Investigators

 

Julie Herbstman, PhD, Director

Dr. Julie Herbstman, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. Trained as an epidemiologist, Dr. Herbstman’s research focuses on the impact of prenatal and early life exposures to endocrine-disrupting environmental pollutants, including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), envrionemtal phenols (including BPA), perflourinated compounds and phthalates and their impact on child health and neurodevelopment. She has also been involved in research exploring the long-term environmental health impact of exposure to pollutants from the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11. She leads multiple longitudinal birth cohorts within the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health. She directs the Center's work involving the integration of epigenetic biomarkers to explore the mechanistic pathway between prenatal exposures and disease risk in childhood and across the lifecourse. Dr. Herbstman has been honored as a Columbia Butler Aging Center Fellow and a Columbia Tow Research Scholar.

 

Frederica Perera, DrPH, PhD, Director of Translational Research

Dr. Frederica Perera, is a Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and serves as the Director of Translational Research at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health. Dr. Perera is internationally recognized for pioneering the field of molecular epidemiology, utilizing biomarkers to understand links between environmental exposures and disease. Currently, she and her colleagues are applying advanced moecular and imaging techniques within longitudinal cohort studies of pregnant women and their children, with the goal of identifying preventable environmental risk factors for developmental disorders, asthma, obesity, and cancer in childhood. These include toxic chemicals and air pollution, with particular focus on adverse effects of prenatal and early chidhod exposures, and the multiple health impacts of fossil fuel combustion- both form toxic pollutants emtted and climate change related to CO2 emissions. Importantly, the research is highlighting the health and economic benefits of action to address these threats. She is author of over 300 peer-reviewed articles and has received numerous honors.

 

Deliang Tang, MD, DrPH, Director of Center Labatory

Dr. Deliang Tang's primary research interest is in predictive risk modeling for cancer, focusing on genetic susceptibility and environmental exposures. This interdisciplinary research consists of the development and validation of susceptibility and exposure/effect biomarkers and the development of statistical risk models. The goal of his research is early cancer detection, based on biomarker analysis. Dr. Tang also directs the Center’s Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory. 


Howard Andrews, PhD, Director of Data Management

Dr. Howard Andrews established and serves as director of the Data Coordinating Center, which in collaboration with the Biostatistics Department, provides comprehensive data management, statistical and data analytic services to the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health. He is an expert in the use of web-based technologies to gather, organize, and disseminate research information.

 

 

Diana Hernandez, PhD, Director of Community Outreach and Translation Core

Dr. Diana Hernandez, is focuses her work on the social and environmental determinants of health by querying the impacts of policy and place-based interventions on the health and socioeconomic well-being of vulnerable populations. Her community-oriented research examines the intersections between the built environment (housing and neighborhoods), poverty/equity and health with a particular emphasis on energy insecurity. Much of her research is conducted in her native South Bronx neighborhood, where she also lives and invests in social impact real estate. Dr. Hernandez is currently a Principal or Co-Investigator on several projects related to structural interventions in low-income housing (i.e. energy efficiency upgrades, cleaner burning fuel source conversions, smoke-free housing compliance, new finance and capital improvement models in public housing and post-Sandy resilience among public housing residents) or otherwise related to alleviating the consequences of poverty on health (i.e. attrition study of the Nurse Family Partnership Program and qualitative evaluation of the Medical Legal Partnership model).