Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH)

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Vera Qu
Spring 2021

For the Food Systems Minor Capstone course, I volunteered as a research assistant under the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH) at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, which seeks to understand and mitigate environmental threats to children and community health. I contributed to manuscript preparation and data analysis for the Healthy Children and Environments Study (HCES), which quantifies pesticide exposure among young children in California child care facilities and applies integrated pest management to reduce pesticide use. Children are at critical stages of development and thus disproportionately susceptible to adverse health risks associated with pesticide exposure. Agriculture accounts for almost 90% of pesticides in the US, with commercial, industry, home, and garden use making up the remaining 10%. My research mentors are incredibly passionate and willing to teach—I’m excited to apply my skills in a clinical research setting and continue understanding how agri-food systems manifest as social determinants of health.

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