Lawrence Schell

Studies health disparities, childhood development, environmental health and risk factors

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Lawrence Schell

College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Anthropology

Anthropology; minority health disparities; epidemiology; biostatistics; childhood development; environmental health; risk factors

Campus phone: (518) 442-4714
Campus email:


Lawrence M. Schell is the director of the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, as well as a Professor in the Departments of Anthropology and Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

His research on environmental health focuses on the physical growth and development of children, particularly the effects of pollutants among disadvantaged groups. Put in anthropological terms, his research concerns adaptation, or lack thereof, to urbanism. A corollary theme of his work is the role of socio-cultural factors in health. His recent publications are based on three NIH funded studies: two ongoing studies of Mohawk adolescents and young adults, and an earlier study conducted in Albany, N.Y. investigating influences on lead levels of mothers and infants and the effects of lead on infant development.

Recent publications include a paper in Pediatrics on the effects of polychlorinated biphenyls and lead on the timing of human sexual maturation. Other recent publications have detailed the role of maternal diet and body composition on the transfer of lead from mother to fetus, and the influence of infant diet on the infant's acquisition of environmental lead, and the growth and development of Akwesasne Mohawk adolescents. He also has published several reviews on urbanism, pollution and child health. He received his Ph.D. in biological anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania; his B.A. from Oberlin College.