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Fernando Serrano, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Environmental and Occupational Health

Courses Taught

Introduction to Global Health


  • Ph.D., Public Policy Analysis and Administration with a focus on Environmental Health, Saint Louis University, 2009
  • M.A., Latin American Studies with an emphasis on Political Science and Environmental Health, University of Florida, 1993

Research Interests

Policy decisions concerning the contamination by toxic metals and other pollutants associated with extractive industries in the U.S. and in developing countries, especially in the Andean region; risk perception and communication for policy change; social movements, faith-based organizations and environmental justice in the U.S. and in developing countries; and the role community-based participatory research and community-university partnerships in promoting evidence-based assessments and solutions to environmental health problems in Latin America and other developing countries.

Honors and Awards

Serrano has been invited to participate in the national panel involved in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Justice Award program, and to present scientific testimonies on the effects on toxic pollutants on people and the environment in Peru at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

Professional Organizations and Associations

Serrano was the principal investigator of a landmark study on the biological levels of toxic metals in populations of La Oroya and Concepción in Peru. He is also involved in an assessment of the environmental health effects of mining operations in Oruro, Bolivia, and water quality in rural communities in Ecuador. He has presented his research in public health conferences in the U.S. and Canada, and in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Community Work and Service

Serrano's goal is to generate and use scientific evidence to promote better interventions, programs, and policies in environmental health in the St. Louis region and in developing countries. Toward this goal, he has been the principal investigator in the evaluations of community-based childhood lead poisoning prevention projects in St. Louis, and of environmental assessments of toxic metals in areas affected by mining and smelting activities in Peru. 

Also, Serrano has been actively involved in capacity building of community-based organizations in the use of evidence to raise awareness on the effects of toxic metals in local communities and to promote and advocate for interventions that are healthy, equitable and sustainable.