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

Surveillance of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 and Variants Using Digital Droplet Polymerase Chain Reaction at a Large University and Healthcare System in California Open Forum Infect Dis. 2023 Apr; 10(4):ofad147. . View in PubMed

Correlates of COVID-19 vaccination status among college students J Am Coll Health. 2023 Jan 03; 1-3. . View in PubMed

Altered Tumor Necrosis Factor Response in Neurologic Postacute SARS-CoV-2 Syndrome J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2023 07; 43(7):307-313. . View in PubMed

Quantification of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Binding Antibody Levels To Assess Infection and Vaccine-Induced Immunity Using WHO Standards Microbiol Spectr. 2023 02 14; 11(1):e0370922. . View in PubMed

Trust in science and scientists among university students, staff, and faculty of a large, diverse university in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trojan Pandemic Response Initiative BMC Public Health. 2023 03 30; 23(1):601. . View in PubMed

SARS-CoV-2 viral variants can rapidly be identified for clinical decision making and population surveillance using a high-throughput digital droplet PCR assay Sci Rep. 2023 05 10; 13(1):7612. . View in PubMed

Early life exposure to lead and its association with parent-reported aggression and conduct problems during childhood and adolescence Neurotoxicology. 2022 Dec; 93:265-271. . View in PubMed

Maternal urinary fluoride during pregnancy and birth weight and length: Results from ELEMENT cohort study Sci Total Environ. 2022 Sep 10; 838(Pt 3):156459. . View in PubMed

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

Dietary Influences on Urinary Fluoride over the Course of Pregnancy and at One-Year Postpartum Biol Trace Elem Res. 2022 Apr; 200(4):1568-1579. . View in PubMed

Communities, Mistrust, and Implementation: Addressing a Large Gap in the National Strategy for COVID-19 and Future Pandemics Am J Public Health. 2022 12; 112(12):1713-1715. . 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

Pollution and health: a progress update Lancet Planet Health. 2022 06; 6(6):e535-e547. . 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

Prenatal maternal pesticide exposure in relation to sleep health of offspring during adolescence Environ Res. 2022 03; 204(Pt A):111977. . 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

Factors associated with parents' willingness to vaccinate their children against COVID-19: The LA pandemic surveillance cohort study AIMS Public Health. 2022; 9(3):482-489. . 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

Prenatal Lead (Pb) Exposure and Peripheral Blood DNA Methylation (5mC) and Hydroxymethylation (5hmC) in Mexican Adolescents from the ELEMENT Birth Cohort Environ Health Perspect. 2021 06; 129(6):67002. . View in PubMed

Dietary fluoride intake over the course of pregnancy in Mexican women Public Health Nutr. 2021 06; 24(9):2388-2396. . 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

DNA methylation at birth potentially mediates the association between prenatal lead (Pb) exposure and infant neurodevelopmental outcomes Environ Epigenet. 2021; 7(1):dvab005. . View in PubMed

Association of Dietary Fluoride Intake and Diet Variables with Dental Caries in Adolescents from the ELEMENT Cohort Study Caries Res. 2021; 55(2):88-98. . View in PubMed

Blood levels of lead and dental caries in permanent teeth J Public Health Dent. 2020 09; 80(4):297-303. . 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

Association between fluoride exposure and cardiometabolic risk in peripubertal Mexican children Environ Int. 2020 01; 134:105302. . View in PubMed

Trimester-Specific Associations of Prenatal Lead Exposure With Infant Cord Blood DNA Methylation at Birth Epigenet Insights. 2020; 13:2516865720938669. . 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

Blood lead, bone lead and child attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-like behavior Sci Total Environ. 2019 Apr 01; 659:161-167. . View in PubMed

The associations between lead exposure at multiple sensitive life periods and dental caries risks in permanent teeth Sci Total Environ. 2019 Mar 01; 654:1048-1055. . View in PubMed

Fluoride Content in Foods and Beverages From Mexico City Markets and Supermarkets Food Nutr Bull. 2019 12; 40(4):514-531. . 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

Socio-demographic predictors of prepulse inhibition: A prospective study in children and adolescents from Mexico City Biol Psychol. 2019 07; 145:8-16. . View in PubMed

Assessment of neuropsychological performance in Mexico City youth using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2019 04; 41(3):246-256. . 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

Fluoride exposure and pubertal development in children living in Mexico City Environ Health. 2019 03 29; 18(1):26. . View in PubMed

Early Life Exposure in Mexico to ENvironmental Toxicants (ELEMENT) Project BMJ Open. 2019 08 26; 9(8):e030427. . View in PubMed

Cumulative Childhood Lead Levels in Relation to Sleep During Adolescence J Clin Sleep Med. 2019 10 15; 15(10):1443-1449. . View in PubMed

Extending Tests of Random Effects to Assess for Measurement Invariance in Factor Models Stat Biosci. 2018 Dec; 10(3):634-650. . View in PubMed

Environ Int. 2018 12; 121(Pt 1):658-666. . View in PubMed

Dentine biomarkers of prenatal and early childhood exposure to manganese, zinc and lead and childhood behavior Environ Int. 2018 12; 121(Pt 1):148-158. . View in PubMed

Retraction notice to "Paraoxonase I polymorphisms and attention/hyperactivity in school-age children from Mexico City, Mexico" Environmental Research (2014) 342 -349 Environ Res. 2018 11; 167:776. . View in PubMed

Uncovering neurodevelopmental windows of susceptibility to manganese exposure using dentine microspatial analyses Environ Res. 2018 02; 161:588-598. . View in PubMed

Children's Blood Lead Concentrations from 1988 to 2015 in Mexico City: The Contribution of Lead in Air and Traditional Lead-Glazed Ceramics Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 09 30; 15(10). . View in PubMed

Lagged kernel machine regression for identifying time windows of susceptibility to exposures of complex mixtures Biostatistics. 2018 07 01; 19(3):325-341. . View in PubMed

Antinuclear antibody prevalence in a general pediatric cohort from Mexico City: discordance between immunofluorescence and multiplex assays Clin Epidemiol. 2017; 9:1-8. . 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

Adolescent epigenetic profiles and environmental exposures from early life through peri-adolescence Environ Epigenet. 2016 Aug; 2(3):dvw018. . 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

Lead in candy consumed and blood lead levels of children living in Mexico City Environ Res. 2016 May; 147:497-502. . 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

Urinary and plasma fluoride levels in pregnant women from Mexico City Environ Res. 2016 10; 150:489-495. . View in PubMed

Childhood Blood Lead Levels and Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A Cross-Sectional Study of Mexican Children Environ Health Perspect. 2016 06; 124(6):868-74. . View in PubMed

Differential association of lead on length by zinc status in two-year old Mexican children Environ Health. 2015 Dec 30; 14:95. . View in PubMed

Prenatal Lead Exposure Modifies the Impact of Maternal Self-Esteem on Children's Inattention Behavior J Pediatr. 2015 Aug; 167(2):435-41. . View in PubMed

Cumulative lead exposure is associated with reduced olfactory recognition performance in elderly men: The Normative Aging Study Neurotoxicology. 2015 Jul; 49:158-64. . 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

Effect of calcium supplementation on bone resorption in pregnancy and the early postpartum: a randomized controlled trial in Mexican women Nutr J. 2014 Dec 16; 13(1):116. . View in PubMed

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

Relationships between lead biomarkers and diurnal salivary cortisol indices in pregnant women from Mexico City: a cross-sectional study Environ Health. 2014 Jun 10; 13(1):50. . View in PubMed

Occupational determinants of cumulative lead exposure: analysis of bone lead among men in the VA normative aging study J Occup Environ Med. 2014 Apr; 56(4):435-40. . 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

RETRACTED: Paraoxonase I polymorphisms and attention/hyperactivity in school-age children from Mexico City, Mexico Environ Res. 2014 07; 132:342-9. . View in PubMed

Antioxidant vitamins and magnesium and the risk of hearing loss in the US general population Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jan; 99(1):148-55. . View in PubMed

Determining prenatal, early childhood and cumulative long-term lead exposure using micro-spatial deciduous dentine levels PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e97805. . View in PubMed

Modifying roles of glutathione S-transferase polymorphisms on the association between cumulative lead exposure and cognitive function Neurotoxicology. 2013 Dec; 39:65-71. . View in PubMed

Effect modification by transferrin C2 polymorphism on lead exposure, hemoglobin levels, and IQ Neurotoxicology. 2013 Sep; 38:17-22. . View in PubMed

Prenatal urinary phthalate metabolites levels and neurodevelopment in children at two and three years of age Sci Total Environ. 2013 Sep 01; 461-462:386-90. . View in PubMed

Cumulative lead exposure in community-dwelling adults and fine motor function: comparing standard and novel tasks in the VA normative aging study Neurotoxicology. 2013 Mar; 35:154-61. . View in PubMed

Personal characteristics related to the risk of adolescent internet addiction: a survey in Shanghai, China BMC Public Health. 2012 Dec 22; 12:1106. . View in PubMed

A novel look at racial health disparities: the interaction between social disadvantage and environmental health Am J Public Health. 2012 Dec; 102(12):2344-51. . View in PubMed

Assessing windows of susceptibility to lead-induced cognitive deficits in Mexican children Neurotoxicology. 2012 Oct; 33(5):1040-7. . View in PubMed

Windows of lead exposure sensitivity, attained height, and body mass index at 48 months J Pediatr. 2012 Jun; 160(6):1044-9. . View in PubMed

Association between prenatal lead exposure and blood pressure in children Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Mar; 120(3):445-50. . View in PubMed

Associations of early childhood manganese and lead coexposure with neurodevelopment Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Jan; 120(1):126-31. . View in PubMed

Associations of iron metabolism genes with blood manganese levels: a population-based study with validation data from animal models Environ Health. 2011 Nov 10; 10:97. . View in PubMed

A dopamine receptor (DRD2) but not dopamine transporter (DAT1) gene polymorphism is associated with neurocognitive development of Mexican preschool children with lead exposure J Pediatr. 2011 Oct; 159(4):638-43. . View in PubMed

Prenatal lead exposure and weight of 0- to 5-year-old children in Mexico city Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Oct; 119(10):1436-41. . View in PubMed

Lead exposure and visual-motor abilities in children from Chennai, India Neurotoxicology. 2011 Aug; 32(4):465-70. . 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

Bias correction by use of errors-in-variables regression models in studies with K-X-ray fluorescence bone lead measurements Environ Res. 2011 Jan; 111(1):17-20. . 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

Bisphenol a exposure in Mexico City and risk of prematurity: a pilot nested case control study Environ Health. 2010 Oct 18; 9:62. . View in PubMed

HFE gene variants modify the association between maternal lead burden and infant birthweight: a prospective birth cohort study in Mexico City, Mexico Environ Health. 2010 Jul 26; 9:43. . View in PubMed

Maternal MTHFR genotype and haplotype predict deficits in early cognitive development in a lead-exposed birth cohort in Mexico City Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jul; 92(1):226-34. . View in PubMed

Early postnatal blood manganese levels and children's neurodevelopment Epidemiology. 2010 Jul; 21(4):433-9. . View in PubMed

Urinary phthalate metabolites in relation to preterm birth in Mexico city Environ Health Perspect. 2009 Oct; 117(10):1587-92. . View in PubMed

Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase ( MTHFR) C677T, A1298C and G1793A genotypes, and the relationship between maternal folate intake, tibia lead and infant size at birth Br J Nutr. 2009 Sep; 102(6):907-14. . View in PubMed

Influence of prenatal lead exposure on genomic methylation of cord blood DNA Environ Health Perspect. 2009 Sep; 117(9):1466-71. . View in PubMed

Effect of calcium supplementation on blood lead levels in pregnancy: a randomized placebo-controlled trial Environ Health Perspect. 2009 Jan; 117(1):26-31. . View in PubMed

High dietary calcium intake decreases bone mobilization during pregnancy in humans Salud Publica Mex. 2009; 51 Suppl 1:S100-7. . View in PubMed

Variants in iron metabolism genes predict higher blood lead levels in young children Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Sep; 116(9):1261-6. . 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

Maternal self-esteem, exposure to lead, and child neurodevelopment Neurotoxicology. 2008 Mar; 29(2):278-85. . View in PubMed

Maternal dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids modifies the relationship between lead levels in bone and breast milk J Nutr. 2008 Jan; 138(1):73-9. . View in PubMed

Association between the plasma/whole blood lead ratio and history of spontaneous abortion: a nested cross-sectional study BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2007 Sep 27; 7:22. . 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

Biological markers of fetal lead exposure at each stage of pregnancy J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2006 Oct; 69(19):1781-96. . View in PubMed

Longitudinal associations between blood lead concentrations lower than 10 microg/dL and neurobehavioral development in environmentally exposed children in Mexico City Pediatrics. 2006 Aug; 118(2):e323-30. . View in PubMed

Influence of maternal bone lead burden and calcium intake on levels of lead in breast milk over the course of lactation Am J Epidemiol. 2006 Jan 01; 163(1):48-56. . View in PubMed

Impact of bone lead and bone resorption on plasma and whole blood lead levels during pregnancy Am J Epidemiol. 2004 Oct 01; 160(7):668-78. . View in PubMed

Effect of breast milk lead on infant blood lead levels at 1 month of age Environ Health Perspect. 2004 Oct; 112(14):1381-5. . View in PubMed

Predictors of plasma lead among lithographic print shop workers in Mexico City Am J Ind Med. 2004 Sep; 46(3):245-52. . View in PubMed

Levels of lead in breast milk and their relation to maternal blood and bone lead levels at one month postpartum Environ Health Perspect. 2004 Jun; 112(8):926-31. . View in PubMed

Apolipoprotein E genotype predicts 24-month bayley scales infant development score Pediatr Res. 2003 Dec; 54(6):819-25. . View in PubMed

Dietary calcium supplements to lower blood lead levels in lactating women: a randomized placebo-controlled trial Epidemiology. 2003 Mar; 14(2):206-12. . View in PubMed

[Time to pregnancy and lead exposure] Salud Publica Mex. 2003; 45 Suppl 2:S189-95. . View in PubMed

Effect of maternal bone lead on length and head circumference of newborns and 1-month-old infants Arch Environ Health. 2002 Sep-Oct; 57(5):482-8. . View in PubMed

Maternal bone lead as an independent risk factor for fetal neurotoxicity: a prospective study Pediatrics. 2002 Jul; 110(1 Pt 1):110-8. . View in PubMed

Impact of breastfeeding on the mobilization of lead from bone Am J Epidemiol. 2002 Mar 01; 155(5):420-8. . View in PubMed

The relationship between lead in plasma and whole blood in women Environ Health Perspect. 2002 Mar; 110(3):263-8. . 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.
sc ctsi logoPowered by SC CTSI