Professor of Epidemiology
School of Public Health
Division of Epidemiology
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-7360
510-643-8083 Fax: 510-642-6669
Defined the lung cancer risk associated with workplace exposure to vinyl chloride monomer, which resulted in reducing workplace exposure to both vinyl chloride monomer and cigarette smoking.
Defined the contribution of workplace exposures in the chemical, metal and construction industries on respiratory cancer risks.
Demonstrated that the effects of cigarette smoking on lung cancer risk in women were comparable to those observed in men when tobacco exposures were comparable. This research was done when lung cancer rates in women were low and it was believed that women were less susceptible to the carcinogenic effects of tobacco. This evidence confirmed that women did not enjoy protection from the harmful effects of tobacco as was popularly believed. Consequently, more aggressive smoking cessation efforts were directed toward women.
Demonstrated the effects of second hand or environmental tobacco smoke on the risk of lung cancer in nonsmoking women. Served as the principal investigator for one of the five study centers that developed the evidence used by the US EPA as a basis for regulating exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.
Defined the epidemic of suicide and other violent causes of death seen in Alaskan native adolescents in the 1970s following the family and community and description associated with the great epidemic of tuberculosis in Alaskan natives after World War II. This information was used by the thirteen newly formed regional Alaska native health corporations to develop intervention and prevention programs in mental health.
Current Research Interests
Cancer in children and the effects of genetic susceptibility and exposure to environmental agents
Environmental health policy issues
Epidemiologic evidence for chemical and other exposures of ground troops in the Persian Gulf
Radiofrequency (RF) exposures associated with use of cellular telephones
Wood SM, Buffler PA, Burau K, Krivanek N. 1998. Mortality and morbidity experience of workers exposed to acrylonitrite in fiber production. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health 24(suppl 2):54-62.
Kheifets L, Afifi AA, Buffler PA , Zhang D, Matkin CC. 1997. Occupational electric and magnetic field exposure and leukemia: a meta-analysis. Journal Occup. and Env. Med. 39(11)1074-91.
Reynolds P, Fontham ETH, Wu A, Buffler PA, Greenberg RS. 1996. Occupational exposures to ETS and the risk of lung cancer. JAMA 275:441-42.
Buffler PA, Kyle AD. 1996. Regulatory reform proposals and the public health, commentary. Environmental Health Perspectives 104(4):356-61.
Cancer Epidemiology (UCB)
Ethics in Public Health Practice and Research (UCB)
Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences (1994)
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (1992)
Abraham Lilienfield Award for "Excellence in Epidemiology," American College of Epidemiology (1996)
Honorary Member, American College of Epidemiology (1998)
Public and University Service
Reviewed epidemiologic evidence for the National Research Council and other federal agencies on:
Residential and occupational exposures to nonionizing radiation and the risks of cancer in children and adults
The risk of cancer associated with non-occupational exposure to asbestiform fibers
The health effects to Americans exposed to Iodine-131 from above ground nuclear testing
The health effects to residents and workers of hazardous chemical and physical wastes associated with activities at the Department of Energy's national laboratories