F A C U L T Y   P R O F I L E 

Robert Kass

Professor of Enviromental Health Sciences; Professor of Pharmacology

Consequences of exposure to metals, both on the molecular and population levels.

Office: 722 West 168th Street | Room 1107F
Telephone: 212.342.1678
Fax: 212.305.3857

Current Research
Dr. Joseph Graziano's research career has been devoted to understanding the consequences of exposure to metals, both on the molecular and population levels. Human exposure to metals occurs via a number of different scenarios that include exposure in the workplace; in the home, such as lead paint, or arsenic in drinking water, or outdoors; due to airborne emissions from industry or transportation vehicles. In the past, Dr. Graziano's research was almost entirely devoted to lead poisoning, which has contributed to understanding the adverse effects of lead exposure on childhood development. As a pharmacologist, his laboratory developed the oral drug that is now used to treat children with lead poisoning. More recently, Dr. Graziano's work has taken him to Bangladesh, where his current research is aimed at understanding the consequences of arsenic exposure on the Bangladeshi population, and on devising strategies to reduce toxicity and provide arsenic-free drinking water, a problem that spans beyond the political borders of Bangladesh, to much of South Asia, from India to Vietnam. Recent findings that both arsenic and manganese, both elevated in Bangladesh drinking water, are associated with cognitive deficits in children, add urgency to solving this enormous public health and environmental problem.

Selected Publications

1. Parvez, F, Brandt-Rauf, PW, Chen, Y, Bernard, A, Dumont, X, Argos, M, Slavkovich, V, D’Armiento, J, Hasan, R, Graziano, JH, Ahsan, H: Non-malignant respiratory effects of chronic arsenic exposure from drinking water among never-smokers in Bangladesh: A molecular epidemiologic study. Environ Health Perspect 116: 190-5, 2008. PMID: 18288317

2. Wasserman, G, Liu, X, Factor-Litvak, P, Gardner, JM, Graziano, JH: Developmental impacts of heavy metals and nutrition. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 102: 212-7, 2008. PMID: 18226076

3. Opler MG, Buka SL, Groeger J, McKeague I, Wei C, Factor-Litvak P, Bresnahan M, Graziano J, Goldstein JM, Seidman LJ, Brown AS, Susser ES: Prenatal exposure to lead, delta-aminolevulinic acid, and schizophrenia: Further evidence. Environ Health Perspect 116(11):1586-90, 2008. PMID: 19057716

4. Chen Y, Parvez F, Gamble M, Islam T, Ahmed A, Argos M, Graziano JH, Ahsan H: Arsenic exposure at low-to-moderate levels and skin lesions, arsenic metabolism, neurological functions, and biomarkers for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases: Review of recent findings from the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS) in Bangladesh. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 239(2):184-92, 2009. PMID: 19371619

5. Pilsner JR, Liu X, Ahsan H, Ilievski V, Slavkovich V, Levy D, Factor-Litvak P, Graziano JH, Gamble MV: Folate deficiency, hyperhomocysteinemia, low urinary creatinine, and hypomethylation of leukocyte DNA are risk factors for arsenic-induced skin lesions. Environ Health Perspect 117(2):254-60, 2009. PMID: 19270796

6. Argos, M, Kalra, T, Rathouz, P, Chen, Y, Pierce, B, Parvez, F, Islam, T, Ahmed, A, Rakibuz-Zaman, M, Hasan, R, Sarwar, G, Slavkovich, V, van Geen, A, Graziano, J, Ahsan, H:  Arsenic exposure from drinking water, and all-cause and chronic-disease mortalities in Bangladesh (HEALS): A prospective cohort study.  The Lancet 376(9737): 252–58, 2010.  PMID: 20646756

7. Chen, Y, Ahsan, H, Slavkovich, V, Loeffler, G, Gluskin, RT, Parvez, F, Liu, X, Graziano, JH: No association between arsenic exposure from drinking water and diabetes mellitus: A cross-sectional study in Bangladesh. Environ Health Perspect 118:1299-1305, 2010. PMID: 20813654

8. Pierce, BL, Argos, M, Melkonian, S, Parvez, F, Islam, T, Ahmed, A, Hasan, R, Graziano, J, Rathouz, PJ, Ahsan, H: Arsenic exposure, dietary patterns, and skin lesion risk in Bangladesh: A prospective study. Am J Epidemiol 173(3):345-54, 2011. PMID: 21178101

9. Parvez, F, Chen, Y, Brandt-Rauf, PW, Slavkovich, V, Argos, M, Islam, T, Ahmed, A, Hassan, R, Balac, O, Graziano, JH, Ahsan, A: A prospective study of respiratory symptoms associated with chronic arsenic exposure in Bangladesh: Findings from the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS). Thorax 65(6):528-33, 2010. PMID: 20522851

10. Wasserman, GA, Liu, X, Parvez, F, Factor-Litvak, P, Ahsan, H, Levy, D, Kline, J, van Geen, A, Mey, J, Slavkovich, V, Siddique, A, Islam, T, Graziano, JH: Arsenic and manganese exposure and children’s intellectual function. Neurotoxicology 32: 450-7, 2011.

11. Argos, M, Kalra, T, Pierce, BL, Chen, Y, Parvez, F, Islam, T, Ahmed, A, Hassan, R, Hassan, K, Sarwar, G, Levy, D, Slavkovich, V, Graziano, JH, Rathouz, PJ, Ahsan, H: A prospective study of arsenic exposure from drinking water and incidence of skin lesions in Bangladesh. Am J Epidemiol. Jul 15;174(2):185-94, 2011.

12. Parvez, F, Wasserman, GA, Factor-Litvak, P, Liu, X, Ahsan, H, Slavkovich, V, Sultana, Re, Sultana, Ru, Levy, D, Kline, J, Siddique, A, Islam, T, Graziano, JH: Adverse effects of arsenic exposure on motor function among children in Bangladesh. Environ Health Perspect, in press, 2011.

13. Khan, K, Factor-Litvak, P, Wasserman, GA, Liu, X, Ahmed, E, Parvez, F, Slavkovich, V, Levy, D, Mey, J, van Geen, A, Graziano, JG: Effect of manganese from drinking water on children’s classroom behavior. Environ Health Perspect, in press, 2011.