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Environmental & Occupational Health

Faculty Profile

  • Nancy Fiedler, PhD

  • Professor

  • Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Justice

  • CV

Neurotoxicant health effects; stress; cognitive and behavioral health effects; child development and neurotoxicant exposure; ethics of human subjects research.

In 1982, Dr. Fiedler received her PhD in clinical psychology from Bowling Green State University.  She completed a clinical internship in the Department of Psychiatry of Rutgers Medical school followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in community psychology at the St. Clare Hospital in Denville, NJ.  

Research Interests
Through interdisciplinary collaborations, Dr. Fiedler investigates the human health effects of neurotoxicants. As the PI of grants funded by NIOSH, DOD, and NIEHS, her research has focused on interactions between complex environmental exposure (e.g., volatile organic compounds) and psychosocial factors (e.g., stress, sex) on symptoms and neurobehavioral function. Identifying demographic, genotypic, or psychosocial environmental factors that mediate human subject responses to xenobiotic exposures is central to her work. With Fogarty grants funded through the NIEHS since 2010, her work has extended to global environmental health research and research capacity building. Dr. Fiedler is currently leading an NIEHS funded birth cohort study in Thailand to investigate the effects of organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticide exposure during each trimester of pregnancy, with the goal of defining critical windows of vulnerability that contribute to neurodevelopmental deficits. This unique project applies infant measures of attention, memory, emotion regulation, and inhibitory control to understand how prenatal neurotoxic insecticides affect the neurodevelopmental trajectory in this vulnerable population.

Research Highlights

Chronic solvent exposure predicts lower activation patterns in the anterior cingulate, prefrontal, and parietal cortices and subtle neurobehavioral alterations in performance. Chronic lead exposure among workers in the construction trades alters the HPA axis response to stress first demonstrated in animal models. Psychosocial stress is the dominant factor in determining symptom responses to poor indoor air quality in a controlled exposure study.

Select Publications
Weisel, C., Fiedler, N., Weschler, C., Ohman-Strickland, P., Mohan, K., McNeil, K., Space, D. (2017) "Human symptom responses to bioeffluents, short-chain carbonyls/acids, and long-chain carbonyls in a simulated aircraft cabin environment.", Indoor air Vol. 27

Fiedler, N., Rohitrattana, J., Siriwong, W., Suttiwan, P., Ohman Strickland, P., Ryan, P., Rohlman, D., Panuwet, P., Barr, D., Robson, M. (2015) "Neurobehavioral effects of exposure to organophosphates and pyrethroid pesticides among Thai children.", Neurotoxicology Vol. 48

Fortin, M. C., Nwankwo, C., Yanger, T. S., Todd, A., Cory-Slechta, D. A., Ohman-Strickland, P., Moynihan, J., Walton, J., Fiedler, N. (2012) "Lead exposure alters the hormonal response to stress in otherwise normal male subjects", Environ Health Perspectives Vol. 120

Tang, C., Carpenter, D., Eaves, E., Ng, J., Ganeshalingam, N., Weisel, C., Qian, H., Lange, G., Fiedler, N. (2011) "Occupational solvent exposure and brain function: an fMRI study.", Environmental health perspectives Vol. 119

Fiedler, N., Kipen, H., Ohman-Strickland, P., Zhang, J., Weisel, C., Laumbach, R., Kelly-McNeil, K., Olejeme, K., Lioy, P. (2008) "Sensory and cognitive effects of acute exposure to hydrogen sulfide.", Environmental health perspectives Vol. 116

Fiedler, N., Kelly-McNeil, K., Ohman-Strickland, P., Zhang, J., Ottenweller, J., Kipen, H. (2008) "Negative affect and chemical intolerance as risk factors for building-related symptoms: a controlled exposure study.", Psychosomatic medicine Vol. 70

Scholarly Activities
Ad Hoc Reviewer: Journal of Neurotoxicology

Ad Hoc Reviewer: Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives

Ad Hoc Reviewer: Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine

Ad Hoc Reviewer: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Fogarty Grant review panel (2018)

Fogarty Grant review panel (2017)

NIH Grant reviewer: Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (2016)

Chair for the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Institutional Review Board