About Us

About Us History Participant Advisory Council (PAC) CHDS Staff
Current Staff
Barbara A. Cohn Piera M. Cirillo
Former Directors
Barbara (Bea) J. van den Berg Jacob Yerushalmy

CHDS Staff


Roberta Christianson received her bachelor's degree in biostatistics at the University of California, Berkeley in 1958 and her master's degree in the same field in 1963. From 1958 until 1964 she was a teaching associate and research associate in the School of Public Health at the University of California. While she held these positions she was fully informed about the Child Health and Development Studies protocols, visited the physical premises repeatedly, and sat in on many seminars devoted to designing and developing the studies. Thus her knowledge of the studies goes back to their origins. She officially joined the Child Health and Development Studies in 1964 as a research analyst.

Roberta Christianson's research interests have primarily centered around reproductive physiology, birth defects, and complications of pregnancy. She has worked with many outstanding physicians who shared her research interests including Dr. Charles Rabkin, Dr. Ernest Page, Dr. Julian Hoffman, Dr. Barbara van den Berg, and Dr. Charles Peckham. Her work on smoking and placental characteristics was cited by the Surgeon General of the United States in his early reports to the nation on smoking and health and her work on blood pressure during pregnancy can be found in several obstetric text books. Her current publications center around using our stored serum samples for cancer research.

In addition to her research interests, Ms. Christianson has had a primary role in assuring the continuity of the studies. She has overseen the maintenance of the serum inventory, and matching of our membership files to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Vital Statistics files and the Tumor Registry files. These matches have provided the basis for many of our current studies.