Brenda Eskenazi

director,Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health

Brenda Eskenazi directs the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH, at UC Berkeley. She is the Jennifer and Brian Maxwell Professor of Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology and chair of Community Health and Human Development at the School of Public Health. Eskenazi is a neuropsychologist and epidemiologist whose long-standing research interest has been the effects of toxicants on human reproduction (both male and female) and child development.  She has more than 300 publications and is on the scientific advisory boards of Healthy Children, Healthy World and the Children’s Environmental Health Coalition. Professor Eskenazi advises the World Health Organization on children’s environmental health issues and has advised researchers across the world on investigations -- in Israel, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Chile, Mexico, China and elsewhere. Professor Eskenazi is currently the principal investigator director of an NIH/EPA Center for Excellence in Children's Environmental Health Research and its keystone project "CHAMACOS," which investigates the exposure pathways and health effects of pesticide and other exposures in farmworkers and their children residing in California’s Salinas Valley; the project also develops interventions to prevent future exposure. CHAMACOS has studied pesticides, flame retardants and plasticizers in relation to fetal and child growth, neurodevelopment, asthma-related symptoms and age of pubertal onset. CHAMACOS has a very active community outreach and translation component involving growers, farmworkers, advocates, medical personnel and local youth. Eskenazi is also the principal investigator on other NIEHS-funded projects on endocrine disruption, including the Seveso Women’s Health Study of the health of women and their children exposed to high levels of dioxin as a result of an explosion in 1976 and the VHEMBE study of the health effects of pyrethroids and DDT to children living in areas of South Africa sprayed for malaria control. She is a member of the National Advisory Environmental Health Science Council for the National Institutes of Health and has sat on the Board of Children, Youth and Families for the National Academy of Science. Eskenazi has recently been awarded the prestigious John R. Goldsmith award for lifetime achievement in environmental epidemiology.