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Pam Factor-Litvak


Dr. Pam Factor-Litvak is Professor of Epidemiology and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Epidemiology and Deputy Dean of Research Resources. The current research interests of Dr. Pam Factor-Litvak concern the biological relationships between environmental pollution and development. She is particularly interested in the exposure of the uterus and early childhood to heavy metals (e.g. lead, mercury), endocrine disrupting compounds (e.g. PCBs, organohalogen pesticides) as well as development and reproductive results in late childhood, adolescence and in Adulthood. Most of Dr. Factor-Litvak use birth cohorts or groups of individuals born at specific times and in specific places. An example of this work concerns the Yugoslavia Study of Environmental Lead, Pregnancy Outcomes and Child Development, a prospective cohort study of mother-child couples that tracks the negative association between lead exposure and IQ. A second cohort study by the National Collaborative Perinatal Project tracks these adults in the cohort to identify specific health outcomes, particularly when prenatal exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds is associated with persistent neurological behavior and reproductive disorders in men. Dr. Factor-Litvak is also tracking a newly formed birth cohort in Norway and researching early screening and diagnostic tools for autism and related disorders. She recently completed two studies that were initiated due to public concerns, a study of the possible links between mercury from dental restorations (silver-mercury fillings) and neuropsychological, neurological and psychiatric symptoms in adults, and second, an ecological study of relationships between proximity to hazardous waste landfills and school district-based special educational classifications of autism. Dr. Factor-Litvak has served on numerous NIH review committees and on a World Health Organization expert panel on endocrine disrupting chemicals.


PhD, 1992, Columbia University M Phil, 1980, Yale University MS, 1979, Harvard University GSAS BA, 1977, University of Rochester

Other affiliations

Mitglied, American College of Epidemiology Mitglied, Society for Epidemiological Research

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Follow-up des Columbia Presbyterian National Collaborative Perinatal Project : Pregnant women who received prenatal care at CUMC were enrolled in a study between 1959 and 1964 that tracked their children until they were 7 years old. Dr. Pam Factor-Litvak and colleagues are currently tracking a sample of male offspring to investigate whether exposure to environmental factors, in utero, is associated with reproductive and neuropsychiatric functions.

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Environmental lead, thyroid function and child development , Serbia and Montenegro: Following a study on environmental lead, pregnancy outcomes and child development, Dr. Pam Factor-Litvak and colleagues on whether the negative effects of lead on cognition and behavior are mediated by inadequate maternal thyroid function during pregnancy. Arsenic and Child Development in Bangladesh , Bangladesh: Dr. Pam Factor-Litvak and colleagues are investigating whether exposure to arsenic from consumption of arsenic-contaminated well water is linked to neuropsychological outcomes in Bangladesh, an area with a wide range of exposure.

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