Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Ph.D.

Professor and Director, Program in Environmental Epidemiology, UC Davis MIND Institute

Dr. Hertz-Picciotto, PhD, is Chief of the Division of Environmental Health, and Professor of Epidemiology, MIND (Medical Investigations of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Institute at the University of California, Davis. She is an internationally renowned environmental epidemiologist with over 250 scientific publications on environmental exposures, including metals, pesticides, air pollutants and endocrine disruptors, how they interact with nutrition, and how they affect pregnancy, the newborn, young children, and the rest of us. In 2002, she turned her attention to autism, launching the CHARGE Study (CHildhood Autism Risks from Genes and Environment), the first large, comprehensive population-based study of how our everyday environment contributes to autism or other developmental problems, and a few years later, MARBLES (Markers of Autism Risk in Babies – Learning Early Signs), to search for early environmental and biologic predictors of autism, starting in pregnancy. Her seminal work on autism has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, Science Friday, The Dr. Oz show, WebMD, and many others. She also is Director of the Northern California Center for the National Children’s Study. Dr. Hertz-Picciotto sits on editorial boards for leading scientific journals in epidemiology, environmental health, and autism, including as Associate Editor of Environment International and has held appointments on state, national and international advisory panels to organizations such as the Food Safety in Europe Working Group, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Toxicology Program, California Air Resources Board, and NIH Interagency Coordinating Committee on Autism Research. She is a Science Advisor to Healthy Child, Healthy World, and Autism Speaks. She has been elected President of two of the largest professional epidemiology societies; chaired the Expert Panel on CDC’s Vaccine Safety Database for Studies of Autism and Thimerosal; chaired National Academy of Sciences Panels on Agent Orange and Vietnam Veterans and more recently the Institute of Medicine Committee on Breast Cancer and the Environment. Dr. Hertz-Picciotto has taught epidemiology on four continents and mentored over 60 doctoral and postdoctoral scholars. In 2011, she received the Goldsmith Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology.