WELCOME NEW EHS FACULTY: Andres Cardenas and Jay Graham

EHS students, faculty and staff are excited to welcome the newest additions to our faculty: Prof. Andres Cardenas and Prof. Jay Graham. Please join us in welcoming them to Environmental Health Sciences!

 Prof. Andres Cardenas

Prof. Andres Cardenas

Andres Cardenas, PhD, MPH (starting January 1, 2019)

Assistant Professor, Environmental Health Sciences

Dr. Andres Cardenas develops and applies computational approaches in environmental epigenomics, examining molecular and epigenetic targets of exposures to environmental hazards and their role in the development of disease. He is investigating the prenatal influence of metals, air pollution, endocrine disrupting compounds, diet and prenatal maternal medication use on the epigenome of infants and children. His current research evaluates the role of environmental exposures in utero, epigenetic modifications, and their potential role in the developmental origins of health and disease. Prior to joining the Berkeley faculty, Dr. Cardenas was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.

 Prof. Jay Graham

Prof. Jay Graham

Jay Graham, PhD, MPH, MBA (starting January 1, 2019)

Assistant Professor, Environmental Health Sciences

Dr. Jay Graham's research applies epidemiologic methods and next-generation DNA sequencing to refine our understanding of the spatial and temporal transmission of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and zoonotic infectious diseases. He has worked collaboratively in many settings in Latin America, Asia and Africa, and has extensive experience working on the US-México border where he conducted research on the primary prevention of diarrheal diseases and pneumonia within informal settlements of Ciudad Juárez, MX. His work has contributed to more efficient and cost-effective approaches to scale-up public health initiatives for the prevention and control of infectious diseases. Dr. Graham holds an M.P.H. and an M.B.A., and he received his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to joining the Berkeley faculty, he served as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow within the Bureau for Global Health at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), where he provided technical leadership on water, sanitation and hygiene and household air pollution programs. He also served on the faculty of the School of Public Health at George Washington University, where he directed the graduate program in Global Environmental Health.

EHS Alum Article: Eating out increases exposure to harmful phthalates

A new study has found that people who ate more fast food were exposed to higher levels of potentially harmful chemicals known as phthalates than people who ate more home-cooked meals.

Lead author Julia Varshavsky, who did the research while she was a grad student at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and is now a post doc in reproductive health and the environment at UCSF, studied data from the 10,253 participants in a national survey. They were asked to recall what they ate and where their food came from in the previous 24 hours. The researchers analyzed the links between what people ate and the levels of phthalate breakdown products found in their urine.

“People who ate the most fast food had phthalate levels that were as much as 40 percent higher,” said senior author Ami Zota, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University. “Our findings raise concerns because phthalates have been linked to a number of serious health problems in children and adults.”

People who ate in restaurants and cafeterias also had higher levels of phthalates than people who ate home-cooked meals. The study is the first to compare phthalate exposures in people who reported dining out to those more likely to enjoy home-cooked meals.

Story by Brett Israel, UC Berkeley Media Relations
Read the full story at Berkeley News

EHS doctoral students publish research in Nature Comm. and Environmental International

EHS doctoral student Julia Varshavsky and colleagues examine dietary sources of cumulative phthalates exposure among the U.S. general population in NHANES.

EHS doctoral student Chris Hoover helps lead collaborative research finding that agrochemicals can increase environmental transmission of human schistosomiasis (covered in the TWiP science podcast http://bit.ly/2pvLZNg  starting at 1:05:00).



Berkeley and Prof. Smith partner with top Indian and global institutions to launch Collaborative Clean Air Policy Centre

Top Indian and global institutes, including TERI, announce the launch of Collaborative Clean Air Policy Centre with UC Berkeley

New Delhi, 3 November 2017:  Along with its partners, TERI proudly announces the inception of Collaborative Clean Air Policy Centre (CCAPC), a new partnership among the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Sri Ramachandra University Chennai, University of California Berkeley, and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Delhi. UrbanEmissions.info, a credible information centre providing research, and analysis related to air pollution, serves as the Centre’s knowledge partner.

With its Secretariat housed at TERI, New Delhi, CCAPC will focus on comparing and evaluating policy options for dealing with India’s health-damaging air pollution of all types, indoor, outdoor, rural, and urban. It will facilitate a platform for institutions to work together to make appropriate policy recommendations and provide actionable solutions to manage the problem.

By virtue of its nature of work, CCAPC will also work closely with but be independent of the Ministries of Health; Petroleum; New and Renewable Energy; and Environment, Forests and Climate Change, and Indian Council of Medical Research.

Apart from publishing policy papers that will help enhance the understanding of air pollution management, the activities of CCAPC will also involve running a post-doctorate programme with mentorship across all four partner institutes.


Prof. Kirk Smith contributes to the The Lancet Commission on pollution and health

Prof. Kirk Smith contributes to the The Lancet Commission on pollution and health, which "addresses the full health and economic costs of air, water, and soil pollution. Through analyses of existing and emerging data, the Commission reveals pollution’s severe and underreported contribution to the Global Burden of Disease. It uncovers the economic costs of pollution to low-income and middle-income countries. The Commission will inform key decision makers around the world about the burden that pollution places on health and economic development, and about available cost-effective pollution control solutions and strategies."