Rebeca J. Schmidt

Rebecca Schmidt

Position Title
Associate Professor, Molecular Epidemiologist

  • Department of Public Health Sciences, School of Medicine
  • MIND Institute

My research goal is to advance understanding of how environmental exposures, primarily those occurring during gestation, interact with the genome to impact the neurodevelopment of children. As a molecular epidemiologist, I approach epidemiologic research from a mechanistic and pathways perspective, with a focus on epigenetic alterations, as this field provides ground-breaking framework for intersections between environmental, nutrient, and genetic influences on methylation reactions during critical periods of dynamic changes and potentially long-term health impacts of embryonic epigenetic programming.

The goal of the Bio-Specimen Assessment of Fire Effects (B-SAFE) Pregnancy Study that I lead is to establish cohort of women at different stages of pregnancy during the Northern California wildfires and their children and collect biospecimens and survey information that will be used to determine exposure loads, mechanistic responses, and health biomarkers. We hope to obtain funding in the future to follow these children forward into early childhood to examine their longer-term health outcomes and how those might have been influenced by gestational wildfire exposures.