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Beate Ritz



DepartmentsType of Faculty
EpidemiologyFull Time
Environmental Health SciencesJoint Appointment
Contact Information

73-320A CHS
CAMPUS- 177220

Areas of Interest: 

Her research focuses on the health effects of occupational and environmental toxins such as pesticides, ionizing radiation, and air pollution on chronic diseases including neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders (Parkinson's disease, autism cognition), cancers, and adverse birth outcomes and asthma. She previously investigated the causes of cancer in chemical toxin and radiation exposed workers and assessed the impact of ergonomic work-place factors on musculo-skeletal disorders. For the past two decades, she studied the effects of air pollution on adverse birth outcomes as well as asthma, autism, and cancers in children in Southern California. In 2006, she received the Robert M Zweig Memorial award for outstanding achievement in air quality and medicine from the South Coast Air Quality Management District and in 2012 she has been appointed a member of the CA-EPA Scientific Review Panel on Toxic Air Contaminants. Since 1997, she has been investigating the long-term effects of pesticide exposures on Parkinson's disease and cancers and is currently conducting a project to implement a Parkinson's disease registry required by a 2004 law in California. In 2011 she recieved an award from the American Parkinson's Disease Association (APDA) for outstanding contributions to the advancement of Parkinsons research. In her research she uses geographic information system (GIS) modeling of environmental exposures including pesticide use and traffic related air pollution in California and investigates links between genetic susceptibility factors and environmental exposures in populations. She is directing and collaborating in a large number of federally (NIH, DOD), state (California Air Resources Board), and foundation (Michael J Fox Foundation, Komen) funded research projects.

Beate Ritz joined the faculty of the School of Public Health at UCLA in 1995 and is Professor of Epidemiology with co-appointments in the Environmental Health department at the UCLA School of Public Health and in Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine; she is a member of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH), the Southern California Environmental Health Science Center (SCEHSC), co-directed the NIEHS-funded UCLA Center for Gene-Environment Studies of Parkinson's disease and is the Interim Director for the APDA Center of Excellence in Parkinson's Disease Research. Dr. Ritz received her MD and a PhD in Medical Sociology from the University of Hamburg Germany in 1983 and 1987; she was a research fellow and resident at the Psychiatric University-Hospital in Hamburg from 1987-1989, and received an MPH degree from UCLA in 1993 and doctoral training and a PhD degree in Epidemiology in 1995 from UCLA.

PhD, Epidemiology, School of Public Health, UCLA
MPH, School of Public Health, UCLA
Doctoral Degree in Medical Sociology, University of Hamburg
MD, Medical Examination Certificate, Registration as a Physician
This faculty member is available to serve as: 
Doctoral Advisor
Masters Advisor
PhD Committee Member
MS Thesis Committee Member
MS Report Committee Member
Field Studies Advisor

Please check with the faculty member or their office about availability to serve during current academic period.

Committee Participation: 

2002-2008        Editorial Board:  EPIDEMIOLOGY

2004-2009        Editorial Board: Epidemiologic Perspectives & Innovations

2007-2010        Editorial Board: Environmental Health

2001-current     Chair (since 2005) and Member (since 2001) Axternal Advisory Committee for the NCI/NIEHS Agricultural Health Cohort Study

2001-current     Board of Directors for the ‘R. Lemelson Foundation for Psychocultural Research.’  

2002                 Member of the EPA Science Advisory Board for Human Health Research Strategy (HHRS)

2002-2004        Member of the external advisory committee for the California Environmental Health Surveillance System (SB 702)

2003-2006        Member of the Ethic Committee for the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology

2003-2004        Member of NAS, IOM Committee on Gulf War and Health, Phase 3: Literature Review of Selected Environmental Particulates, Pollutants, and Synthetic Chemical Compounds

2006                 Member of NAS, IOM Committee on Gulf War and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

2007                 Member of Collegium Ramazzini

2009                 Member of NAS, IOM Committee on Gulf War and Health, Phase 4

2008-09            Member of the U.S. EPA CO standard setting panel for (CASAC: Carbon Monoxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards)

2009-2012        Elected Councilor for the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology

2012-current     Member of CA-EPA Scientific Review Panel on Toxic Air Contaminants

2014-current Member of NAS/IOM committee on Incorporating 21st Century Science intoRisk-Based Evaluations


Selected Courses: 
Epi 200B Epidemiology Methods
Epi 260 Environmental Epidemiology
Epi 261 Occupational Epidemiology
Epi 267 Reproductive Epidemiology
Selected Publications: 

Su J, Meng YY, Pickett M, Seto E, Ritz B, Jerrett M. Identification of the effects of regulatory actions on improvements in air quality in the goods movement corridors. Environ Sci Technol. 2016 Aug 16;50(16):8687-96.

Horvath S, Gurven M, Levine ME, Trumble BC, Kaplan B, Allayee H, Ritz BR, Chen B, Lu AT, Rickabaugh TM, Jamieson BD, Sun D, Li S, Chen W, Quintana-Murci L, Fagny M, Kobor MS, Tsao PS, Reiner AP, Edlefsen KL, Absher D, Assimes TL. An epigenetic clock analysis of race/ethnicity, sex, and coronary heart disease. Genome Biol. 2016 Aug 11;17(1):171.

Lee PC, Raaschou-Nielsen O, Lill CM, Bertram L, Sinsheimer JS, Hansen J, Ritz B. Gene-environment interactions linking air pollution and inflammation in Parkinson’s disease. Environ Res. 2016 Nov;151:713-720.

Gatto NM, Paul K, Sinsheimer JS, Bordelon Y, Ritz B. Vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms and cognitive decline in Parkinson's disease. Accepted in Journal of the Neurological Sciences

Liew Z, Bach CC, Asarnow RF, Ritz B, Olsen J. Paracetamol use during pregnancy and attention and executive function in offspring at age 5. Accepted in IJE

Chuang YH, Lill CM, Lee PC, Hansen J, Lassen CF, Bertram L, Greene N, Sinsheimer JS, Ritz B. Gene-environment interaction in Parkinson’s disease: coffee, ADORA2A, and CYP1A2. Accepted in Neuroepidemiology.

Malmqvist E, Liew Z, Källén K, Rignell-Hydbom A, Rittner R, Rylander L, Ritz B. Fetal growth and air pollution -A study on ultrasound and birth measures. Environ Res. 2016 Oct 11;152:73-80.

Lee PC, Liu LL, Sun Y, Chen YA, Liu CC, Li CY, Yu HL, Ritz B. Traffic-related air pollution increased the risk of Parkinson's disease in Taiwan: A nationwide study. Environ Int. 2016 Nov;96:75-81.

Liew Z, Ritz B, Virk J, Olsen J. Maternal Use of Acetaminophen During Pregnancy and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Childhood: a Danish National Birth Cohort Study. Autism Res. 2016 Sep;9(9):951-8.

Horvath S, Ritz BR. Increased epigenetic age and granulocyte counts in the blood of Parkinson's disease patients. Aging (Albany NY). 2015 Dec;7(12):1130-42.

Liew Z, Ritz B, Virk J, Arah O, Olsen J Prenatal Use of Acetaminophen and Child IQ: a Danish Cohort Study. Epidemiology. 2016 Nov;27(6):912-8.

Heck JE, Park AS, Contreras ZA, Davidson TB, Hoggatt KJ,  Cockburn M, Ritz B.  Cancer in the Children of US and Foreign-born Hispanics: a test of the "Hispanic paradox" JAMA Pediatr. 2016 Jun 1;170(6):585-92.  

Paul KC, Rausch R, Creek MM, Sinsheimer JS, Bronstein JM, Bordelon Y, Ritz B. APOE, MAPT, and COMT genetic variants and cognitive symptom progression in a Parkinson’s disease patient cohort. J Parkinsons Dis. 2016 Apr 2;6(2):349-59.

Ritz B, Paul KC, Bronstein JM. Of Pesticides and Men: A California Story of Genes and Environment in Parkinson’s Disease. Curr Environ Health Rep. 2016 Mar;3(1):40-52. 

Coker E, Liverani S, Ghosh J, Jerrett M, Beckerman B, Su J, Li A, Ritz B, Molitor J. A. Multi-Pollutant Exposure Profiles Associated with Term Low Birth Weight in Los Angeles County. Environ Int. 2016 May;91:1-13.

Becerra T,  Wilhelm W, Olsen J, Cockburn M, Ritz B. Ambient Air Pollution and Autism Risk in Los Angeles County, California. Environ Health Perspect. 2013 Mar;121(3):380-6 

Li L, Wu J, Wilhelm M, Ritz B. Use of Generalized Additive Models and Cokriging of Spatial Residuals to Improve Land-Use Regression Estimates of Nitrogen Oxides in Southern California.Atmos Environ 2012 Aug 1;55:220-228
Fitzmaurice AG, Rhodes SL, Lulla A, Murphy NP, Lam HA, O'Donnell KC, Barnhill L, Casida JE, Cockburn M, Sagasti A, Stahl MC, Maidment NT, Ritz B, Bronstein JM. Aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibition as a pathogenic mechanism in Parkinson disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Dec 24.
Ghosh JK, Wilhelm M,  Ritz B. Effects of residential indoor air quality and household ventilation on preterm birth and term low birth weight in Los Angeles County, California. Am J Public Health. 2013 Apr;103(4):686-94
Hoggatt KJ, Sharp M, Wilhelm M, Solorio R, Ritz B. Latina Epidemiologic Paradox  revisited: the role of birthplace and acculturation in predicting infant low birthweight for Latinas in Los Angeles, CA. J Immigr Minor Health. 2012 Oct;14(5):875-84.
Ritz B. Rhodes SL, Bordelon Y, Bronstein J. Predicting faster motor symptom progression in idiopathic Parkinson Disease: a role for SNCA genetic variants. PLOS one. 2012;7(5):e36199.
Lee PC, Bordelon Y, Bronstein J, Ritz B. Traumatic Brain Injury, Paraquat Exposure and their Relationship to Parkinson Disease. Neurology. 2012 Nov 13;79(20):2061-
Sapkota A, Chelikowski A, Nachman K, Ritz B. Exposure to Particulate Matter and Adverse Birth Outcomes: A Comprehensive Review and Meta Analysis. Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health; 2012, Vol 5, Issue 4; 369-381
Rod-Nielsen N, Schernhammer E, Hansen J, Ritz B. Major life events and risk of Parkinson’s disease Volume 25, Issue 11, 15 August 2010, Pages: 1639–1645
Costello Sadie, Cockburn Myles, Bronstein Jeff, Zhang Xinbo, Ritz Beate Parkinson's disease and residential exposure to maneb and paraquat from agricultural applications in the central valley of California. American journal of epidemiology. 2009; 169(8): 919-26.

Goldberg Daniel W, Wilson John P, Knoblock Craig A, Ritz Beate, Cockburn Myles G An effective and efficient approach for manually improving geocoded data.. International journal of health geographics. 2008; 7(2): 60.

Ritz B, Rull R Assessment of Environmental Exposures from Agricultural Pesticides in Childhood Leukemia Studies: Challenges and Opportunities. In Press: Radiation Protection Dosimetry 2008; .

Krishnadasan A, Kennedy N, Zhao Y, Morgenstern H, Ritz B Nested Case-Control Study of Occupational Physical Activity and Prostate Cancer Among Workers Using a Job Exposure Matrix. Cancer Causes Control 2008; 1: 107-14.

Rugbjerg Kathrine, Ritz Beate, Korbo Lise, Martinussen Nick, Olsen Jørgen H Risk of Parkinson's disease after hospital contact for head injury: population based case-control study. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 2008; 337(2): a2494.

Wahner Angelika D, Bronstein Jeff M, Bordelon Yvette M, Ritz Beate Statin use and the risk of Parkinson disease.. Neurology. 2008; 70(16 Pt 2): 1418-22.

Rempel DM, Wang PC, Janowitz I, Harrison RJ, Yu F, Ritz B A Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Effects of New Task Chairs on Shoulder and Neck Pain Among Sewing Machine Operators: The Los Angeles Garment Study. Spine 2007; 32(9): 931-38.

Ritz B, Wilhelm M, Hoggatt KJ, Ghosh JKC Ambient Air Pollution and Preterm Birth in the UCLA Environment and Pregnancy Outcomes Study. American journal of industrial medicine 2007; 166(9): 1045-52.

Lewis C, Suffet HI, Hoggatt KJ, Ritz B Estimated Effects of Disinfection By-Products on Preterm Birth in a Population Served by a Single Water Utility. Environmental Health Perspectives 2007; 115(2): 290-5.

Wahner Angelika D, Sinsheimer Janet S, Bronstein Jeff M, Ritz Beate Inflammatory cytokine gene polymorphisms and increased risk of Parkinson disease.. Archives of neurology. 2007; 64(6): 836-40.

Krishnadasan A, Kennedy N, Zhao Y, Morgenstern H, Ritz B Nested Case- Control Study of Occupational Chemical Exposures and Prostate Cancer in Aerospace and Radiation Worker. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 2007; 50(5): 383-90.

Wahner Angelika D, Bronstein Jeff M, Bordelon Yvette M, Ritz Beate Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may protect against Parkinson disease.. Neurology. 2007; 69(19): 1836-42.

Ritz Beate, Ascherio Alberto, Checkoway Harvey, Marder Karen S, Nelson Lorene M, Rocca Walter A, Ross G Webster, Strickland Daniel, Van Den Eeden Stephen K, Gorell Jay Pooled analysis of tobacco use and risk of Parkinson disease.. Archives of neurology. 2007; 64(7): 990-7.

Ritz B, Zhao Y, Krishnadasan A, Kennedy N, Morgenstern H Estimated Effects of Hydrazine Exposure on Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Aerospace Workers. Epidemiology 2006; 17(2): 154-61.

Glatt Charles E, Wahner Angelika D, White Daniel J, Ruiz-Linares Andres, Ritz Beate Gain-of-function haplotypes in the vesicular monoamine transporter promoter are protective for Parkinson disease in women.. Human molecular genetics. 2006; 15(2): 299-305.

Ritz Beate, Costello Sadie Geographic model and biomarker-derived measures of pesticide exposure and Parkinson's disease.. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2006; 1076(11): 378-87.

Ritz B, Tager I, Balmes J Can Lessons from Public Health Disease Surveillance be Applied to Environmental Public Health Tracking?. Environmental Health Perspectives 2005; 113(3): 243-9.

Rull Rudolph P, Ritz Beate Historical pesticide exposure in California using pesticide use reports and land-use surveys: an assessment of misclassification error and bias.. Environmental health perspectives. 2003; 111(13): 1582-9.

Wilhelm M, Ritz B Residential Proximity to Traffic and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Los Angeles County, California, 1994-1996. Environmental Health Perspectives 2003; 111(2): 207-16.

Ritz B, Yu F, Chapa G, Fruin S, Shaw G, Harris J Ambient Air Pollution and Birth Defects. Am J Epidemiol 2002; 155: 17-25.

Ritz B, Yu F, Chapa G, Fruin S Effect of Air Pollution on Preterm Birth Among Children Born in Southern California Between 1989 and 1993. Epidemiology 2000; 11: 502-11.

Ritz B, Yu F Parkinson's Disease Mortality And Pesticide Exposure in California 1984-1994. International Journal of Epidemiology 2000; 29: 323-9.

Ritz B, Morgenstern H, Crawford-Brown D, Young B The Effects of Internal Radiation Exposure on Cancer Mortality in Nuclear Workers at Rocketdyne/Atomics International. Environmental Health Perspectives 2000; 108: 743-51.