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.
Faculty member, Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Training Program
Robert Wood Johnson Heath and Society Scholars Program
Honors & Awards
Areas of Expertise
Select Urban Health Activities
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.
Select Global Activities
Obstructive Lung Diseases in Northern Sweden , Sweden: Dr. Perzanowski is a senior researcher involved with a longitudinal cohort study of pediatric asthma and allergy.
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.
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
Chew GL, Correa JC, Perzanowski MS Mouse and cockroach allergens in the dust and air in Northeastern United States inner-city public high schools. Indoor Air 15 228-34 2005
Perzanowski MS, Miller RL, Thorne PS, Barr RG, Divjan A, Sheares BJ, Garfinkel RS, Goldstein IF, Perera FP, Chew GL Endotoxin inner-city homes and the association with atopy and wheeze in the first two years of life. J Allergy Clin Immunology in press 2006
Platts-Mills TA, Perzanowski MS, Woodfolk JA, Lundback B Relevance of early or current pet ownership to the prevalence of allergic disease. Clin Exp Allergy 32 335-8 2002
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, Ronmark E, Platts-Mills TA, Lundback B The protective effect of having a cat or dog at home on developing asthma in pre-teen age children. Amer J Respir Crit Care Med 166 696-702 2002
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
Bonnefoy, Kampen, Sweeney Public Health Significance of Urban Pests World Health Organization Copenhagen/Denmark 7-52 2008
Perzanowski MS, Ronmark E, Nold B, Lundback B, Platts-Mills TA Relevance of allergens from cats and dogs to asthma in the northernmost province of Sweden. J Allergy Clin Immunol 103 1018-24 1999
Perzanowski MS, Sporik R, Squillace SP, Gelber LE, Call R, Carter MC, Platts-Mills TA Sensitization to Alternaria as a risk factor for asthma in school age children J Allergy Clin Immunol 101 626-632. 1998
Perzanowski MS, Wheatley LM, Avner DB, Woodfolk JA, Platts-Mills TA The Effectiveness of Allerpet/c at Reducing the Cat Allergen Fel d 1 on a Cat. J Allergy Clin Immunol 100 428-430 1997
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
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