School: Milken Institute School of Public Health
Department: Environmental and Occupational Health
Dr. Kate Applebaum conducts research focused on environmental and occupational exposures influencing the risk of chronic diseases and cancer, including cancer of the lung, head and neck, skin, kidney, and brain. She has investigated such exposures as pesticides, heavy metals including arsenic, lead and cadmium, and occupational exposures including silica dust, asbestos, endotoxin, and metalworking fluids. Dr. Applebaum applies advanced epidemiologic methods and strategies and incorporates the use of biomarkers of exposures as well as biological indicators of early stage disease and progression in order to advance our understanding of the etiology of exposure-related diseases.
Dr. Applebaum is actively investigating diseases of the kidney. This includes chronic kidney disease (CKD) among male sugarcane workers in Nicaragua. These agricultural workers lack traditional risk factors for CKD, such as hypertension, obesity, and diabetes, and it is hypothesized that occupational factors are influencing the elevated prevalence of this disease. She is also investigating whether the Hispanic/Latino populations in the U.S. have increased risk of CKD due to environmental and occupational exposures. Additional kidney research includes renal cell carcinoma and CKD among populations of pesticide applicators and autoworkers in the U.S.
Dr. Applebaum has earned research and training awards from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute on Aging. Dr. Applebaum has served on numerous scientific review committees including for the Institute of Medicine, NIOSH, and for a study of Polycythemia vera and environmental exposures in Pennsylvania.
Dr. Applebaum has taught courses in advanced epidemiologic methods, applied regression modeling, and environmental and occupational epidemiology. She has served as an academic advisor and research mentor to students and trainees at the Master’s, doctoral, and post-doctoral level. Dr. Applebaum is the Program Director of the MPH program in Environmental Health Science and Policy at the Milken Institute School of Public Health.