Invited speakers

Environmental exposures and disease: role of the epigenome

Annette Peters, PhD, directs the Institute of Epidemiology at the Helmholtz Zentrum München – German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany. She studied biology, mathematics and epidemiology at the Universities in Konstanz and Tübingen, Germany as well as at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA. She has pioneered work identifying the link between ambient particulate matter and cardiovascular disease exacerbation. Furthermore, she was among the first examining the role of ultrafine particles in epidemiological studies. She was the president of the ISEE in 2012 and 2013. Since 2014, she is a principal investigator of the German National Cohort. Her research interest is to integrate the assessment of environmental exposures with chronic disease epidemiology and biomedical approaches utilizing high throughput technologies such as whole genome-wide methylation or metabolomics. She has severed on numerous scientific panels and expert groups including the group drafting the global guidelines on air pollution published in 2005 by the World Health Organization, a panel advising the International Olympic Committee during the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and chairing a grant panel of the European Research Council. She is a professor at Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, München, Germany and an adjunct professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA.

Air pollution and reproductive outcomes: is there anything left for us to do?

Beate Ritz, MD, Ph.D., is a Professor of Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health with co-appointments in Environmental Health Sciences and Neurology at the UCLA, SOM; a member of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health and the California Population Research Center. Her primary research interests are the effects of occupational and environmental exposures focusing on air pollution and pesticides on pregnancy and adverse birth outcomes and childhood diseases (autism and asthma) as well as neurodegeneration (Parkinson’s and Alzheimer) and cancers.  She has developed geographic information system (GIS) based exposure assessment tools to study health effects of air pollution and of long-term pesticide exposures.  She is the 2007 recipient of the Robert M. Zweig M.D. Memorial Award (“Clean Air Award”) from the California South Coast Air Quality Management District, and served on multiple IOM committees evaluating Gulf War Illness, the U.S. EPA CASAC panel (Carbon Monoxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards); she has been a member of the Scientific Review Panel on Toxic Air Contaminants for the state of California for 5 years and recently served on the IOM panel on “21st Century Risk Assessment”.

Planetary Health: what does it mean for environmental epidemiologists?

Cathryn Tonne is an environmental epidemiologist focusing on broad issues around the influence of the physical environment on health and health inequalities with a global perspective. Much of her research has focused on the health effects of air pollution from traffic and household sources. She leads the European Research Council funded Cardiovascular Health effects of Air pollution in Telangana, India ( She trained in Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. Prior to her doctoral training, she received a Master of Public Health, with a focus on environmental health, from Columbia University, and a BS in chemistry from UC Berkeley. She joined ISGlobal (former CREAL) in 2015 after several years in London, first at King´s College Environmental Research Group and then the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Temperature-related health risks: current and future impacts

Ana Maria Vicedo-Cabrera, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Epidemiology and Statistics at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is an early-stage epidemiologist with interests on climate change research. She has lead and collaborated in several temperature-related mortality studies in different regions. However, most of her research has been focused on the assessment of the impact of ambient temperatures on perinatal health. She is currently interested in the development of advanced statistical tools and new epidemiological study designs on climate change research, which can be applicable in other areas of environmental epidemiology.