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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Columbia Professor Recipient of Jean and Leslie Douglas Pearl Award of 2014

The Cornell Douglas Foundation announced that Dr. Frederica Perera, Mailman School professor of environmental health sciences and director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, was awarded the second annual Jean and Leslie Douglas Pearl Award of 2014 for her pioneering work in the field of molecular epidemiology. Advocates for environmental health and justice, the Cornell Douglas Foundation selects organizations and individual awardees who are dedicated to improving the lives of others and providing a sustainable earth for future generations.


Dr. Perera is internationally recognized for pioneering the field of molecular epidemiology, utilizing biomarkers to understand links between environmental exposures and disease. Currently, 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 areas of specialization include prevention of environmentally-related developmental disorders and disease in children, cancer prevention through the use of novel biomarkers, environment-susceptibility interactions, and implications for risk assessment. 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. Dr. Perera is the author of over 300 publications, including 270 peer-reviewed articles, and has received numerous honors.

Dr. Perera will be presented with the award at a ceremony in Spring 2015.