Environmental Health Sciences

University of California, Berkeley


Academic degree programs in the Graduate Group in Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) are recommended for individuals with clear research orientations who wish to complete work of an interdisciplinary nature. Applicants may apply to the MS program, the PhD program, or the joint MS/PhD program. EHS is administered within the Division of Environmental Health and the School of Public Health. Although students receive their academic degrees from the graduate group (under the jurisdiction of the Graduate Division of the UC Berkeley campus), students are also affiliated with and apply to the School of Public Health.

Much of the work at the Environmental Health Sciences Division is focused on the study of human populations exposed to chemical or biological agents in either the community or occupational environments. Faculty in the group are closely involved with epidemiological studies, often developing biological markers that can serve as indicators of human exposure before full-blown disease results. Many of these studies are done in collaboration with other first-rank research institutions in the U.S. and around the world. Collaborative research opportunities also exist with world-renowned exposure assessment groups in the College of Engineering at Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Undergraduate Program

There is no undergraduate program in Environmental Health Sciences.

Graduate Programs

Environmental Health Sciences: MS, MS/PhD, PhD

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Faculty and Instructors


+ John R. Balmes, Professor in Residence. Effects of exposure to outdoor air pollution on respiratory and cardiovascular health, immune and glucose, dysregulation, and obesity in children and adults, Effects of exposure to household air pollution (from combustion of biomass fuels for domestic cooking) on respiratory and cardiovascular health in children and adults, Effects of early-life exposure to pesticides on respiratory health later in the life course, Effects of arsenic in drinking water on respiratory health, Interactive health effects of exposures to air pollution and psychosocial stress.
Research Profile

Andres Cardenas, Assistant Professor-in-Residence. Application of epidemiological and molecular approaches to evaluate the contribution of environmental exposures in the development of disease; prenatal influence of exposure to multiple metals, air pollution, endocrine disrupting compounds, diet and maternal medication use on the epigenome of newborns and children; role of environmental exposures in utero, epigenetic modifications, and their role in the developmental origins of health and disease.
Research Profile

Ellen Eisen, Professor in Residence. Exposure-response models for occupational health studies, Healthy worker survivor bias, Occupational respiratory disease.
Research Profile

Jay Graham, Assistant Professor-in-Residence. Environmental determinants of biological hazards including antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and zoonotic enteric pathogens; applied research examining how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of well-recognized environmental health interventions, such as access to improved water, sanitation and hygiene.
Research Profile

S. Katharine Hammond, Professor. Evaluation of air pollution exposures and their effects on children, including preterm birth, birth defects, respiratory and cardiovascular health, immune and glucose dysregulation, and obesity, Development of new methods to evaluate exposures to outdoor and indoor air pollutants, secondhand smoke and occupational chemicals, Neurologic and reproductive effects of hexane on workers, Exposure and health effects of secondhand smoke and international efforts for tobacco control, Measurement of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and the associated health effects from outdoor, air pollution (China and US) and also biomass burning indoors (Nepal, China, Guatemala, Nigeria).
Research Profile

Catherine Koshland, Professor. Air toxics and combustion, In situ diagnostics for combustion, air toxics and nanoparticles, Health impacts of nanoparticles, Energy, technology and social and cultural impacts, Environmental health regulation and policy.
Research Profile

Justin Remais, Associate Professor. Environmental dynamics of infectious diseases, Global environmental change and health, Methodological issues in the projection of infectious disease risks in response to environmental change Optimizing infectious disease surveillance in low- and middle-income countries.
Research Profile

Kirk R. Smith, Professor. Relationships among environmental quality, health, resource use, development, and policy in developing countries, Health effects of air pollution exposures in developing countries, particularly health effects in women and children from household air pollution due to household fuels.
Research Profile

Martyn T. Smith, Professor. Biomarkers of Carcinogenesis, Diet as a Risk Factor for Cancer, Biomarkers of Benzene Exposure and Genotoxicity, Childhood Leukemia and Environmental Exposures.
Research Profile

Emeritus Faculty

Stephen Rappaport, Professor Emeritus. Development and application of biomarkers of exposure to toxic chemicals, including benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, Assessment of long-term chemical exposures for purposes of controlling workplace hazards and investigating exposure-response relationships.

Robert C. Spear, Professor Emeritus. Mathematical modeling of toxicological and infectious processes, Statistical issues in exposure assessment.

Contact Information

Graduate Group in Environmental Health Sciences

760 University Hall

Fax: 510-642-5815

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Division and Graduate Group Chair

Ellen Eisen, ScD

Phone: 510-643-5310


Program Manager

Norma Firestone

Phone: 510-643-5160


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