Department of Environmental Health Sciences

The Department of Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) is a joint venture between the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) and the University at Albany School of Public Health where laboratory scientists and population scientists collaborate together in addressing a broad range of environmental health issues.

There are different forms of environmental stresses that can affect the health of all animals and plants.  Over the centuries global health has been improving but health disparities continue to exist and some technologies have led to alterations of our air, water and soil, which can affect the health of susceptible populations.  The anthropogenic increases and redistributions of environmental chemicals have caused physical modifications apparent as “climate change” with direct and indirect effects on health such as more extreme fluctuations in temperature and more widespread and divergent dissemination of pathogens.

The Department of Environmental Health Sciences pursues collaborative research activities to better understand the collective and continuous exposures to environmental stresses (biological, chemical, physical and psychological) that affect health at all stages of life.  Fetuses, infants and the elderly are especially susceptible to environmental stressors.

Our department has environmental chemists for qualitative and quantitative analyses of the chemical (e.g., toxic metals and persistent organic pollutants) and physical (e.g., radiation, temperature extremes and noise) stressors, toxicologists to assess the effects of environmental stressors on biology and epidemiologists and biostatisticians to evaluate the multiplicities of the exposome on health.  Studies address why certain populations due to genetics, age, sex, diet, lifestyle and family and environmental history are more vulnerable.

EHS offers the DrPH degree, two doctoral degree programs leading to the PhD degree and masters level study leading to either the MS (research) or MPH (public health practice) degree.


Environmental Health Sciences News

Environmental Health Sciences Associate Director of Global Health Research, Dr. Shao Lin, and her students Yi Lu, Zhqiang Lin, and Wayne Lawrence have collaborated with their Romanian colleagues and published a paper in the journal Science of the Total Environment:

Evidence from SINPHONIE Project: Impact of Home Environmental Exposures on Respiratory Health Among School-age Children in Romania


Degrees Offered




PhD and MS degree students can choose to specialize in one of three concentrations: Toxicology, Environmental Chemistry, or Environmental and Occupational Health. Students in Toxicology and Environmental Chemistry have the unique opportunity to work with faculty in the state-of-the art laboratories of the Wadsworth Center, the research intensive arm of the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH, as well as University at Albany’s GE*NY*SIS Center for Cancer Genomics. Students specializing in Environmental and Occupational Health have the opportunity to work with faculty in the NYS DOH's Center for Environmental Health, as well as with faculty based on the University at Albany Health Sciences Campus.

DrPH and MPH students follow a broader curriculum with an environmental health concentration that provides for practicum or internship opportunities including the NYS DOH's Wadsworth Center and Center for Environmental Health.

Graduates from the Department of Environmental Health Sciences go on to truly rewarding careers in government, academia and in industry.

So if you care about the environment and public health, and you are ready to make a real difference, train alongside world class scientists and public health professionals, use state-of-the-art equipment, and have a competitive edge in the job market, apply today!



Research Facilities

Wadsworth Center

Wadsworth Center, the research-intensive public health laboratory of the New York State Department of Health, is a science-based community committed to protecting and improving the health of New Yorkers through laboratory analysis, investigations and research, as well as laboratory certification and educational programs.

Scientists at Wadsworth Center study public health issues, from drug resistance to emerging infections and environmental exposures; investigate basic biological processes that contribute to human health and disease; employ modern methods such as biomarkers of exposure, and state-of-the-art technologies, among them a resource for visualizing biologically relevant molecules.

As the state's public health reference laboratory, Wadsworth responds to public health threats, develops advanced methods to detect microbial agents and genetic disorders, and measures and analyzes environmental chemicals.

The Wadsworth Center also operates the most comprehensive laboratory licensure program for clinical and environmental laboratories, and blood and tissue banks trains the next generation of scientists through programs for doctoral, master's, and undergraduate students, as well as specialized training for postdoctoral fellows and others.

Wadsworth Center Facilities Map

Center for Environmental Health

The Center for Environmental Health is an interdisciplinary research and educational component of the NYS Department of Health. Scientific, medical, engineering and public health expertise are applied to the identification, understanding, prevention and mitigation of risks to human health from New York's living and working environments. The Center has three divisions: the Division of Environmental Health Assessment, the Division of Environmental Protection and the Division of Occupational Health and Epidemiology.


The Herbert W. Dickerman Library is a biomedical research library located in the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health. It offers reference services, interlibrary loan, database searching and use of its collection of 50,000 books and technical reports, as well as 1,000 scientific and public health journals. Through the library's homepage, faculty and students of the School of Public Health can access databases (e.g., Medline, Current Contents, HealthStar, Web of Science), over 600 electronic journals, catalogs of the Dickerman Library and other libraries, and various internet resources. The library is open 24 hours a day to faculty and matriculated students. In addition, the Wadsworth Center provides WWW and network access to Entrez, a molecular biology database system produced by NCBI, that presents an integrated view of DNA and protein sequence data, mapping data, 3D structure data and related Medline entries.

Students also have access to the University at Albany campus libraries , which are among the top 100 research libraries in the country. The University Library and the newly opened Science Library on the uptown campus, and the Thomas E. Dewey Graduate Library for Public Affairs and Policy on the Downtown Campus contain more than 1.9 million volumes, subscribe to 5,276 periodicals, and provide access to over 2.7 million microform items. The University Libraries provide access to hundreds of journals and a number of full-text databases relevant to the teaching and research needs of the University. These databases contain a wide variety of information, including references to academic journals and popular magazines, abstracts of dissertations, corporate annual reports, and complete articles from newspapers.