena C, Svensson K, Oken E, Solano-Gonzalez M, Mercado-Garcia A, Pantic I, Schwartz J, Tellez-Rojo MM, Baccarelli AA, Wright RO. Altered miRNA expression in the cervix during pregnancy associated with lead and mercury exposure. Epigenomics 2015 Sep;.

Sanders AP, Claus Henn B, Wright RO. Perinatal and Childhood Exposure to Cadmium, Manganese, and Metal Mixtures and Effects on Cognition and Behavior: A Review of Recent Literature. Current environmental health reports 2015 Sep; 2(3).

Burris HH, Baccarelli AA, Byun HM, Cantoral A, Just AC, Pantic I, Solano-Gonzalez M, Svensson K, Ortiz MT, Zhao Y, Wright RO, Téllez-Rojo MM. Offspring DNA methylation of the aryl-hydrocarbon receptor repressor gene is associated with maternal BMI, gestational age, and birth weight. Epigenetics 2015 Aug;.

Hsu HL, Chiu YM, Coull BA, Kloog I, Schwartz J, Lee A, Wright RO, Wright RJ. Prenatal Particulate Air Pollution and Asthma Onset in Urban Children: Identifying Sensitive Windows and Sex Differences. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine 2015 Jul;.

Bobb JF, Valeri L, Claus Henn B, Christiani DC, Wright RO, Mazumdar M, Godleski JJ, Coull BA. Bayesian kernel machine regression for estimating the health effects of multi-pollutant mixtures. Biostatistics (Oxford, England) 2015 Jul; 16(3).

Andra SS, Austin C, Wright RO, Arora M. Reconstructing pre-natal and early childhood exposure to multi-class organic chemicals using teeth: Towards a retrospective temporal exposome. Environment International 2015 Jun; 83: 137-145.

Just AC, Wright RO, Schwartz J, Coull BA, Baccarelli A, Tellez-Rojo MM, Moody E, Wang Y, Lyapustin A, Kloog I. Using high-resolution satellite aerosol optical depth to estimate daily PM2.5 geographical distribution in Mexico City. Environmental science & technology 2015 Jun;.

Brunst KJ, Baccarelli AA, Wright RJ. Integrating mitochondriomics in children's environmental health. Journal of applied toxicology : JAT 2015 Jun;.

Haynes EN, Sucharew H, Kuhnell P, Alden J, Barnas M, Wright RO, Parsons PJ, Aldous KM, Praamsma ML, Beidler C, Dietrich KN. Manganese Exposure and Neurocognitive Outcomes in Rural School-Age Children: The Communities Actively Researching Exposure Study (Ohio, USA). Environmental health perspectives 2015 Apr;.

Schreier HM, Hsu HH, Amarasiriwardena C, Coull BA, Schnaas L, Téllez-Rojo MM, Tamayo Y Ortiz M, Wright RJ, Wright RO. Mercury and psychosocial stress exposure interact to predict maternal diurnal cortisol during pregnancy. Environmental health : a global access science source 2015 Mar; 14(1).

Lakshmanan A, Chiu YH, Coull BA, Just AC, Maxwell SL, Schwartz J, Gryparis A, Kloog I, Wright RJ, Wright RO. Associations between prenatal traffic-related air pollution exposure and birth weight: Modification by sex and maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index. Environmental research 2015 Feb; 137.

Sanders AP, Burris HH, Just AC, Motta V, Svensson K, Mercado-Garcia A, Pantic I, Schwartz J, Tellez-Rojo MM, Wright RO, Baccarelli AA. microRNA expression in the cervix during pregnancy is associated with length of gestation. Epigenetics 2015 Jan; 10(3).

Perkins M, Wright RO, Amarasiriwardena CJ, Jayawardene I, Rifas-Shiman SL, Oken E. Very low maternal lead level in pregnancy and birth outcomes in an eastern Massachusetts population. Annals of epidemiology 2014 Dec; 24(12).

Industry Relationships

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Dr. Wright did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2014 and/or 2015: consulting, scientific advisory board, industry-sponsored lectures, service on Board of Directors, participation on industry-sponsored committees, equity ownership valued at greater than 5% of a publicly traded company or any value in a privately held company. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.

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