The Environmental Advocates of New York recently honored Dr. Frederica Perera, Mailman School professor of environmental health sciences and director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health with its 2015 Advocate Award. Each year, the organization recognizes two medical professionals for their contributions to protecting the health of all New Yorkers. Dr. Perera was given the award for her groundbreaking research on the impact of prenatal and early childhood exposure to pollutants on the health and development of children in New York City, Poland, and China.
Dr. Perera accepted the award on behalf of her colleagues at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health and WEACT, the Center’s community partner, stating: “Our work has helped to raise public awareness and bring attention to policymakers to the problem of untested chemicals released in vast amounts to the environment and the costs of continued heavy reliance on fossil fuel.”
Dr. Perera is internationally recognized for pioneering the field of molecular epidemiology. Currently, she and her colleagues are applying advanced molecular and imaging techniques to identify preventable environmental risk factors for developmental disorders, asthma, obesity and cancer in childhood. Her research also addresses the impacts on children’s health and development of fossil fuel combustion– from the toxic pollutants emitted and climate change related to CO2 emissions. The author of over 350 publications, Dr. Perera received the Jean and Leslie Douglas Pearl Award, from The Cornell Douglas Foundation in 2014 and was honored by the Heinz Family Foundation in 2015 with the Heinz Award for the Environment.