For decades, Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP, has been a distinguished leader in public health, working to protect children against environmental health threats, fighting national and international epidemics, and serving the needs of first responders. The National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) is honored to recognize Dr. Landrigan with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to environmental health.
NCSE’S Lifetime Achievement Award is a prestigious annual recognition of individuals who significantly contribute to environmental science and improving environmental decision-making. Past recipients of this award have been world-renowned leaders in the fields of science, policy, and the environment. Each awarded individual has dedicated their career to advancing science for the public good, and has made a substantial and recognizable contribution to their respective fields. Dr. Philip Landrigan is an outstanding professional and well-deserved awardee.
Dr. Landrigan, a pediatrician and epidemiologist, is an internationally recognized leader in public health and preventive medicine and a longtime advocate for children and workers. From conducting clinical investigations and leading epidemiologic studies to testifying before Congress, Dr. Landrigan has brought environmental health threats, including lead, pesticides, and air quality concerns at Ground Zero following the World Trade Center attacks into the national spotlight.
Dr. Landrigan has been centrally involved in the medical and epidemiologic studies that followed the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. His Department at Mount Sinai currently runs the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program, caring for more than 27,000 of the first responders from that day.
Dr. Landigrian’s work has had a direct impact on the health and well-being of children throughout the United States. His pioneering research on the effects of lead poisoning in children contributed to the U.S. government’s decision to remove lead from gasoline and paint. His leadership of a National Academy of Sciences Committee on pesticides in children’s diets was key in generating widespread understanding that children are uniquely vulnerable to toxic chemicals in the environment. This research not only helped to secure the passage of the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, the only federal environmental law in the United States that contains explicit protections for the health of children, but also led also to the establishment of EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection. In 2014, Dr. Landrigan named 12 chemicals (including pesticides and flame retardants) in a paper published in The Lancet Neurology journal that are known to be toxic to children’s developing brains. He has also called for a worldwide overhaul of the regulatory process to protect children from chemicals that can damage the developing brain of a human fetus or infant.
In 1987, Dr. Landrigan was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine. In his career, he has published more than 500 scientific papers and 5 books and has received tens of millions of dollars of NIH grants to fund his research. Dr. Landrigan’s groundbreaking work has been acknowledged through the more than 50 awards he has received from the public and environmental health sectors. He currently serves as the Ethel H. Wise Professor and Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Landrigan is a graduate of Boston Latin School, Boston College, Harvard Medical School and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He is a 41-year veteran of the U.S. Public Health Service and the United States Navy.
Dr. Landrigan will receive the NCSE Lifetime Achievement Award at the NCSE 2017, the 17th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy, and the Environment.