2018 The Childhood Leukemia International Consortium (CLIC) and The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Catherine Metayer, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Metayer is an epidemiologist and adjunct professor at UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on the associations between genetic factors, environmental exposures, birth characteristics and the risk of childhood leukemia. Dr. Metayer is also the Principal Investigator of the California Childhood Leukemia Study (CCLS), former Chair of the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium Studies (CLIC) and Director of CIRCLE.

Dr. Metayer briefly discusses how ten years ago, researchers around the world got together and decided to form CLIC. This group of individuals took on the challenge of understanding what causes childhood leukemia and how to prevent it. Around 40,000 children with leukemia are represented by CLIC, through 35 studies in 18 different countries. CLIC, in collaboration with IARC, has now expanded its research to also study other cancers in children such as embryonal and brain tumors.

2018 Cancer in Children and Young People International Scientific and Medical Conference, UK, September 12-14, 2018.

Catherine Metayer, M.D., Ph.D.

Day 1: Causes, Treatment and Prevention of Childhood and Young Adult Cancer

Dr. Metayer provides an overview of CLIC and discusses the associations between maternal supplementation with folic acid and other vitamins and risk of leukemia in offspring.

Day 2: Risk Factors of Childhood Leukemia

Dr. Metayer presents findings on risk factors of childhood leukemia. Her population-based studies examine the association between occupational exposures to pesticides, home use of paints, maternal smoking during pregnancy, prenatal paternal smoking and children exposure to tobacco smoking and the risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Mark Miller, M.D., MPH

Dr. Miller is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and a co-investigator of CIRCLE. He is a primary author of the Story of Health. His research and interests focus on the importance of developing educational materials for patients and their families to alert them of how environmental exposures may be affecting their health.

Day 3: Research Translation and Community Outreach

Dr. Miller discusses the importance of research translation and community outreach. Check out this video for updates on some of the key research and methods of awareness our team has been working on. Learn how children are exposed to different kinds of contaminants and about the potential mitigating factors there are to prevent the exposure of children to environmental toxins.  Often times, affected populations do not worry about the underlying factors, therefore it is important to spread this information to affected populations to create awareness and help prevent the risk of childhood leukemia.

2017 Children’s Environmental Health Symposium: Environmental Justice and Children, Sacramento CA, April 26, 2017.

Rachel Morello-Frosch, PhD, MPH, Professor, UC Berkeley

The Haves, The Have-nots, and the Health of Everyone: Connections Between Equity and Sustainability.

Dr. Morello-Frosch is Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management and the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley. Her research examines race and class determinants of health among diverse communities in the US with a focus on social inequality, psychosocial stress and how these factors interact with environmental chemical exposures to produce health inequalities.

Dr. Morello-Frosch examines social and environmental factors that drive health disparities and are environmental justice concerns in California and throughout the country.

Brian Trainor, PhD, Professor, UC Davis

Neuroendocrine Basis of Stress.

Dr. Trainor is director of the Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Lab at UC Davis where he studies the effects of stress on the brain and behavior using a rodent model that allows his team to examine both males and females.

Dr. Trainor provides an overview of the neurologic and hormonal mechanisms by which stress may impact health.

Camelia Hostinar, PhD, Assistant Professor, UC Davis

Allostatic Load, Early Development and Lifelong Impacts

Dr. Hostinar is a developmental psychologist who studies how the social environment shapes health, with a focus on the activity of the stress-response and immune systems. She investigates the ways in which childhood poverty and other forms of early-life adversity influence later mental and physical health.

Dr. Hostinar discusses the lifelong consequences of experiencing psychosocial adversity in childhood and presents ideas for interventions that may mitigate these impacts.

Dr. Gail Christopher, DN, W. K. Kellogg Foundation

Environmental Justice: Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (Keynote Presentation)

Dr. Christopher is senior advisor and vice president at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In this role, she leads the foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) enterprise. She is a nationally recognized leader in health policy, social determinants of health, health inequities and public policy issues of concern to our nation’s future.

Dr. Christopher provides her illuminating perspective on addressing and mitigating the effects of social dislocation and inequities. She advocates for the need of an explicit inclusion of racism as a social determinant of health.

Lia Fernald, PhD, Professor, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley

SES, Family Processes and Child Development: Intervention Effects

Dr. Fernald is a Professor in Community Health Sciences at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Fernald’s work focuses primarily on how inequalities in socio-economic position contribute to health, growth, and developmental outcomes in mothers, infants and children, and on how interventions can address socio-economic and health disparities.

Dr. Fernald shares lessons learned from working in low and middle income countries. Poverty has a potent impact, particularly on language and executive function development, around the world and in California. Worldwide, over 250 million children live in poverty keeping them from attaining their full developmental potential.

Rosalind Wright, MD, MPH, Dean for Translational Biomedical Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NYC

Early Life Social and Environmental Influences of Lifelong Health: Risk and resilience

Dr. Wright is a transdisciplinary lifecourse epidemiologist with a primary interest in prenatal and early childhood predictors of chronic disorders including asthma, obesity, neurobehavioral outcomes, and antecedents of chronic cardiometabolic disorders.

Social stressors, are as detrimental, if not more so, than chemical and physical exposures. What’s more, they begin to impact development prenatally and can be transmitted trans-generationally. Chemical and non-chemical social stressors can have synergistic effects. Dr. Wright explores how this perspective can guide us to more effective interventions.

Laura August, MPH, Research Scientist, OEHHA

CalEnviroScreen: Mining for Data on Children, Poverty, and Other Social and Environmental Factors

Ms. August is a lead on the development of CalEnviroScreen, an environmental justice screening tool, at OEHHA. CalEnviroScreen identifies communities that are disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution and are most vulnerable to the effects of pollution. Ms. August has also published scientific research, conducted trainings and presented to a wide variety of audiences on CalEnviroScreen and cumulative impacts.

Ms. August’s presentation examines what we can learn from the CalEnviroScreen data about children’s health in California. A case example of pesticide exposure among children is utilized.

20 Pioneers Under 40 in Environmental Public Health, October 4, 2017.

Todd Whitehead, PHD

Chemicals in Consumer Products: Exposure Science at the Forefront of Regulation

Dr. Whitehead was honored by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment as one of 20 Pioneers Under 40 in Environmental Public Health. The 20 pioneers were given an opportunity to share their work in a series of webinars. In his talk, Dr. Whitehead discussed how CIRCLE research empowers regulators to affect policy changes for safer chemical use. CIRCLE investigators have worked to reveal the “links in the chain” connecting consumer products, environmental contamination, human exposure, and adverse health effects for children. Using a variety of exposure science tools – including environmental forensic microscopy, vacuum-cleaner dust sampling, and biological monitoring – CIRCLE is helping to fill data gaps for regulators. This webinar highlighted some of the work CIRCLE is doing to assess human exposure to legacy and emerging flame retardants used in consumer products.

The earlier portion of the video features Dr. Simona Andreea Bălan, a Senior Environmental Scientist at California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control.

Childhood Cancer 2016, September 29, 2016.


Mark Miller, M.D., MPH

Can we reduce exposure to risk factors associated with childhood leukemia and other cancers?

Dr Miller meets with ecancertv at Childhood Cancer 2016 to discuss a survey of healthcare providers that revealed a gap in awareness about environmental risk factors for childhood cancer.  Tobacco use, air pollution, and diet are among the risk factors for childhood leukemia, with important windows of exposure occurring even before conception.  Dr Miller describes the need for wider awareness and public engagement by oncologists on regional and national levels to communicate preventative behaviours more fully.  The video was produced by ecancertv.

Environmental Health Through the Lifespan: Making the Connection in 2016, February 26, 2016

Childhood Leukemia A Preventable Disease – Mark Miller Video

Mark Miller, M.D., MPH

Childhood Leukemia: A Preventable Disease?

Dr. Miller discusses strategies for translating childhood leukemia research into clinical practice. Follow the link at the left to the University of Wisconsin Video Library. Dr. Miller’s talk begins at the 5:25 minute mark. Alternatively, use the Chapter Tab at the bottom of the University of Wisconsin Video Library page to jump ahead to ‘Childhood Leukemia: A Preventable Disease?’

EnviroHealthBerkeley YouTube Series

Todd Whitehead, Ph.D.

Contaminated Dust in Homes and Children’s Health

Dr. Whitehead discusses how harmful chemicals including PCBs and flame retardants are found in household dust. His studies show that such chemicals remain in dust for years. Children are at greatest risk of exposure because they play on floors and tend to ingest dust. He shows that these chemicals were found in dust samples collected for the purposes of investigating the causes of childhood leukemia.

Todd Whitehead, Ph.D.

Measuring Contaminants in Dust

Dr. Whitehead explains how to measure chemicals in settled dust collected from homes. Some chemicals found in household dust are harmful to children. He works with samples collected by regular vacuum cleaners.

Todd Whitehead, Ph.D.

A Legacy of Contaminated Dust

Dr. Whitehead explains the legacy of banned industrial chemicals; the uses of these chemicals were discontinued year ago, but they can still be found in pretty much any home, even today.

Symposium on Cumulative Impacts and Children’s Environmental Health, January 2013

Todd Whitehead, Ph.D.

Approaches to Considering Cumulative Exposures for Children

Dr. Whitehead brings together information from several types of exposure assessments conducted for studies of causes of leukemia in children by CIRCLE.  He shows that some contaminants occur together in homes and shows new ways to portray and study such cumulative exposures. Reducing cumulative burdens of such contaminants is essential to protect children.

CIRCLE External Scientific Advisory Committee Meeting, October 2012

Stephen Rappaport, Ph.D.

The Exposome Paradigm: Using Untargeted Approaches to Discover Causes of Disease

Dr. Rappaport advocates for studies of the whole “exposome”.

Joseph Wiemels, Ph.D.

Environmental Exposures and Methylation Changes in Blood Spots

Dr. Wiemels explains how environmental factors can cause epigenetic changes that control development and many other aspects of human biology. In this presentation, Dr. Wiemels highlights methods to measure early epigenetic changes that may contribute to disease. He discusses one form of epigenetic changes, known as methylation, measured in small samples of blood collected on cards.

Todd Whitehead, Ph.D.

Using Household Dust to Measure Children’s Chemical Exposures in Homes

Dr. Whitehead explains how CIRCLE investigators use household dust samples to measure children’s exposure to chemicals in the home.

Joseph Wiemels, Ph.D.

The Importance of Epigenetic Changes

Dr. Wiemels discusses the role epigenetics plays is typical human development and shows what epigenetic changes can occur in children with leukemia.

Catherine Metayer, M.D., Ph.D.

Founding of the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium

The Childhood Leukemia International Consortium brings together researchers from many countries to work together to better understand childhood leukemia.

Patricia Buffler, Ph.D.

How CIRCLE was Created

The late Dr. Patricia Buffler, founding Director of CIRCLE, explains how the Center was created in 2009, building on the California Childhood Leukemia Study.

Children’s Environmental Health Symposium: Emerging Research and Implications for Risk Assessment and Policy, January 2012

Catherine Metayer, M.D., Ph.D.

Use of Chemicals at Home and Risk of Childhood Leukemia

Dr. Metayer discusses chemical risk factors for childhood leukemia.  She indicates that use of pesticides in the home, particularly during the prenatal period, may increase risk of childhood leukemia. She indicates that use of paint in the home after pregnancy may increase risk of childhood leukemia.  The introduction is by Dr. Melanie Marty of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment of Cal EPA.

Patricia Buffler, Ph.D.

Parents’ smoking increases risks of leukemia in their children

The late Dr. Buffler presents data from the California Childhood Leukemia Study showing that children whose parents smoked are more likely to develop leukemia in early childhood. Risks vary by the time period of smoking (preconception, prenatal, and early childhood), type and subtype of leukemia, and which parents smoked.

Joseph Wiemels, Ph.D.

Environmental Exposures, Childhood Leukemia and the Role of DNA Methylation

Dr. Wiemels explains the importance of epigenetics. Epigenetic changes do not damage DNA (like mutations), but alter the way that DNA is expressed. This can affect development in early life. Aberrant epigenetic changes may cause some types of leukemia. Leukemia includes a number of different diseases with different patterns of epigenetic markers including methylation. Environmental agents may change methylation patterns, and the changes may be heritable.

Todd Whitehead, Ph.D.

Using House Dust to Measure Chemicals Affecting Children

Dr. Whitehead shows that dust from houses can be used to measure chemicals that children are exposed to at home, particularly PAHs, PCBs, PBDEs, and tobacco smoke constituents. He shows that measurements taken several years after a child is born are useful to estimate earlier exposure.

Stephen Francis, Ph.D.

Could Infection Contribute to a Possible Leukemia Cluster in Fallon?

Dr. Francis discusses whether infectious agents may have contributed to a possible cluster of childhood leukemia cases in Fallon, Nevada. A role for an infectious agent, in this case a virus, is suggested because there was a spike in cases of childhood leukemia in US military dependent populations at around the same time; Fallon had a naval air station that brought military personnel into the town; and the locations where children with the disease lived tended to be in areas where transmission by mosquitoes might occur.