Joseph M. BraunAssistant Professor of Epidemiology
Dr. Braun is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology in the Program in Public Health. He was formerly a school nurse in Milwaukee, WI before going on to receive his master's and doctoral degrees in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Braun is interested in studying the patterns, determinants, and health consequences of early life environmental chemical exposures in pregnant women, infants, and children. He has a special interest in studying obesity and neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD and autism. He is also interested in identifying modifiable sources of environmental chemical exposures in pregnant women and children.
Prasodjo A, Pfeiffer CM, Fazili Z, Xu Y, Liddy S, Yolton K, Savitz DA, Lanphear BP, and Braun JM. Serum Cotinine and Whole Blood Folate Concentrations in Pregnancy. Annals of Epidemiology. 2014; In Press.
Braun JM, Froehlich T, Kalkbrenner A, et al. Brief Report: Are Autistic-Behaviors in Children Related to Prenatal Vitamin Use and Maternal Whole Blood Folate Concentrations? J Autism Dev Disord. Apr 8 2014.
Romano ME, Savitz DA, Braun JM. Challenges and future directions to evaluating the association between prenatal exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals and childhood obesity Current Epidemiology Reports. 2014;In Press.
Braun JM, Kalkbrenner AE, Just AC, et al. Gestational Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Reciprocal Social, Repetitive, and Stereotypic Behaviors in 4- and 5-Year-Old Children: The HOME Study. Environ Health Perspect. Mar 12 2014.
Gillmore S, Larson B, Braun J, Cruz-Barba L, Savage D, Denes F, and Lagally M. Long-Term Reduction in Poly(dimethylsiloxane) Surface Hydrophobicity via Cold-Plasma Treatments. Langmuir. 2013; In Press.
Braun JM, Just A, Williams P, Smith K, Calafat A, Hauser R. Personal care product use and urinary phthalate metabolite and paraben concentrations during pregnancy among women from a fertility clinic. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2013; In Press.
Burris HH, Braun JM, Byun HM, et al. Association between birth weight and DNA methylation of IGF2, glucocorticoid receptor and repetitive elements LINE-1 and Alu. Epigenomics. Jun 2013;5(3):271-281.
Braun JM, Sathyanarayana S, and Hauser R. Phthalates and children’s health. Curr Opin Pediatr. Feb 19 2013.
Patisaul HB, Roberts SC, Mabrey N, McCaffrey, KA, Gear RB, Braun J, Belcher SM, and Stapleton HM. Accumulation and endocrine disrupting effects of the flame retardant mixture firemaster((R)) 550 in rats: an exploratory assessment. J Biochem Mol Toxicol. Feb 2013;27(2):124-136.
Braun JM, Lucchini R, Bellinger D, Hoffman E, Nazzaro M, Smith DR, Wright RO. Predictors of virtual radial arm maze performance in adolescent Italian children. Neurotoxicology. 2012; 5:1203-11.
Kalkbrenner AE, Braun JM, Durkin MS, Maenner MJ, Cunniff C, Lee LC, Pettygrove S, Nicholas JS, and Daniels JL. Maternal smoking during pregnancy and the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders using data from the Autism and Develomental Disabilities Monitoring network. Environ Health Perspect. 2012; 120(7):1042-8.
Braun JM, Hoffman E, Schwartz J, Sanchez B, Schnaas L, Mercado-Garcia A, Solano-Gonzalez M, Bellinger DC, Lanphear BP, Hu H, Tellez-Rojo MM, Wright RO, Hernandez-Avila M. Assessing windows of susceptibility to lead-induced cognitive deficits in Mexican children. Neurotoxicology. 2012; 5:1040-7
Rauch SA, Braun JM, Barr DB, Calafat AM, Khoury J, Motesano JA, Yolton K, and Lanphear BP. Associations of prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticide metabolites with gestational age and birthweight. 2012; 120(7):1055-60.
Smith KW, Braun JM, Williams PL, Ehrlich, Berry K, Calafat, AM, Ye X, Ford J, Keller M, Meeker JD, and Hauser R. Predictors and variability of urinary paraben concentrations in men and women, includign before and during pregnancy. Environ Health Perspect. 2012; 120(11):1538-43.
Braun JM, Smith KW, Williams PL, et al. Variability of Urinary Phthalate Metabolite and Bisphenol A Concentrations before and during Pregnancy. Environ Health Perspect. 2012; 120(5):739-45.
Braun JM, Kalkbrenner AE, Calafat AM, et al. Impact of early-life bisphenol a exposure on behavior and executive function in children. Pediatrics. Nov 2011;128(5):873-882
Braun JM and Hauser R. Bisphenol A and children's health. Curr Opin Pediatr. Feb 2 2011.
Sathyanarayana S, Braun JM, Yolton K, Liddy S, Lanphear BP. A Case Study of High Prenatal Bisphenol A Exposure and Infant Neonatal Neurobehavior. Environ Health Perspect. 2011;23(2): 233-9.
Braun JM, Kalkbrenner AE, Calafat AM, et al. Variability and Predictors of Urinary Bisphenol Concentrations During Pregnancy. Environ Health Perspect. 2011;119(1):131-7.
Braun J, Daniels J, Poole C, et al. A prospective cohort study of biomarkers of prenatal tobacco smoke exposure: The correlation between serum and meconium and their association with infant birth weight. Environmental Health. 2010;9:53
Braun JM, Daniels JL, Poole C, et al. Prenatal Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Early Childhood BMI. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiolgy. 2010; 24(6):524-34.
Kalkbrenner AE, Hornung RW, Bernert JT, Hammond SK, Braun JM, Lanphear BP. Determinants of serum cotinine and hair cotinine as biomarkers of childhood secondhand smoke exposure. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2010;20(7):615-24.
Anderko L, Braun JM, Auinger P. Contribution of Tobacco Smoke Exposure to Learning Disabilities. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing. 2010;39(1):111-117.
Braun JM, Yolton K, Dietrich KN, et al. Prenatal bisphenol A exposure and early childhood behavior. Environ Health Perspect. Dec 2009;117(12):1945-1952.
Froehlich TE, Lanphear BP, Auinger P, Hornung R, Epstein JN, Braun J, Kahn RS. Association of tobacco and lead exposures with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Pediatrics. 2009;124(6):e1054-1063.
Braun JM, Daniels JL, Kalkbrenner A, Zimmerman J, Nicholas JS. The Effect of Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy on Intellectual Disabilities among 8-Year Old Children in Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, and Utah. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2009; 23(5): 482-491.
Baker AM, Braun JM, Salafia CM, et al. Risk factors for uteroplacental vascular compromise and inflammation. Am J Obstet Gynecol. Sep 2008;199(3):256 e251-259.
Braun JM, Froehlich TE, Daniels JL, et al. Association of environmental toxicants and conduct disorder in U.S. children: NHANES 2001-2004. Environ Health Perspect. Jul 2008;116(7):956-962.
Braun JM, Froehlich TF, Kahn RS, Auinger P, Lanphear BP. Exposures to environmental toxicants and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in U.S. children Environ Health Perspect. 2006;114 (12):1904-1909.
I am interested in determining whether environmental chemical exposures during fetal development or early childhood adversely affect infant and child health. The developing fetus and child may be more sensitive to environmental chemicals because of immature detoxification pathways and rapidly developing organ systems. Some environmental chemicals, specifically endocrine disrupting chemicals, may disrupt endogenous hormone signaling and metabolism to adversely affect growth and neurldevelopment. There is specific concern that early life chemical exposures might increase the risk of disorders like learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, anxiety, and depression.
In addition, these chemical may act as obesogens and reprogram the developing fetus and child to more efficiently store excess calories. Recently, I have begun studying whether early life endocrine disrupting chemical exposures can affect growth and metabolism to increase the risk of obesity or cardiometabolic disorders in children.
Finally, I am interested in identifying modifiable sources of chemical exposures in pregnant women and children so that individuals can take steps to reduce their body burden of chemicals and regulators can effectively target public health interventions.
Project Title: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, Thyroid Hormones, and Child Neurobehavior
Source and Project Number: NIEHS R01 ES024381
Role: Principal Investigator
Dates of Project: 6/1/2015-3/31/2019
Direct Costs: $469,251
Major Goals: This project will determine if and when early life exposure to phthalates, triclosan, or bisphenol A adversely affect children’s behavior and cognition by disrupting thyroid hormones.
Project Title: Prenatal Sex Steroids, Bisphenol A, Phthalates, and Sexually Dimorphic Behaviors
Source and Project Number: NIEHS R00 ES020346
Role: Principal Investigator
Dates of Project: 2/15/2013-1/31/2016
Direct Costs: $151,958
Major Goals: This grant will examine the relationships between gestational BPA/phthalate exposure, meconium sex steroid concentrations, and sexually dimorphic behaviors like aggression, social cognition, and visual-spatial abilities.
Project Title: BPA, Phthalates & Stress: Mechanisms and Interactions for Childhood Obesity
Source and Project Number: NIEHS R01 ES021357
Dates of Project: 9/18/2012-7/31/2017
Direct Costs: $457,692
Major Goals: The goal of this study is to examine the relationship between gestational and childhood BPA/phthalate exposure and childhood obesity in a prospective birth cohorts from Mexico City.
Project Title: Environment and Child Health Outcome (ECHO) Study-Pilot Phase
Source and Project Number: Brown University
Role: Co-Principal Investigator
Dates of Project: 5/1/2014-4/30/2016
Direct Costs: $80,000
Major Goals: This pilot/feasibility study will follow a cohort of pregnant women and their infants from the 1st trimester until their child turns 2 years old. We will determine if prenatal environmental chemical exposures are associated with infant/child obesity.