autism

Anthony Wexler: Blue sky thinker

 

Anthony Wexler, PhD, MS is a research scientist who measures and models atmospheric aerosols related to urban smog, human health and global warming. His engineering background is the foundation for his understanding of the body’s physiological systems.

Numbers count: Profile of Irva Hertz-Picciotto

Irva Hertz-Picciotto, MPH, MA, PhD is an environmental epidemiologist studying how exposure to substances like metals, pesticides, air pollutants and endocrine disruptors interact with nutrition, genetics and social factors, especially during pregnancy and early child development.

Renowned for her pioneering expertise on environmental factors linked to autism, she’s produced seminal papers on the role exposure to pesticides, traffic-related air pollution, low folic acid intake and untreated fever during pregnancy have on the development of autism in children.

Rebecca Schmidt

Education

• BS in Biology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (1998)

• MS in Epidemiology, University of Iowa College of Public Health, Iowa City, IA (2000)

• PhD in Epidemiology, University of Iowa College of Public Health, Iowa City, IA; Dissertation Title: “Maternal Caffeine Intake, Selected Metabolic Gene Variants, and Neural Tube Defects” (2007)

• Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Autism Research Training Program at the MIND Institute, Sacramento, CA (2008 – 2010)

Folic acid may mitigate autism risk

April 18, 2018

Researchers at UC Davis and other institutions have shown that mothers who take recommended amounts of folic acid around conception might reduce their children’s pesticide-related autism risk. In the study, children whose mothers took 800 or more micrograms of folic acid (the amount in most prenatal vitamins) had a significantly lower risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – even when their mothers were exposed to household or agricultural pesticides associated with increased risk. The study appears in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Member profile

PAM LEIN, PHD Co-director of the Career Development Program at the Environmental Health Sciences Center

Pam Lein’s interest in toxicology started when she was an environmental science major at Cornell University. She became fascinated with the poisonous plant garden at Cornell’s veterinary school, where her father was a professor.

“I decided to take a course in poisonous plants while I was there, and that's how I was introduced to the concept of toxicology,” says Lein.

Project TENDR

Project TENDR is a unique collaboration of leading scientists, health professionals and children’s and environmental advocates.  The group, co founded by EHS Center Director, Irva Hertz-Picciotto and Maureen Swanson of the Learning Disabilities Association of America, formed in 2015 out of concern over the now substantial scientific evidence linking toxic environmental chemicals to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder, attention deficits, hyperactivity, intellectual disability and learning disorders.

Project TENDR (Video)

February 24, 2017

Leading health professionals, scientists and advocates agree that exposure to chemicals are putting children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders like autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning disabilities.

UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center Director Irva Hertz-Picciotto is leading initiatives around these environmental impacts on kids. One such push is Project TENDR (Targeting Environmental Neuro-Developmental Risks), an organization working to protect infants and children from preventable threats to healthy brain development.