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Carmen J Marsit, Ph.D.

Title(s):
Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology
Associate Professor of Community and Family Medicine
Co-Director, Program in Cancer Epidemiology, Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Department(s):
Pharmacology & Toxicology
Community and Family Medicine

Education:
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Ph.D. 2004

Programs:
Norris Cotton Cancer Center
Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine
Quantitative Biomedical Sciences

Websites:
http://geiselmed.dartmouth.edu/marsit/
http://geiselmed.dartmouth.edu/pharmtox/
http://cancer.dartmouth.edu/res/cancer_epi_chemo.html
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~childrenshealth/

Contact Information:

HB 7650
Pharmacology & Toxicology
Hanover NH 03755

Office: Remsen 520
Phone: 603-650-1825
Fax: 603-650-1129
Email: Carmen.J.Marsit@Dartmouth.edu


Professional Interests:

The broad goal of Dr. Marsitís research program is to understand how the environment contributes to health and disease by studying molecular mechanisms that may be responsible. The laboratory's focus is on epigenetic regulation and works to describe the impact the environment has on the human epigenome.
This work is accomplished by taking an interdisciplinary and multi-modal approach to understanding the pathogenesis of human disease, utilizing the power of epidemiology and population-based research to study the effects of the environment on multiple facets of epigenetic regulation while examining mechanistic questions in controlled in-vitro experiments. Dr. Marsitís research has examined environment epigenetic impacts on two distinct, yet highly related biologic processes: carcinogenesis and human development. In those settings, his laboratory examines DNA methylation and miRNA expression as key epigenetic mechanisms of interest.
This research aims to provide a sound scientific basis for the emerging paradigm linking the environment experienced during in utero development to health and disease throughout life.

Studies in the laboratory are aimed at identifying novel biomarkers of cancer risk and prognosis through the examination of epigenetic alterations. The laboratory uses genome-scale tools to examine DNA methylation and miRNA expression in human clinical samples, and through careful analysis, to identify novel markers, which we can then translate into clinical use.

Other studies examine the hypothesis that the intrauterine environment experienced by a developing fetus can influence the epigenome of the infantís placenta. This functional alteration of the placenta can thereby program the health of the infant both at birth and likely well beyond. Some of the earliest phenotypes which can be examined to test this hypothesis are those of neurobehavioral development. Through collaborations at Women and Infant Hospital of Rhode Island, the Childrenís Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Center at Dartmouth, and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Dr. Marsit and his laboratory are profiling the placental epigenome and identifying relationships between epigenetic mechanisms at work in the placenta and the infantís newborn neurobehavior.

Paramount to meeting the objectives of this research program is creating a collaborative and multidisciplinary team of students, clinicians, epidemiologists, biologists, and statisticians who, by working together, are committed to combining efforts to reach these goals. Such a combined effort and interdisciplinary training is absolutely necessary to accomplish this work, and will certainly open up entirely new avenues for research both here at Dartmouth and beyond.

Rotations and Thesis Projects:

1. Examine how the intrauterine environment during pregnancy alters DNA methylation in infant placenta and cord blood and the downstream consequences of these alterations
2. Identify and expand on novel epigenetic biomarkers for cancer risk and prognosis in bladder and skin cancers.
3. Examine alterations in genomic imprinting in human placenta and its association with environmental exposures, and newborn developmental outcomes.

Grant Information:

R01 MH094609 (Marsit) Epigenetics in Neurodevelopment and Mental Health (NIH/NIMH)

R01 ES022223 (Marsit and Chen) Environment, Imprinting, and Neurodevelopment (NIH/NIEHS)

P01 ES022832 (Karagas, Marsit and Robbins) Childrenís Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Center Project 3: Placental Biomarkers of Exposure and Outcome (NIH/NIEHS and US EPA)

Courses Taught:

PEMM 103: Introduction to Biostatistics

Biography:

Dr. Marsit received his B.S. from Lafayette College in Biochemistry in 2000, and his Ph.D. from the Program in Biological Sciences in Public Health at Harvard University in 2004. He trained as postdoctoral research associate in molecular epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. In 2007, he was appointed as Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, at Brown University. He joined the faculty at Dartmouth in 2011, as an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Community and Family Medicine in the Section of Biostatistics and Epidemiology.


Selected Publications:

 

Paquette AG, Lester BM, Koestler DC, Lesseur C, Armstrong DA, Marsit CJ
Placental FKBP5 Genetic and Epigenetic Variation Is Associated with Infant Neurobehavioral Outcomes in the RICHS Cohort.
PLoS One 2014; 9(8):e104913
PMID: 25115650

Lesseur C, Paquette AG, Marsit CJ
Epigenetic Regulation of Infant Neurobehavioral Outcomes.
Med Epigenet 2014 May; 2(2):71-79
PMID: 25089125

Paquette AG, Marsit CJ
The Developmental Basis of Epigenetic Regulation of HTR2A and Psychiatric Outcomes.
J Cell Biochem 2014 Jul 15;
PMID: 25043477

Stroud LR, Papandonatos GD, Rodriguez D, McCallum M, Salisbury AL, Phipps MG, Lester B, Huestis MA, Niaura R, Padbury JF, Marsit CJ
Maternal smoking during pregnancy and infant stress response: test of a prenatal programming hypothesis.
Psychoneuroendocrinology 2014 Oct; 48:29-40
PMID: 24999830

Lesseur C, Armstrong DA, Paquette AG, Li Z, Padbury JF, Marsit CJ
Maternal obesity and gestational diabetes are associated with placental leptin DNA methylation.
Am J Obstet Gynecol 2014 Jun 19;
PMID: 24954653

Davis MA, Li Z, Gilbert-Diamond D, Mackenzie TA, Cottingham KL, Jackson BP, Lee JS, Baker ER, Marsit CJ, Karagas MR
Infant toenails as a biomarker of in utero arsenic exposure.
J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 2014 Sep; 24(5):467-73
PMID: 24896769

Lester BM, Conradt E, Marsit CJ
Are epigenetic changes in the intrauterine environment related to newborn neurobehavior?
Epigenomics 2014 Apr; 6(2):175-8
PMID: 24811786

Langevin SM, Houseman EA, Accomando WP, Koestler DC, Christensen BC, Nelson HH, Karagas MR, Marsit CJ, Wiencke JK, Kelsey KT
Leukocyte-adjusted epigenome-wide association studies of blood from solid tumor patients.
Epigenetics 2014 Jun 1; 9(6):884-95
PMID: 24671036

Smith AA, Huang YT, Eliot M, Houseman EA, Marsit CJ, Wiencke JK, Kelsey KT
A novel approach to the discovery of survival biomarkers in glioblastoma using a joint analysis of DNA methylation and gene expression.
Epigenetics 2014 Jun 1; 9(6):873-83
PMID: 24670968

Andrew AS, Gui J, Hu T, Wyszynski A, Marsit CJ, Kelsey KT, Schned AR, Tanyos SA, Pendleton EM, Ekstrom RM, Li Z, Zens MS, Borsuk M, Moore JH, Karagas MR
Genetic polymorphisms modify bladder cancer recurrence and survival in a USA population-based prognostic study.
BJU Int 2014 Mar 26;
PMID: 24666523