Aisha Dickerson, PhD, MSPH, studies environmental exposures and their disproportionate impact on autism and dementia risks in underserved communities across the lifespan.
Environmental epidemiology; Neuroepidemiology; Metals; Occupation; Air pollution; Exposure mixtures; Autism spectrum disorder; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Dementia; Life course exposures; Environmental justice
Experiences & Accomplishments
Aisha S. Dickerson is an environmental neuroepidemiologist with primary research interests in environmental risk factors for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Specifically, she studies combined environmental and occupational exposures across the life course and subsequent individual and transgenerational neurological outcomes, including autism spectrum disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and dementia. Between earning her BS and MSPH, Dr. Dickerson worked for the Jefferson County Department of Health where she served on emergency response teams after Hurricane Katrina and during the H1N1 (Swine Flu) pandemic. Prior to joining BSPH, she also completed postdoctoral training at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Currently, her research investigates joint environmental and psychosocial stressors, the influence of disparities in cognitive assessments and service provision, and environmental justice issues in underserved communities. She is the PI of an NIEHS-funded study of gene-environment interaction with parental occupation exposures and autism in offspring. She also has several ongoing studies of joint exposures utilizing data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), and the Environmental influences of Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) project.
Honors & Awards
2023 JHU Career Impact Award Nominee
2021- Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, National Institute of Mental Health
2021 Butler-Williams Scholars Program, National Institute on Aging
2020 American Journal of Epidemiology Reviewer of the Year
2020 Bloomberg American Health Initiative Spark Award
2019 Society for Research in Child Development Victoria S. Levin Award
2018-2019 NIEHS Environmental Epidemiology of Autism Network Meeting Travel Award
2018 Rose Traveling Fellowship, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
2017-2019 NIMHD Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program
2017-2019 Alonzo Smythe Yerby Fellowship, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
2016-2019 NIEHS Environmental Epidemiology Postdoctoral Training Grant, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
2013-2014 International Society for Autism Research Diversity Travel Award
2010-2014 HRSA Predoctoral Public Health Traineeship
2010 Education Advancement Foundation Graduate Scholarship
Publications highlighting my research interests:
Dickerson AS. (2023) Invited Perspective: Still Beating the Drum—Environmental Health Disparities and Neurodevelopment. Environmental Health Perspectives. 131(9):91302
Dickerson AS, Frndak S, DeSantiago M, Mohan A, Smith GS. (2023) Environmental Exposure Disparities and Neurodevelopmental Risk: A Review. Current Environmental Health Reports. 10(2):73-83
Dickerson AS, Frndak S, Gorski-Steiner I, Deng Z, Jenson TE, Mohan A, Kim J, Boerner VQ, Thorpe RJ, Jr. (2023) Outdoor Air Pollution, Environmental Injustice, and Cognitive Decline: A Review. Current Epidemiology Reports. 10:158–167
Dickerson AS, Deng Z, Ransome Y, Factor-Litvak P, Karlsson O. (2022) Associations of prenatal exposure to mixtures of organochlorine pesticides on smoking and drinking behaviors in adolescence. Environmental Research. 206:112431
Dickerson AS, Hansen J, Thompson S, Gredal O, Weisskopf MG. (2020) A mixtures approach to solvent exposures and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a population-based study in Denmark. European Journal of Epidemiology. 35(3), 241-249.
Dickerson AS and Dickerson AS. (2020) Brief Report: Texas School District Autism Prevalence in Children from Non-English-Speaking Homes. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 50:1411–1417.
Dickerson AS, Rahbar MH, Bakian A, Bilder D, Harrington R, Pettygrove S, Kirby R, Durkin M, Han I, Moyé L, Pearson DA, Wingate M, Zahorodny W. (2016) Autism Spectrum Disorder prevalence and associations with ambient air concentrations of lead, mercury and arsenic. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 188(7): 407.