Irva Hertz-Picciotto

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Irva Hertz-Picciotto (born c. 1948), is an environmental epidemiologist best known for her studies of autism. She is Professor and Chief, Division of Environmental and Occupational Health, Department of Public Health Sciences, at the University of California, Davis (UC-Davis).[1] In addition, she is on the Research Faculty of the MIND (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Institute at UC-Davis;[2] is Deputy Director of the UC-Davis Center for Children's Environmental Health;[3] and is on the faculty of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health of the Universities of California at Berkeley, Davis, and San Francisco.[4] Hertz-Picciotto serves on the advisory board of the anti-toxic chemical NGO Healthy Child, Healthy World.[5]


Hertz-Picciotto received four degrees from the University of California at Berkeley: a B.A. in Mathematics in 1970, an M.P.H. in Epidemiology in 1984, a M.A. in Biostatistics in 1985, and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology in 1989.[6] She was on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 12 years before joining UC-Davis.[7]

She has published over 170 scientific articles,[8] including:

  • In 2009, Hertz-Picciotto and Delwiche analyzed data on autism in California and concluded that "younger ages at diagnosis, differential migration, changes in diagnostic criteria, and inclusion of milder cases do not fully explain the observed increases."[9] After publication of the article, she was quoted as saying that "It’s time to start looking for the environmental culprits responsible for the remarkable increase in the rate of autism in California."[10]
  • She was the senior author of a 2010 study that detected autism "clusters" in California associated with high levels of education among the children's parents.[11][12]
  • She was the senior author of another 2010 study using California data that showed that maternal age is associated with a higher risk of autism "regardless of the paternal age."[13][14]

Selected research projects[edit]

Current research projects for which Hertz-Picciotto is principal investigator include:

Hertz-Picciotto also collaborates on the following studies, among others:

  • National Children's Study to examine environmental influences on health and development, for which federal funding for the UC-Davis site was announced in 2007.[17]
  • Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI), a prospective study involving four sites that was launched in 2009 to elucidate risk factors and markers for autism spectrum disorder.[18]

Selected awards, recognition, and service[edit]

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ Division of Environmental and Occupational Health, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of California, Davis. Faculty. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  2. ^ UC Davis MIND Institute. Research faculty. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  3. ^ UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Center for Children's Environmental Health home page. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  4. ^ Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. Irva Hertz-Picciotto, PhD, MPH. Retrieved 2010 October 16.
  5. ^ Healthy Child, Healthy World. Irva Hertz-Picciotto, board member. Retrieved 2014 June 18.
  6. ^ "Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Ph.D., M.P.H. (curriculum vitae)" (PDF). Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved 2010-10-16.  . Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  7. ^ UC Davis Health System. Irva Hertz-Picciotto. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  8. ^ U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed search results for "Hertz-Picciotto I [Author]". Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  9. ^ Hertz-Picciotto I, Delwiche L. The rise in autism and the role of age at diagnosis. Epidemiology. 2009 Jan;20(1):84-90. PMID 19234401
  10. ^ Cone M. Autism epidemic not caused by shifts in diagnoses; environmental factors likely. Environmental Health News 2009 January 9. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  11. ^ Van Meter KC, Christiansen LE, Delwiche LD, Azari R, Carpenter TE, Hertz-Picciotto I. Geographic distribution of autism in California: a retrospective birth cohort analysis. Autism Res. 2010 Feb;3(1):19-29. PMID 20049980
  12. ^ Hamilton J. Autism 'clusters' linked to parents' education. National Public Radio News 2010 January 6. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  13. ^ Shelton JF, Tancredi DJ, Hertz-Picciotto I. Independent and dependent contributions of advanced maternal and paternal ages to autism risk. Autism Res. 2010 Feb;3(1):30-9.
  14. ^ Putting off motherhood increases risk of autistic child: researchers. The Telegraph 2010 Feb 9. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  15. ^ MIND Institute. CHARGE study homepage. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  16. ^ MIND Institute. MARBLES study homepage. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  17. ^ Griffith D. Area's kids in major study - county children, mothers to be enlisted for nationwide look at environmental effects on health. Sacramento Bee 2007 October 5.
  18. ^ Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI). Meet the EARLI investigators of northern California-UC Davis. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  19. ^ Society for Epidemiologic Research. About us. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  20. ^ Delta Omega: Honorary Society in Public Health. Membership list - H. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  21. ^ Institute of Medicine, Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides. Veterans and Agent Orange: update 2000. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001. ISBN 0-309-07552-1
  22. ^ UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. McGavran Award: past recipients. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  23. ^ National Associates of the National Academies. The National Associates program. 2008 September. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  24. ^ International Society for Environmental Epidemiology. Past Officers and Councilors. Updated 2010 January 12. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  25. ^ Society for Epidemiologic Research. SER historical data - presidents and executive board members. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  26. ^ National Academies. Project Information. Project Title: Breast Cancer and the Environment: The Scientific Evidence, Research Methodology, and Future Directions. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  27. ^ Environmental Health. Professor Irva Hertz-Picciotto. Editorial Board. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  28. ^ Epidemiologic Perspectives & Innovations Professor Irva Hertz-Picciotto. Editorial Board. Retrieved 2010 October 15.
  29. ^ California Air Resources Board Research Screening Committee. 2010 October 7. Retrieved 2010 October 15.

External links[edit]