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Laura Vandenberg (FRS '15-16) Bestowed with Pearl Award for "Disruptive" Research

Environmental Health Expert Laura Vandenberg at UMass Amherst

The Cornell Douglas Foundation, an environmental health and justice advocacy group based in Bethesda, Md., has named University of Massachusetts Amherst environmental health scientist Laura Vandenberg one of its 2016 Pearl Award winners in recognition of her “outstanding leadership in conducting critical research to identify and address the many issues concerning endocrine disruptors.”

The national honor comes with a $50,000 check to Vandenberg, who says, “This award is given to someone who is an irritant, someone who has perhaps encountered trouble because of the science they do, specifically in environmental health. I donated the funds to the campus so that my lab can continue to ‘cause trouble’ and work to improve agencies like EPA and the FDA as they make decisions about chemical safety.”

Vandenberg, an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at UMass Amherst’s School of Public Health and Health Sciences (SPHHS), is an internationally known expert on the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals on development and how environmental exposures in early life can contribute to adult diseases including breast cancer, infertility and obesity. She uses molecular, genetic, tissue-based and endocrine tools to investigate such chemicals as bisphenol A and S (BPA and BPS) and others used as plasticizers, in flame retardants and cosmetics.

Read more in Inside UMass.