Joseph Braun

Visiting Scientist

Department of Environmental Health

Research Interests

I am interested in studying the role and mechanism of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the development of sexually dimorphic behaviors like play-style and visuospatial ability.  These behaviors are highly conserved across species and develop as a result of prenatal androgen and estrogen exposure.  Exposure to EDCs like bisphenol A (BPA) or phthalates is nearly ubiquitous in developed countries and there is concern that these chemicals may disrupt sex steroid pathways.  In addition, EDCs may exert toxicity via epigenetic mechanisms.  I am using two prospective birth cohorts from Cincinnati OH and Mexico City to address several questions.  1) Does prenatal exposure to BPA and phthalates alter the prenatal sex steroid milieu? 2) Does prenatal exposure to BPA and phthalates attenuate, eliminate, or exaggerate sexually dimorphic behaviors in children?  3) What are potential sources of exposure to BPA and phthalates?  4) How does exposure variability impact our ability to study non-persistent compounds.


PhD in Epidemiology, 2010, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

MSPH in Epidemiology, 2008, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

BS in Nursing, 2005, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

BS in Biochemistry, 2001, University of Wisconsin-Madison


1.    Braun JM, Kalkbrenner AE, Calafat AM, et al.  Variability and Predictors of Urinary Bisphenol Concentrations During Pregnancy.  Environ Health Perspect. Accepted. 2010.

2.    Braun J, Daniels J, Poole C, et al. A prospective cohort study of biomarkers of prenatal tobacco smoke exposure: The correlation between serum and meconium and their association with infant birth weight. Environmental Health. 2010.

3.    Braun JM, Daniels JL, Poole C, et al. Prenatal Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Early Childhood BMI. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiolgy. 2010.

4.    Kalkbrenner AE, Hornung RW, Bernert JT, Hammond SK, Braun JM, Lanphear BP. Determinants of serum cotinine and hair cotinine as biomarkers of childhood secondhand smoke exposure. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. Mar 17 2010.

5.    Anderko L, Braun JM, Auinger P. Contribution of Tobacco Smoke Exposure to Learning Disabilities. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing. 2010;39(1):111-117.

6.    Braun JM, Yolton K, Dietrich KN, et al. Prenatal bisphenol A exposure and early childhood behavior. Environ Health Perspect. Dec 2009;117(12):1945-1952.

7.    Froehlich TE, Lanphear BP, Auinger P, Hornung R, Epstein JN, Braun J, Kahn RS. Association of tobacco and lead exposures with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Pediatrics. 2009;124(6):e1054-1063.

8.    Braun JM, Daniels JL, Kalkbrenner A, Zimmerman J, Nicholas JS. The Effect of Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy on Intellectual Disabilities among 8-Year Old Children in Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, and Utah. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2009;In Press.

9.    Baker AM, Braun JM, Salafia CM, et al. Risk factors for uteroplacental vascular compromise and inflammation. Am J Obstet Gynecol. Sep 2008;199(3):256 e251-259.

10.  Braun JM, Froehlich TE, Daniels JL, et al. Association of environmental toxicants and conduct disorder in U.S. children: NHANES 2001-2004. Environ Health Perspect. Jul 2008;116(7):956-962.  

11.  Braun JM, Froehlich TF, Kahn RS, Auinger P, Lanphear BP. Exposures to environmental toxicants and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in U.S. children Environ Health Perspect. 2006;114 (12):1904-1909.