Dorr G. Dearborn, PhD, MD

Mary Ann Swetland Professor of Environmental Health Sciences

Dorr G. Dearborn, PhD, MD is the Mary Ann Swetland Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, for Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. Dr. Dearborn earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Willamette University, Salem, Oregon; his Ph.D. in biochemistry and his M.D. are both from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. After he completed a pediatric internship at the University of Minnesota Hospitals, he joined the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a staff associate. He came to Case Western Reserve University in 1974 as an assistant professor of biochemistry in pediatrics and director of the cystic fibrosis laboratory. Dr. Dearborn later completed a pediatric residency at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, Cleveland.

Dr. Dearborn's most significant contributions to environmental health began in the fall of 1994 when he recognized an outbreak of pulmonary hemorrhage in Cleveland infants. He notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and was an integral part of the agency's investigation, which found an association of the often-fatal disorder with toxigenic mold in the infants' water-damaged homes. In 1996, Dearborn instituted the Pulmonary Hemosiderosis Prevention Program, a public health initiative involving the local health and housing agencies which has played a role in decreasing the incidence of the disorder. His research program -- supported by the NIH's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) -- studies the effect of toxic mold on the lungs of infant animals and the impact of mold and moisture on the health of infants and young children. The latter research is performed in conjunction with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and the Cleveland Department of Public Health.

In recent years, Dearborn has published 19 papers in this area of environmental health. He frequently speaks at national and international meetings and serves on national committees, including the Healthy Homes Initiative of HUD and the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics.