Short Biography:

Dr. Gauri Desai is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Epidemiology and Environmental Health, in the Undergraduate Public Health Program at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Healthcare Management from the University of Pune in India, a Master’s degree in Public Health from Indiana University Bloomington, and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University at Buffalo.

Her research interests are primarily in the area of environmental epidemiology, focusing on understanding the impact of environmental toxins on children’s growth and development. She is also interested in understanding the role of diet in mitigating the toxicity of environmental exposures. Her recent research work on low-level arsenic exposure, B-vitamins, and neurodevelopment among Uruguayan schoolchildren showed that although low-level arsenic exposure was not associated with general cognition or academic achievement, it exerted neurotoxic effects on children’s executive functions. Additionally, intake of B-vitamins modestly lowered the toxicity of arsenic when exposure occurred at low levels.

In addition, Dr. Desai has worked on several research projects, such as assessing associations between dietary intakes and blood lead levels among young children, those between onion and garlic intake and breast cancer among Puerto Rican women, and developing a research framework in sanitation for people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries.