John Meeker, Sc.D., C.I.H.
Dr. John Meeker is Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. He holds a B.S. in Industrial Technology from Iowa State University, as well as M.S. and Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degrees in Environmental Science & Engineering and Exposure, Epidemiology & Risk, respectively, from Harvard University, where he also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Environmental and Reproductive Epidemiology. He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). Dr. Meeker's work is wide-ranging, and focuses on defining sources, magnitudes and consequences of human exposure to environmental and occupational contaminants, as well as identifying and evaluating strategies to control harmful exposures. Much of his current research involves human exposure science and reproductive and developmental epidemiology studies of known or suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals, such as phthalates, BPA, pesticides, flame retardants, and others. Dr. Meeker is principal investigator on numerous large-scale research studies, is Associate Editor of Environmental Health Perspectives, and has served on various peer-review and advisory panels for EPA, NIH, and others in recent years.
- Sc.D., Exposure, Epidemiology & Risk, Harvard University, 2004
- M.S., Environmental Science & Engineering, Harvard University, 2001
- B.S., Industrial Technology, Iowa State University, 1999
Research Interests & Projects
Dr. Meeker and his research group have been involved in projects that span a range of topics in environmental and occupational health. Recent interests include exposure assessment and epidemiology studies investigating health impacts associated with exposure to pesticides, phthalates, bisphenol A, flame retardants, PCBs, tobacco smoke, and other agents, as well as approaches to evaluate, minimize, and account for exposure measurement error in epidemiology studies. Within this area of study much of the research the team conducts has a particular focus on the study of exposure biomarkers and environmental factors associated with reproductive health and child development.
- Bisphenol and Phthalate Exposure in Relation to Fetal Growth and Preterm Birth
This study will assess environmental risk factors for adverse effects on fetal growth and preterm birth from a recently completed cohort study of over 1000 live birth singletons in the Boston area. The study will utilize state-of-the-art methods for measuring urinary BPA and phthalate concentrations, and for assessing molecular epidemiologic mechanistic pathway markers (oxidative stress, inflammation and endocrine disruption) and markers of individual susceptibility in biological samples collected during each trimester of pregnancy.
- Environmental Exposures, Early Iron Deficiency and Child Neurodevelopment
The proposed study aims to: 1) Investigate the association between neurodevelopment and early life exposure to pesticides, metals (manganese and lead), and STS individually and in combination (i.e., additive and multiplicative effects); 2) Test for interactions between these agents and ID on neurodevelopmental outcomes; and 3) Determine whether iron supplementation in pregnancy and/or in infancy ameliorates adverse impacts of environmental exposures on neurodevelopment outcome. An administrative supplement ($76,000) was granted in 2014 by NLM/NIEHS to incorporate information science expertise and technology into this complex study.
- Maternal Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Pregnancy Outcomes
There is evidence over the last several decades of a decline in human fertility that coincided with the increase in widespread human exposure to synthetic chemicals that alter endocrine signaling. Flame retardants are a class of widely used chemicals that have been shown to adversely affect fertility in experimental animals. The proposed study is designed to determine the impact of flame retardants on both the maternal and paternal contribution to clinical pregnancy outcomes.
- Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats (PRoTECT)
- Project 1: Molecular Epidemiology Study of Phthalate Exposure & Preterm Birth in Puerto
The PROTECT Superfund Research Program (SRP) uses a unique controlled island setting of Puerto Rico, which has a high concentration of Superfund sites and the highest recorded rates of preterm birth, to better understand contaminant fate and transport in karst geology as it relates to human exposure and adverse pregnancy outcomes. The program involves 5 research and translation cores and 5 research projects, including projects in environmental engineering, analytical chemistry, epidemiology, and toxicology. Project 1 is a state-of-the-art epidemiology study of 1200 pregnant women being recruited in the northern coast of Puerto Rico to explore the impacts of exposure to chemical mixtures, sources and pathways of exposure to emerging chemicals of concern among pregnant women, and investigate biological mechanisms involved in the relationship between exposure to chemicals and preterm birth. An administrative supplement ($89,000) was granted in 2014 to provide infrastructure for following children born into the cohort for future study of developmental impacts from early life exposure to chemicals.
- Project 1: Molecular Epidemiology Study of Phthalate Exposure & Preterm Birth in Puerto Rico
- Lifecourse Exposures & diet: Epigenetics, Maturation and Metabolic Syndrome
Project 1: Perinatal & Peripubertal Mixtures, Physical Growth, and Sexual Maturation
In the NIEHS/EPA Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Center (CEHC), we will conduct three research Projects examining the complex interactions among environmental exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and diet and their effects on physical growth, the tempo of sexual maturation and risk of metabolic syndrome. Project 1 will expand upon the pilot work of the University of Michigan (UM) Formative P20 Children's Center to undertake a more robust prospective assessment of the relationship between exposure to a select mixture of EDCs (phthalates, BPA, lead, and cadmium) and the tempo of physical growth and timing of sexual maturation in a long-standing longitudinal cohort study in Mexico.
- Magnetic Field Exposure, Fertility and Pregnancy
This study will recruit women attempting to become pregnant to wear real-time EMF exposure monitors and activity monitors before and after conception prior to explore the relationship between EMF exposure and miscarriage. This study is also designed to enable the exploration of the relationships between pregnancy, activity levels, and average and peak EMF exposure levels.
- Cantonwine, D.E., Ferguson, K.K., McElrath, T.F and Meeker, J.D. (2015). Variability of urinary bisphenol A levels during pregnancy and risk of preterm birth. Environmental Health Perspective, In Press.
- Ferguson, K.K., McElrath, T.F., Chen, Y.H., Mukherjee, B. and Meeker, J.D. (2015). Urinary phthalate metabolites and biomarkers of oxidative stress in pregnant women: a repeated measures analysis. Environmental Health Perspective, 123:210-216.
- Ferguson, K.K., McElrath, T.F., Chen, Y.H. Mukherjee, B., Loch-Caruso, R. and Meeker
J.D. (2014). Repeated measures of urinary oxidative stress biomarkers during pregnancy
and preterm birth. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
- Meeker, J.D. and Ferguson, K.K. 2014. Urinary phthalate metabolites are associated with decreased serum testosterone in men, women and children from NHANES 2011-2012. J. Clin Endocrinol Metab, 99(11):4346-4352. PMID 25121464
- Anaya A, Padilla I, Machiavelli, R, Vesper D, Meeker JD, Alshawabkeh A (2014). Estimating preferential flow in karstic aquifers using statistical mixed models. Groundwater.
- Meeker, J.D. (2012). Environmental Endocrine Disruptors and Child Health. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine952-958.
- Meeker, J.D., Ferguson, K.K. (2011). Relationship between urinary phthalate and bisphenol A concentrations and serum thyroid measures in U.S. adults and adolescents from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007-2008 Environmental Health Perspectives 1396-1402.
- Meeker, J.D., Maity, A., Missmer, S.A., Williams, P.L., Mahalingaiah, S., Ehrlich, S., Berry, K.F., Altshul, L., Perry, M.J., Cramer, D.W., Hauser, R. (2011). Serum concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls in relation to in vitro fertilization outcomes Environmental Health Perspectives 1010-1016.
- Meeker, J.D., Ferguson, K.K. (2012). Phthalates: Human exposure and related health effects In Schecter, A. (Ed.) Dioxins and Health Including Other Persistent Organic Pollutants and Endocrine Disruptors, 3rd Edition. John Wiley & Sons,
- Ferguson, K.K., Loch-Caruso, R., Meeker, J.D. (2012). Exploration of oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in relation to urinary phthalate metabolites: NHANES 1999-2006 Environmental Science and Technology 477-485.
- Meeker, J.D., Ehrlich, S., Toth, T.L., Wright D.L., Calafat, A.M., Trisini, A.T., Ye, X., Hauser, R. (2010). Semen quality and sperm DNA damage in relation to urinary bisphenol A among men from an infertility clinic Reproductive Toxicology 532-539.
- Meeker, J.D., Stapleton, H.M. (2010). House dust concentrations of organophosphate flame retardants in relation to hormone levels and semen quality parameters Environmental Health Perspectives 3118-323.
- Meeker, J.D. (2010). Exposure to environmental endocrine disrupting compounds and men's health Maturitas 236-241.
- Meeker, J.D., Susi, P.L., Flynn, M.R. (2010). Hexavalent chromium exposure and control in welding tasks with an emphasis on construction Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene 607-615.
- Associate Editor, Environmental Health Perspectives
- Member, International Society of Exposure Science
- Member, International Society for Environmental Epidemiology
- Member, American Industrial Hygiene Association
- Member, American Society for Reproductive Medicine