Speaker Profile

Beate Ritz, MD, Ph.D

Beate Ritz, MD, Ph.D. is a Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences and Neurology at UCLA.  Her team investigates environmental and genetic factors that influence the risk of developing chronic brain diseases. Parkinson’s disease and the measurement of environmental factors have been a special focus of her lab for decades. She has been an NIH funded principle investigator of two of the largest community-based studies of Parkinson’s disease worldwide one located in the central valley of California, the other in Denmark. These studies identified environmental and genetic risk factors for Parkinson’s disease onset and progression using geographic information systems as well as metabolomic, genomic, and epigenomic approaches. Her studies showed how our genetic make-up makes some of us vulnerable to neurodegeneration when exposed to environmental toxicants. She is the Past President of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology and has served on numerous National Academy of Sciences and California State Scientific Advisory panels and committees.