EHS faculty have a wide range of expertise needed to address the large spectrum of environmental health challenges our world is facing. Faculty research overlaps in common methodologies and underlying themes within a collaborative EHS environment, yet is interdiciplinary and innovative in proposing novel scientific questions around public health.

Primary Faculty

Our primary faculty in EHS have a wide range of expertise throughout the environmental health field:

Andrea Baccarelli – As a board-certified clinical endocrinologist and environmental epidemiologist, Dr. Baccarelli’s research investigates molecular mechanisms as potential functional pathways linking exposures to environmental pollutants to human disease. His current studies involve epigenetics, mitochondriomics, and computational epigenomics and range from prenatal/birth to aging cohort exposures both domestically and internationally. Dr. Baccarelli serves as the EHS Department Chair.

Greg Freyer – Trained in molecular biology and biochemistry, Dr. Freyer’s research has focused on understanding the molecular consequences of various environmental exposures. His research has ranged from studies on DNA damage and repair, epigenetic changes to DNA, and the human virome. Dr. Freyer oversees the EHS educational programs as the Faculty Director of Graduate Education and is Director of the Core Curriculum for the School.

Mary Gamble – Trained as a nutritional biochemist, Dr. Gamble’s research investigates the interaction between nutrients and the environment and their resulting impact on human health. Dr. Gamble’s recent international projects have targeted understanding the impact of folate, creatine, and other nutrients involved in one-carbon metabolism on the metabolism and toxicity of arsenic.


Joseph Graziano – Dr. Graziano is a pharmacologist/toxicologist who researches the toxicology of metals and is widely credited for the discovery and successful development of Succimer, an oral drug for the treatment of childhood lead poisoning.  His current research investigates the problem of naturally occurring arsenic in drinking water in Bangladesh and the United States, particularly its effects on children.  Dr. Graziano serves as the director of the Superfund Research Program.

Julie Herbstman – Dr. Herbstman is an environmental and molecular epidemiologist whose research focuses on the effects of prenatal exposures to environmental pollutants and the molecular mechanisms underlying these associations. She currently leads a NIEHS R01 to determine the association between prenatal and childhood exposure to PBDEs, which are ubiquitous flame retardant compounds, and thyroid hormone dysfunction and neurodevelopment.

Markus Hilpert EHS Environmental Health SciencesMarkus Hilpert – Dr. Hilpert, a civil engineer by training, investigates the interface between hydrology, environmental engineering, and environmental health. His current research studies include examining soil structure on the retention of small particles (e.g. nano-particles, pathogens) and assessing VOC pollution releases at fueling stations and the associated human exposure and health impacts.

Darby Jack – Trained in empirical microeconomics, policy, and development, Dr. Jack investigates the impact of environmental air pollution on human health. Dr. Jack's current international and domestic research projects involve assessing both indoor biomass air pollution exposure in rural Ghana, as well as outdoor air pollution exposure to urban bicyclists in New York City.


Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou – Dr. Kioumourtzoglou is an environmental engineer and environmental epidemiologist. Her research focuses on statistical issues related to air pollution epidemiology, including exposure measurement error and multi-pollutant exposures. 



Micaela Martinez - Dr. Martinez is an infectious disease ecologist whose research falls into three main areas: the transmission ecology of vaccine-preventable infections, transgenerational immunity, and the impact of biological rhythms (i.e., circadian and circannual rhythms) on disease. She has an NIH Director’s Early Independence Award to develop mathematical models to quantify the transmission impact of new vaccines and conduct a clinical study to determine if seasonal changes in immunity influence disease susceptibility. 

Ana Navas-Acien – Trained in Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Dr. Navas-Acien’s research investigates the long-term health effects of environmental chemicals (arsenic, lead and other metals, tobacco and e-cigarettes, and air pollution), their interactions with genetic and epigenetic variants, and effective interventions for reducing involuntary exposure to environmental agents. 


Brandon Pearson Environmental Health Sciences Columbia UniversityBrandon Pearson  Dr. Pearson is trained in translational neuroscience and toxicology. His research is focused on identifying environmental, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of neurological and neuropsychiatric disease with the goal of developing novel candidate treatment and prevention strategies for common conditions such as autism spectrum disorder and dementia. 

Frederica Perera – Dr. Perera pioneered the field of molecular epidemiology. Her current research includes international and national studies of effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and ambient air pollution, environmental tobacco smoke, and endocrine disrupting chemicals in the developing fetus and child. Dr. Perera is the director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health.


Matt Perzanowski EHS  Environmental Health SciencesMatthew Perzanowski – Dr. Perzanowski is a pulmonary epidemiologist with research focused on understanding environmental exposures that lead to allergic sensitization, asthma and airway inflammation. His current research involves exploring paradigms of exposures related to asthma in inner-city NYC as well as assessing non-invasive measurements of airway inflammation in pediatric population studies.

Diane B. Re – Trained in neuroscience, Dr. Re’s research efforts concentrate on identifying environmental neurotoxins that could be a trigger or a risk factor for adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases and on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to neurodegeneration. Specifically, Dr. Re’s research revolves around the fatal paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Regina Santella – Dr. Santella is a biochemist whose research assesses human exposure to environmental and occupational carcinogens in molecular epidemiology studies. Her current research is looking at epigenetics to determine how environmental and lifestyle factors can impact cancer risk. Dr. Santella serves as the Director of the NIEHS Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan.

Jeff Shaman EHS Environmental Health SciencesJeffrey Shaman – Dr. Shaman is a geophysicist who studies climate dynamics, health in the urban environment, and how hydrologic and meteorological variability affect infectious disease ecology and transmission dynamics.  His principal research focus is on the development of systems for the surveillance, simulation, and forecast of infectious disease for public health. Dr. Shaman currently directs the Climate and Health Program.

Deliang Tang – Dr. Tang is a molecular epidemiologist with research on developing susceptibility and exposure biomarkers to understand the effects of environmental pollutants, risk for cancer, and other health risks in early childhood.  Dr. Tang is currently developing novel genetic markers for predicting disease risk, such as assessing methylation of genes and telomere length to characterize inflammation and cancer risk.