Message From the Chair

Regina Santella headshot in lab

Environmental threats to public health are dramatically different today than those we faced just 10 or 20 years ago. Faculty, students, trainees, and staff in Environmental Health Sciences work together across education, research, and service to protect our world and seek new paths for integral development.

One of the department’s highest priorities is to engage, teach, and mentor diverse groups of talented individuals in the MPH, MS, PhD, or DrPH degree programs. A combination of interdisciplinary faculty expertise and mentored student research prepares our students to tackle challenges that endanger our common home. The department is a recognized leader in the area of Climate and Health, with the only degree-granting program in this field at any school of public health. Our MPH educational offerings span five different Certificate programs. Our 12-month MS degree with concentrations in Toxicology and Environmental Health Data Science can be completed as either a full- or part-time student.

We are also home to three National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences [NIEHS] centers: the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, the Center for Environmental Health Science and Justice in Northern Manhattan, and the Columbia University Northern Plains Superfund Research Program that support cutting-edge cross-disciplinary research, training, and community outreach.

My own research in environmental carcinogenesis seeks to understand the joint role of environmental exposures and genetic susceptibility in cancer development. Identification of causative agents and susceptible individuals will impact prevention. Throughout our department, this combination of laboratory-based molecular toxicology and population-based epidemiology is at work, ensuring a brighter future for our planet.

I invite you to get to know this department, my faculty and staff colleagues, and our exceptional students, and look forward to having our paths join together.



Regina M. Santella, PhD

Interim Chair and Professor of Environmental Health Sciences