STEER Program Leadership

Photo: Sadie Costello, PhD

Assistant Researcher, Sadie Costello, PhD
Director, STEER Program

Sadie Costello is an epidemiologist with an interest in environmental and occupational exposures, chronic disease and the use of directed acyclic graphs and causal inference to understand and reduce bias. She received her PhD in epidemiology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2008 before coming to UC Berkeley. Sadie's research at UC Berkeley has focused on studying a range of health outcomes from occupational exposures in large cohort studies of industrial workers including aluminum workers, metal machinists, and miners. Sadie is an integral part of a multidisciplinary team that works to address several prevailing biases in occupational epidemiology including competing risk, direct and indirect effects, and survivor bias. She is a leader of the epidemiology and biostatistics core for a Children's Environmental Health Center and supports established academics to conduct analysis of the health effects of air pollution on children's health that allow for a causal interpretation. Sadie has co-mentored students involved in occupational studies of heart disease and cancer due to particulate matter generated in the occupational setting.

Faculty Website

Photo: Michael Bates, PhD

Professor Michael Bates, PhD

Associate Director, STEER Program

Dr. Bates is Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health, but based in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences. Dr. Bates had a background in chemistry and toxicology before obtaining his PhD in epidemiology at Berkeley. He currently teaches an intensive class in epidemiologic methods during the summer and also during the fall in the School of Public Health’s online MPH program. His research focus is on the health effects of occupational and environmental exposures to chemicals. Dr. Bates is Principal Investigator of two NIH-funded epidemiology studies being carried out in Nepal. These studies are investigating whether household air pollution from cooking and heating fires and kerosene lighting are associated with pulmonary tuberculosis or eye diseases. Other studies in which he is currently involved include an epidemiologic study in the Bay Area of whether exposures to n-hexane solvent in automotive parts cleaners cause persistent neurological or reproductive effects, and a study in the Rotorua geothermal area of New Zealand into whether long-term, low-level exposure to hydrogen sulfide is responsible for effects on the respiratory and neurological systems or the eyes.

Other areas of research interest of Dr. Bates include health effects of organochlorine compounds, such as dioxins and PCBs; whether dental amalgam fillings, which contain mercury, cause any health effects; cancer risks in fire fighters, and cancer risks associated with ingestion of arsenic in drinking water.

Faculty Website

© 2008-, Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, University of California, Berkeley

STEER was by far the most influential experience I have ever experienced in my college career.

Summer 2016 STEER Intern

It definitely encouraged me to go to Grad School; it opened my eyes to the many different fields of Environmental Health.

Summer 2015 STEER Intern

Yes, exposure to research and other grad/doctoral students gave me a better idea of what it would be like to continue to higher education. Moreover, this experience has given me more confidence that I could succeed pursuing a graduate degree.

Summer 2015 STEER Intern

Finals Week photo by Daniel Parks