Dr. Rivera-Núñez holds a BS in Microbiology and a MS in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of Puerto Rico. Her doctoral degree is from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. She completed a National Academies post-doctoral fellowship at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Environmental Assessment in Cincinnati, OH. Dr. Rivera-Núñez joined the Rutgers School of Public Health in 2019. She is a resident faculty member at the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute.
Current exposure assessment tools such as biomarkers potentially allow for increasingly sensitive measures of exposure-related impending adverse health effects. However, developing biomarkers that correlate with specific time windows that are more susceptible to environmental insult is an ongoing challenge. We need to improve epidemiological study design and increase our knowledge on the biological mechanisms behind a chemical’s toxicity. Dr. Rivera-Núñez research focuses on: (1) the utility of biomarkers identifying windows of exposure and susceptibility, particularly for emergent chemicals, (2) the impact of these chemicals in fetal and child growth, and (3) the endocrine and placental mechanisms behind these associations.
Dr. Rivera-Núñez is currently funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to study zearalenone exposure during pregnancy and early infant growth (R01ESO2275-02S1, R21ES032047). She also receives funding from the NIH Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program to study how placental transporters influence the associations between maternal exposures and child outcomes.
Early Career Reviewer Program National Institute of Health
Society of Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology Research
International Society of Exposure Science
International Society of Environmental Epidemiology
Rivera-Núñez Z, Ashrap P, Barrett ES, Llanos A, Watkins DJ, Cathey AL, Vélez-Vega, CM, Rosario Z, Cordero JF, Alshawabkeh A, Meeker JD. 2022. Personal Care Products: Demographic Characteristics and Maternal Hormones in Pregnant Women from Puerto Rico, Environmental Research PMID: 34798118
Kinkade CW, Rivera-Núñez Z, Gorczyca L, Aleksunes LA, Barrett ES. 2021. Impact of Fusarium-Derived Mycoestrogens on Female Reproduction: A Systematic Review. Toxins PMID: 34073731
Rivera-Núñez Z, Ashrap P, Barrett ES, Watkins DJ, Cathey AL, Vélez-Vega, CM, Rosario Z, Cordero JF, Alshawabkeh A, Meeker JD. 2021. Association of Biomarkers of Exposure to metals and metalloids with maternal hormones in pregnant women from Puerto Rico. Environment International. PMID: 33321388
Rivera-Núñez, Z., Barrett, E., Szamreta, E., Shapses, S., Qin, B., Lin, Y., Zarbl, H., Buckley, B., Bandera, E. 2019. “Urinary mycoestrogens and age and height at menarche in New Jersey girls.” Environmental Health PMID: 30902092
Rivera-Núñez Z and Wright JM. 2018. The effect of trihalomethane and haloacetic acid exposures on stillbirth in Massachusetts. Occupational and Environmental Medicine PMID: 30061312
Wright, J.M., Evans, A., Kaufman, J.A., Rivera-Núñez, Z., Narotzky, M.G. (2017) “The association between disinfectant by-product exposures and risk of cardiac birth defects in Massachusetts.” Environmental Health Perspectives PMID: 27518881
Rivera-Núñez, Z., Wright, J., Blount, B., Silva, L., Jones, E., Chan, R., Pegram, R., Singer, P., Savitz, D. (2012) “Comparison of trihalomethanes in tap water and blood: a case study in the United States.”, Environmental Health Perspectives PMID: 22281753
Parvez S, Rivera-Núñez Z, Meyer A, Wright JM. (2011). Temporal variability in trihalomethane and haloacetic acid concentrations in Massachusetts public drinking water systems. Environmental Research PMID: 21316653
Rivera-Núñez Z, Meliker JR, Meeker JD, Slotnick MJ, Nriagu JO. 2012. Urinary arsenic species, toenail arsenic, and estimates of arsenic intake in a southeastern Michigan population with low-to-moderate exposure to arsenic in drinking water. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology PMID: 21878987
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