Dr. Frederica Perera, the founder and director of the Columbia Children’s Center for Environmental Health (CCCEH) at the Mailman School of Public Health, is the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Heinz Award for the Environment, recognizing her work to pioneer the field of molecular epidemiology and for her decades-long research to illuminate the health consequences to children of prenatal and childhood exposures to hazardous chemicals.
She is one of six winners of the 20th Heinz Awards, which come with a $250,000 prize and honor the memory of the late U.S. Senator John Heinz, recognizing those who have made outstanding contributions to the arts and humanities; environment; human condition; public policy; and technology, the economy, and employment.
“[Dr.] Frederica Perera has extended the frontiers of knowledge about children’s health and its relationship with the environment. But she is not a scientist who stops where her curiosity leads her. An impeccable researcher, she dares also to speak the truth about what she sees, to raise alarm bells about what is happening to our children, and to spark changes in policy and behavior,” said Ms. Teresa Heinz, chairman of the Heinz Family Foundation in a statement. “She is not only a pioneer in her field, she is also a courageous role model for women in the sciences and for all scientists whose findings inspire them to speak difficult but important truths about how we are affecting the world around us and through that our own health.”