Director of the Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center and the Ethel H. Wise Professor, is a pediatrician and epidemiologist. He has been a member of the faculty of Mount Sinai School of Medicine since 1985 and Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine since 1990. He was named Mount Sinai’s Dean for Global Health in 2010.
Dr. Landrigan graduated from Boston College in 1963 and from Harvard Medical School in 1967. He completed an internship in pediatrics/medicine at the Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital and a residency in pediatrics at the Children's Hospital Boston. In 1977, he received a Masters of Science in Occupational Medicine and Diploma of Industrial Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine at the University of London.
Dr. Landrigan served for 15 years as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer and medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). While at CDC, Dr. Landrigan served for one year as a field epidemiologist in El Salvador and for another year in northern Nigeria. He participated in the Global Campaign for the Eradication of Smallpox and was responsible for creating the unit that has evolved into the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health. He also directed the national program in occupational epidemiology for NIOSH and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal of the US Public Health Service.
In 1987, Dr. Landrigan was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine and Editor of Environmental Research. He has published more than 500 scientific papers and five books.
Dr. Landrigan has chaired committees at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on Environmental Neurotoxicology and on Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. The 1993 NAS report on Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children provided the blueprint for the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, the major law governing pesticide use in the US, and the only federal environmental law that contains explicit provisions for the protection of children’s health.
From 1995 to 1997, Dr. Landrigan served on the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veteran's Illnesses. In 1997 and 1998, Dr. Landrigan served as Senior Advisor on Children's Health to the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and was instrumental in helping to establish a new Office of Children's Health Protection at EPA.
Dr. Landrigan is known for his many decades of work in protecting children against environmental threats to health. His research combines the tools of epidemiology with biological markers derived from clinical and laboratory medicine. Dr. Landrigan is deeply committed to translating research into strategies for health protection and disease prevention.
Dr. Landrigan’s landmark studies in the early 1970s of children exposed to lead near a lead ore smelter in El Paso, Texas were among the first to show that lead can cause brain damage to children at levels too low to cause clinically evident signs and symptoms – a phenomenon now termed “subclinical toxicity.” This work was critical in persuading the EPA to remove lead from gasoline and paint, actions that resulted in a 95% decline in lead poisoning in US children. This success has been emulated in nations worldwide.
Dr. Landrigan has been a leader in developing and implementing the National Children's Study, the largest study of children's health and he environment ever launched in the United States. He has been centrally involved in the medical and epidemiologic studies that followed the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. He has also consulted extensively to the World Health Organization.