Three teams of scientists will mine data from previous research and conduct new studies on near-roadway air pollution’s role in the development of obesity and metabolic abnormalities that may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The first project, headed by Frank Gilliland, M.D., Ph.D., professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School, will focus on the impact of exposure to near-roadway pollution across the life span of Children’s Health Study participants. His team will also examine the relationship of these exposures to the distribution of fat in the body of overweight study participants and to early markers of diabetes.

The second project, headed by Rob McConnell, M.D., builds on the first by investigating the effects of lifetime exposure to air pollution on inflammatory and metabolic markers in fat and on the expression pattern of genes in fat in a subset of young adults in the first project.

The third project, headed by Hooman Allayee, Ph.D., associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School, will investigate the critical air pollution exposure times and sequence of events from development during pregnancy to maturity that leads to obesity and metabolic abnormalities in a mouse model of obesity and diabetes.