Alison P Sanders

  • Associate Professor
  • Director, Rust to Resilience (R2R) Environmental Chemical Research Center
  • Vice Chair of Research, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health

The Sanders Lab for molecular epidemiology and nephrotoxicology examines how environmental exposures during susceptible periods of life (perinatal to adolescence to pregnancy) can impact kidney development and function that predict chronic disease. Our research uses novel methods to examine complex chemical (e.g. metals, air pollution, fluoride) and non-chemical (e.g. stress, sleep, socioeconomic) risk factors for kidney dysfunction among susceptible populations including pregnant women, children, agricultural workers as well as diverse populations with chronic kidney disease.


2006. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. B.S. Biomedical Engineering

2009. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI. M.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering; Certificate in Global Health

2013. University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, Environmental Sciences and Engineering; Minor in Epidemiology.

Postdoctoral Fellowship: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. Departments of Pediatrics and Environmental Medicine and Public Health

2023. Palumbo-Donahue School of Business, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA. Certificate in Professional Coaching.

EOH 3110 Science Communications and Professional Development (Fall)
EPIDEM 2223 Introduction to Environmental Epidemiology (Spring)
PUBLHT 422: Molecules of Life, Sickness, and Death (Fall)
EOH 2013: Foundations of Environmental Health (Spring)


Selected Publications

Spencer A, Lavenburg LM, Sanders AP*, Shah AD*. Clearing the air: a review of the effects of air pollution on dialysis outcomes. Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2024 Mar 1;33(2):192-202. doi: 10.1097/MNH.0000000000000968.

Politis MD, Gutiérrez-Avila I, Just A, Pizano-Zárate ML, Tamayo-Ortiz M, Greenberg JH, Téllez-Rojo MM, Sanders AP, Rosa MJ. Recent ambient temperature and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure is associated with urinary kidney injury biomarkers in children. Sci Total Environ. 2024 Jan 10;907:168119. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.168119.  
Sanders AP, Jayasundara N. Environmental pollution, heat stress and kidney health: a need for integrated assessment. Nat Rev Nephrol. 2023 Mar;19(3):145-146. doi: 10.1038/s41581-023-00680-6. 
Lin PD, Cardenas A, Rifas-Shiman SL, Zota AR, Hivert MF, Aris IM*, Sanders AP*. Non-essential and essential trace element mixtures and kidney function in early pregnancy - A cross-sectional analysis in project viva. Environ Res. 2023 Jan 1;216(Pt 4):114846. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2022.114846. 
Sanders AP, Gennings C, Tamayo-Ortiz M, Mistry S, Pantic I, Martinez M, Estrada-Gutierrez G, Espejel-Nuñez A, Olascoaga LT, Wright RO, Téllez-Rojo MM, Arora M, Austin C. Prenatal and early childhood critical windows for the association of nephrotoxic metal and metalloid mixtures with kidney function. Environ Int. 2022 Aug;166:107361. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2022.107361. 
Rosa MJ*, Politis MD*, Tamayo-Ortiz M, Colicino E, Pantic I, Estrada-Gutierrez G, Tolentino MC, Espejel-Nuñez A, Solano-Gonzalez M, Kloog I, Rivera NR, Baccarelli AA, Tellez-Rojo MM, Wright RO, Just AC*, Sanders AP*. Critical windows of perinatal particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure and preadolescent kidney function. Environ Res. 2022 Mar;204(Pt B):112062. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.112062. 
Sanders AP, Mazzella MJ, Malin AJ, Hair GM, Busgang SA, Saland JM, Curtin P. Combined exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic and kidney health in adolescents age 12-19 in NHANES 2009-2014. Environ Int. 2019 Oct;131:104993. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.104993. 
Sanders AP*, Burris HH*, Just AC, Motta V, Svensson K, Mercado-Garcia A, Pantic I, Schwartz J, Tellez-Rojo MM, Wright RO, Baccarelli AA. microRNA expression in the cervix during pregnancy is associated with length of gestation. Epigenetics. 2015;10(3):221-8. doi: 10.1080/15592294.2015.1006498. 
Sanders AP, Desrosiers TA, Warren JL, Herring AH, Enright D, Olshan AF, Meyer RE, Fry RC. Association between arsenic, cadmium, manganese, and lead levels in private wells and birth defects prevalence in North Carolina: a semi-ecologic study. BMC Public Health. 2014 Sep 15;14:955. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-955. 
Sanders AP, Flood K, Chiang S, Herring AH, Wolf L, Fry RC. Towards prenatal biomonitoring in North Carolina: assessing arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead levels in pregnant women. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e31354. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031354. 
Sanders AP, Messier KP, Shehee M, Rudo K, Serre ML, Fry RC. Arsenic in North Carolina: public health implications. Environ Int. 2012 Jan;38(1):10-6. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2011.08.005. 
Current list of publications: