Investigators & Staff

Center Director

Dr. Frederica Perera

Dr. Federica PereraFrederica P. Perera, DrPH, PhD, is professor of Environmental Health Sciences and serves as director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health and of the Disease Investigation Through Specialized Clinically-Oriented Ventures in Environmental Research (DISCOVER) Center. Dr. Perera pioneered the field of molecular epidemiology, beginning with studies of cancer and is now applying molecular techniques within studies of pregnant women and their children. Since 1998, she and her colleagues at the Center have tracked the health of more than 700 NYC pregnant women and their children. Exposures being studied include the combustion pollutants polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), pesticides, secondhand smoke, chemicals in plastics and flame retardants.

Her areas of specialization include prevention of environmental risks to children, molecular epidemiology, cancer prevention, environment-susceptibility interactions in cancer, developmental damage, asthma, and risk assessment. She is the author of over 200 publications and has received numerous honors, including the first Irving J. Selikoff Cancer Research Award, The Ramazzini Institute (1995); Doctoris Honoris Causa, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland (2004); Children’s Environmental Health Excellence Award, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2005); and CEHN (Children’s Environmental Health Network) Award (2008).

Dr. Virginia Rauh, Deputy Director

Dr. Virginia Rauh, Deputy DirectorDr. Virginia Rauh, ScD, MSW, serves as deputy director of the Center for Children’s Environmental Health, where her work focuses on the adverse impact of exposure to air pollutants, including second hand smoke and pesticides; on pregnancy and child health; and the susceptibility of disadvantaged populations to environmental hazards.

Dr. Robin Whyatt, Deputy Director

Dr. Robin Whyatt, Deputy DirectorDr. Robin M. Whyatt, DrPH, serves as deputy director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health and co-director of the Exposure and Biomarkers Core. Her work focuses on the effects of non-persistent pesticides on birth outcomes and neurocognitive development and endocrine disruptors (phthalates and bisphenol A) on immune function, asthma etiology, and obesity.

Dr. Rachel Miller, Deputy Director

Dr. Rachel Miller, Deputy DirectorDr. Rachel Miller, MD, serves as deputy director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health. Her research focuses on mechanisms for the onset of asthma and her clinical work specializes in the treatment of asthma and allergies. Her work is determining the importance of environmental allergen and pollutant exposure to the onset of allergies, asthma and immune responses.

Dr. Deliang Tang, Director of Center Laboratory

Dr. Deliang Tang, Director of Center LaboratoryDr. Deliang Tang’s primary research interest is in predictive risk modeling for cancer, particularly focusing on genetic susceptibility and environmental exposures. This interdisciplinary research consists of the development and validation of susceptibility and exposure/effect biomarkers and the development of statistical risk models. The goal of his research is early cancer detection, based on biomarker analysis.

Dr. Howard Andrews, Director of Data Management

Dr. Howard Andrews, Director of Data ManagementDr. Howard Andrews established and serves as director of the Data Coordinating Center, which in collaboration with the Biostatistics Department, provides comprehensive data management, statistical and data analytic services to the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health. He is an expert in the use of web-based technologies to gather, organize, and disseminate research information.