Lisa Goldman Rosas, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Lisa Goldman Rosas is a finishing postdoctoral scholar in the W.K. Kellogg Health Scholars Program at the Center on Social Disparities in Health at the University of California, San Francisco/Berkeley site. She began her career as a health educator and social worker, moving every six months with the migrant farmworker stream in the United States to provide care to the farmworkers and their families. Rosas received a doctoral degree in epidemiology and master’s degree in maternal and child health from the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health. At Berkeley, she led a community outreach arm of the Center for Children’s Environmental Health Research. In addition, she completed a Latin American research fellowship in Mexico with the Population Council, where she learned about health issues in Mexico’s “sending” communities and collaborated with Mexican researchers and health officials.

Research Interests and Projects

Dr. Rosas’ work has focused on two research areas affecting Latino immigrants in the US. First, she has studies the impact on agricultural pesticide exposure.
One of her studies showed that Mexican immigrant pregnant women who work in the fields or live with those who work in the fields are rarely given information about how to protect themselves or their families from pesticide exposure. Another, summarizing knowledge of pesticide impact on children’s health, found that in utero exposure was associated with poorer neurodevelopment in several cohorts, including the group that she worked with for nine years in California’s Salinas Valley. Policy implications for this work might include labor regulations for agricultural workers specific to pregnant women and children and educational efforts aimed at pregnant women and their families. Rosas has developed the Prenatal Environmental Health Kiosk -- an innovative, computer-based program that pregnant women can use in the doctor’s office while waiting for appointments. By using the program, the women learn how to protect themselves from various exposures that might hurt them or their developing babies.

Dr. Rosas’ research also seeks to better understand childhood obesity in the Mexican immigrant community. Taking a binational approach, she found that on the Mexican side, increasing socioeconomic status led to increased access to junk food. The same is likely true on the United States side. She hypothesizes that this availability, combined with a recent family legacy of “food insecurity,” leads to excess consumption of fattening foods. Policies to reduce obesity might include improved access to healthy fruits and vegetables through U.S. Department of Agriculture feeding programs such as W.I.C. and Food Stamps.

Contact Information:


Goldman L, Eskenazi B, Bradman A, Jewell N. (2004) Risk behaviors of pesticide exposure among pregnant farmworkers in Salinas, California. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2004 Jun;45(6):491-9.

Rosas LG, Eskenazi B. Pesticides and Child Development. (2008) Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 2008 Apr;20(2):191-7. Review

Rosas LG, Harley K, Fernald LCH, Guendelman S, Mejia F, Neufeld LM, Eskenazi B. (2009) Dietary Associations of Household Food Insecurity Among Children of Mexican Descent: Results of a Binational Study. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2009 Dec;109(12):2001-9

Rosas LG, Harley K, Guendelman S, Neufeld L, Erickson A, Mejia F, Eskenazi B. (2009) Maternal perception of child weight status: A Binational Perspective. Maternal and Child Health Journal 2009 Nov 13. [Epub ahead of print]

Rosas LG, Guendelman S, Harley K, Fernald L, Neufeld L, Mejia F, Eskenazi B. Factors associated with overweight among children of Mexican descent: Results of binational study. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. In Press. PMID: 20217234