Beate Ritz

Faculty
Professor
Office: 
73-320A CHS CAMPUS- 177220
 
 
310.206.7458
310.206.6039
Academic Titles/Accomplishments/Affiliations: 
PhD., Epidemiology, School of Public Health, UCLA
Doctoral Degree in Medical Sociology, University of Hamburg.
MD., Medical Examination Certificate, Registration as a Physician
Research interest: 
Her research focuses on the health effects of occupational and environmental toxins such as pesticides, ionizing radiation, and air pollution on chronic diseases including neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders (Parkinson's disease, autism cognition), cancers, and adverse birth outcomes and asthma. She previously investigated the causes of cancer in chemical toxin and radiation exposed workers and assessed the impact of ergonomic work-place factors on musculo-skeletal disorders. For the past two decades, she studied the effects of air pollution on adverse birth outcomes as well as asthma, autism, and cancers in children in Southern California. In 2006, she received the Robert M Zweig Memorial award for outstanding achievement in air quality and medicine from the South Coast Air Quality Management District and in 2012 she has been appointed a member of the CA-EPA Scientific Review Panel on Toxic Air Contaminants. Since 1997, she has been investigating the long-term effects of pesticide exposures on Parkinson's disease and cancers and is currently conducting a project to implement a Parkinson's disease registry required by a 2004 law in California. In 2011 she recieved an award from the American Parkinson's Disease Association (APDA) for outstanding contributions to the advancement of Parkinsons research. In her research she uses geographic information system (GIS) modeling of environmental exposures including pesticide use and traffic related air pollution in California and investigates links between genetic susceptibility factors and environmental exposures in populations. She is directing and collaborating in a large number of federally (NIH, DOD), state (California Air Resources Board), and foundation (Michael J Fox Foundation, Komen) funded research projects.

Beate Ritz joined the faculty of the School of Public Health at UCLA in 1995 and is currently Professor and Vice Chair of the Epidemiology Department and holds co-appointments in the Environmental Health department at the UCLA School of Public Health and in Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine; she is a member of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH), the Southern California Environmental Health Science Center (SCEHSC), and co-directs the NIEHS-funded UCLA Center for Gene-Environment Studies of Parkinson's disease. Dr. Ritz received her MD and a PhD in Medical Sociology from the University of Hamburg Germany in 1983 and 1987; she was a research fellow and resident at the Psychiatric University-Hospital in Hamburg from 1987-1989, and received doctoral training and a PhD degree in Epidemiology in 1995 from UCLA.

Recent Publications

Parental occupational exposures and the risk of childhood sporadic retinoblastoma: a report from the Children's Oncology Group. 
Omidakhsh N, Bunin GR, Ganguly A, Ritz B, Kennedy N, von Ehrenstein OS, Krause N, Heck JE.
Occup Environ Med. 2017 Oct 26. pii: oemed-2017-104404. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2017-104404. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID:29074554 

Cognitive decline, mortality, and organophosphorus exposure in aging Mexican Americans. 
Paul KC, Ling C, Lee A, To TM, Cockburn M, Haan M, Ritz B.
Environ Res. 2017 Oct 2;160:132-139. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.09.017. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID:28982044 

Pooled analysis of the HLA-DRB1 by smoking interaction in Parkinson disease. 
Chuang YH, Lee PC, Vlaar T, Mulot C, Loriot MA, Hansen J, Lill CM, Ritz B, Elbaz A.
Ann Neurol. 2017 Nov;82(5):655-664. doi: 10.1002/ana.25065. Epub 2017 Oct 26.
PMID:28981958 

Current Challenges and New Opportunities for Gene-Environment Interaction Studies of Complex Diseases. 
McAllister K, Mechanic LE, Amos C, Aschard H, Blair IA, Chatterjee N, Conti D, Gauderman WJ, Hsu L, Hutter CM, Jankowska MM, Kerr J, Kraft P, Montgomery SB, Mukherjee B, Papanicolaou GJ, Patel CJ, Ritchie MD, Ritz BR, Thomas DC, Wei P, Witte JS. 
Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Oct 1;186(7):753-761. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwx227. 
PMID:28978193 

Lessons Learned From Past Gene-Environment Interaction Successes. 
Ritz BR, Chatterjee N, Garcia-Closas M, Gauderman WJ, Pierce BL, Kraft P, Tanner CM, Mechanic LE, McAllister K. 
Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Oct 1;186(7):778-786. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwx230. Review. 
PMID: 28978190 

Early Folic Acid Supplement Initiation and Risk of Adverse Early Childhood Respiratory Health: A Population-based Study. 
Alfonso VH, Bandoli G, von Ehrenstein O, Ritz B. 
Matern Child Health J. 2017 Sep 8. doi: 10.1007/s10995-017-2360-6. [Epub ahead of print] 
PMID:28887720 

Parkinson's disease is associated with DNA methylation levels in human blood and saliva. 
Chuang YH, Paul KC, Bronstein JM, Bordelon Y, Horvath S, Ritz B. 
Genome Med. 2017 Aug 30;9(1):76. doi: 10.1186/s13073-017-0466-5. 
PMID:28851441

Occupational pesticide use and Parkinson's disease in the Parkinson Environment Gene (PEG) study. 
Narayan S, Liew Z, Bronstein JM, Ritz B. 
Environ Int. 2017 Oct;107:266-273. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2017.04.010. Epub 2017 Aug 2. 
PMID:28779877 

Exposure to ambient dichloromethane in pregnancy and infancy from industrial sources and childhood cancers in California. 
Park AS, Ritz B, Ling C, Cockburn M, Heck JE. 
Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2017 Oct;220(7):1133-1140. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2017.06.006. Epub 2017 Jun 24. 
PMID:28720343 

Organophosphate pesticides and PON1 L55M in Parkinson's disease progression. 
Paul KC, Sinsheimer JS, Cockburn M, Bronstein JM, Bordelon Y, Ritz B. 
Environ Int. 2017 Oct;107:75-81. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2017.06.018. Epub 2017 Jul 6. 
PMID:28689109 

Opportunities and Challenges for Environmental Exposure Assessment in Population-Based Studies. 
Patel CJ, Kerr J, Thomas DC, Mukherjee B, Ritz B, Chatterjee N, Jankowska M, Madan J, Karagas MR, McAllister KA, Mechanic LE, Fallin MD, Ladd-Acosta C, Blair IA, Teitelbaum SL, Amos CI. 
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2017 Sep;26(9):1370-1380. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-0459. Epub 2017 Jul 14. Review. PMID:28710076 

Constrained Mixed-Effect Models with Ensemble Learning for Prediction of Nitrogen Oxides Concentrations at High Spatiotemporal Resolution. 
Li L, Lurmann F, Habre R, Urman R, Rappaport E, Ritz B, Chen JC, Gilliland FD, Wu J. 
Environ Sci Technol. 2017 Sep 5;51(17):9920-9929. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b01864. Epub 2017 Aug 11. 
PMID:28727456 

Parental age and childhood cancer risk: A Danish population-based registry study. 
Contreras ZA, Hansen J, Ritz B, Olsen J, Yu F, Heck JE. 
Cancer Epidemiol. 2017 Aug;49:202-215. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2017.06.010. Epub 2017 Jul 14. 
PMID:28715709

Large-scale exploratory genetic analysis of cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease. 
Mata IF, Johnson CO, Leverenz JB, Weintraub D, Trojanowski JQ, Van Deerlin VM, Ritz B, Rausch R, Factor SA, Wood-Siverio C, Quinn JF, Chung KA, Peterson-Hiller AL, Espay AJ, Revilla FJ, Devoto J, Yearout D, Hu SC, Cholerton BA, Montine TJ, Edwards KL, Zabetian CP. 
Neurobiol Aging. 2017 Aug;56:211.e1-211.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.04.009. Epub 2017 Apr 20. 
PMID:28526295 

Physical activity modifies the influence of apolipoprotein E ε4 allele and type 2 diabetes on dementia and cognitive impairment among older Mexican Americans. 
Shih IF, Paul K, Haan M, Yu Y, Ritz B. 
Alzheimers Dement. 2017 Jul 8. pii: S1552-5260(17)30234-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2017.05.005. [Epub ahead of print] 
PMID:28692819 

Editor's Highlight: Base Excision Repair Variants and Pesticide Exposure Increase Parkinson's Disease Risk. 
Sanders LH, Paul KC, Howlett EH, Lawal H, Boppana S, Bronstein JM, Ritz B, Greenamyre JT. 
Toxicol Sci. 2017 Jul 1;158(1):188-198. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfx086. 
PMID:28460087 

Occupational and recreational physical activity and Parkinson's disease in Denmark. 
Shih IF, Starhof C, Lassen CF, Hansen J, Liew Z, Ritz B. 
Scand J Work Environ Health. 2017 May 1;43(3):210-216. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.3633. Epub 2017 Mar 20. 
PMID:28319247 

Pre-conceptual and prenatal supplementary folic acid and multivitamin intake, behavioral problems, and hyperkinetic disorders: A study based on the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC). 
Virk J, Liew Z, Olsen J, Nohr EA, Catov JM, Ritz B. 
Nutr Neurosci. 2017 Mar 9:1-9. doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2017.1290932. [Epub ahead of print] 
PMID:28276257 

Epigenetic clock analysis of diet, exercise, education, and lifestyle factors. 
Quach A, Levine ME, Tanaka T, Lu AT, Chen BH, Ferrucci L, Ritz B, Bandinelli S, Neuhouser ML, Beasley JM, Snetselaar L, Wallace RB, Tsao PS, Absher D, Assimes TL, Stewart JD, Li Y, Hou L, Baccarelli AA, Whitsel EA, Horvath S. 
Aging (Albany NY). 2017 Feb 14;9(2):419-446. doi: 10.18632/aging.101168. 
PMID:28198702 
 

Coffee consumption is associated with DNA methylation levels of human blood. 
Chuang YH, Quach A, Absher D, Assimes T, Horvath S, Ritz B. 
Eur J Hum Genet. 2017 May;25(5):608-616. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2016.175. Epub 2017 Feb 15. 
PMID:28198392 

Residential Pesticide Exposures in Pregnancy and the Risk of Sporadic Retinoblastoma: A Report From the Children's Oncology Group. 
Omidakhsh N, Ganguly A, Bunin GR, von Ehrenstein OS, Ritz B, Heck JE. 
Am J Ophthalmol. 2017 Apr;176:166-173. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2017.01.016. Epub 2017 Jan 26. 
PMID:28131887 

Maternal Preeclampsia and Odds of Childhood Cancers in Offspring: A California Statewide Case-Control Study. 
Xu X, Ritz B, Cockburn M, Lombardi C, Heck JE. 
Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2017 Mar;31(2):157-164. doi: 10.1111/ppe.12338. Epub 2017 Jan 26. 
PMID:28124497 

A joint ERS/ATS policy statement: what constitutes an adverse health effect of air pollution? An analytical framework. 
Thurston GD, Kipen H, Annesi-Maesano I, Balmes J, Brook RD, Cromar K, De Matteis S, Forastiere F, Forsberg B, Frampton MW, Grigg J, Heederik D, Kelly FJ, Kuenzli N, Laumbach R, Peters A, Rajagopalan ST, Rich D, Ritz B, Samet JM, Sandstrom T, Sigsgaard T, Sunyer J, Brunekreef B. 
Eur Respir J. 2017 Jan 11;49(1). pii: 1600419. doi: 10.1183/13993003.00419-2016. Print 2017 Jan. 
PMID:28077473 

Fertility Treatment and Childhood Epilepsy: A Nationwide Cohort Study. 
Kettner LO, Kesmodel US, Ramlau-Hansen CH, Bay B, Ritz B, Matthiesen NB, Henriksen TB. 
Epidemiology. 2017 May;28(3):412-418. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000618. 
PMID:28072588 

Paracetamol use during pregnancy and attention and executive function in offspring at age 5 years. 
Liew Z, Bach CC, Asarnow RF, Ritz B, Olsen J. 
Int J Epidemiol. 2016 Dec 1;45(6):2009-2017. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyw296. 
PMID:28031314 

Risk of malignant childhood germ cell tumors in relation to demographic, gestational, and perinatal characteristics. 
Hall C, Ritz B, Cockburn M, Davidson TB, Heck JE.
Cancer Epidemiol. 2017 Feb;46:42-49. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2016.12.002. Epub 2016 Dec 23. 
PMID:28013088 

Vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms and cognitive decline in Parkinson's disease. 
Gatto NM, Paul KC, Sinsheimer JS, Bronstein JM, Bordelon Y, Rausch R, Ritz B. 
J Neurol Sci. 2016 Nov 15;370:100-106. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2016.09.013. Epub 2016 Sep 11. 
PMID:27772736 

Traffic-related air pollution increased the risk of Parkinson's disease in Taiwan: A nationwide study. 
Lee PC, Liu LL, Sun Y, Chen YA, Liu CC, Li CY, Yu HL, Ritz B. 
Environ Int. 2016 Nov;96:75-81. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2016.08.017. Epub 2016 Sep 9. 
PMID:27614945 

Gene-environment interactions linking air pollution and inflammation in Parkinson's disease. 
Lee PC, Raaschou-Nielsen O, Lill CM, Bertram L, Sinsheimer JS, Hansen J, Ritz B. 
Environ Res. 2016 Nov;151:713-720. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.09.006. Epub 2016 Sep 16. 
PMID:27640071 

Fetal growth and air pollution - A study on ultrasound and birth measures. 
Malmqvist E, Liew Z, Källén K, Rignell-Hydbom A, Rittner R, Rylander L, Ritz B. 
Environ Res. 2017 Jan;152:73-80. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.09.017. Epub 2016 Oct 12. 
PMID:27741452 

Maternal pre-pregnancy and gestational diabetes, obesity, gestational weight gain, and risk of cancer in young children: a population-based study in California. 
Contreras ZA, Ritz B, Virk J, Cockburn M, Heck JE. 
Cancer Causes Control. 2016 Oct;27(10):1273-85. doi: 10.1007/s10552-016-0807-5. Epub 2016 Sep 9. 
PMID:27613707

Prenatal Use of Acetaminophen and Child IQ: A Danish Cohort Study. 
Liew Z, Ritz B, Virk J, Arah OA, Olsen J. 
Epidemiology. 2016 Nov;27(6):912-8. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000540. 
PMID:27479646 

Identification of genetic modifiers of age-at-onset for familial Parkinson's disease. 
Hill-Burns EM, Ross OA, Wissemann WT, Soto-Ortolaza AI, Zareparsi S, Siuda J, Lynch T, Wszolek ZK, Silburn PA, Mellick GD, Ritz B, Scherzer CR, Zabetian CP, Factor SA, Breheny PJ, Payami H. 
Hum Mol Genet. 2016 Sep 1;25(17):3849-3862. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddw206. Epub 2016 Jul 11. 
PMID:27402877 

Synergistic effects of air pollution and psychosocial stressors on adolescent lung function. 
Bandoli G, von Ehrenstein O, Ghosh JK, Ritz B. 
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2016 Sep;138(3):918-920.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2016.04.012. Epub 2016 Apr 30. No abstract available. 
PMID:27262744 

The Influence of Pre-natal Supplement Initiation on Preterm Birth Among Majority Hispanic Women in Los Angeles County: The Role of Nativity. 
Alfonso VH, von Ehrenstein O, Bandoli G, Ritz B. 
Matern Child Health J. 2016 Sep;20(9):1861-8. doi: 10.1007/s10995-016-1990-4. 
PMID:27060911 

Maternal use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and risk of autism spectrum disorders in childhood: A Danish national birth cohort study. 
Liew Z, Ritz B, Virk J, Olsen J. 
Autism Res. 2016 Sep;9(9):951-8. doi: 10.1002/aur.1591. Epub 2015 Dec 21. 
PMID:26688372 

Prenatal Maternal Stress and the Risk of Lifetime Wheeze in Young Offspring: An Examination by Stressor and Maternal Ethnicity. 
Bandoli G, von Ehrenstein O, Ghosh JK, Flores ME, Dunkel Schetter C, Ritz B. 
J Immigr Minor Health. 2016 Oct;18(5):987-95. doi: 10.1007/s10903-015-0269-y. 
PMID:26343048