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Carrie Breton, ScD

TitleAssociate Professor of Preventive Medicine
InstitutionUniversity of Southern California
DepartmentEnvironmental Health
AddressSSB 2nd floor 2001 N. Soto Street
Health Sciences Campus
Los Angeles CA 90033
Phone+1 323 442 7383
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    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    The overarching goals of my research program are to understand how environmental exposures early in life contribute to the increased risk of disease later in life, as well as the role genetic and epigenetic mechanisms play in driving observed associations.

    Despite evidence from animal models supporting a developmental origins of adult disease hypothesis (DOHad), which proposes that adverse events during early life program an increased risk for numerous adult diseases, human studies of in utero or childhood environmental exposures have not been a primary focus until recently. My work in evaluating prenatal air pollution and prenatal tobacco smoke exposures provides evidence that early life exposures are important risk factors for cardio-respiratory health in children and young adults.


    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Prenatal air pollution, fetal development and early childhood obesity risk
    NIH/NIEHS R01ES027409Jun 1, 2018 - May 31, 2023
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Influence of prenatal psychosocial stressors on maternal and fetal circulating miRNAs
    NIH/NIMHD R01MD011698Jul 26, 2017 - Feb 28, 2022
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Lifecourse Approach to Developmental Repercussions of Environmental Agents on Metabolic and Respiratory health (LA DREAMERs)
    NIH UG3OD023287Sep 21, 2016 - Aug 31, 2018
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Maternal and Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors (MADRES)
    NIH/NIEHS P50ES026086Sep 1, 2015 - May 31, 2020
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Mitochondrial epigenetics, traffic-related pollution and neonatal health
    NIH/NIEHS R21ES025870Jul 1, 2015 - Jun 30, 2017
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Prenatal Tobacco Smoke, Genetic and Epigenetic Changes, and Respiratory Health
    NIH/NIEHS R01ES022216Sep 1, 2013 - Jun 30, 2017
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Prenatal air pollution, DNA methylation and early signs of atherosclerosis
    NIH/NIEHS K01ES017801Sep 24, 2010 - Apr 30, 2015
    Role: Principal Investigator

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    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Gao L, Urman R, Millstein J, Siegmund KD, Dubeau L, Breton CV. Association between AXL promoter methylation and lung function growth during adolescence. Epigenetics. 2018 Oct 02. PMID: 30277126.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Gao L, Liu X, Millstein J, Siegmund KD, Dubeau L, Maguire RL, Jim Zhang J, Fuemmeler BF, Kollins SH, Hoyo C, Murphy SK, Breton CV. Self-reported prenatal tobacco smoke exposure, AXL gene-body methylation, and childhood asthma phenotypes. Clin Epigenetics. 2018 Jul 20; 10(1):98. PMID: 30029617.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Felix JF, Joubert BR, Baccarelli AA, Sharp GC, Almqvist C, Annesi-Maesano I, Arshad H, Baïz N, Bakermans-Kranenburg MJ, Bakulski KM, Binder EB, Bouchard L, Breton CV, Brunekreef B, Brunst KJ, Burchard EG, Bustamante M, Chatzi L, Cheng Munthe-Kaas M, Corpeleijn E, Czamara D, Dabelea D, Davey Smith G, De Boever P, Duijts L, Dwyer T, Eng C, Eskenazi B, Everson TM, Falahi F, Fallin MD, Farchi S, Fernandez MF, Gao L, Gaunt TR, Ghantous A, Gillman MW, Gonseth S, Grote V, Gruzieva O, Håberg SE, Herceg Z, Hivert MF, Holland N, Holloway JW, Hoyo C, Hu D, Huang RC, Huen K, Järvelin MR, Jima DD, Just AC, Karagas MR, Karlsson R, Karmaus W, Kechris KJ, Kere J, Kogevinas M, Koletzko B, Koppelman GH, Küpers LK, Ladd-Acosta C, Lahti J, Lambrechts N, Langie SAS, Lie RT, Liu AH, Magnus MC, Magnus P, Maguire RL, Marsit CJ, McArdle W, Melén E, Melton P, Murphy SK, Nawrot TS, Nisticò L, Nohr EA, Nordlund B, Nystad W, Oh SS, Oken E, Page CM, Perron P, Pershagen G, Pizzi C, Plusquin M, Raikkonen K, Reese SE, Reischl E, Richiardi L, Ring S, Roy RP, Rzehak P, Schoeters G, Schwartz DA, Sebert S, Snieder H, Sørensen TIA, Starling AP, Sunyer J, Taylor JA, Tiemeier H, Ullemar V, Vafeiadi M, Van Ijzendoorn MH, Vonk JM, Vriens A, Vrijheid M, Wang P, Wiemels JL, Wilcox AJ, Wright RJ, Xu CJ, Xu Z, Yang IV, Yousefi P, Zhang H, Zhang W, Zhao S, Agha G, Relton CL, Jaddoe VWV, London SJ. Cohort Profile: Pregnancy And Childhood Epigenetics (PACE) Consortium. Int J Epidemiol. 2018 Feb 01; 47(1):22-23u. PMID: 29025028.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Gao L, Millstein J, Siegmund KD, Dubeau L, Maguire R, Gilliland FD, Murphy SK, Hoyo C, Breton CV. Epigenetic regulation of AXL and risk of childhood asthma symptoms. Clin Epigenetics. 2017; 9:121. PMID: 29177020.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Breton CV, Marsit CJ, Faustman E, Nadeau K, Goodrich JM, Dolinoy DC, Herbstman J, Holland N, LaSalle JM, Schmidt R, Yousefi P, Perera F, Joubert BR, Wiemels J, Taylor M, Yang IV, Chen R, Hew KM, Freeland DM, Miller R, Murphy SK. Small-Magnitude Effect Sizes in Epigenetic End Points are Important in Children's Environmental Health Studies: The Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center's Epigenetics Working Group. Environ Health Perspect. 2017 04; 125(4):511-526. PMID: 28362264.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Hartiala J, Breton CV, Tang WH, Lurmann F, Hazen SL, Gilliland FD, Allayee H. Ambient Air Pollution Is Associated With the Severity of Coronary Atherosclerosis and Incident Myocardial Infarction in Patients Undergoing Elective Cardiac Evaluation. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016 Jul 28; 5(8). PMID: 27468926.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Gruzieva O, Xu CJ, Breton CV, Annesi-Maesano I, Antó JM, Auffray C, Ballereau S, Bellander T, Bousquet J, Bustamante M, Charles MA, de Kluizenaar Y, den Dekker HT, Duijts L, Felix JF, Gehring U, Guxens M, Jaddoe VV, Jankipersadsing SA, Merid SK, Kere J, Kumar A, Lemonnier N, Lepeule J, Nystad W, Page CM, Panasevich S, Postma D, Slama R, Sunyer J, Söderhäll C, Yao J, London SJ, Pershagen G, Koppelman GH, Melén E. Epigenome-Wide Meta-Analysis of Methylation in Children Related to Prenatal NO2 Air Pollution Exposure. Environ Health Perspect. 2017 01; 125(1):104-110. PMID: 27448387.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Breton CV, Gao L, Yao J, Siegmund KD, Lurmann F, Gilliland F. Particulate matter, the newborn methylome, and cardio-respiratory health outcomes in childhood. Environ Epigenet. 2016 Apr; 2(2):dvw005. PMID: 29492287.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Breton CV, Yao J, Millstein J, Gao L, Siegmund KD, Mack W, Whitfield-Maxwell L, Lurmann F, Hodis H, Avol E, Gilliland FD. Prenatal Air Pollution Exposures, DNA Methyl Transferase Genotypes, and Associations with Newborn LINE1 and Alu Methylation and Childhood Blood Pressure and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in the Children's Health Study. Environ Health Perspect. 2016 12; 124(12):1905-1912. PMID: 27219456.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Joubert BR, Felix JF, Yousefi P, Bakulski KM, Just AC, Breton C, Reese SE, Markunas CA, Richmond RC, Xu CJ, Küpers LK, Oh SS, Hoyo C, Gruzieva O, Söderhäll C, Salas LA, Baïz N, Zhang H, Lepeule J, Ruiz C, Ligthart S, Wang T, Taylor JA, Duijts L, Sharp GC, Jankipersadsing SA, Nilsen RM, Vaez A, Fallin MD, Hu D, Litonjua AA, Fuemmeler BF, Huen K, Kere J, Kull I, Munthe-Kaas MC, Gehring U, Bustamante M, Saurel-Coubizolles MJ, Quraishi BM, Ren J, Tost J, Gonzalez JR, Peters MJ, Håberg SE, Xu Z, van Meurs JB, Gaunt TR, Kerkhof M, Corpeleijn E, Feinberg AP, Eng C, Baccarelli AA, Benjamin Neelon SE, Bradman A, Merid SK, Bergström A, Herceg Z, Hernandez-Vargas H, Brunekreef B, Pinart M, Heude B, Ewart S, Yao J, Lemonnier N, Franco OH, Wu MC, Hofman A, McArdle W, Van der Vlies P, Falahi F, Gillman MW, Barcellos LF, Kumar A, Wickman M, Guerra S, Charles MA, Holloway J, Auffray C, Tiemeier HW, Smith GD, Postma D, Hivert MF, Eskenazi B, Vrijheid M, Arshad H, Antó JM, Dehghan A, Karmaus W, Annesi-Maesano I, Sunyer J, Ghantous A, Pershagen G, Holland N, Murphy SK, DeMeo DL, Burchard EG, Ladd-Acosta C, Snieder H, Nystad W, Koppelman GH, Relton CL, Jaddoe VW, Wilcox A, Melén E, London SJ. DNA Methylation in Newborns and Maternal Smoking in Pregnancy: Genome-wide Consortium Meta-analysis. Am J Hum Genet. 2016 Apr 07; 98(4):680-96. PMID: 27040690.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Millstein J, Chen GK, Breton CV. cit: hypothesis testing software for mediation analysis in genomic applications. Bioinformatics. 2016 08 01; 32(15):2364-5. PMID: 27153715; PMCID: PMC4965632 [Available on 08/01/17].
    12. Breton CV, Mack WJ, Yao J, Berhane K, Amadeus M, Lurmann F, Gilliland F, McConnell R, Hodis HN, Künzli N, Avol E. Prenatal Air Pollution Exposure and Early Cardiovascular Phenotypes in Young Adults. PLoS One. 2016; 11(3):e0150825. PMID: 26950592; PMCID: PMC4780745.
    13. Chen Z, Salam MT, Eckel SP, Breton CV, Gilliland FD. Chronic effects of air pollution on respiratory health in Southern California children: findings from the Southern California Children's Health Study. J Thorac Dis. 2015 Jan; 7(1):46-58. PMID: 25694817; PMCID: PMC4311073.
    14. Breton CV, Siegmund KD, Joubert BR, Wang X, Qui W, Carey V, Nystad W, Håberg SE, Ober C, Nicolae D, Barnes KC, Martinez F, Liu A, Lemanske R, Strunk R, Weiss S, London S, Gilliland F, Raby B. Prenatal tobacco smoke exposure is associated with childhood DNA CpG methylation. PLoS One. 2014; 9(6):e99716. PMID: 24964093; PMCID: PMC4070909.
    15. Breton CV, Park C, Siegmund K, Gauderman WJ, Whitfield-Maxwell L, Hodis HN, Avol E, Gilliland FD. NOS1 methylation and carotid artery intima-media thickness in children. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2014 Apr; 7(2):116-22. PMID: 24622112; PMCID: PMC4008829.
    16. Breton CV, Yin F, Wang X, Avol E, Gilliland FD, Araujo JA. HDL anti-oxidant function associates with LDL level in young adults. Atherosclerosis. 2014 Jan; 232(1):165-70. PMID: 24401232.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Breton CV, Wang X, Mack WJ, Berhane K, Lopez M, Islam TS, Feng M, Lurmann F, McConnell R, Hodis HN, Künzli N, Avol E. Response to letter regarding article, “Childhood air pollutant exposure and carotid artery intima–media thickness in young adults”. Circulation. 2013 Jun 04; 127(22):e659. PMID: 23882698; PMCID: PMC4035034.
    18. Dratva J, Breton CV, Hodis HN, Mack WJ, Salam MT, Zemp E, Gilliland F, Kuenzli N, Avol E. Birth weight and carotid artery intima-media thickness. J Pediatr. 2013 May; 162(5):906-11.e1-2. PMID: 23260106; PMCID: PMC4030536.
    19. Breton CV, Wang X, Mack WJ, Berhane K, Lopez M, Islam TS, Feng M, Lurmann F, McConnell R, Hodis HN, Künzli N, Avol E. Childhood air pollutant exposure and carotid artery intima-media thickness in young adults. Circulation. 2012 Sep 25; 126(13):1614-20. PMID: 22896588; PMCID: PMC3474843.
    20. Cortessis VK, Thomas DC, Levine AJ, Breton CV, Mack TM, Siegmund KD, Haile RW, Laird PW. Environmental epigenetics: prospects for studying epigenetic mediation of exposure-response relationships. Hum Genet. 2012 Oct; 131(10):1565-89. PMID: 22740325; PMCID: PMC3432200.
    21. O'Neill MS, Breton CV, Devlin RB, Utell MJ. Air pollution and health: emerging information on susceptible populations. Air Qual Atmos Health. 2012 Jun 01; 5(2):189-201. PMID: 25741389.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Breton CV, Salam MT, Wang X, Byun HM, Siegmund KD, Gilliland FD. Particulate matter, DNA methylation in nitric oxide synthase, and childhood respiratory disease. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Sep; 120(9):1320-6. PMID: 22591701; PMCID: PMC3440108.
    23. Salam MT, Byun HM, Lurmann F, Breton CV, Wang X, Eckel SP, Gilliland FD. Genetic and epigenetic variations in inducible nitric oxide synthase promoter, particulate pollution, and exhaled nitric oxide levels in children. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Jan; 129(1):232-9.e1-7. PMID: 22055874; PMCID: PMC3487398.
    24. Breton CV, Salam MT, Gilliland FD. Heritability and role for the environment in DNA methylation in AXL receptor tyrosine kinase. Epigenetics. 2011 Jul; 6(7):895-8. PMID: 21555911; PMCID: PMC3230541.
    25. Breton CV, Wang X, Mack WJ, Berhane K, Lopez M, Islam TS, Feng M, Hodis HN, Künzli N, Avol E. Carotid artery intima-media thickness in college students: race/ethnicity matters. Atherosclerosis. 2011 Aug; 217(2):441-6. PMID: 21679950; PMCID: PMC3146627.
    26. Breton CV, Byun HM, Wang X, Salam MT, Siegmund K, Gilliland FD. DNA methylation in the arginase-nitric oxide synthase pathway is associated with exhaled nitric oxide in children with asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011 Jul 15; 184(2):191-7. PMID: 21512169; PMCID: PMC3172885.
    27. Kile ML, Hoffman E, Rodrigues EG, Breton CV, Quamruzzaman Q, Rahman M, Mahiuddin G, Hsueh YM, Christiani DC. A pathway-based analysis of urinary arsenic metabolites and skin lesions. Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Apr 01; 173(7):778-86. PMID: 21378128; PMCID: PMC3105278.
    28. Künzli N, Perez L, von Klot S, Baldassarre D, Bauer M, Basagana X, Breton C, Dratva J, Elosua R, de Faire U, Fuks K, de Groot E, Marrugat J, Penell J, Seissler J, Peters A, Hoffmann B. Investigating air pollution and atherosclerosis in humans: concepts and outlook. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Mar-Apr; 53(5):334-43. PMID: 21414468.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Breton CV, Salam MT, Vora H, Gauderman WJ, Gilliland FD. Genetic variation in the glutathione synthesis pathway, air pollution, and children's lung function growth. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011 Jan 15; 183(2):243-8. PMID: 20802163; PMCID: PMC3040392.
    30. Islam T, Breton C, Salam MT, McConnell R, Wenten M, Gauderman WJ, Conti D, Van Den Berg D, Peters JM, Gilliland FD. Role of inducible nitric oxide synthase in asthma risk and lung function growth during adolescence. Thorax. 2010 Feb; 65(2):139-45. PMID: 19996333.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Breton CV, Byun HM, Wenten M, Pan F, Yang A, Gilliland FD. Prenatal tobacco smoke exposure affects global and gene-specific DNA methylation. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2009 Sep 01; 180(5):462-7. PMID: 19498054; PMCID: PMC2742762.
    32. Breton CV, Vora H, Salam MT, Islam T, Wenten M, Gauderman WJ, Van den Berg D, Berhane K, Peters JM, Gilliland FD. Variation in the GST mu locus and tobacco smoke exposure as determinants of childhood lung function. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2009 Apr 01; 179(7):601-7. PMID: 19151192; PMCID: PMC2720124.
    33. Breton CV, Kile ML, Catalano PJ, Hoffman E, Quamruzzaman Q, Rahman M, Mahiuddin G, Christiani DC. GSTM1 and APE1 genotypes affect arsenic-induced oxidative stress: a repeated measures study. Environ Health. 2007 Dec 04; 6:39. PMID: 18053222; PMCID: PMC2222228.
    34. Huyck KL, Kile ML, Mahiuddin G, Quamruzzaman Q, Rahman M, Breton CV, Dobson CB, Frelich J, Hoffman E, Yousuf J, Afroz S, Islam S, Christiani DC. Maternal arsenic exposure associated with low birth weight in Bangladesh. J Occup Environ Med. 2007 Oct; 49(10):1097-104. PMID: 18000415.
      View in: PubMed
    35. Kile ML, Houseman EA, Breton CV, Quamruzzaman Q, Rahman M, Mahiuddin G, Christiani DC. Association between total ingested arsenic and toenail arsenic concentrations. J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng. 2007 Oct; 42(12):1827-34. PMID: 17952783.
      View in: PubMed
    36. Breton CV, Zhou W, Kile ML, Houseman EA, Quamruzzaman Q, Rahman M, Mahiuddin G, Christiani DC. Susceptibility to arsenic-induced skin lesions from polymorphisms in base excision repair genes. Carcinogenesis. 2007 Jul; 28(7):1520-5. PMID: 17374727.
      View in: PubMed
    37. Kile ML, Houseman EA, Breton CV, Smith T, Quamruzzaman Q, Rahman M, Mahiuddin G, Christiani DC. Dietary arsenic exposure in bangladesh. Environ Health Perspect. 2007 Jun; 115(6):889-93. PMID: 17589596; PMCID: PMC1892146.
    38. Breton CV, Houseman EA, Kile ML, Quamruzzaman Q, Rahman M, Mahiuddin G, Christiani DC. Gender-specific protective effect of hemoglobin on arsenic-induced skin lesions. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006 May; 15(5):902-7. PMID: 16702368.
      View in: PubMed