An Interview with Dr. Frederica Perera, Recipient of the Prestigious Heinz Award

May 28, 2015
10:00 am US Eastern Time

Slides & Resources

Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health - Visit the website

Previous CHE call featuring Dr. Perera:

Listen to Recording

Frederica Perera, DrPH, PhD, is the founder and director of the Columbia (University) Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) at the Mailman School of Public Health. In late April she was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for the Environment for her pioneering work in the field of molecular epidemiology and for her decades-long research to illuminate the health consequences children suffer from prenatal and childhood exposures to hazardous chemicals. The Heinz Award is made in the memory of the late US Senator John Heinz by recognizing those who have made outstanding contributions in one of five critically important categories: Arts and Humanities; Environment; Human Condition; Public Policy; and Technology, the Economy and Employment.

Dr. Perera’s team at CCCEH is renowned for its Mothers and Newborns Study, which tracks a large group of children in the United States, specifically in New York City, from womb through adolescence, and for its parallel studies in Poland and China. The research examines how environmental toxicants invade young bodies, causing changes at the molecular level that have been linked to cancer, asthma and neurobehavioral problems such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Over the years Dr. Perera has presented on several CHE calls, exploring topics ranging from the effects of prenatal exposures to EDCs on childhood development to the impact of air pollution on neurodevelopment. In 2012 she was one of the many distinguished speakers who presented at CHE’s Healthy Environments Across Generations conference held at the New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. Perera’s research and dedication to the field of children’s environmental health has been and continues to be a tremendous resource for CHE’s partners.

On this call Elise Miller, CHE’s director, discussed with Dr. Perera how she came to this field, her work over the past decades, what she sees as pivotal moments in the evolution of the environmental health movement, and priority actions and opportunities to reduce chemical exposures in the future nationally and internationally.