Megan K Horton, PhD, MPH
img_Megan K Horton
PROFESSOR | Environmental Medicine & Public Health
Multi-Disciplinary Training Area
Neuroscience [NEU]
Neuroimaging in PROGRESS

-         The Programming Research in Obesity, Growth, Environment and Social Stressors Study (PROGRESS) is collaboration between Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, University of Michigan and the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico City.  The study consists of mother-dyad pairs enrolled during pregnancy and followed through early adolescence. PROGRESS uses state of the art methods in social science, exposure science, epidemiology and toxicology to assess trans disciplinary risk factors impacting neurodevelopment. Dr. Horton recently completed a pilot study to collect structural and functional MRI data from 20 PROGRESS subjects at the Center for Medical Imaging and Instrumentation (Ci3M). Ongoing work examines associations between early life exposures, structural and functional neuroimaging phenotypes and child behavior, emotional regulation, and cognition.

Health effects of welding fume exposure

-         This ongoing pilot study is currently enrolling active welders from the New York City area (i.e., ironworkers, steelworkers, dockbuilders, etc) and uses PET/MRI to examine associations between welding fume exposure and cerebrovascular and cardiovascular health.

Cumulative lead exposure and risk for drug addiction

-         This case-control pilot study is an ongoing investigation exploring how lifetime exposure to lead (Pb) impacts the risk for cocaine use. Embedded within the parent NARC study, a subset of CUD cases and controls participated in substudy using x-ray fluorescence to measure cumulative life exposure to lead in bones.

In a sister study to PROGRESS, the Programming of Intergenerational Stress Mechanisms (PRISM) study enrolls pregnant mothers in Boston and New York city and focuses on examining associations between maternal and lifetime psychosocial stress, environmental toxicant exposures and children’s health. Dr. Horton’s lab was recently funded to initiate a pilot study to collect structural and function MRI on 4 year old subjects. The aim of the pilot study is to examine associations between early life environmental exposures such as maternal stress and neuroimaging phenotypes.
Early life manganese exposure and the adolescent brain.

-         The Public Health Impact of Manganese Exposure (PHIME) study consists of a well-characterized cohort of adolescents from three communities in Northern Italy that differ in the timing and intensity of environmental Mn exposure from current or historic ferromanganese alloy plant operations. Current research initiatives use biological and environmental monitoring to assess longitudinal exposure to manganese (and other metals) and examine associations with brain structure and function and adolescent health outcomes.

BA, Loyola University Chicago

MA, University of Nebraska at Omaha

MPH, Columbia University

PhD, Columbia University


Prenatal exposure to a mixture of endocrine disrupting compounds and child neurodevelopment


Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Below are financial relationships with industry reported by Dr. Horton during 2022 and/or 2023. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.