Leadership Council:
Frederica Perera, DrPH, PhD

“The health and future of our children are at stake; they depend on actions that we, as a global community, take right now.”

Dr. Frederica Perera, DrPH, PhD, is a Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where she serves as Director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health and of the DISCOVER Center. Dr. Perera is internationally recognized for her work on children’s health and for pioneering the field of molecular epidemiology, utilizing biomarkers to understand links between environmental exposures and disease. Currently, in international studies she and her colleagues are applying advanced molecular and imaging techniques within longitudinal cohort studies of pregnant women and their children, with the goal of identifying preventable environmental risk factors for developmental disorders, asthma, obesity and cancer in childhood. These include toxic chemicals, pesticides, and air pollution, with particular focus on adverse effects of prenatal and early childhood exposures. Her recent research is also addressing the multiple impacts on children’s health and development of fossil fuel combustion—both from the toxic pollutants emitted and climate change related to CO2 emissions. She is the author of over 300 peer reviewed scientific publications. She has received numerous honors including, most recently, the Heinz Award for her lifetime achievement in research for the protection of children’s health.