Message from the Chair

Our planet is our home. It belongs to all of us. Yet our home is burdened by a myriad of environmental threats that are dramatically different today than those we faced just 10 or 20 years ago, and the effects on public health are evident. This is why in Environmental Health Sciences, faculty, students, trainees, and staff work together across education, research, and service to protect the world we live in and seek new paths for sustainable and integral development.

One of the department’s highest priorities is to engage, teach, and mentor diverse groups of talented individuals in the MPHMSPhD, 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 Superfund Research Program that support cutting-edge cross-disciplinary research, training, and community outreach.

My own research in environmental epigenetics examines the health risks of many synthetic toxins and considers how their deleterious effects can be reversed to find new means of disease prevention. Throughout our department, this combination of laboratory-based molecular toxicology and population-based epidemiology is at work today to ensure a future for our planet.

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


Andrea Baccarelli, PhD, MD, MPH
Chair and Leon Hess Professor of Environmental Health Sciences