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Edwin Vanwijngaarden, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Administrative: (585) 275-8784

Office: (585) 678-6121

Fax: (585) 461-4532

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments



Dr. van Wijngaarden received an MSc in Environmental Sciences from Wageningen University in The Netherlands, and a PhD in Epidemiology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology. He is Associate Chair in the Department of Public Health Sciences. He has published over 140 peer-reviewed manuscripts primarily in the areas of environmental and occupational health, and in neurocognitive and neurobehavioral outcomes. He has extensive experience in managing and conducting epidemiologic studies, in leading interdisciplinary research teams, and in academic leadership.

Dr. van Wijngaarden's primary research efforts have focused on the influence of environmental exposures on cognitive outcomes in children and adults. He leads the Seychelles Child Development Study (SCDS) which for over 30 years has investigated the impact of pre- and postnatal methylmercury exposure on child development. Current work includes a NIH-funded infrastructure project which will collect additional data and biological samples needed to continue our integrative and translational science, and improve data harmonization and discovery to facilitate data access and sharing.

In addition to conducting primary research, he has significant collaborative research experience in clinical and population health research. Amongst other roles, he co-directs the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD) key function which provides support and a central source for technical collaboration to investigators for appropriate study design and statistical analysis in clinical and translational science research.

Dr. van Wijngaarden also has substantial educational experience. Prior to his Associate Chair role, he was director of the Doctoral and Master's Programs in Epidemiology. He was the founding director of the undergraduate public health program, and continues to direct undergraduate majors in Epidemiology and Environmental Health. Additionally, he directs the innovative Health and Epidemiology Advanced Learning (HEAL) program, a dual degree program in which students who are accepted as an undergraduate student are also given conditional assurance of admission to the MS in Epidemiology. He has mentored more than 100 graduate students in public health and numerous undergraduate students. He has also mentored nine junior faculty members, and is a mentor for NIH-funded training programs in Toxicology, Environmental Biostatistics, Oral Science, and Clinical and Translational Cancer Control Research.

Dr. van Wijngaarden has served in various editorial roles for peer-reviewed journals, and in consulting and expert review roles at institutional, state and national levels, including study sections for federal research programs. He was a member of the chartered Science Advisory Board of the US Environmental Protection Agency. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health.



MS | Netherlands - Non-Medical School
Environmental Health Sci

PhD | U of N Carolina Chapel Hill


University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Graduate Alumni Award
Location: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

2002 - Present
Delta Omega, Honorary Public Health Society

Kaplan Student Publication Award, Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Journal Articles

Zareba G, Harrington D, Scrimale T, LeEsperance A, Watson GE, van Wijngaarden E, Shamlaye CF, Nicholas T, Myers GJ, Thurston SW. "Relationship of Mercury and Selenium in Ocean Fish Frequently Consumed in the Seychelles: A Comparison to Levels in Ocean Fish Consumed in the US." Neurotoxicology.. 2023 Sep 5; Epub 2023 Sep 05.

Wesolowska M, Yeates AJ, McSorley EM, van Wijngaarden E, Shamlaye CF, Myers GJ, Strain JJ, Mulhern MS. "Potential Role of Selenium in Modifying the Effect of Maternal Methylmercury Exposure on Child Neurodevelopment-A Review." Neurotoxicology.. 2023 Aug 31; Epub 2023 Aug 31.

Beggan LA, Mulhern MS, Mæhre HK, McSorley EM, Yeates AJ, Zavez A, Thurston SW, Shamlaye C, van Wijngaarden E, Davidson PW, Myers GJ, Strain JJ, Elvevoll EO. "Associations between serum taurine concentrations in mothers and neonates and the children's anthropometrics and early neurodevelopment: Results from the Seychelles Child Development Study, Nutrition Cohort 2." Neurotoxicology.. 2023 Aug 25; Epub 2023 Aug 25.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: The impact of prenatal exposure to MeHg and maternal nutritional status on child development: Findings from the Seychelles Child Development Study
Book Title: Methylmercury and Neurotoxicity
Author List: van Wijngaarden E, Myers GJ, Shamlaye CF, Strain JJ, Davidson PW
Edited By: Aschner M, Ceccatelli S
Published By: Springer Verlag GmbH 2012 in Heidelberg, Germany

Chapter Title: Lead
Book Title: Encyclopedia of Cancer
Author List: van Wijngaarden, E
Published By: Springer Verlag GmbH 2008 in Heidelberg, Germany

Chapter Title: Paternal occupation and childhood cancer
Book Title: Advances in Male Mediated Developmental Toxicity
Author List: Olshan AF, van Wijngaarden E
Edited By: Robaire B, Boss JM
Published By: Plenum Publishing Company 2003 in New York, NY