Our History

Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health have been actively engaged in environmental research since the inception of the School in 1922. Early publications looked at the effects of inhaling dusts and fumes, especially in relation to health and safety in the workplace.

These early studies brought together engineers, chemists, physiologists, pharmacologists, epidemiologists, and physicians, laying the foundation for the interdisciplinary synthesis that our center continues to facilitate.

In 1962, Dr. James Whittenberger founded the Harvard-NIEHS Center. As the first Environmental Sciences Center, it has the distinction of NIEHS Grant number ES000002. This hallmark grant number is a source of pride for the Center members and for the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Whittenberger served as Center Director until 1982 and was succeeded by Dr. John B. Little, Dr. Joseph D. Brain, and presently Dr. Douglas W. Dockery.

               History (History.jpg)
              Harvard-NIEHS Center Directors: Whittenberger, Little and Brain in 1999