Keck School Faculty

Howard Hu

Howard Hu

Chair and Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences
Flora L. Thornton Chair in Preventive Medicine
1845 N. Soto Street Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles

COVID-19 booster vaccine attitudes and behaviors among university students and staff in the United States: The USC Trojan pandemic research Initiative Prev Med Rep. 2022 Aug; 28:101866. . View in PubMed

Characteristics associated with COVID-19 vaccination status among staff and faculty of a large, diverse University in Los Angeles: The Trojan Pandemic Response Initiative Prev Med Rep. 2022 Jun; 27:101802. . View in PubMed

Domain-specific effects of prenatal fluoride exposure on child IQ at 4, 5, and 6-12 years in the ELEMENT cohort Environ Res. 2022 08; 211:112993. . View in PubMed

Am J Ind Med. 2022 04; 65(4):231-241. . View in PubMed

A Benchmark Dose Analysis for Maternal Pregnancy Urine-Fluoride and IQ in Children Risk Anal. 2022 03; 42(3):439-449. . View in PubMed

Seroprevalence of Antibodies Specific to Receptor Binding Domain of SARS-CoV-2 and Vaccination Coverage Among Adults in Los Angeles County, April 2021: The LA Pandemic Surveillance Cohort Study JAMA Netw Open. 2022 01 04; 5(1):e2144258. . View in PubMed

Associations of exposure to cadmium, antimony, lead and their mixture with gestational thyroid homeostasis Environ Pollut. 2021 Nov 15; 289:117905. . View in PubMed

In Utero Exposure to Mercury Is Associated With Increased Susceptibility to Liver Injury and Inflammation in Childhood Hepatology. 2021 09; 74(3):1546-1559. . View in PubMed

Association between cumulative childhood blood lead exposure and hepatic steatosis in young Mexican adults Environ Res. 2021 05; 196:110980. . View in PubMed

Estimating the causal effect of prenatal lead exposure on prepulse inhibition deficits in children and adolescents Neurotoxicology. 2020 05; 78:116-126. . View in PubMed

Prenatal Lead Exposure, Type 2 Diabetes, and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Mexican Children at Age 10-18 Years J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2020 01 01; 105(1). . View in PubMed

Early lead exposure and childhood adiposity in Mexico city Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2019 07; 222(6):965-970. . View in PubMed

Early lead exposure and pubertal development in a Mexico City population Environ Int. 2019 04; 125:445-451. . View in PubMed

Prenatal lead exposure modifies the association of maternal self-esteem with child adaptive ability Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2019 01; 222(1):68-75. . View in PubMed

Prenatal Fluoride Exposure and Cognitive Outcomes in Children at 4 and 6-12 Years of Age in Mexico Environ Health Perspect. 2017 09 19; 125(9):097017. . View in PubMed

Urinary 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA) levels among pregnant women in Mexico City: Distribution and relationships with child neurodevelopment Environ Res. 2016 May; 147:307-13. . View in PubMed

Prenatal Maternal Occupational Exposure and Postnatal Child Exposure to Elemental Mercury Pediatr Emerg Care. 2016 Mar; 32(3):175-9. . View in PubMed

Quality control and statistical modeling for environmental epigenetics: a study on in utero lead exposure and DNA methylation at birth Epigenetics. 2015; 10(1):19-30. . View in PubMed

Mercury levels in pregnant women, children, and seafood from Mexico City Environ Res. 2014 Nov; 135:63-9. . View in PubMed

Urinary 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPY) in pregnant women from Mexico City: distribution, temporal variability, and relationship with child attention and hyperactivity Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2014 Mar; 217(2-3):405-12. . View in PubMed

Statistical methods to study timing of vulnerability with sparsely sampled data on environmental toxicants Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Mar; 119(3):409-15. . View in PubMed

Critical windows of fetal lead exposure: adverse impacts on length of gestation and risk of premature delivery J Occup Environ Med. 2010 Nov; 52(11):1106-11. . View in PubMed

Maternal fish intake during pregnancy, blood mercury levels, and child cognition at age 3 years in a US cohort Am J Epidemiol. 2008 May 15; 167(10):1171-81. . View in PubMed

Fetal lead exposure at each stage of pregnancy as a predictor of infant mental development Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Nov; 114(11):1730-5. . View in PubMed

Howard Hu, MD, MPH, ScD, is the Flora L. Thornton Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, at the University of Southern California. He is a physician-scientist, internist and preventive medicine specialist, with a doctoral degree in epidemiology. Previously, he has been Professor of Occupational & Environmental Medicine (tenured), Founding Director of the NIH/NIEHS Center for Children’s Environmental Health, Director of the Occupational Medicine Residency at the Harvard School of Public Health and Associate Physician in the Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston (1988- 2006); the NSF International Endowed Chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Professor of Environmental Health, Epidemiology and Medicine (tenured), Founding Director of the NIH/NIEHS Environmental Health Core Sciences Center, and Associate Physician at the University of Michigan and University of Michigan Health System (2006-2012); and Professor of Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Global Health, and Medicine (tenured) and the Founding Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (2012-2017). In 2017-2018, while on sabbatical from the University of Toronto, Dr. Hu was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Washington, following which he was appointed as Affiliate Professor in the School of Public Health.

Since 1990, Dr. Hu has led multi-institutional and international teams of scientists, students and fellows devoted to investigating the environmental, nutritional, social, psychosocial, genetic and epigenetic determinants of chronic disease and impaired child development in birth cohort and aging cohort studies in the U.S., Mexico, India, China, and elsewhere around the world. His team’s work has generated over 300 publications and won several awards, such as the 1999 Progress and Achievement Award from the U.S. NIH/NIEHS, the 2009 Linus Pauling Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the American Public Health Association, and the 2015 John Goldsmith Award for Outstanding Contributions from the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology.

Dr. Hu has continued his work on NIH-funded environmental birth cohort research (the Early Life Exposures in Mexico to Environmental Toxicants project: while co-leading the Global Burden of Disease-Population Health initiative, which aims to improve understanding of pollution’s “footprint” on the global burden of disease (

In 1999-2000, Dr. Hu was a Senior Faculty Fulbright Scholar in India. He served on the Board of Directors and on four fact-finding missions for Physicians for Human Rights (Nobel Peace Prize co-winner, 1997); on the Board of Population and Public Health Practice of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences; on the Board of Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the National Research Council; on the External Advisory Council of the U.S. National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences; and as the Chair of the Research Commission for the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Nobel Peace Prize, 1985). In the latter capacity, he and colleagues published “Nuclear Wastelands”, which was nominated for the U.S. National Book Award in 1996.

As the Founding Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Dr. Hu led Canada’s best and largest School of Public Health, a Faculty within Canada’s best Global University. With the School’s leaders, he advanced a number of innovative initiatives involving healthy cities, big data for population health, the integration of the Institute for Health Policy Management and Evaluation as well as the Joint Centre for Bioethics into the School, the creation of the endowed Waakabiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous health, the integration of population health into primary care, social entrepreneurship, and, with its partners around the world, the global agenda of addressing health inequities, supported, in part, by over $40M raised through the School’s Advancement Campaign. In 2016, Dr. Hu was elected to Fellowship in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and in 2017, the School was ranked #10 on the ShanghaiRanking’s Global Rankings related to Public Health.
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