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Abby Fleisch, MD, MPH

Abby Felisch, MD
Medicine Research
Endocrinology Research
Hospital Title:
Attending physician, Endocrinology Division
Academic Title:
Assistant Professor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Research Focus Area:
Environmental health
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Research Overview

Abby Fleisch’s research is focused on the extent to which environmental toxicants impact endocrine outcomes such as growth, obesity and insulin resistance.

She has used data from the Russian Children’s Study (~400 peripubertal boys) to identify inhibition of the hypothalamic pituitary growth axis as a pathway through which lead exposure may impair childhood growth. She has evaluated the use of bisphenol A in dental materials and reviewed the role of environmental epigenetics in endocrine disease.

Her current projects are nested within the Project Viva pre-birth cohort (~2,100 Boston-area women and their offspring).  She has demonstrated that higher ambient air pollution exposure during pregnancy is associated with maternal hyperglycemia, low fetal growth, and rapid infant weight gain, a milieu that may prime children for obesity and insulin resistance later in life. Her ongoing studies (1) examine the extent to which prenatal exposures to ambient air pollution and to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are associated with adverse cardiometabolic health in mid-childhood and (2) explore the magnitude and impact of prenatal exposure to indoor air pollution in rural New England.

About Abby Fleisch

Abby Fleisch received her MD from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (2007). During medical school, she conducted research as a Clinical Research Training Program fellow, at the National Institutes of Health (2005-2006).  She completed a residency in pediatrics (2010) and a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology (2013) at Boston Children’s Hospital. Additionally, she completed the Harvard-wide Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship (2013) and received her MPH from Harvard School of Public Health (2013). 


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles
  1. Paone L, Fleisch AF, Feldman HA, Brown RS, Wassner AJ. Liothyronine Improves Biochemical Control of Congenital Hypothyroidism in Patients with Central Resistance to Thyroid Hormone. J Pediatr. 2016 Aug; 175:167-172.e1.
  2. Fleisch AF, Kloog I, Luttmann-Gibson H, Gold DR, Oken E, Schwartz JD. Air pollution exposure and gestational diabetes mellitus among pregnant women in Massachusetts: a cohort study. Environ Health. 2016; 15:40.
  3. Fleisch AF, Rifas-Shiman SL, Koutrakis P, Schwartz JD, Kloog I, Melly S, Coull BA, Zanobetti A, Gillman MW, Gold DR, Oken E. Prenatal exposure to traffic pollution: associations with reduced fetal growth and rapid infant weight gain. Epidemiology. 2015 Jan; 26(1):43-50.
  4. Perng W, Gillman MW, Fleisch AF, Michalek RD, Watkins SM, Isganaitis E, Patti ME, Oken E. Metabolomic profiles and childhood obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Dec; 22(12):2570-8.
  5. Fleisch AF, Gold DR, Rifas-Shiman SL, Koutrakis P, Schwartz JD, Kloog I, Melly S, Coull BA, Zanobetti A, Gillman MW, Oken E. Air pollution exposure and abnormal glucose tolerance during pregnancy: the project Viva cohort. Environ Health Perspect. 2014 Apr; 122(4):378-83.
  6. Fleisch AF, Burns JS, Williams PL, Lee MM, Sergeyev O, Korrick SA, Hauser R. Blood lead levels and serum insulin-like growth factor 1 concentrations in peripubertal boys. Environ Health Perspect. 2013 Jul; 121(7):854-8.
  7. Fleisch AF, Wright RO, Baccarelli AA. Environmental epigenetics: a role in endocrine disease? J Mol Endocrinol. 2012 Oct; 49(2):R61-7.
  8. Fleisch AF, Sheffield PE, Chinn C, Edelstein BL, Landrigan PJ. Bisphenol A and related compounds in dental materials. Pediatrics. 2010 Oct; 126(4):760-8.
  9. Han JC, Rutledge MS, Kozlosky M, Salaita CG, Gustafson JK, Keil MF, Fleisch AF, Roberts MD, Ning C, Yanovski JA. Insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and energy intake in overweight children. J Pediatr. 2008 May; 152(5):612-7, 617.e1.
  10. Fleisch AF, Nolan S, Gerber J, Coffin SE. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus as a cause of extensive retropharyngeal abscess in two infants. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2007 Dec; 26(12):1161-3.
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  12. Fleisch AF, Agarwal N, Roberts MD, Han JC, Theim KR, Vexler A, Troendle J, Yanovski SZ, Yanovski JA. Influence of serum leptin on weight and body fat growth in children at high risk for adult obesity. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Mar; 92(3):948-54.
  13. Fleisch AF, Ning C, Yanovski JA. Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome as a cause of poor growth during adolescence. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Nov; 19(11):1367-70.
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