Whittenberger Symposia

Whittenberger Symposium and Lecture

Dr. James L. Whittenberger served the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) for 36 years, until his retirement in 1982.  A visionary researcher and scholar, dedicated teacher and administrator, Dr. Whittenberger came to HSPH in 1946.  He became Professor of Physiology in 1951 and was named the first James Stevens Simmons Professor of Public Health seven years later.

A pioneering expert in a multidisciplinary approach to environmental health, Dr. Whittenberger was the founder and Director of the Harvard-NIEHS Center for Environmental Health and Chair of the Department of Physiology at the Harvard School of Public Health for 32 years.  He served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 1966 to 1972 and then as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Public Health until 1978.

Following his retirement from HSPH, he became the Director of the Southern Occupational Health Center, University of California, Irvine.  He also was Professor in Residence in the Department of Community and Environmental Medicine, College of Medicine at UC Irvine, and in the Division of Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health at UCLA.

The James L. Whittenberger Lecture was named in his honor in 1983.

Family, friends and colleagues mourned his passing on March 17, 2007.

The next Whittenberger Symposium and Lecture will be held on Thursday, December 15, 2016. Details to follow.


Thank you for all who have joined us for our past symposia; we look forward to seeing you next year for the next stage in our presentation series!

Past Whittenberger Symposia and Lectures

1984       Norton Nelson, PhD
Airborne Particles: Poisons, Probes, and Prophylactics

1986       Ian T. T. Higgins, MD
Environmental Epidemiology: Dose Response

1987       Bernard D. Goldstein, MD
Topics in Ozone Toxicity

1988       David V. Bates, MD
Ozone – Myth and Reality

1989       Margaret Becklake, MD
Industrialization: A Challenge to the Lung

1992       John M. Peters, MD
Environmental Factors and Childhood Leukemia

1994       Symposium on Respiratory Physiology and Environmental Health in Honor of James L. Whittenberger’s 80th Birthday

1997       Jonathan Samet, MD, MS

1999       Scott T. Weiss, MD, MS
The Asthma Epidemic: Is It Due to Genes, the Environment, or Both?

2007       David Schwartz, MD
Epigenetics and Environmental Asthma

2008       David J. P. Barker, MD, PhD, FRS
Nutrition in the Womb: The Origins of Chronic Disease

2009       Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc
The Unique Vulnerability of the Human Brain to Toxic Chemicals in the Environment

2010       Linda Birnbaum, PhD, DABT, ATS
Continuing Vulnerability: Adolescence and the Reproductive Years

2012       Gerald Wogan, PhD
Identification of aflatoxin as a human liver carcinogen:
A critical role for molecular biomarkers in etiology and prevention

2012       Caroline Tanner, MD, PhD
Many Pathways to Parkinson’s Disease: Environment, Genes and Interactions