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Haque, Dr. Rehnuma

Assistant Scientist
Environmental Health and WASH
Health Systems and Population Studies Division
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“I am passionate about identifying the risk of environmental toxicants which we are exposed to in our daily lives. By studying their route of exposure and human health outcomes, I want to propose a way towards withdrawal, prevention, and mitigation through designing intervention and policy implementation."

I had an interest in science from a very young age and dreamt of becoming a physician. This dream led to me studying in medical school and eventually working in the field of public health. My academic training and research experience have provided an excellent background in multiple disciplines, including medicine, epidemiology, and environmental science. At the beginning of my career, while I was doing my MPH, I did research on pregnant women in urban areas who gave birth to underweight babies despite receiving antenatal care from tertiary medical facilities.

Afterward, my PhD thesis focused on conventional pesticides such as PCBs, DDTs and other Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) being used in Bangladesh. I particularly looked at how these pesticides behave in food, house dust, human blood, and breast milk.  I have diversified my research interest by undertaking a comprehensive understanding of key developmental pathways of environmental exposure risk assessment in children and women in Bangladesh.

During this study, I gained expertise in laboratory procedures (GC-MS) for environmental samples analyses. My current positions as an Assistant Scientist at the Environmental Interventions Unit, Infectious Diseases Division at icddr,b and a Postdoc Fellow at Stanford University have enhanced my environmental research scopes. My work focuses on identifying the pivotal relationship between environmental toxicants and infectious diseases in low-and middle-income countries where the pollution burden is significant—and establishing environmental surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 and other enteric pathogens that circulate via wastewater.

Why I work at icddr,b:

icddr,b is one of the leading research organisations to fuel my interest in health disparities research. icddr,b offers clinical, biomedical, behavioral research, laboratory facilities, capacity development training, and international collaboration opportunities that made the world smaller and success more accessible to me. 

Future Plans:
I am devoted to establishing myself as an environmental scientist and continuing research at icddr,b with global collaboration on environmental factors that interact with reproductive, perinatal, and child health. In relation to my work, I’m also fascinated by epidemiological methodology and causal inferences of communicable and non-communicable diseases with environmental exposures.

2020 - till date

Assistant Scientist, icddr,b

2020 - till date

GHES Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University

2020 - 2021

Postdoctoral Training, Stanford University

2019 - 2020

Research Fellow, icddr,b

2018 - 2019

Research Fellow, Japan, Saga University, Saga


PhD in Human Ecology Project, Kagoshima University, Japan


Project Research Physician, icddr,b


MPH, North South University, Bangladesh


Lecturer, East West Medical College, Dhaka, Bangladesh


MBBS, Dhaka University, Bangladesh