Dr. Matthew 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.
Dr. Perzanowski served as one of the primary investigators on the Center’s DISCOVER Initiative.