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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

School of Public Health


photo of Laura Geer

Laura A. Geer, PhD, MHS

Chair and Associate Professor

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Tel: (718) 221-5267 • Fax: (718) 221-5154


Academic Qualifications:
  • PhD: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • MHS: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • BA: Hampshire College
Background and Expertise:

Dr. Geer, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at SUNY Downstate School of Public Health, has extensive experience leading clinic-based environmental exposure studies exploring the impacts of environmental chemicals on maternal and infant health. She has also been responsible for the design, conduct, and management of studies concerning occupational exposure to chemicals. Her research incorporates methods such as use of biological markers of exposure and epidemiologic investigation of exposure and associated outcomes. Her current research interests include the assessment of maternal attitudes towards prenatal and perinatal education and outreach, with a focus on mobile health strategies. In this work she seeks to address gaps in health equity that lead to maternal and infant morbidity and mortality.

Dr. Geer received her master's and doctoral degrees from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the division of Environmental Health Engineering. During her master's program, she participated in community air pollution exposure study, and designed a risk communication strategy to share study results with the community. Her doctoral work involved the assessment of worker dermal exposure and underlying psychosocial factors. She also completed a certificate program in Risk Assessment and Communication through The Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins. After completing a post-doctoral position with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) measuring worker dermal exposure through the use of biological monitoring and environmental sampling, she provided consultation for the US Environmental Protection Agency Exposure Measurements and Analysis Branch (EMAB) at the National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) where she examined the ethical issues associated with child participation in human exposure studies. Her work complements the current line of research in the consideration of behavioral influences on exposure.

Research Interests

The use of various exposure assessment methods to study perinatal exposure to chemicals. Epidemiologic study of the association between environmental and occupational exposures and health outcomes.

Use of mobile technology in education of environmental pollutants and other built environment hazards, and in the assessment of hazards.

Dermal exposure assessment in occupational and environmental settings, psychosocial risk factors of exposure, and risk assessment and communication.

  • Geer LA, Pycke BFG, Waxenbaum J, Sherer DM, Abulafia O, and RU Halden. Association of Birth Outcomes with Fetal Exposure to Parabens, Triclosan and Triclocarban in an Immigrant Population in Brooklyn, New York. Journal of Hazardous Materials. Available online: 11-MAR-2016. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2016.03.028.
  • Geer LA, Pycke BFG, Abulafia O, Sherer DM, Halden RU. Use of Amniotic Fluid for Determining Pregnancies at Risk of Preterm Birth and for Studying Diseases of Potential Environmental Etiology. Environmental Research. 2015 136:470-481.
  • Geer LA. Identifying Exposure Disparities in Air Pollution Epidemiology Specific to Adverse Birth Outcomes. Environ. Res. Lett. 2014 9:101001.
  • Bashore CJ, Geer LA, He X, Puett R, Parsons PJ, Palmer CD, Steuerwald AJ, Abulafia O, Dalloul M, Sapkota A. Maternal mercury exposure, season of conception and adverse birth outcomes in an urban immigrant community in Brooklyn, New York. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2014 11:8414-8442.
  • Pycke BFG, Geer LA, Mudar Dalloul, Abulafia O, Jenck A, Halden RU. Human Fetal Exposure to Triclosan and Triclocarban in an Urban Population from Brooklyn, New York. Environmental Science and Technology. 2014 48(15):8831-8.
  • Stefaniak AB, Mathew G, Duling MG, Geer LA, Virji MA. Dissolution of the Metal Sensitizers Ni, Be, Cr in Artificial Sweat to Improve Estimates of Dermal Bioaccessibility. Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts 2014 16:341-351.
  • Geer LA, Weedon J, Bell ML. Ambient Air Pollution and Term Birth Weight in Texas from 1998-2004. Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association. 2012 62(11):1285-1295.
  • Callejo FP, Geer LA. A community-based approach to disseminate health information on the hazards of prenatal mercury exposure in Brooklyn, NY. J Community Health. 2012 37(4):745-53.
  • Geer LA, Persad MD, Palmer CD, Steuerwald AJ, Dalloul M, Abulafia O, Parsons PJ. Assessment of prenatal mercury exposure in a predominately Caribbean immigrant community in Brooklyn, NY. J Environ Monit. 2012 14(3):1035-43.
Recent Presentations / Posters
  • LA Geer, BF Pycke, J Waxenbaum, DM Sherer, O Abulafia, and RU Halden. Association of Birth Outcomes with Fetal Exposure to Parabens, Triclosan and Triclocarban in an Immigrant Population in Brooklyn, New York. Presented poster at the Annual International Society of Environmental Epidemiology. Rome, Italy, September 1, 2016.
  • Pycke, BFG, LA Geer, A Jenck, M Dalloul, O Abulafia, and RU Halden. Human biomonitoring of prenatal exposure to triclosan and triclocarban in a multiethnic urban population from Brooklyn, New York. Presented in an oral presentation at the 248th American Chemical Society National Meeting. San Francisco, CA, August 11, 2014.
  • Thomas J (MPH Candidate), BFG Pycke, RU Halden, , M Dalloul, O Abulafia, and LA Geer. Maternal Exposure to EDCs from Consumer Products: Comparison of Levels in a Caribbean Immigrant Population in the U.S. to National and Global Levels.
  • Poster at SUNY Annual Research Day, April 2, 2014.
  • Poster at Consortium of Universities for Global Health Conference, Washington, D.C. May 11, 2014.
  • Pycke BFG, LA Geer, A Jenck, M Dalloul, O Abulafia, and RU Halden. Prenatal exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds in a predominantly Caribbean immigrant community. 15th International Conference of the Pacific Basin Consortium for Environment and Health. Honolulu, Hawaii. September 24-27, 2013.
  • Pycke BFG, LA Geer, M Dalloul, O Abulafia, and RU Halden. Analysis of Maternal Urine and Cord Blood to Explore Fetal Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs). 34th Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, November 23, 2013. Nashville, TN.
  • Geer LA, BFG Pycke, A Jenck, M Dalloul, O Abulafia, and RU Halden.Prenatal exposure to emerging contaminants. Poster presentation at the Annual Conference of International Society of Exposure Sciences (ISES). Seattle, WA. October 2012.
  • Geer LA, BFG Pycke, M Dalloul, O Abulafia, and RU Halden. Maternal Exposure to Environmental Aromatic Compounds from Consumer Products. Poster presentation at the 25th Annual Meeting of the Superfund Basic Research Program. Raleigh, NC. October 21-24, 2012.
Media Links
  • Common antibacterials may affect unborn babies. CBS News. Posted August 11, 2014. Link »
  • Antibacterial Soap. CBC Radio, Canada. Series of Interviews: Ottawa, Cape Breton, Sudbury, Moncton, Corner Brook, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Calgary, Saskatoon, and Whitehorse. August 11, 2014. Web links pending.
  • Germ-killing chemicals common in pregnant women, newborns. Posted August 10, 2014. Link »
  • Can your toothpaste give you cancer? Posted August 13, 2014. Link »