Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP
Associate Professor in Pediatrics, Environmental Medicine and Health Policy, New York University
Dr. Trasande’s research focuses on identifying the role of environmental and other factors in chronic childhood disease, and documenting the economic costs for policy makers of failing to prevent them proactively. Dr. Trasande is perhaps best known for a 2011 study in Health Affairs which found that children’s exposures to chemicals in the environment cost $76.6 billion in 2008. His analysis of the economic costs of mercury pollution played a critical role in preventing the Clear Skies Act (which would have relaxed regulations on emissions from coal-fired power plants) from becoming law. He has also published a series of studies which document increases in hospitalizations associated with childhood obesity and increases in medical expenditures associated with being obese or overweight in childhood. These studies have been cited in the Presidential Task Force Report in Childhood Obesity, and another landmark study identified that a $2 billion annual investment in prevention would be cost-effective even if it produced small reductions in the number of children who were obese and overweight. He serves on a United Nations Environment Programme Steering Committee which is developing a Global Outlook on Chemicals Policy, and on the Executive Committee of the Council for Environmental Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He recently served on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Trasande earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed a pediatrics residency at Boston Children’s Hospital, a Dyson Foundation Legislative Fellowship in the office of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and a fellowship in environmental pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He has testified before the Senate’s Environment and Public Works committee and Democratic Policy Committee. His work has been featured on the CNN documentary Planet in Peril and in National Geographic, and frequently appears on national media, including NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Evening News and National Public Radio.