Sheela Sathyanarayana, MPH, MD

Associate Professor, Pediatrics - General Pediatrics (Primary department)
Adjunct Associate Professor, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences

Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Adjunct Associate Professor within the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington. Her research interests focus on exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals including phthalates and bisphenol A and their impact on reproductive development. Dr. Sathyanarayana serves as the center director for The Infant Development and Environment Study and is MPI of the NIH funded center grant: Prenatal And early Childhood Pathways To Health (PATHWAYS) that examines phthalates, air pollution, and maternal stress during the prenatal period and child health outcomes. She served as past chair of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee and as well as on the National Academies of Sciences, National Research Council Committee on Endocrine-Related Low Dose Toxicity. She currently serves on the US EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board for the Toxics Substances Control Act.

Contact Information

Office: 2001 8th Avenue
Box: CW8-6, PO Box 5371
Seattle, WA 98145-5005
Tel: 206-884-1037
Fax: 206-884-3790

Research Interests

  • Environmental Endocrine Disruptors, Pediatric Environmental Health, Reproductive Toxicology, Birth defects
  • My research interests focus on in utero and early life exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) and their impact on child reproductive development. 

Teaching interests


My interests include children's environmental health, environmental epidemiology, and risk communication.


MPH, Epidemiology, University of Washington,
MD, Medicine, University of Southern California,


Current Projects:

Prenatal And early childhood pathways To Health: An integrated Model of chemical and social Exposures, Biological Mechanisms, and Sex-specific Effects on Neurodevelopment and Respiratory Outcomes (PATHWAYS)

PATHWAYS will integrate three major cohorts, TIDES/GAPPS/CANDLE, of pregnant women and their children and bring together a premier interdisciplinary team to learn how pregnancy exposures affect child neurodevelopment and airway health. The primary exposures examined will be maternal stress, phthalate, and air pollution exposures, and the placental transcriptome will be explored to determine mechanisms relating exposure to outcomes.
Funder: NIH
Role: MPI

NYU Pediatric Obesity, Metabolism and Kidney Cohort Center

Progress in elucidating the role of the environment in child development and disability has been slow and incremental. Nearly all studies have examined relatively small populations of children; considered only one parameter at a time; had little power to examine interactions among chemical, social, and behavioral factors; had limited ability to examine gene–environment interactions; and suffered from brief duration of follow-up. We propose inclusion of four large birth cohorts in the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes Program to inform understanding of early life environmental impacts on child health and development.
Funder: NIH
Role: Co-investigator

Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit

Provide training and education to other physicians and residents in training regarding the evidence base for environmental exposures and asthma and how to incorporate the evidence in to clinical practice.
Funder: CDC/EPA
Role: Co-Director

Phthalate exposure and gender-related development in The Infant Development and Environment Study (TIDES II)

TIDES is a multi-center (Seattle, WA, Minneapolis, MN, San Francisco, CA and Rochester, NY) cohort study of prenatal environmental exposures and infant reproductive outcomes. We will examine phthalate concentrations in first trimester urine samples in women in relation to intermediate reproductive phenotypes. In this study, we will follow children to assess outcomes in relation to hormone mediated neurodevelopment at age 3.5 and 5 years. We will obtain: 1) neuroassessments in five sexually dimorphic domains; 2) genital measurements; 3) urine samples for phthalate and BPA assessment.
Funder: NIEHS
Role: Site PI

The Bisphenol A and Dental Restoration Clinical Study in Children (BPARCS)

The aim of the proposed research is to determine bisphenol A exposure from dental sealants and materials used for children having oral procedures. The project will recruit children receiving numerous sealants due to excessive caries and measure bisphenol A concentrations before and after procedures to determine potential risks.
Funder: NIDCR
Role: Co-investigator

Completed Projects:

Prenatal Environmental Reproductive Hormone Concentrations (PERCH)

PERCH will explore a potential mechanistic pathway between prenatal phthalate exposures and anogenital outcomes in infants. It will examine testosterone, free testosterone, and estradiol in the first trimester of pregnancy and examine these concentrations in relation to prenatal phthalate exposure and infant AGD.
Funder: NIEHS
Role: PI

Genetics and the Environment Associated with Male Reproduction (GEAR)

GEAR will genotype candidate genes and repeat polymorphism length in 400 male infants recruited in relation to intermediate male reproductive phenotypes. We will genotype buccal swab/FTA card DNA samples from infants. We will first examine the association between genetic variation in AR, ESR1, ESR2, SRD5A2, ATF3, INSL3/LGR8, CTGF, CYR61 and shortened AGD and ASD, and smaller PW; then proceed to test whether this association is modified by prenatal first trimester urine phthalate exposures.
Funder: NIEHS
Role: PI

The Infant Development and Environment Study (TIDES)

Dietary Phthalate Exposure in Pregnant Women

This supplement supports a Hispanic graduate student at the University of Washington to participate in a project examining how diet contributes to phthalate exposures in pregnant women. Dr. Sathyanarayana is the master's committee chair and direct mentor for this student.
Funder: NIEHS
Role: Site PI

Pilot Intervention Trial to Reduce Environmental Exposures in Pregnant Women

A number of scientific and advocacy organizations recommend reducing endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) exposures in pregnant women but no evidence based recommendations exist. This study will pilot a dietary intervention to reduce EDC exposures in 20 pregnant women.
Funder: Seattle Children's Research Institute Center for Health, Behavior, and Development Stimulus Funds Award
Role: PI

The Infant Development and Environment Study (TIDES)

Prenatal Phthalate Exposure and Infant Hormone Concentrations

Genetics and the Environment Associated with Male Reproduction (GEAR)

Selected Publications

Manuscripts in Refereed Journals

  1. Barrett ES, Sathyanarayana S, Mbowe O, Thurston SW, Redmon JB, Nguyen RHN, Swan SH. First-Trimester Urinary Bisphenol A Concentration in Relation to Anogenital Distance, an Androgen-Sensitive Measure of Reproductive Development, in Infant Girls. Environ Health Perspect. 2017 Jul 11;125(7):077008. doi: 10.1289/EHP875. PubMed PMID: 28728138; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5744699.
  2. Stacy SL, Eliot M, Etzel T, Papandonatos G, Calafat AM, Chen A, Hauser R, Lanphear BP, Sathyanarayana S, Ye X, Yolton K, Braun JM. Patterns, Variability, and Predictors of Urinary Triclosan Concentrations during Pregnancy and Childhood. Environ Sci Technol. 2017 Jun 6;51(11):6404-6413. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b00325. Epub 2017 May 25. PubMed PMID: 28516781; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5576563.
  3. Pell T, Eliot M, Chen A, Lanphear BP, Yolton K, Sathyanarayana S, Braun JM. Parental Concern about Environmental Chemical Exposures and Children's Urinary Concentrations of Phthalates and Phenols. J Pediatr. 2017 Jul;186:138-144.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.03.064. Epub 2017 May 2. PubMed PMID: 28476460; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5484741. 
  4. Sathyanarayana S, Butts S, Wang C, Barrett E, Nguyen R, Schwartz SM, Haaland W, Swan SH; TIDES Team. Early Prenatal Phthalate Exposure, Sex Steroid Hormones, and Birth Outcomes. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Jun 1;102(6):1870-1878. doi: 10.1210/jc.2016-3837. PubMed PMID: 28324030; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5470772.
  5. Hunt PA, Sathyanarayana S, Fowler PA, Trasande L. Response to the Letter by G. M. H. Swaen and R. Otter. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Nov;101(11):L110-L111. PubMed PMID: 27809718.
  6. Attina TM, Hauser R, Sathyanarayana S, Hunt PA, Bourguignon JP, Myers JP, DiGangi J, Zoeller RT, Trasande L. Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the USA: a population-based disease burden and cost analysis. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2016 Dec;4(12):996-1003. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30275-3. Epub 2016 Oct 17. PubMed PMID: 27765541.
  7. Sathyanarayana S, Grady R, Barrett ES, Redmon B, Nguyen RHN, Barthold JS, Bush NR, Swan SH. First trimester phthalate exposure and male newborn genital anomalies. Environ Res. 2016 Nov;151:777-782. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.07.043. Epub 2016 Aug 23. PubMed PMID: 27567446.
  8. Sathyanarayana S, Barrett E, Nguyen R, Redmon B, Haaland W, Swan SH. First Trimester Phthalate Exposure and Infant Birth Weight in the Infant Development and Environment Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Sep 23;13(10). pii: E945. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13100945. PubMed PMID: 27669283; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5086684.
  9. Stacy SL, Eliot M, Calafat AM, Chen A, Lanphear BP, Hauser R, Papandonatos GD, Sathyanarayana S, Ye X, Yolton K, Braun JM. Patterns, Variability, and Predictors of Urinary Bisphenol A Concentrations during Childhood. Environ Sci Technol. 2016 Jun 7;50(11):5981-90. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.6b00794. Epub 2016 May 23. PubMed PMID: 27152530; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5547574.
  10. Hunt PA, Sathyanarayana S, Fowler PA, Trasande L. Female Reproductive Disorders, Diseases, and Costs of Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Apr;101(4):1562-70. doi: 10.1210/jc.2015-2873. Epub 2016 Mar 22. PubMed PMID: 27003299; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4880176.
  11. Barrett ES, Parlett LE, Sathyanarayana S, Redmon JB, Nguyen RH, Swan SH. Prenatal Stress as a Modifier of Associations between Phthalate Exposure and Reproductive Development: results from a Multicentre Pregnancy Cohort Study. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2016 Mar;30(2):105-14. doi: 10.1111/ppe.12264. Epub 2015 Nov 17. PubMed PMID: 26576028; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4749428.
  12. Alur S, Wang H, Hoeger K, Swan SH, Sathyanarayana S, Redmon BJ, Nguyen R, Barrett ES. Urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations in relation to history of infertility and use of assisted reproductive technology. Fertil Steril. 2015 Nov;104(5):1227-35. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.07.1150. Epub 2015 Aug 11. PubMed PMID: 26275821; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4630141.
  13. Upson K, Sathyanarayana S, Scholes D, Holt VL. Early-life factors and endometriosis risk. Fertil Steril. 2015 Oct;104(4):964-971.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.06.040. Epub 2015 Jul 26. PubMed PMID: 26211883; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5328429.
  14. Adibi JJ, Lee MK, Naimi AI, Barrett E, Nguyen RH, Sathyanarayana S, Zhao Y, Thiet MP, Redmon JB, Swan SH. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Partially Mediates Phthalate Association With Male and Female Anogenital Distance. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Sep;100(9):E1216-24. doi: 10.1210/jc.2015-2370. Epub 2015 Jul 22. PubMed PMID: 26200238; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4570159.
  15. Sathyanarayana S, Grady R, Redmon JB, Ivicek K, Barrett E, Janssen S, Nguyen R, Swan SH; TIDES Study Team. Anogenital distance and penile width measurements in The Infant Development and the Environment Study (TIDES): methods and predictors. J Pediatr Urol. 2015 Apr;11(2):76.e1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpurol.2014.11.018. Epub 2015 Mar 7. PubMed PMID: 25824881; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4456209.
  16. Upson K, Sathyanarayana S, De Roos AJ, Koch HM, Scholes D, Holt VL. A population-based case-control study of urinary bisphenol A concentrations and risk of endometriosis. Hum Reprod. 2014 Nov;29(11):2457-64. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deu227. Epub 2014 Sep 9. PubMed PMID: 25205760; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4191453.
  17. McKinney C, Rue T, Sathyanarayana S, Martin M, Seminario AL, DeRouen T. Dental sealants and restorations and urinary bisphenol A concentrations in children in the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. J Am Dent Assoc. 2014 Jul;145(7):745-50. doi: 10.14219/jada.2014.34. PubMed PMID: 24982281; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4667745.
  18. Watkins DJ, Eliot M, Sathyanarayana S, Calafat AM, Yolton K, Lanphear BP, Braun JM. Variability and predictors of urinary concentrations of phthalate metabolites during early childhood. Environ Sci Technol. 2014;48(15):8881-90. doi: 10.1021/es501744v. Epub 2014 Jul 9. PubMed PMID: 24977926; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4123928.
  19. Serrano SE, Karr CJ, Seixas NS, Nguyen RH, Barrett ES, Janssen S, Redmon B, Swan SH, Sathyanarayana S. Dietary phthalate exposure in pregnant women and the impact of consumer practices. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Jun 12;11(6):6193-215. doi: 10.3390/ijerph110606193. PubMed PMID: 24927036; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4078574.
  20. Serrano SE, Braun J, Trasande L, Dills R, Sathyanarayana S. Phthalates and diet: a review of the food monitoring and epidemiology data. Environ Health. 2014 Jun 2;13(1):43. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-13-43. Review. PubMed PMID: 24894065; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4050989.

Published books, videos, software.

American Academy of Pediatrics PREP Audio September 2013: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. Sathyanarayana S, Lee M, Galvez M.

Other publications

  1. Sathyanarayana S. Problem with Plastics. AAP News. American Academy of Pediatrics 2009 Aug;30(8):29.
  2. Berg J, Sathyanarayana S. Bisphenol A (BPA) Derivatives in Dental Resins Safe for Kids—When Precautions are Followed. AAP News. American Academy of Pediatrics. 2011 April.
Review date: