Michael Gochfeld , M.D., Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus Rutgers UniversityEOHSI – Clinical Research and Occupational Medicine
Work Phone: 848-445-6083
Photo of Michael Gochfeld M.D., Ph.D.


Research Areas

My main area of research has focused on heavy metals exposure and effect. The current emphasis is on the relationship between mercury and selenium exposure and balancing the risks against benefits of fish consumption. Much of this work involves Native American and Alaskan Native communities.

A second area focuses on the environmental consequences of energy options, examining nuclear options in the light of the spent nuclear fuel impasse and the Fukushima disaster vs unintended consequences of renewable energy. This has been developed as an outgrowth of our CRESP work on hazardous waste, risk management, and land use decisions with the U.S. Department of Energy.

A third area focuses on incorporating workplace health and safety equity into the EPA’s “Environmental Justice” paradigm.

Research Highlights

  • Participation in an EPA Environmental Justice Symposium resulted in exploration of the importance of outliers in risk management and the importance of occupational exposures as part of a comprehensive Environmental Justice paradigm.
  • The role of selenium in protecting against mercury toxicity has been known for 40 years, but the mechanism(s) of the interaction remain unclear. This study examines whether the Se:Hg molar ratio predicts mercury toxicity from fish consumption.

Scholarly Activities

  • Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine: Chair of Curriculum Committee
  • Robert Wood Johnson Medical School: M1 Block Directors Committee
  • Special Committee on Health, Productivity, and Disability Management, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
  • Chair Committee on History of OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits

Recent Publications

  1. Burger, J, Gochfeld, M, Brown, KG, Ng, K, Cortes, M, Kosson, D. The importance of recognizing Buffer Zones to lands being developed, restored, or remediated: on planning for protection of ecological resources. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2023; :1-17. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2023.2285511. PubMed PMID:37997947
  2. Burger, J, Feigin, S, Ng, K, Jeitner, C, Tsipoura, N, Niles, L, Gochfeld, M. Some metals and metalloids in the blood of three species of shorebirds increase while foraging during two-week migratory stopover in Delaware Bay, New Jersey. Environ Res. 2023;238 (Pt 2):117194. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.117194. PubMed PMID:37748669
  3. Burger, J, Gochfeld, M, Giffen, N, Brown, KG, Cortes, M, Ng, K, Kosson, DS. Comparing land cover and interior forests on contaminated land and the surrounding region: Oak Ridge Reservation as a case study. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2023;86 (15):501-517. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2023.2223231. PubMed PMID:37335075
  4. Burger, J, Gochfeld, M, Zappalorti, R, Bunnell, J, Jeitner, C, Schneider, D, Ng, K, DeVito, E, Lorch, JM. Prevalence of Ophidiomyces ophidiicola and epizootiology of snake fungal disease in free-ranging Northern Pine Snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus melanoleucus) in New Jersey. Environ Monit Assess. 2023;195 (6):662. doi: 10.1007/s10661-023-11259-w. PubMed PMID:37169998
  5. Soskolne, CL, Kramer, S, Ramos-Bonilla, JP, Mandrioli, D, Sass, J, Gochfeld, M, Cranor, CF, Advani, S, Bero, LA. Correction: Toolkit for detecting misused epidemiological methods. Environ Health. 2022;21 (1):109. doi: 10.1186/s12940-022-00938-9. PubMed PMID:36368967 PubMed Central PMC9652904
  6. Soskolne, CL, Bero, LA, Kramer, S, Gochfeld, M, Ramos-Bonilla, JP, Sass, J, Cranor, CF, Advani, S, Mandrioli, D. Response to Toshihide Tsuda, Yumiko Miyano and Eiji Yamamoto [1]. Environ Health. 2022;21 (1):100. doi: 10.1186/s12940-022-00913-4. PubMed PMID:36284322 PubMed Central PMC9597996
  7. Gochfeld, M. Information needs, approaches, and case studies in human health risk communication. Risk Anal. 2022;42 (11):2376-2399. doi: 10.1111/risa.14006. PubMed PMID:36100396 PubMed Central PMC10087356
  8. Mendoza, FA, Bagley, J, Gochfeld, M, Dalakas, MC, Farber, JL, Jimenez, SA. Progressive multifocal fibrosing neuropathy: description of a novel disease. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2022;10 (1):34. doi: 10.1186/s40478-022-01341-8. PubMed PMID:35296359 PubMed Central PMC8925190
  9. Burger, J, Gochfeld, M, Kosson, DS, Brown, KG, Salisbury, J, Greenberg, M, Jeitner, C. Combining ecological, eco-cultural, and environmental justice parameters to create Eco-EJ indicators to monitor cultural and environmental justices for diverse communities around contaminated sites. Environ Monit Assess. 2022;194 (3):177. doi: 10.1007/s10661-021-09535-8. PubMed PMID:35150318 PubMed Central PMC9488455
  10. Soskolne, CL, Kramer, S, Ramos-Bonilla, JP, Mandrioli, D, Sass, J, Gochfeld, M, Cranor, CF, Advani, S, Bero, LA. Toolkit for detecting misused epidemiological methods. Environ Health. 2021;20 (1):90. doi: 10.1186/s12940-021-00771-6. PubMed PMID:34412643 PubMed Central PMC8375462
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