Brenda Eskenazi, professor of epidemiology at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, was inducted into the Collegium Ramazzini as a fellow during the annual Ramazzini Days in Carpi, Italy. She will bring to the academy her considerable expertise and extensive body of work in occupational and environmental health research and advocacy.
Founded in 1982, Collegium Ramazzini is an independent, international academy with 180 invited members from more than 30 countries, all internationally renowned experts who have devoted their lives to the fields of occupational and environmental health. The mission of the academy is to serve as a bridge between the world of scientific discovery and the social and political centers that act on the discoveries of science to protect public health.
Potential members are nominated by fellows in good standing and elected to the organization based on their scientific progress and societal commitment toward the protection of the population at large or vulnerable subgroups against environmental health risks, with a view toward reducing or avoiding human suffering related to these risks.
The appointment recognizes Eskenazi’s pioneering work in maternal and child health and epidemiology. She has conducted extensive research on the effects of environmental pollutants on mother’s and children’s health, working with populations all over the world. Most notably, she began the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) study in 1999, with mothers and children in Salinas Valley. Among other findings, the landmark longitudinal study has linked flame retardants to lower birth weights, associated PBDE exposure to reduced fertility and altered thyroid function in women, and linked mothers’ exposure to organophosphate pesticides during pregnancy to shorter gestation and lower IQs in children.
Eskenazi is the director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health.