Chitra Amarasiriwardena, PhD
- ASSISTANT PROFESSOR | Environmental Medicine & Public Health
Chitra J. Amarasiriwardena, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai since 2013. She has served as Director of Analytical Operations at The Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Environmental Health Sciences Laboratory at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai since 2014.
Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Amarasiriwardena co-directed the trace-metal laboratory at Harvard School of Public Health for 20 years. During that time Dr. Amarasiriwardena served as an investigator and also served as the Director of the Biological Samples Division of the Analytical Chemistry Cores for three Centers: the Center for Children's Environmental Health (funded by NIEHS and EPA), the Superfund Basic Research Program (funded by NIEHS), and the Harvard-NIEHS Center, all at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Dr. Amarasiriwardena is an analytical chemist specializing in trace metal analysis. She has extensive experience in measuring trace metals in various matrices using spectroscopic methods such as atomic absorption spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Her research experience also includes speciation of metal-bound proteins and other molecules in biological matrices with the aim of understanding the effects of heavy-metal toxicity at the molecular level. She also has experience of stable isotope tracers with the goal of better understanding metal metabolism and metal toxicity, and analysis of stable isotope ratios with the purpose of identifying sources of contamination. Dr. Amarasiriwardena currently serves as a Co-Investigator responsible for conducting overseeing the trace metal analysis of biological samples and overseeing implementation of QAQC protocols for following on going grants.
Novel Biomarker to Identify Critical Windows of Susceptibility to Metal Mixture (NIEHS)
This application will apply a novel tooth biomarker in the ELEMENT cohort and assess the role of metal mixtures as predictors of child neurodevelopment.
ECHO Consortium on Perinatal Programming of Neurodevelopment (NIEHS)
This study proposed to identify prevalent pro-oxidant exposures (air pollution, metal mixtures) and mechanisms operating through the placenta and in early childhood that increase our understanding of the developmental origins of maladaptive neurodevelopment, so that interventions may be applied early to promote optimal child development.
The Mount Sinai Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures (NIEHS)
This is a P30 core center designed to discover the environmental causes of disease and disability in children, translate scientific discoveries for disease prevention/treatment, and build the careers of young physicians and scientists.
Mount Sinai CHEAR Network Laboratory Hub (NIEHS)
This is a National Exposure Biomarker Resource in which already funded NIH investigators can have archived biospecimens analyzed for environmental exposure biomarkers such metals, pesticides and organic chemicals.
Tamayo y Ortiz M, Tellez-Rojo MM, Hu H, Hernández-Ávila M, Wright R, Amarasiriwardena C, Lupoli N, Mercado-García A, Pantic I, Lamadrid-Figuero H. Lead in candy consumed and blood lead levels of children living in Mexico City. Environmental Research 2016; 147: 497-502.
Oken E, Rifas-Shiman SL, Amarasiriwardena C, Jayawardene I, Bellinger DC, Hibbeln JR, Wright RO, Gillman MW. Maternal prenatal fish consumption and cognition in mid childhood: Mercury, fatty acids, and selenium . Neurotoxicology Teratology 2016; 57: 71-78.
Stroustrup A, Hsu H, Svensson K, Schnaas L, Cantoral A, Gonzales MS, Torres-Calapiz M, Amarasiriwardena C, Bellinger DC, Coull BA, Tellez-Rojo MM, Wright RO, Wright RJ. Toddler temperament and prenatal exposure to lead and maternal depression . Environmental Health 2016; 15: 71.
Henn BC, Ettinger AS, Hopkins MR, Jim R, Amarasiriwardena C, Christiani DC, Coull BA, Bellinger DC, Wright RO. Prenatal Arsenic Exposure and Birth Outcomes among a Population Residing near a Mining-Related Superfund Site . Environmental Health Perspectives 2016; 24(8): 1308.
Zota AR, Riederer AM, Ettinger AS, Schaider LA, Shine JP, Amarasiriwardena CJ, Wright RO, Spengler JD. Associations between metals in residential environmental media and exposure biomarkers over time in infants living near a mining-impacted site. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology 2016; 26: 510-519.
Renzetti S, Just AC, Burris HH, Oken E, Amarasiriwardena C, Svensson K, Mercado-Garcia A, Cantoral A, Schnaas L, Baccarelli AA, Wright RO, Tellez-Rojo MM. The association of lead exposure during pregnancy and childhood anthropometry in the Mexican PROGRESS cohort . Environmental Research 2017; 152: 226-232.
Rodosthenous RS, Burris HH, Svensson K, Amarasiriwardena CJ, Cantoral A, Schnaas L, Mercado-Garcia A, Coull BA, Wright RO, Tellez-Rojo MM, Baccarelli AA. Prenatal lead exposure and fetal growth: Smaller infants have heightened susceptibility . Environment International 2017; 99: 228-233.