Thomas M. Burbacher, PhD

Professor, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences (Primary department)
Dr. Thomas Burbacher is Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington (UW) where he teaches classes in basic Environmental and Occupational Health. He is the Head of the Division of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences and Director of the Infant Primate Research Laboratory at the UW National Primate Research Center. He is also the Head of the Developmental Toxicology Research Emphasis Area at the Center on Human Development and Disability (CHDD) and serves as the Director of the Research Translation and Community Engagement Cores for the UW Superfund Research Program. Dr. Burbacher holds a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Washington. His postdoctoral work included research in Developmental Toxicology in the Environmental Pathology Training Program at the UW. Dr. Burbacher's research investigates changes in brain development and function caused by prenatal exposure to neuroactive substances. His research reaches across species, including studies with human populations and a variety of animal models, to enhance a fundamental understanding of toxicants and their role in biological and behavioral development. Data from Dr. Burbacher's research program are used to help formulate policies aimed at the protection of human populations from levels of exposure to environmental contaminants such as methylmercury and methanol that are associated with adverse health effects and developmental disabilities.

Contact Information

Box: 357234
1705 NE Pacific Street
Seattle, WA 98195-
Tel: 206-685-1862

Research Interests

  • Children's Environmental Health. Behavioral Toxicology/Teratology.

Teaching interests

Environmental and Occupational Health


PhD, Developmental Psychology, University of Washington, 1983
Selected Publications

Grant K, Petroff R, Isoherranen N, Stella N, Burbacher T. Cannabis Use during Pregnancy: Pharmacokinetics and Effects on Child Development. Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Published on-line August 25th, 2017

Tigges B, Kaar J, Erbstein N, Silberman P, Winseck K, Lopez-Class M, Burbacher T. Effectiveness of community outreach and engagement in recruitment success for a prebirth cohort. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science. 1(3), 184-191, 2017

Grant K, Worlein J, Meyer J, Novak M, Rosenberg K, Kenney C, Kroeker R, Burbacher T. A Longitudinal Study of Hair Cortisol Levels in Macaca nemestrina Mother-Infant Dyads. Amer J Primatol, 79(2):1-9; 2017

Mohanty AF, Siscovick DS, Williams MA, Burbacher TM, Thompson ML, Enquobahrie DA “Periconceptional seafood intake and pregnancy complications.” Public Health Nutrition,19(10): 1795-803; 2016

Postma J, Younglove L, Brooks K, Odom-Maryon T, Beresford S, Burbacher T, Butterfield P, Butterfield P, Cederblom N, Grant K, Faustman E. Hispanic Representation in a Longitudinal Birth Cohort Study. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 9(2): 66-77; 2016

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