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Assistant Professor

Aisha Dickerson, PhD, MSPH, studies environmental exposures and their disproportionate impact on autism and dementia risks in underserved communities across the lifespan.

Contact Info

615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E7638

Research Interests

Environmental epidemiology; Neuroepidemiology; Metals; Occupation; Air pollution; Exposure mixtures; Autism spectrum disorder; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Dementia; Life course exposures; Environmental justice

Experiences & Accomplishments
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Alabama at Birmingham

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

Select Publications

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.

Environmental Exposures and Cognitive Decline, Dementia, and Alzheimer's Disease Among Middle to Old Age Black Men in the United States
Investigation of environmental justice in a diverse longitudinal sample of older adults in the United States
Leadership and Education in Academic Research and Networking for Enhancing Diversity (LEARNED)
Parental lifetime occupational exposures and risk of autism spectrum disorder in offspring