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Matthew S. Perzanowski

Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences

Dr. Perzanowski's research is focused on understanding exposures that lead to allergic sensitization and asthma. While many environmental exposures are hypothesized to have contributed to the global asthma epidemic that started in the latter half of the 20th century, a unifying theory has not been proven. Dr. Perzanowski began his research career at a preeminent allergen exposure laboratory and participated in studies conducted in communities as different as inner-city Atlanta and rural Kenya. He continued with his doctoral research working with the OLIN group in northern Sweden at the Arctic Circle where asthma is common but dust mites and cockroaches, exposure to which is important to asthma elsewhere, are not found. As a co-investigator on several established prospective cohort studies, Dr. Perzanowski's current research is exploring paradigms of exposures related to asthma in an area of the world with one of the greatest asthma burdens, low and middle-income neighborhoods in New York City. He is the principal investigator on the NIH (NIEHS) and HUD funded, NYC Neighborhood Asthma and Allergy Study which is examining neighborhood differences in asthma prevalence and persistence to better understand the disparity in asthma risk between children living just city blocks apart. Two other major research aims of his laboratory work are implementing non-invasive measurements of airway inflammation in pediatric population based studies and evaluating the relevance of the 'hygiene hypothesis' to inner-city asthma.

Education & Training:

    PhD, 2003, Umea University, Sweden

    MPH, 2002, Umea University, Sweden

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Mailman School Affiliations:

University Affiliations:

  • Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Training Program  Faculty member
  • Robert Wood Johnson Heath and Society Scholars Program  

Additional Affiliations:

Honors and Awards:
  • Honorable Mention, Phadia Allergy Research Forum Award , 2009
New York City
    NYC Neighborhood Asthma and Allergy Study
    Within New York City, the reported prevalence of pediatric asthma and hospitalization rates for asthma vary markedly between adjacent neighborhoods. The NYC Neighborhood Asthma and Allergy Study is examining neighborhood differences in asthma prevalence and asthma persistence to better understand the great difference in asthma risk among children living just city blocks apart. We hypothesize that the differences are due to greater exposure to asthma/allergy environmental triggers, including indoor cockroach and mouse allergens and local sources of combustion byproducts. The study is enrolling seven year-old children who reside in NYC and are enrolled in the HIP Health Plan and following them to age ten. This study is novel in that it is examining populations with striking difference in asthma prevalence despite being geographically close (and thus exposed to many of the same things), of a similar income, and with similar access to health care.

    Obstructive Lung Diseases in Northern Sweden
    Dr. Perzanowski is a senior researcher involved with a longitudinal cohort study of pediatric asthma and allergy.
    Countries: Sweden

    World Health Organization (WHO) Urban Pests and Health Project
    Dr. Perzanowski was a scientific contributor to the WHO Urban Pests and Health Project, co-authoring a chapter on asthma and allergy in the urban environment.

Selected Publications:
  • Cornell AG, Chillrud SN, Mellins RB, Acosta LM, Miller RL, Quinn JW, Yan B, Divjan A, Olmedo OE, Lopez-Pintado S, Kinney PL, Perera FP, Jacobson JS, Goldstein IF, Rundle AG, Perzanowski MS Black carbon and dust mite exposures are associated independently with exhaled NO in children in NYC J Exposure Sci Enir Epi 22 258-66 2012
  • Perzanowski MS, Platts-Mills, TAE Further confirmation of the relevance of cockroach and dust mite sensitization to inner-city asthma morbidity Clin Exp Allergy 39 1291-3 2009
  • Price JB, Divjan A, Montfort WR, Freyer GA, Perzanowski MS IgE against bed bug (Cimex lectularius) allergens are common among adults bitten by bed bugs J Allergy Clin Immunol 129 863-5 2012
  • Goldstein IF, Perzanowski MS, Garfinkel RS, Lendor C, Hoepner LA, Chew GL, Perera FP, Miller RL Total IgE, atopic disorders and their association with birth order during the first three years of life in a New York City cohort. Inter Arch Allergy Immunol 137 249-57 2005
  • Olmedo OE, Acosta LM, Goldstein IF, Divjan A, Rundle AG, Chew GL, Mellins RB, Hoepner L, Andrews H, Lopez-Pintado S, Quinn JW, Perera FP, Miller RL, Jacobson JS, Perzanowski MS Cockroach, mouse and dust mite allergen exposure and sensitization among children living in high and low asthma prevalence neighborhoods in New York City J Allergy Clin Immunol 128 284-92 2011
  • Chew GL, Perzanowski MS, Miller RL, Correa JC, Hoepner LA, Jusino CM, Becker MG, Kinney PL. Distribution and determinants of mouse allergen exposure in low-income New York City apartments. Env Health Perspect 111 1348-1351 2003
  • Rosa MJ, Divjan A, Hoepner L, Sheares BJ, Diaz D, Gauvey-Kern K, Perera FP, Miller RL, Perzanowski MS Fractional exhaled nitric oxide exchange parameters among nine year-old inner-city children Ped Pulmonolgy 46 83-91 2011
  • Perzanowski MS, Miller RL, Tang D, Ali DB, Garfinkel RS, Chew GL, Goldstein IF, Perera FP, Barr RG Prenatal acetaminophen exposure and risk of wheeze at age 5 years in an urban, low-income cohort. Thorax 65 118-23 2010
  • Perzanowski MS, Chew GL, Divjan A, Johnson A, Panjwani K, Sheares BJ, Goldstein IF, Garfinkel RS, Platts-Mills TA, Perera FP, Miller RL Cat ownership is a risk factor for developing anti-cat IgE but not wheeze at age 5 in a low income urban NYC cohort J Allergy Clin Immunol in press 2008
  • Perzanowski MS, Canfield SM, Chew GL, Mellins RB, Hoepner LA, Jacobson JS, Goldstein IF Birth order, atopy, and symptoms of allergy and asthma among inner-city children attending Head Start in New York City. Clin Exp Allergy in press 2008

Contact Information


Office location: P&S 16-418. Mail: 722 W. 168th street, 11th floor

New York, NY 10032