Posts classified under: Epidemiology

Akihiro Nishi, Ph.D.

Dr. Akihiro Nishi is an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He is a social epidemiologist specializing in network sciences and evolutionary game theory (see Nishi, Social Science & Medicine, 2015).

His areas of focus include the improvement of economic inequality and the inequality of well-being in online social networks (e.g. Nishi et al, Nature, 2015); examining health consequences of nationwide policies in aging countries such as Japan (e.g. Tamiya et al, Lancet, 2011); promoting motorcycle helmet use in Thailand (e.g. Nishi et al, Bulletin of WHO, 2018); and developing network interventions to address the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. Nishi et al, PNAS, 2020: link below).

His research has had broad media attention, including the New York Times, CNN, NBC, PBS NewsHour, NHK News 7, and others. His papers are available through Google Scholar or PubMed (links below). He teaches Intro and Intermediate R (EPI 407A and B) as well as Social Network Analysis (EPI217). Nishi Research Lab is currently looking for creative researchers (postdocs, graduate, undergraduate, and high school students) and collaborators from around the world. Dr. Nishi is also actively looking for new research contracts, donations, and collaborations.

Beate Ritz, M.D., Ph.D.


Beate Ritz joined the faculty of the School of Public Health at UCLA in 1995 and is currently Professor and Vice Chair of the Epidemiology Department and holds co-appointments in the Environmental Health department at the UCLA School of Public Health and in Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine; she is a member of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH), the Southern California Environmental Health Science Center (SCEHSC), and co-directs the NIEHS-funded UCLA Center for Gene-Environment Studies of Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Ritz received her MD and a PhD in Medical Sociology from the University of Hamburg Germany in 1983 and 1987; she was a research fellow and resident at the Psychiatric University-Hospital in Hamburg from 1987-1989, and received doctoral training and a PhD degree in Epidemiology in 1995 from UCLA.

Her research focuses on the health effects of occupational and environmental toxins such as pesticides, ionizing radiation, and air pollution on chronic diseases including neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson’s disease), cancers, and adverse birth outcomes and asthma. She previously investigated the causes of cancer in chemical toxin and radiation exposed workers and assessed the impact of ergonomic work-place factors on musculo-skeletal disorders. For the past decade, she studied the effects of air pollution on adverse birth outcomes as well as asthma in children in Southern California. In 2006, she received the Robert M Zweig Memorial award for outstanding achievement in air quality and medicine from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. She also spend the past 15 years investigating the long-term effects of pesticide exposures on Parkinson’s disease and cancers and is currently conducting a project to implement a Parkinson’s disease registry required by a new law in California.

In her research she uses geographic information system (GIS) modeling of environmental exposures including pesticide use and traffic related air pollution in California and investigates links between genetic susceptibility factors and environmental exposures in populations. She is directing and collaborating in a large number of federally (NIH, DOD), state (California Air Resources Board), and foundation (Michael J Fox Foundation) funded research projects.


A selected list of publications:

Manthripragada A, Cockburn M, Costello S, Bronstein J, Ritz B.   Paraoxonase-1 gene Leu-Met 55 polymorphism may modify the estimated effects of agricultural organophosphate exposure on Parkinson’s disease. In Press: Epidemiology, , 2009; .
Ritz–Publications PD Gatto N   Cockburn M, Bronstein J, Ritz B. Well Water Consumption and Parkinson’s Disease in Rural California. , In Press EHP , 2009; .
Costello Sadie, Cockburn Myles, Bronstein Jeff, Zhang Xinbo, Ritz Beate   Parkinson’s disease and residential exposure to maneb and paraquat from agricultural applications in the central valley of California American journal of epidemiology, 2009; 169(8): 919-26.
Rhodes Shannon L, Ritz Beate   Genetics of iron regulation and the possible role of iron in Parkinson’s disease Neurobiology of disease, 2008; 32(2): 183-95.
Ritz B, Rull R   Assessment of Environmental Exposures from Agricultural Pesticides in Childhood Leukemia Studies: Challenges and Opportunities, In Press: Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 2008; .
Rhodes SL, Ritz B   Genetics of Iron Regulation and the Possible Role of Iron in Parkinson’s Disease, In Press: Neurobiology of Disease, 2008; .
Rugbjerg K, Ritz B, Korbo L, Martinussen N, Olsen JH   Risk for Parkinson’s Disease After Hospitalization for a Head Injury: A Population-Based Case-Control Study, In Press: BMJ, 2008; .
Wahner AD, Bronstein JF, Bordelon YM, Ritz B   Statin Use and the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease, Neurology, 2008; 70(16 pt. 2): 1418-22.
Wahner Angelika D, Bronstein Jeff M, Bordelon Yvette M, Ritz Beate   Statin use and the risk of Parkinson disease Neurology, 2008; 70(16 Pt 2): 1418-22.
Goldberg Daniel W, Wilson John P, Knoblock Craig A, Ritz Beate, Cockburn Myles G   An effective and efficient approach for manually improving geocoded data International journal of health geographics, 2008; 7(2): 60.
Rugbjerg Kathrine, Ritz Beate, Korbo Lise, Martinussen Nick, Olsen Jørgen H   Risk of Parkinson’s disease after hospital contact for head injury: population based case-control study BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 2008; 337(2): a2494.
Krishnadasan A, Kennedy N, Zhao Y, Morgenstern H, Ritz B   Nested Case-Control Study of Occupational Physical Activity and Prostate Cancer Among Workers Using a Job Exposure Matrix, Cancer Causes Control, 2008; 1: 107-14.
Ritz B, Wilhelm M, Hoggatt KJ, Ghosh JKC   Ambient Air Pollution and Preterm Birth in the UCLA Environment and Pregnancy Outcomes Study, American journal of industrial medicine, 2007; 166(9): 1045-52.
Wahner Angelika D, Bronstein Jeff M, Bordelon Yvette M, Ritz Beate   Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may protect against Parkinson disease Neurology, 2007; 69(19): 1836-42.
Ritz Beate, Ascherio Alberto, Checkoway Harvey, Marder Karen S, Nelson Lorene M, Rocca Walter A, Ross G Webster, Strickland Daniel, Van Den Eeden Stephen K, Gorell Jay   Pooled analysis of tobacco use and risk of Parkinson disease Archives of neurology, 2007; 64(7): 990-7.
Rempel DM, Wang PC, Janowitz I, Harrison RJ, Yu F, Ritz B   A Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Effects of New Task Chairs on Shoulder and Neck Pain Among Sewing Machine Operators: The Los Angeles Garment Study, Spine, 2007; 32(9): 931-38.
Karr C, Lumley T, Shepherd K, Davis R, Larson T, Ritz B, Kaufman J   Effect of Subchronic and Chronic Exposure to Ambient Air Pollutants on Infant Bronchiolitis, Am J Epidemiol, 2007; 165(5): 553-60.
Lewis C, Suffet HI, Hoggatt KJ, Ritz B   Estimated Effects of Disinfection By-Products on Preterm Birth in a Population Served by a Single Water Utility, Environmental Health Perspectives, 2007; 115(2): 290-5.
Wahner AD, Glatt CE, Bronstein JF, Ritz B.   Glutathione S-Transferase Mu, Omega, Pi, And Theta Class Variants And Smoking In Parkinson’s Disease. Neurosci Lett. 2007 Feb 21;413(3):274-8, , 2007; .
Wahner AD, Glatt CE, Bronstein JF, Ritz B   Glutathione S-Transferase Mu, Omega, Pi, and Theta Class Variants and Smoking in Parkinson’s Disease, Neurosci Lett. Perspect, 2007; 413(3): 274-8.
Wahner AD, Sinsheimer JS, Bronstein JF, Ritz B   Inflammatory Cytokine Gene Polymorphisms Increase Risk of Parkinson’s Disease, Arch Neurol, 2007; 64(6): 836-40.
Krishnadasan A, Kennedy N, Zhao Y, Morgenstern H, Ritz B   Nested Case- Control Study of Occupational Chemical Exposures and Prostate Cancer in Aerospace and Radiation Worker, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2007; 50(5): 383-90.
Wahner AD, Bronstein JF, Bordelon YM, Ritz B   Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs May Protect Against Parkinson’s Disease, Neurology, 2007; 69(19): 1836-42.
Ritz B, Ascherio A, Checkoway H, Marder KS, Nelson LM, Rocca WA, Ross GW, Strickland D, Van Den Eeden SK, Gorell J   Pooled Analysis of Tobacco Use and Risk of Parkinson’s Disease, Archives of Neurology, 2007; 64(7): 990-7.
Mengy YY, Wilhelm M, Rull R, English P, Ritz B   Traffic and Outdoor Air Pollution Levels Near REsidences and Poorly-Controlled Asthma in Adults, Ann Asthma, Allergy, Immunol, 2007; 98(5): 455-63.
Wahner Angelika D, Sinsheimer Janet S, Bronstein Jeff M, Ritz Beate   Inflammatory cytokine gene polymorphisms and increased risk of Parkinson disease Archives of neurology, 2007; 64(6): 836-40.
Wang PC, Rempel D, Harrison R, Chan J, Ritz B   Work-Organizational and Personal Factors Associated with Upper Body Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Sewing Machine Operators Occupational Environmental Medicine, 2007; .
Elbaz Alexis, Nelson Lorene M, Payami Haydeh, Ioannidis John P A, Fiske Brian K, Annesi Grazia, Carmine Belin Andrea, Factor Stewart A, Ferrarese Carlo, Hadjigeorgiou Georgios M, Higgins Donald S, Kawakami Hideshi, Krüger Rejko, Marder Karen S, Mayeux Richard P, Mellick George D, Nutt John G, Ritz Beate, Samii Ali, Tanner Caroline M, Van Broeckhoven Christine, Van Den Eeden Stephen K, Wirdefeldt Karin, Zabetian Cyrus P, Dehem Marie, Montimurro Jennifer S, Southwick Audrey, Myers Richard M, Trikalinos Thomas A   Lack of replication of thirteen single-nucleotide polymorphisms implicated in Parkinson’s disease: a large-scale international study Lancet neurology, 2006; 5(11): 917-23.
Ritz Beate, Costello Sadie   Geographic model and biomarker-derived measures of pesticide exposure and Parkinson’s disease Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2006; 1076(11): 378-87.
Ritz B, Zhao Y, Krishnadasan A, Kennedy N, Morgenstern H   Estimated Effects of Hydrazine Exposure on Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Aerospace Workers, Epidemiology, 2006; 17(2): 154-61.
Ritz B, Costello S   Geographic Model and Biomarker-Derived Measures of Pesticide Exposure and Parkinson’s Disease, Ann NY Academy Sci, 2006; 1076: 378-87.
Elbaz A, Nelson LM, Ritz B, et al   Lack of Replication of Thirteen Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms Implicated in Parkinson’s Disease: A Large-Scale International Study, Lancet Neurol, 2006; 5(11): 917-23.
Schernhammer Eva, Chen Honglei, Ritz Beate   Circulating melatonin levels: possible link between Parkinson’s disease and cancer risk? Cancer causes & control : CCC, 2006; 17(4): 577-82.
Glatt Charles E, Wahner Angelika D, White Daniel J, Ruiz-Linares Andres, Ritz Beate   Gain-of-function haplotypes in the vesicular monoamine transporter promoter are protective for Parkinson disease in women Human molecular genetics, 2006; 15(2): 299-305.
Kang Gail A, Bronstein Jeff M, Masterman Donna L, Redelings Matthew, Crum Jarrod A, Ritz Beate   Clinical characteristics in early Parkinson’s disease in a central California population-based study Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society, 2005; 20(9): 1133-42.
Ritz B, Tager I, Balmes J   Can Lessons from Public Health Disease Surveillance be Applied to Environmental Public Health Tracking?, Environmental Health Perspectives, 2005; 113(3): 243-9.
Rull Ru, Ritz B   Historical Pesticide Exposure in California Using Pesticide Use Reports and Land-Use Surveys: An Assessment of Misclassification Error and Bias, Environmental Health Perspectives, 2003; 111(13): 1582-9.
Wilhelm M, Ritz B   Residential Proximity to Traffic and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Los Angeles County, California, 1994-1996, Environmental Health Perspectives, 2003; 111(2): 207-16.
Ritz B, Yu F, Chapa G, Fruin S, Shaw G, Harris J   Ambient Air Pollution and Birth Defects, Am J Epidemiol, 2002; 155: 17-25.
Jacob B, Ritz B, Gehring U, Koch A, Bischof W, Wichmann HE, Heinrich J for the INGA-Study group   Indoor Exposure to Molds and Allergic Sensitization, Environmental Health Perspectives, 2002; 110(7): 647-53.
Morgenstern H, Ritz B   Effects of Low-Level Ionizing Radiation and Chemical Exposures on Cancer Mortality in Nuclear and Aerospace Workers: Findings from the UCLA Rocketdyne Study, Occupational Medicine, 2001; 16(2): 219-37.
Ritz B, Yu F, Chapa G, Fruin S   Effect of Air Pollution on Preterm Birth Among Children Born in Southern California Between 1989 and 1993, Epidemiology, 2000; 11: 502-11.
Ritz B, Yu F   Parkinson’s Disease Mortality And Pesticide Exposure in California 1984-1994, International Journal of Epidemiology, 2000; 29: 323-9.
Ritz B, Yu F.   Parkinson’s Disease Mortality And Pesticide Exposure In California 1984 1994. International Journal of Epidemiology, 2000, Vol. 29:323-329, , 2000; .
Ritz B, Morgenstern H, Crawford-Brown D, Young B   The Effects of Internal Radiation Exposure on Cancer Mortality in Nuclear Workers at Rocketdyne/Atomics International, Environmental Health Perspectives, 2000; 108: 743-51.