2022

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor named to California state environmental panel


Dr. Lara Cushing will lend scientific expertise to state committee that monitors chemical exposures.

California State Capitol Museum exterior

Dr. Lara Cushing, the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Jonathan and Karin Fielding Presidential Chair in Health Equity and an assistant professor of environmental health sciences, will serve on a panel overseeing California’s efforts to monitor environmental contaminants.

Cushing was appointed to the Biomonitoring California Scientific Guidance Panel, or SGP, in January and will be sworn in and begin service at the panel’s March 25 meeting. The biomonitoring program is a joint effort of the California Department of Public Health, and the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and Department of Toxic Substances Control.

“I am honored to join the accomplished scientists on the SGP and help provide high-level scientific guidance to the state on its efforts to monitor Californian’s exposure to environmental contaminants,” said Cushing, who has led research into environmental health risks in California since 2015, including the impact of sea level rise on contaminated industrial sites and access to safe drinking water.

“Biomonitoring is the measurement of chemicals in people’s bodies, and it tells us important information about hazardous chemicals that people are exposed to from multiple sources including air, soil, water, and food,” she said. “Understanding the body burden of toxic chemicals among Californians can reveal whether chemical phaseouts and pollution prevention efforts have been effective at reducing exposures and identify disproportionately impacted communities and emerging chemicals of concern.”

The California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program, also called Biomonitoring California, was established by legislation passed in 2006. It is a collaborative effort of three departments in two State agencies, the California Department of Public Health, in the Health and Human Services Agency, and the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and Department of Toxic Substances Control. The main goals of the program are to:

  • Determine levels of environmental chemicals in a representative sample of Californians
  • Establish trends in the levels of these chemicals over time
  • Help assess the effectiveness of efforts to decrease exposures to specific chemicals

The SGP, made up of nine members, makes recommendations regarding the Program's design and implementation and provides scientific peer review for Biomonitoring California.

Cushing has taught at UCLA since 2020; she previously taught at San Francisco State University, and earned her doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a faculty affiliate with the UCLA Center for Healthy Climate Solutions.


The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, founded in 1961, is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals from diverse backgrounds, translating research into policy and practice, and serving our local communities and the communities of the nation and the world. The school has 761 students from 26 nations engaged in carrying out the vision of building healthy futures in greater Los Angeles, California, the nation and the world.

Faculty Referenced by this Article

Dr. Lara Cushing
Lara Cushing
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Richard J. Jackson
Richard J. Jackson
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Yifang Zhu
Yifang Zhu
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Niklas Krause
Environmental Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Mel Suffet
Irwin Suffet
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Wendie Robbins
Wendie Robbins
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Kevin Njabo
Kevin Njabo
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Rosenstock
Linda Rosenstock
Environmental Health Sciences Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Michael Jerrett
Michael Jerrett
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Richard Ambrose
Richard Ambrose
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Jesus Araujo
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Arthur Cho
Arthur Cho
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Michael Collins
Michael Collins
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Oliver Hankinson
Oliver Hankinson

Dr. Hankinson is a Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and of EHS, and Chair of the Molecular Toxicology IDP

Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Jane Valentine
Jane Valentine
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Rachael Jones
Rachael Jones
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Shane Que Hee
Shane Que Hee

Industrial Hygiene & Analytical Chemistry

Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Feng Gao
Feng Gao
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Curtis Eckhert
Curtis Eckhert
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Miriam Marlier
Miriam Marlier
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Robert Schiestl
Robert Schiestl
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Arthur Winer
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Pablo Cicero-Fernandez
Pablo Cicero-Fernandez
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Candace Tsai
Candace Tsai

Associate Professor for Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Health Sciences

Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Andre Nel
André Nel
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Timothy Malloy
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Brian Cole
Brian Cole
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Angelo J Bellomo
Angelo Bellomo
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Tao Huai
Tao Huai
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Jian Li
Jian Li
Environmental Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Beate Ritz
Beate Ritz
Environmental Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Pouran D. Faghri
Pouran D. Faghri
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Nicole Green
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Arabzadah, Hamid
Hamid Arabzadeh
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Kirsten Schwarz
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Daniel Uslan
Daniel Uslan
Environmental Health Sciences
Read Faculty Profile

Related Content

electriv vehicle
December 13, 2023
Electric vehicles improve air quality for everyone but have less impact in more polluted areas

Although electric vehicle ownership is higher in wealthier neighborhoods than in disadvantaged ones, EVs improve air quality in all communities, a UCLA study found.

Source: UCLA Newsroom Read Full Article
Clarivate+researchers
November 16, 2023
UCLA Fielding faculty listed among world’s most influential researchers
Read Full Article