Catherine Karr, PhD, MD, MS

Associate Professor, Pediatrics (Primary department)
Associate Professor, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences
Adjunct Associate Professor, Epidemiology
Catherine Karr is a board certified pediatrician with a doctorate degree in Epidemiology and Masters in Environmental Health/Toxicology. She has a primary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics, Joint in Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, and Adjunct in Epidemiology. Her research areas include environmental contaminants and pediatric respiratory health including asthma, health of farmworker children, and global children's environmental health. She is affiliated with the UW based Center for Children's Environmental Health Research and the Pacific Northwest Center for Agricultural Safety and Health. She has a general pediatric practice at the UW Pediatric Clinic at Roosevelt and also provides specialty pediatric environmental medicine consultation at this site and the Harborview Medical Center. As Director of the NW Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU), she sets the direction for outreach and education as well as responding to queries from health care providers, government officials and families regarding health risks associated with environmental exposures. She is involved in policy and education through her involvement with the American Academy of Pediatrics National Council on Environmental Health.

Contact Information

University of Washington
Box: 354695
Seattle, WA 98105-
Tel: 206-616-4355
Tel: 206-221-8671
Fax: 206-543-8123

Contact Information

University of Washington
UW Pediatric Care Center - Roosevelt
Seattle, WA

Research Interests

  • Pediatric Environmental Health; ambient air pollution; asthma; pesticides; global children's environmental health; farmworker health
  • KEYWORDS: Children's health, Environmental epidemiology;; Global enviromentall health; Asthma; Pesticides and children; Risk communication; Air pollution

In the News

Teaching interests

Clinical and public health trainees interested in environmental determinants of child health


PhD, Epidemiology, University of Washington, 2004
MD, Medicine, University of Washington, 1999
MS, Toxicology, University of Washington, 1989
BS, Biology, University of Michigan, 1984


El Proyecto Bienestar – a research partnership linking UW with community organizations to address the environmental and occupational health conditions of farm workers and their families in the Yakima Valley.
Selected Publications

Perla ME, Rue T, Cheadle A,  Krieger J, Karr CJ. Population based comparison of biomarkers concentrations for chemicals of concern among Latino-American children and Non-Hispanic White children. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. In press March 2014.

Armstrong JA, Fitzpatrick CF, Loftus CT, Yost MG, Tchong-French M, Karr CJ. Development of a unique multi-contaminant air sampling device for a childhood asthma cohort in an agricultural environment.Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2013; 1760-1767.

Roberts J, Karr CJ, deYbarrondo L, McCurdy L, Freeland K, Hulsey TC, Forman J. Improving Pediatrician Knowledge about Environmental Triggers of Asthma. Clinical Pediatrics. 2013;6:52 :523 - 530.

Karr CJ, Rauh V. “Pesticides” (chapter) in Children’s Environmental Health. Philip J. Landrigan and Ruth A. Etzel (Editors). Oxford University Press. November 2013.

Karr C. “Environmental Health Considerations for Children in Developing Nations”. In Pediatric Environmental Health. 3rd edition. American Academy of Pediatrics. 2012

Sathyanarayana S, Rhou Z, Rudra CB, Gould T, Larsen T, Koenig J, Karr CJ. Prenatal ambient air pollution exposure and small for gestational age birth in the Puget Sound Air Basin. Air Quality, Atmosphere, and Health. 2012; 1-9.

Roberts JR, Karr CJ; Council on Environmental Health. American Academy of Pediatrics. Pesticide exposure in children. Policy Statement. Pediatrics. 2012;130(6): e1765 -e1788

Karr CJ. Children’s Environmental Health in Agricultural Settings. Journal of Agromedicine 2012;17(2):127-39.

Karr C. Addressing Environmental Contaminants in Pediatric Practice. Pediatr Rev. 2011 May;32(5):190-200.

Clark NA, Demers PA, Karr CJ, Koehoorn M, Lencar C, Tamburic L, Brauer M. Effect of early life exposure to air pollution on development of childhood asthma. Environ. Health Perspect. 2010; 118:284-290.

Paulson JA, Karr CJ, Selzer JA, Cherry DC, Sheffield PE, difuentes E, Buka I, Amler RW. Development of the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit Network in North America. AJPH 2009;99: S511-S516.

Karr CJ, Demer PA, Koehoorn MW, Lencar CC, Tamburic L, Brauer M. Influence of ambient air pollutant sources on clinical encounters for infant bronchiolitis. AJRCCM. 2009;180:995–100.

Karr C, Solomon GM, Brock-Utne A. Health Effects of Common Home, Lawn and Garden Pesticides. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2007;54:63-80.

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