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Aaron Bernstein, M.D.

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Harvard School of Public HealthMPH
University of Chicago, Pritzker School of MedicineMD

Aaron Bernstein is the Interim Director of The Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE), a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bernstein focuses on the health impacts of the climate crisis on children’s health and advancing solutions to address its causes to improve the health and wellbeing of children around the world.

Dr. Bernstein is an author on the Human Health chapter of the Fifth National Climate Assessment, a Congressionally mandated report that evaluates the impacts of climate change on humans and natural systems in the United States led by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. He regularly testifies before Congress on the child health impacts of climate change, drawing from his personal experience as a pediatrician having to treat children with breathing difficulties, vector-borne diseases, and trauma from natural disasters. He is a trusted voice for major news outlets, providing interviews and expertise to reporters from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, CNN, and The Guardian, and writing articles for the New England Journal of Medicine, the British Medical Journal, and the Boston Globe, among others.

Dr. Bernstein leads Climate MD, a Harvard Chan C-CHANGE program to encourage physicians to transform climate change from an issue dominated by politics and concerns about the future or faraway places, to one that matters to every person’s health here and now. He is the course director for Human Health and Global Environmental Change and created the HarvardX course “The Health Effects of Climate Change” which explores how climate change influences health through its effects on air quality, nutrition, infectious diseases, and human migration as well as solutions to the climate crisis. Through this course, thousands of students from over 100 countries have learned how climate change directly impacts their lives, and what they can do to become part of the solution.

Dr. Bernstein serves as Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health and Climate Change. He serves on the External Advisory Board of the Dalio Center for Health Justice at New York Presbyterian Hospital, is Chair of the Board of Directors at the U.S. Green Building Council, and is on the Board of Advisors at Parents Magazine as an environmental health specialist. Previously, Dr. Bernstein served on the Board of Scientific Counselors to the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

With Nobel Laureate Dr. Eric Chivian, Dr. Bernstein co-authored and co-edited the Oxford University Press book, Sustaining Life, which received the distinction of best biology book of 2008 from the Library Journal, and which has been published in several foreign language editions.

In 2015, he was awarded a Lokey-Businesswire visiting professorship at Stanford University and has also been a visiting professor at Columbia University. Dr. Bernstein has been a member of the Harvard President’s Climate Change Task Force and co-Chairs the University Food Standards Committee.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, he received graduate degrees in medicine (MD) and public health (MPH), from the University of Chicago and Harvard University, respectively. He is a recipient of Stanford University’s Firestone Medal for Research and a Harvard University Zuckerman Fellowship.

Featured Content

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
  1. Bernstein AS, Stevens KL, Koh HK. Patient-Centered Climate Action and Health Equity. JAMA. 2022 08 02; 328(5):419-420. PMID: 35834232.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  2. Vora NM, Hannah L, Lieberman S, Vale MM, Plowright RK, Bernstein AS. Want to prevent pandemics? Stop spillovers. Nature. 2022 05; 605(7910):419-422. PMID: 35551284.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsPHPublic Health
  3. Bernstein AS, Sun S, Weinberger KR, Spangler KR, Sheffield PE, Wellenius GA. Erratum: "Warm Season and Emergency Department Visits to U.S. Children's Hospitals". Environ Health Perspect. 2022 Apr; 130(4):49002. PMID: 35471948; PMCID: PMC9041526.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  4. Bernstein AS, Ando AW, Loch-Temzelides T, Vale MM, Li BV, Li H, Busch J, Chapman CA, Kinnaird M, Nowak K, Castro MC, Zambrana-Torrelio C, Ahumada JA, Xiao L, Roehrdanz P, Kaufman L, Hannah L, Daszak P, Pimm SL, Dobson AP. The costs and benefits of primary prevention of zoonotic pandemics. Sci Adv. 2022 Feb 04; 8(5):eabl4183. PMID: 35119921; PMCID: PMC8816336.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    
  5. Sullivan JK, Lowe KE, Gordon IO, Colbert CY, Salas RN, Bernstein A, Utech J, Natowicz MR, Mehta N, Isaacson JH. Climate Change and Medical Education: An Integrative Model. Acad Med. 2022 02 01; 97(2):188-192. PMID: 34432714.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    
  6. Bernstein AS, Sun S, Weinberger KR, Spangler KR, Sheffield PE, Wellenius GA. Warm Season and Emergency Department Visits to U.S. Children's Hospitals. Environ Health Perspect. 2022 01; 130(1):17001. PMID: 35044241; PMCID: PMC8767980.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  7. Senay E, Bernstein A, Shephard P, Salas R, Rizzo A, Sherman JD, Richardson L, Butts G, Marwah H, Solomon C, Galvez M, Thanik E, Pezeshki G, Zajac L, Lee A, Sheffield P, Wright R. Improving Patient Outcomes in the Dual Crises of Climate Change and COVID-19: Proceedings of the Third Annual Clinical Climate Change Meeting, January 8, 2021. J Occup Environ Med. 2021 11 01; 63(11):e813-e818. PMID: 34354022; PMCID: PMC8842883.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
  8. Vora NM, Sizer N, Bernstein A. Preventing spillover as a key strategy against pandemics. Nature. 2021 09; 597(7876):332. PMID: 34522012.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
  9. Philipsborn RP, Cowenhoven J, Bole A, Balk SJ, Bernstein A. A pediatrician's guide to climate change-informed primary care. Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2021 Jun; 51(6):101027. PMID: 34244061.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  10. Bernstein AS. The medical response to climate change. Med (N Y). 2021 04 09; 2(4):361-365. PMID: 35590158.
    Citations:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  11. Alahmad B, Al-Hemoud A, Kang CM, Almarri F, Kommula V, Wolfson JM, Bernstein AS, Garshick E, Schwartz J, Koutrakis P. A two-year assessment of particulate air pollution and sources in Kuwait. Environ Pollut. 2021 Aug 01; 282:117016. PMID: 33848912.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:PHPublic Health
  12. Philipsborn RP, Sheffield P, White A, Osta A, Anderson MS, Bernstein A. Climate Change and the Practice of Medicine: Essentials for Resident Education. Acad Med. 2021 03 01; 96(3):355-367. PMID: 32910006.
    Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  13. Landrigan PJ, Bernstein A. Commentary: Epidemiology, economics and the path to clean energy. Int J Epidemiol. 2021 01 23; 49(6):1896-1898. PMID: 33349840.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  14. Salas RN, Friend TH, Bernstein A, Jha AK. Adding A Climate Lens To Health Policy In The United States. Health Aff (Millwood). 2020 12; 39(12):2063-2070. PMID: 33284694.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  15. Roa L, Velin L, Tudravu J, McClain CD, Bernstein A, Meara JG. Climate change: challenges and opportunities to scale up surgical, obstetric, and anaesthesia care globally. Lancet Planet Health. 2020 11; 4(11):e538-e543. PMID: 33159881.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  16. Landrigan PJ, Bernstein A, Binagwaho A. COVID-19 and clean air: an opportunity for radical change. Lancet Planet Health. 2020 10; 4(10):e447-e449. PMID: 33038318.
    Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
  17. Dobson AP, Pimm SL, Hannah L, Kaufman L, Ahumada JA, Ando AW, Bernstein A, Busch J, Daszak P, Engelmann J, Kinnaird MF, Li BV, Loch-Temzelides T, Lovejoy T, Nowak K, Roehrdanz PR, Vale MM. Ecology and economics for pandemic prevention. Science. 2020 Jul 24; 369(6502):379-381. PMID: 32703868.
    Citations: 102     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsPHPublic Health
  18. Nogueira LM, Yabroff KR, Bernstein A. Climate change and cancer. CA Cancer J Clin. 2020 07; 70(4):239-244. PMID: 32420634.
  19. MacNaughton P, Cao X, Buonocore J, Cedeno-Laurent JG, Spengler JD, Bernstein A, Allen JG. Correction to: Response to "A critical look at 'Energy savings, emissions reductions, and health co-benefits of the green building movement'". J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2020 Mar; 30(2):394. PMID: 31959900.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  20. McCarthy G, Bernstein A. Combating EPA Rollbacks - Health Care's Response to a Retreat on Climate. N Engl J Med. 2019 Aug 22; 381(8):696-698. PMID: 31340115.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:PHPublic Health
  21. Michanowicz DR, Williams SR, Buonocore JJ, Rowland ST, Konschnik KE, Goho SA, Bernstein AS. Population allocation at the housing unit level: estimates around underground natural gas storage wells in PA, OH, NY, WV, MI, and CA. Environ Health. 2019 07 08; 18(1):58. PMID: 31280723.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:PHPublic Health
  22. Bernstein A. All creatures great and small. BMJ. 2019 Jun 03; 365:l2385. PMID: 31160345.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  23. Bernstein AS, Oken E, de Ferranti S. Fish, Shellfish, and Children's Health: An Assessment of Benefits, Risks, and Sustainability. Pediatrics. 2019 May 20. PMID: 31110165.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    
  24. MacNaughton P, Cao X, Buonocore J, Cedeno-Laurent JG, Spengler JD, Bernstein A, Allen JG. Response to "A critical look at 'Energy savings, emissions reductions, and health co-benefits of the green building movement'". J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2019 06; 29(4):594-596. PMID: 30718732.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:PHPublic Health
  25. Jonathan J Buonocore, Jonathan I Levy, Renzo R Guinto, Aaron S Bernstein. Climate, air quality, and health benefits of a carbon fee-and-rebate bill in Massachusetts, USA. Environmental Research Letters. 2018; 13(11). View Publication.
  26. P M, X C, J B, J CL, J S, A B, J A. Energy savings, emission reductions, and health co-benefits of the green building movement. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2018 06; 28(4):307-318. PMID: 29382929.
    Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  27. Michanowicz DR, Buonocore JJ, Rowland ST, Konschnik KE, Goho SE, Bernstein AS. A national assessment of underground natural gas storage: identifying wells with designs likely vulnerable to a single-point-of-failure. Environmental Research Letters. 2017; 12. View Publication.
  28. Matsui EC, Abramson SL, Sandel MT. Indoor Environmental Control Practices and Asthma Management. Pediatrics. 2016 11; 138(5). PMID: 27940791.
    Citations: 15     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  29. Prevention of Childhood Lead Toxicity. Pediatrics. 2016 07; 138(1). PMID: 27325637.
    Citations: 34     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  30. Bernstein AS. Climate Change and the Crystal Ball of Vector-Borne Disease Forecasts. Current Climate Change Reports. 2015; 1(4):217–223.
  31. Bernstein AS. Biological diversity and public health. Annu Rev Public Health. 2014; 35:153-67. PMID: 24387087.
    Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  32. Rice MB, Bernstein AS. Response. Chest. 2013 Nov; 144(5):1732. PMID: 24189871.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  33. Bernstein AS, Rice MB. Lungs in a warming world: climate change and respiratory health. Chest. 2013 May; 143(5):1455-1459. PMID: 23648909.
    Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  34. Beck C, Klemow K, Paulson J, Bernstein A, Lam M, Middendorf G, Reynolds J, Belanger K, Cardelus C, Cid C, Doshi S, Gerardo N, Jablonski L, Kimmel H, Lowman M, Macrae-Crerar A, Pohlad B, de Roode J, Thomas C. Add ecology to the pre-medical curriculum. Science. 2012 Mar 16; 335(6074):1301. PMID: 22422958.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    
  35. Bernstein AS, Myers SS. Climate change and children's health. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2011 Apr; 23(2):221-6. PMID: 21412082.
    Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsPHPublic Health
  36. Myers SS, Bernstein A. The coming health crisis: indirect health effects of global climate change. F1000 Biol Rep. 2011 Feb 01; 3:3. PMID: 21399764.
    Citations: 6     
  37. Mannix R, Bourgeois FT, Schutzman SA, Bernstein A, Lee LK. Neuroimaging for pediatric head trauma: do patient and hospital characteristics influence who gets imaged? Acad Emerg Med. 2010 Jul; 17(7):694-700. PMID: 20653582.
    Citations: 20     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  38. Bernstein AS, Ludwig DS. The importance of biodiversity to medicine. JAMA. 2008 Nov 19; 300(19):2297-9. PMID: 19017916.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:PHPublic Health
  39. Chivian ES, Berstein AS. Sustaining Life: how human health depends on biodeveristy. 2008. View Publication.
  40. Berlik M, Bernstein A, Chivian E, Epstein P, McCally M. An Envionmental Health Briefing Book: A 2007 Briefing Book for Members of Congress. 2007.
  41. Bernstein AS, Abelson HT. PM 2.5--a killer in our midst. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005 Aug; 159(8):786. PMID: 16061788.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
  42. Chivian E, Bernstein AS. Embedded in nature: human health and biodiversity. Environ Health Perspect. 2004 Jan; 112(1):A12-3. PMID: 14698939; PMCID: PMC1241805.
    Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
  43. Chivian E, Roberts CM, Bernstein AS. The threat to cone snails. Science. 2003 Oct 17; 302(5644):391. PMID: 14563988.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  44. Gardos G, Cole JO. Maintenance antipsychotic therapy: is the cure worse than the disease? Am J Psychiatry. 1976 Jan; 133(1):32-6. PMID: 2021.
    Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansCTClinical Trials
  45. Tarentino AL, Maley F. A comparison of the substrate specificities of endo-beta-N-acetylglucosaminidases from Streptomyces griseus and Diplococcus Pneumoniae. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1975 Nov 03; 67(1):455-62. PMID: 1016.
    Citations: 25     Fields:    Translation:Cells
  46. Smith RJ, Bryant RG. Metal substitutions incarbonic anhydrase: a halide ion probe study. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1975 Oct 27; 66(4):1281-6. PMID: 3.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  47. Stein JM. The effect of adrenaline and of alpha- and beta-adrenergic blocking agents on ATP concentration and on incorporation of 32Pi into ATP in rat fat cells. Biochem Pharmacol. 1975 Sep 15; 24(18):1659-62. PMID: 12.
    Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  48. Schmoldt A, Benthe HF, Haberland G. Digitoxin metabolism by rat liver microsomes. Biochem Pharmacol. 1975 Sep 01; 24(17):1639-41. PMID: 10.
    Citations: 37     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.