Carrie Breton, ScD
Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences
Health Equity Interests
I am interested in understanding how prenatal environmental exposures & stressors affect epigenetic pathways and maternal and child health outcomes
As an environmental epidemiologist, I lead an interdisciplinary program of research focused on understanding the long-term health risks for cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic diseases resulting from the interplay between prenatal or early-life environmental exposures and psychosocial stressors. The overarching goals of my research program are to: (1) determine the health effects of early-life exposures to air pollutants, metals and chemicals, (2) identify factors that make certain individuals more susceptible to environmental exposures or health effects; and (3) understand the role for epigenetic mechanisms in mediating observed environmental health effects.
I direct the Maternal And Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors (MADRES) Center for Environmental Health Disparities as well as the USC site for the Environmental Influences of Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program, both of which are housed in the Environmental Health Division in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences. I am also the Director of the Integrated Health Sciences Facility Core (IHSFC) for the Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center. My work in the MADRES Center examines whether pre- and postpartum environmental exposures to air pollutants and heavy metals, coupled with exposures to psychosocial and built environment stressors, affect maternal and child cardiometabolic health outcomes, including perturbed infant growth trajectories and increased childhood obesity risk. My work in ECHO takes a multigenerational life course approach to studying the contribution of the environment to the developmental origins of childhood and emerging adult respiratory and metabolic health. I have conducted several studies investigating how environmental exposures, such as air pollution and tobacco smoke, alter epigenetic profiles in newborns and young children, and what roles those changes play in underlying disease risk. I am also actively investigating intergenerational effects of environmental exposures on epigenetic mechanisms including DNA methylation and extracellular vesicle miRNA.
- Population Characteristics
- Racial Disparities
- Ethnic Disparities
- Built Environment
- Immigrant Health
- Social Determinants of Health
- Vulnerable Populations
- Chronic Conditions
- Maternal Health
- Climate Change
- Molecular Epidemiology
- Cohort Studies
- Air Pollution
- Exposure Assessment Methods
- Environmental Justice
- Human Health Impacts
- Environmental Omics
Associations between combined exposure to environmental hazards and social stressors at the neighborhood level and individual perinatal outcomes in the ECHO-wide cohort.
Health Place. 2022 Jul;76:102858. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2022.102858. Epub 2022 Jul 21. PubMed PMID: 35872389;
Role of Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration in Perceived Stress and Depressive Symptomatology Trends During Pregnancy.
J Immigr Minor Health. 2022 Jun;24(3):561-569. doi: 10.1007/s10903-021-01235-2. Epub 2021 Jul 4. PubMed PMID: 34218341; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8830368.
Exposure to Contemporary and Emerging Chemicals in Commerce among Pregnant Women in the United States: The Environmental influences on Child Health Outcome (ECHO) Program.
Environ Sci Technol. 2022 May 17;56(10):6560-6573. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.1c08942. Epub 2022 May 10. PubMed PMID: 35536918; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9118548.
Prenatal metal(loid) mixtures and birth weight for gestational age: A pooled analysis of three cohorts participating in the ECHO program.
Environ Int. 2022 Mar;161:107102. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2022.107102. Epub 2022 Jan 23. PubMed PMID: 35081493; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8891091.
Household pesticide exposures and infant gross motor development in the MADRES cohort.
Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2022 Mar;36(2):220-229. doi: 10.1111/ppe.12850. Epub 2021 Dec 29. PubMed PMID: 34964501; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8881403.