Sung Kyun Park, Sc.D., MPH
- Associate Professor, Epidemiology
- Associate Professor, Environmental Health Sciences
- Co-Director, Occupational Epidemiology Program, Center for Occupational Health and
Safety Engineering (COHSE)
- Affiliated Faculty. Kresge Hearing Research Institute, University of Michigan, Medical School
- M5541 SPH II
- 1415 Washington Heights
- Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029
Dr. Park received his M.P.H in Environmental Health from Seoul National University in 2000 and a doctoral degree (Sc.D.) in Environmental Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2005.
Dr. Park focuses on health effects of various environmental pollutant exposures, such as air pollution, heavy metals, non-persistent chemicals (e.g., bisphenol-A and phthalates) and persistent organic pollutants (e.g., PFASs, PCBs and PBDEs), using epidemiologic approaches. His lab uses not only conventional approaches of ‘biology-based and hypothesis-driven’ single pollutant models but emerging novel approaches of multi-pollutant models. He recently developed a statistical approach to integrating multiple pollutants and pollutant mixtures (e.g. Environmental Risk Score). His lab also has a specific interest in gene-environment and nutrition (diet)-environment interactions to elucidate potential biological mechanisms, to identify vulnerable sub-populations to environmental exposure, and to provide intervention strategies. He is working with several ongoing cohort studies, such as Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), Normative Aging Study, Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), Amish Family Diabetes Study (AFDS), and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
- Sc.D., Environmental Epidemiology, Harvard University, 2005
- MPH, Envirohnmental Health, Seoul National University, 2000
- B.S., Food Science and Technology, Seoul National University, 1998
1) The Study of the Environment and Alzheimer’s Disease and related Dementias (SEAD) (R01 AG070897):
The goal of this project is to understand the environment’s role in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias (ADRD). Specifically, we aim to (1) conduct a biologic hypothesis-based approach to test the associations of chronic exposure to lead and cadmium with incident ADRD; (2) conduct a data-driven environment-wide association study to systematically evaluate a wide-range of environmental toxicants with incident ADRD; and (3) develop and validate an exposome-based risk prediction model for ADRD using machine learning methods (Multi-PIs with Dr. Kelly Bakulski).
2) Multi-pollutants and Metabolic Disease (R01 ES026578):
Some evidence suggests that environmental pollutants may play a role in the etiology of type-2 diabetes. Dr. Park has recently developed research projects that 1) test whether suspected environmental pollutants, such as air pollution, arsenic, lead and bisphenol-A (BPA), are associated with the risk of diabetes in MESA, NAS, NHANES, and the Amish Family Diabetes Study; and 2) evaluate a wide-range of environmental pollutants (~120 chemicals) systematically in SWAN (Study of Women's Health Across the Nation) (R01 grant funded through NIEHS).
3) Multi-pollutants and Reproductive Aging (R01 ES026964):
The goal of this project is to examine how endocrine disrupting chemicals, individually or as mixtures, affect the timing and characteristics of reproductive aging, in SWAN.
4) Heavy Metals and Aging Outcomes:
The goal of this project was to understand how long-term exposures to heavy metals and air pollution affect age-related diseases including hearing loss, eye disease, and cardiovascular function (funded by K01 ES016587, 2009-2013). Dr. Park has focused on hearing loss and eye diseases because their economic burdens and public health implications become very important as the population ages. These outcomes have been understudied in relation to environmental exposures.
5) Gene-Environment and Nutrition (Diet)-Environment Interactions:
Gene-environment interaction is a useful tool to elucidate potential biological mechanisms that influence susceptibility in human populations. For example, the hemochromatosis gene (HFE) and vitamin D receptor (VDR) play an important role in regulating cellular iron and calcium levels. Because lead is a divalent metal, its cellular uptakes depend on iron and calcium levels. Therefore, HFE and VDR genetic variants may also affect the cellular levels of lead and eventually influence disease risks. Nutrition and diet also play a critical role in toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of environmental pollutants because of shared exposure routes and biological pathways. This body of work also seeks to evaluate which subpopulations, in terms of genetic polymorphisms, may be more susceptible to toxic effects of environmental pollutants.
6) Statistical Approaches to Evaluating Multi-pollutants:
Examining various environmental pollutants has led him to ask a more fundamental question: we are exposed to multi-pollutants and pollutant mixtures in real life, but what is the risk from multi-pollutants and pollutant mixtures? Although the importance of multi-pollutant concepts is well recognized, most epidemiologic studies are still based on individual pollutants and little is known about statistical approaches to examine multi-pollutants and to integrate risks from multi-pollutants. Recently, Dr. Park has developed an Environmental Risk Score (ERS) and proposed it as a new tool to examine the risk of exposure to multi-pollutants in epidemiologic research. He also evaluated statistical methods for constructing health risk models with multi-pollutants and their interactions.
- Ding N, Karvonen-Gutierrez CA, Herman WH, Calafat AM, Mukherjee B, Park SK. Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances and body size and composition trajectories in midlife women: the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation 1999-2018. Int J Obesity PMID: 33986457.
- Park SK, Sack C, Sirén MJ, Hu H. Environmental cadmium and mortality from influenza and pneumonia in U.S. adults. Environ Health Perspect 2020;128:127004. PMID: 33325772. PMCID:PMC7739956.
- Wang X, Karvonen-Gutierrez CA, Herman WH, Mukherjee B, Harlow SD, Park SK. Urinary metals and incident diabetes in midlife women: The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN). BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care 2020;8(1):e001233. PMID: 32747380. PMCID:PMC7398092.
- Bakulski KM, Seo YA, Hickman RC, Brandt D, Vadari HS, Hu H, Park SK. Heavy metals exposure and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. J Alzheimers Dis 2020;76(4):1215-1242. PMID: 32651318. PMCID:PMC7454042.
- Ding N, Harlow SD, Randolph JF, Calafat AM, Mukherjee B, Batterman S, Gold EB, Park SK. Associations of Perfluoroalkyl Substances with Incident Natural Menopause: the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. J Clin Endocrinol Metabol 2020;105(9):e3169-e3182. PMID: 32491182. PMCID:PMC7418447.
- Wang X, Mukherjee B, Park SK. Does information on blood heavy metals improve cardiovascular mortality prediction? J Am Heart Assoc 2019;8:e013571. PMID: 31631727. PMCID: PMC6898859.
- Park SK, Peng Q, Ding N, Mukherjee B, Harlow SD. Determinants of per- and polyfluoroakyl substances (PFAS) in midlife women: Evidence of racial/ethnic and geographic differences in PFAS exposure. Environ Res 2019;175:186-199. PMID: 31129528. PMCID: PMC6579633.
- Wang W, Moroi S, Bakulski K, Mukherjee B, Weisskopf MG, Schaumberg D, Sparrow D, Vokonas PS, Hu H, Park SK. Bone lead levels and risk of incident primary open-angle glaucoma: the VA Normative Aging Study. Environ Health Perspect 2018;126(8):087002. PMID: 30102601. PMCID: PMC6108844.
- Park SK. Ambient air pollution and type 2 diabetes: Do the metabolic effects of air pollution start early in life? Diabetes 2017;66(7):1755-1757 (invited commentary). PMID: 28637828, PMCID: PMC5482079.
- Park SK, Zhao Z, Mukherjee B. Construction of environmental risk score beyond standard linear models using machine learning methods: Application to metal mixtures, oxidative stress and cardiovascular disease in NHANES. Environ Health 2017;16(1):102. PMID: 28950902. PMCID: PMC5615812.
- Associate Editor, Environmental Research
- Editorial Board, International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
- International Society for Environmental Epidemiology
- Endocrine Society
- Korean Society of Environmental Health