Dr. Alison P. Sanders, PhD

Assistant Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health


Public Health, 130 De Soto Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
R-znvy: ncf654@cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-838-5768
Web site:

Personal Statement

The Sanders Lab for molecular epidemiology and nephrotoxicology examines how environmental exposures during susceptible periods of life (perinatal to adolescence to pregnancy) can impact kidney development and function that predict chronic disease. Our research uses novel methods to examine complex environmental (e.g. metals, air pollution, fluoride) and psychosocial (e.g. stress, sleep, socioeconomic) risk factors for kidney dysfunction among susceptible populations including pregnant women, children, agricultural workers as well as diverse populations with chronic kidney disease.







University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

B.S, 2006

Biomedical Engineering






University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

M.S, 2009

Civil and Environmental Engineering;

Certificate in Global Health


University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

PhD, 2013

Environmental Sciences and Engineering; Minor in epidemiology






Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY


Pediatrics and Environmental Medicine and Public Health




Type of Teaching


MPH 400: Intro to Epidemiology


MPH 515: Toxicology


MPH 515: Toxicology

2022- EOH Molecules of Life, Sickness, and Death

Selected Publications

Refereed Articles

  1. Sanders AP, Messier KP, Shehee M, Rudo K, Serre ML, Fry RC. Arsenic in North Carolina Domestic Wells: Public Health Implications. Environment International. 2012. 38 (1): 10-16. PMCID: PMC3539775.
  2. Sanders AP, Flood K, Chiang S, Herring AH, Wolf L, Fry RC. Towards prenatal biomonitoring in North Carolina: Assessing arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead levels in pregnant women. PLoS ONE. 2012. 7 (3). PMCID: PMC3302877.
  3. Ahir B, Sanders AP, Rager JE, and Fry RC. Systems biology and birth defects prevention: Blockade of the glucocorticoid receptor prevents arsenic-induced birth defects. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2013. 121: 332-338. PMCID: PMC3616967.
  4. Sanders AP*, Smeester L*, Rojas D, DeBussycher T, Wu MC, Wright FA, Zhou Y, Laine JE, Rager JE, Swamy G, Ashley-Koch A, Miranda ML, Fry RC. Cadmium exposure and the epigenome: Exposure-associated patterns of DNA methylation in leukocytes from mother-baby pairs. Epigenetics. 2014. 9 (2): 212-221. PMCID: PMC3962531.
  5. Sanders AP, Desrosiers TA, Warren J, Herring AH, Enright D, Olshan AF, Meyer RE, Fry RC. Association between arsenic, cadmium, lead, and manganese levels in private wells and birth defects prevalence in North Carolina: a semi-ecologic study. BMC Public Health. 2014. 14 (1): 955. PMCID: PMC4190372.
  6. Sanders AP*, Miller SK*, Nguyen V, Kotch JB, Fry RC. Toxic metal levels in children residing in a smelting craft village in Vietnam: a pilot biomonitoring study. BMC Public Health. 2014. 14:114. PMCID: PMC3922956
  7. Sanders AP*, Burris HH*, Just AC, Motta V, Svensson K, Mercado-Garcia A, Pantic I, Schwartz J, Tellez-Rojo MM, Wright RO, Baccarelli AA. MicroRNA expression in the cervix during pregnancy is associated with length of gestation. Epigenetics. 2015. 10 (3): 221-8. PMCID: PMC4623248.
  8. Sanders AP*, Burris HH*, Just AC, Motta V, Amarasiriwardena C, Svensson K, Oken E, Solano Gonzalez M, Mercado-Garcia A, Pantic I, Schwartz J, Tellez-Rojo MM, Baccarelli AA, Wright RO. Altered microRNA expression in the cervix during pregnancy associated with lead and mercury exposure. Epigenomics. 2015. 7 (6): 885-96. PMCID: PMC4648659. *Authors contributed equally
  9. Sanders AP, Gennings C, Svensson K, Motta V, Mercado-Garcia A, Solano M, Baccarelli AA, Tellez-Rojo MM, Wright RO, Burris HH. Bacterial and cytokine mixtures predict the length of gestation and are associated with miRNA expression in the cervix. Epigenomics. 2016. 9(1): 33-45. PMCID: PMC5514975.
  10. Rodosthenous R, Burris HH, Sanders AP, Just AC, Dereix A, Svensson K, Solano M, Tellez-Rojo MM, Wright RO, Baccarelli AA. Second trimester extracellular microRNAs in maternal blood and fetal growth: an exploratory study. Epigenetics. 2017. 12(9): 804-810. PMCID: PMC5739092
  11. Sanders AP, Svensson K, Gennings C, Burris HH, Oken E, Amarasiriwardena C, Basnet P, Pizano-Zarate ML, Schnaas L, Tamayo-Ortiz M, Baccarelli AA, Satlin LM, Wright RO, Tellez-Rojo MM. Prenatal lead exposure modifies the effect of shorter gestation on increased blood pressure in children. Environment International. 2018. 120: 464-471. PMCID: PMC6354251.
  12. Sanders AP, Mazzella MJ, Malin AJ, Hair GM, Busgang SA, Saland J, Curtin P. Combined exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic and renal health in adolescents age 12-19 in NHANES 2009-2014. Environment International. 2019. 131: PMCID: PMC6750805.
  13. Malin AJ, Lesseur C, Busgang SA, Curtin P, Wright RO, Sanders AP. Fluoride exposure and kidney and liver function among adolescents in the United States, NHANES 2013-2016. Environment International. 2019.
  14. Saylor C, Tamayo-Ortiz M, Pantic I, McRae N, Baccarelli AA, Gennings C, Satlin LM, Wright RO, Tellez-Rojo MM, Sanders AP. Prenatal blood lead levels and reduced preadolescent glomerular filtration rate: Modification by body mass index. Environment International. 2021. PMCID: PMC8217093.
  15. Levin-Schwartz Y, Curtin P, Flores D, Aushev V, Pantic I, Estrada G, Tamayo-Ortiz M, Gennings C, Baccarelli AA, Satlin LM, Tellez-Rojo MM, Wright RO, Sanders AP. Exosomal microRNAs in urine are associated with children’s cardiorenal parameters: a cross-sectional study. Epigenomics. 2021.
  16. Levin-Schwartz Y, Politis M, Gennings C, Tamayo-Ortiz M, Flores D, Amarasiriwardena C, Pantic I, Tolentino MC, Estrada-Gutierrez G, Lamadrid Figueroa H, Tellez-Rojo MM, Baccarelli AA, Wright RO, Sanders AP. Nephrotoxic metal mixtures and preadolescent kidney function. Children. 2021. PMCID: PMC8391795.
  17. Saylor C, Malin AJ, Tamayo-Ortiz T, Cantoral A, Pantic I, Estrada-Gutierrez G, Tolentino MC, Gennings C, Wright RO, Tellez-Rojo MM, Sanders AP. Early childhood exposure to fluoride and preadolescent kidney function. Environmental Research. 2021 PMID: 34506780
  18. Rosa MJ*, Politis M*, Tamayo-Ortiz M, Rivera NR, Pantic I, Guadalupe E, Tolentino M, Solano M, Kloog I, Baccarelli AA, Tellez-Rojo MM, Wright RO, Just AC*, Sanders AP*. Critical windows of prenatal particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure and preadolescent kidney function. Environmental Research. 2021.

Alison P. Sanders