Richard Canfield


Richard Canfield

Sr. Research Associate
302 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Division of Nutritional Sciences
Phone: (607) 255-9575
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Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:

As a Developmental Psychologist, my overarching professional objective is to generate knowledge that will enhance the understanding of developmental change in perception, cognition, and other aspects of neurobehavioral functioning in infants and children, and to use this knowledge to improve children’s health, well-being, and developmental potential. This goal is pursued through combined study of processes of normal development and by investigating how prenatal and postnatal experiences can alter developmental processes and their associated outcomes.

Current Professional Activities:

Graduate Field Membership in Human Development

US EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee: Integrated Science Assessment for Lead (2011-present)

Current Research Activities:

My current research projects include:

  1. A 7-year longitudinal study of the impacts of low-level lead (Pb) exposure on children’s intellectual and neuropsychological development.
  2. A 5-year longitudinal study of the interacting effects of prenatal methyl mercury exposure and a maternal diet rich in fish oils on children's cognitive development.
  3. A 6-year longitudinal study of possible cognitive impairment in infants exposed congenitally to a recently discovered human herpes virus (HHV-6).
  4. A 9-year longitudinal study of the effects of inner city toxins, such as pesticides and phthalates, on children's cognitive, behavioral, and neuropsychological development.
  5. A project examining the possible cognitive benefits of prenatal choline supplementation in human infants.


B.Sc. University of Puget Sound, 1980
Major: Psychology
Minors: Mathematics, Literature

M.A. University of Denver, 1984
Developmental Psychology

Ph.D. University of Denver, 1988
Developmental Psychology

Selected Publications:

Engel SM, Wetmur J, Chen J, Zhu C, Barr DB, Canfield RL, Wolff MS. (2011). Prenatal exposure to organophosphates, paraoxonase 1, and cognitive development in childhood. Environmental Health Perspectives, 119,1182-1188.)

Engel SM, Miodovnik A, Canfield RL, Zhu C, Silva MJ, Calafat AM, Wolff MS. (2010).  Prenatal Phthalate Exposure is Associated with Childhood Behavior and Executive Functioning. Environmental Health Perspectives, 118, 565-571.

Jusko, TA, Henderson, CR, Jr., Lanphear, BP, Cory-Slechta, DA, Parsons, PJ, Canfield, RL (2008). Blood lead concentrations < 10 µg/dL and child intelligence at 6 years of age, Environmental Health Perspectives, 116, 243-248.

Canfield, R. L., & Jusko, T. A. (2008). Lead poisoning. In M. M. Haith & J. B. Benson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of infant and early childhood development. Vol. 2, p. 200-213: New York: Elsevier Inc.

Philip W. Davidson, J.J. Strain, Gary J. Myers, Sally W. Thurston, Maxine P. Bonham, Conrad F. Shamlaye, Abbie Stokes-Riner, Julie M.W. Wallace, Paula J. Robson, Emeir M. Duffy, Lesley A. George, Jean Sloane-Reeves, Elsa Cernichiari, Richard L. Canfield, Christopher Cox, Li Shan Huang, Joanne Janciuras and Thomas W. Clarkson (2008). Neurodevelopmental effects of maternal nutritional status and exposure to methylmercury from eating fish during pregnancy. Neurotoxicology, Volume 29, Issue 5, September 2008, Pages 767-775.

J.J. Strain, Philip W. Davidson, Maxine P. Bonham, Emeir M. Duffy, Abbie Stokes-Riner, Sally W. Thurston, Julie M.W. Wallace, Paula J. Robson, Conrad F. Shamlaye, Lesley A. George, Jean Sloane-Reeves, Elsa Cernichiari, Richard L. Canfield, Christopher Cox, Li Shan Huang, Joanne Janciuras, Gary J. Myers and Thomas W. Clarkson (2008). Associations of maternal long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, methyl mercury, and infant development in the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study. NeuroToxicology, 29, 776-782.

Kordas K, Canfield RL, Lopez P, Rosado JL, Vargas GG, Cebrian ME, Rico JA, Ronquillo D, & Stoltzfus RJ (2006). Deficits in cognitive function and achievement in Mexican first-graders with low blood lead concentrations. Environmental Research, 100, 371-386.

Canfield, R.L., Gendle, M.H., & Cory-Slechta, D.A. (2004). Impaired neuropsychological functioning in lead-exposed children. Developmental Neuropsychology. 26(1), 513-540.

Canfield, R.L., Henderson, C.R., Cory-Slechta, D.A., Cox, C., Jusko, T.A., & Lanphear, B.P., (2003). Intellectual impairment in children with blood lead concentrations below 10 ug/dL. The New England Journal of Medicine, 348, 1517-26.

Canfield, R. L., Kreher, D.A., Cornwell, C. & Henderson, C. R. (2003). Low-level lead exposure and executive functions in young children, Child Neuropsychology. 9(1) 35-53.

Selected Keywords:
Infant Development
Child Development
Lead Exposure
Mercury Exposure
Visual Expectation Paradigm
Nutrition and Cognition

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.