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Heather E. Volk, PhD

  • Associate Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

624 N. Broadway
Hampton House 833
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


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PhD, Saint Louis University, 2006
MPH, Boston University, 2002
BA, University of Notre Dame, 2000


Broadly, my research seeks to identify gene-environment interactions for neurodevelopmental disorders and more specifically on the effects of prenatal and early-life air pollution exposure on risk for autism spectrum disorder, inattention, and delayed cognitive development. Genetics, disease biomarkers, and environmental exposure biomarkers are incorporated into the evaluation of these relationships to examine underling biological mechanisms, improve exposure metrics, and evaluate susceptibility.

Honors and Awards

2014 Research included on Annual Review of Research Advancements from the Autism Science Foundation

2012 Research included on the Autism Speaks List of Top Ten ResearchAdvancements

  • Epidemiology
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Cognition
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Environment
  • Prenatal Exposure
  • Gene-Environment Interaction
  • Epigenetics
  • Air Pollution

Most recent publications

  • Goodrich AJ*, Volk HE, Tancredi DJ, McConnell R, Lurmann FW, Hansen RL, Schmidt RJ. Joint Effects of Prenatal Air Pollutant Exposure and Maternal Folic Acid Supplementation on Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Research. In Press. *Doctoral Student was first author
  • Kerin T*, Volk HE, Lurmann F, Eckel S, McConnell R, Hertz-Picciotto I. Association Between Air Pollution and Cognitive and Adaptive Function Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2017 Sep 18. doi: 10.1007/s10803-017-3304-0. [Epub ahead of print] *Doctoral Student was first author
  • Kim D*, Volk HE*, Girirajan S, Pendergress S, Hall MA, Verma SS, Schmidt RJ, Hansen RL, Ghosh D, Hertz-Picciotto I, Ritchie MD, Selleck SB. Interactions between air pollution exposure and copy number variation confer significant risk for autism. Autism Research. 2017 Sep;10(9):1470-1480. * co-first author
  • Lyall K, Croen LA, Daniels J, Fallin MD, Ladd-Acosta C, Lee BK, Park BY, Snyder NW, Schendel D, Volk H, Windham GC, Newschaffer C. The Changing Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Annual Review of Public Health. 2017 Mar 20;38:81-102.