University at Albany associate professor of environmental health sciences Dr. Michael S. Bloom has received a fall 2015 Fulbright Scholar Award and will travel to Romania to teach epidemiology and investigate the impacts of groundwater arsenic contamination on pregnancy and birth outcomes.
Hosted jointly by the University of Medicine and Pharmacy ‘Iuliu Haţieganu’ and the Environmental Health Center in Cluj-Napoca, in Transylvania, Bloom will expand upon his teaching activities and current research examining the impacts of toxic elements on human reproduction.
“Romania offers a unique opportunity to investigate the impact of environmental factors on reproductive health,” said Dr. Bloom, who has a joint appointment in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the School of Public Health. “While arsenic contamination occurs naturally in the western part of the country, it is at levels generally lower than experienced in other ‘arsenic endemic’ areas worldwide. This environment, coupled with government-funded and compulsory prenatal care, and high rates of study participation, affords us a singular opportunity to conduct unique epidemiologic studies.”
Dr. Bloom has been working in conjunction with co-investigators from the Environmental Health Center in Cluj-Napoca, and the Emergency County (Bega) Hospital in Timisoara, Romania for more than six years. Together they have studied the impact of naturally occurring groundwater arsenic contamination on pregnancy loss and birth outcomes. Bloom and his research team will continue their ongoing work, with the ultimate goal being able to identify modifiable exposures for the design of public health interventions. He will also teach epidemiology to medical students, physician residents, and graduate students at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy.
The Fulbright program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government with the goal of fostering long-term cooperative relationships in education, politics, culture, economics and science.
Dr. Bloom conducts observational research on the effects of environmental agents (toxic metals and organic compounds) on human reproduction, including infertility and in vitro fertilization, pregnancy loss, and birth outcomes.