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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

Joutsa J, Moussawi K, Siddiqi SH, Abdolahi A, Drew W, Cohen AL, Ross TJ, Deshpande HU, Wang HZ, Bruss J, Stein EA, Volkow ND, Grafman JH, van Wijngaarden E, Boes AD, Fox MD. "Brain lesions disrupting addiction map to a common human brain circuit." Nature medicine.. 2022 Jun 13; Epub 2022 Jun 13.

Love TM, Wahlberg K, Pineda D, Watson GE, Zareba G, Thurston SW, Davidson PW, Shamlaye CF, Myers GJ, Rand M, van Wijngaarden E, Broberg K. "Contribution of child ABC-transporter genetics to prenatal MeHg exposure and neurodevelopment." Neurotoxicology.. 2022 May 30; Epub 2022 May 30.

Thurston SW, Myers G, Mruzek D, Harrington D, Adams H, Shamlaye C, van Wijngaarden E. "Associations between time-weighted postnatal methylmercury exposure from fish consumption and neurodevelopmental outcomes through 24 years of age in the Seychelles Child Development Study Main Cohort." Neurotoxicology.. 2022 May 25; Epub 2022 May 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