Wendy Heiger-Bernays

Wendy J Heiger-Bernays, PhD

Clinical Professor, Environmental Health - Boston University School of Public Health



Wendy Heiger-Bernays is a clinical professor in the Department of Environmental Health at the BU School of Public Health where she applies her training in molecular toxicology to practical questions about the impact of industrial chemicals, consumer products and pharmaceuticals in water and waste streams on people’s health. Her career objective is to decrease health risks to impacted populations from exposures to environmental stressors. Her recent work focuses on the toxicology and health risks of PFAS chemicals and polychlorinated biphenyls.

Dr. Heiger-Bernays' work focuses on technology and information transfer of the science to multiple audiences, including environmental regulatory and health agencies as well as with advocacy groups and community groups. Heiger-Bernays’ overall objective is to engage communities in their understanding and mitigation of environmental health risks.

She currently serves as a member of the Massachusetts DEP Waste Site Advisory Committee and the Science Advisory Board for the Toxics Use Reduction Institute and is Chair of her local board of health. In 2015-2016, she was a AAAS Science and Technology Fellow hosted in the Office of Science Coordination and Policy at the US EPA, working in the Endocrine Disrupting Screening Program. Dr. Heiger-Bernays serves as President of the International Society for Children's Health and Environment.


  • University of Nebraska, PhD Field of Study: Biochemistry
  • University of Connecticut, BS Field of Study: Biology

Classes Taught

  • SPHEH750
  • SPHEH866
  • SPHPH510
  • SPHPH845
  • SPHPH870


  • Published on 11/15/2023

    Hall SM, Tikku V, Heiger-Bernays WJ. Potential Policy and Community Implications of Equitable Organic Waste, Compost, and Urban Agricultural Systems in the United States. Environ Health Perspect. 2023 Nov; 131(11):115001. PMID: 37966215.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 6/10/2023

    Friedman A, Boselli E, Ogneva-Himmelberger Y, Heiger-Bernays W, Brochu P, Burgess M, Schildroth S, Denehy A, Downs T, Papautsky I, Clauss Henn B. Manganese in residential drinking water from a community-initiated case study in Massachusetts. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2024 Jan; 34(1):58-67. PMID: 37301899.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 4/27/2023

    Pennoyer EH, Heiger-Bernays W, Aro R, Yeung LWY, Schlezinger JJ, Webster TF. Unknown Organofluorine Mixtures in U.S. Adult Serum:Contribution from Pharmaceuticals? Toxics. 2023 Apr 27; 11(5). PMID: 37235230.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 1/12/2023

    Woodruff TJ, Rayasam SDG, Axelrad DA, Koman PD, Chartres N, Bennett DH, Birnbaum LS, Brown P, Carignan CC, Cooper C, Cranor CF, Diamond ML, Franjevic S, Gartner EC, Hattis D, Hauser R, Heiger-Bernays W, Joglekar R, Lam J, Levy JI, MacRoy PM, Maffini MV, Marquez EC, Morello-Frosch R, Nachman KE, Nielsen GH, Oksas C, Abrahamsson DP, Patisaul HB, Patton S, Robinson JF, Rodgers KM, Rossi MS, Rudel RA, Sass JB, Sathyanarayana S, Schettler T, Shaffer RM, Shamasunder B, Shepard PM, Shrader-Frechette K, Solomon GM, Subra WA, Vandenberg LN, Varshavsky JR, White RF, Zarker K, Zeise L. A science-based agenda for health-protective chemical assessments and decisions: overview and consensus statement. Environ Health. 2023 Jan 12; 21(Suppl 1):132. PMID: 36635734.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 1/12/2023

    Nielsen GH, Heiger-Bernays WJ, Levy JI, White RF, Axelrad DA, Lam J, Chartres N, Abrahamsson DP, Rayasam SDG, Shaffer RM, Zeise L, Woodruff TJ, Ginsberg GL. Application of probabilistic methods to address variability and uncertainty in estimating risks for non-cancer health effects. Environ Health. 2023 Jan 12; 21(Suppl 1):129. PMID: 36635712.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 8/13/2022

    Post GB, Birnbaum LS, DeWitt JC, Goeden H, Heiger-Bernays WJ, Schlezinger JJ. Letter to the editors regarding "The conundrum of the PFOA human half-life, an international collaboration". Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2022 Oct; 134:105240. PMID: 35973622.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 4/21/2022

    Carlson JM, Janulewicz PA, Kleinstreuer NC, Heiger-Bernays W. Impact of High-Throughput Model Parameterization and Data Uncertainty on Thyroid-Based Toxicological Estimates for Pesticide Chemicals. Environ Sci Technol. 2022 May 03; 56(9):5620-5631. PMID: 35446564.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 3/2/2022

    Hammel E, Webster TF, Gurney R, Heiger-Bernays W. Implications of PFAS definitions using fluorinated pharmaceuticals. iScience. 2022 Apr 15; 25(4):104020. PMID: 35313699.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 11/8/2021

    Friedman A, Bauer JA, Austin C, Downs TJ, Tripodis Y, Heiger-Bernays W, White RF, Arora M, Claus Henn B. Multiple metals in children's deciduous teeth: results from a community-initiated pilot study. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2022 May; 32(3):408-417. PMID: 34750512.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 11/4/2021

    Nielsen G, Heiger-Bernays WJ, Schlezinger JJ, Webster TF. Predicting the effects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance mixtures on peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha activity in vitro. Toxicology. 2022 01 15; 465:153024. PMID: 34743024.

    Read At: PubMed

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