Directory Profile

Lee Newman headshot

Lee Newman MD, MA

Distinguished Professor, Director (CHWE)
  • Center for Global Health
  • Center for Health, Work & Environment
  • Department of Environmental & Occupational Health
  • Department of Epidemiology


Mailing Address:
  • CU Anschutz

Center for Health, Work & Environment

Fitzsimons Building

13001 East 17th Place

Suite W3111

Aurora, CO 80045

Dr. Newman is a physician-scientist, public health practitioner, and educator. He is a distinguished university professor in the Departments of Environmental & Occupational Health and Epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health and the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine at CU School of Medicine. He is the founding director of two national centers supported by the CDC/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH): the Center for Health, Work & Environment, and the Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center. He co-founded Health Links™, the ColoradoSPH Certificate in Total Worker Health®, and the University of Colorado Consortium for Climate Change & Health. Dr. Newman’s research program is largely supported by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Energy, the CDC, the Department of Labor, and the EPA, among other agencies and institutions.

He is recognized for his scientific and practical contributions to occupational health and safety, applying the concepts of Total Worker Health, and his prevention efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change on workers in the U.S., Mexico, and Latin America. In an academic career spanning four decades, he has contributed to our understanding of how heat stress and nephrotoxins contribute to acute kidney disease, chronic kidney disease of unknown cause, and other health consequences of climate change. Other contributions include research on the mechanisms and prevention of occupational lung disorders, including transdisciplinary work in immunotoxicology, biomarker development, medical surveillance, and health informatics. He is known for pioneering work on the health effects, prevention, and treatment of dust-induced lung disorders, including chronic beryllium disease and other granulomatous diseases such as sarcoidosis. He has authored over 250 scientific papers and over 150 books, chapters, and monographs.

Dr. Newman consults for government agencies, businesses, labor groups, and community organizations. An avid educator, Dr. Newman is a founding faculty member of the ColoradoSPH and continues to teach and mentor master’s and doctoral students and junior faculty members. His favorite role is as a mentor, second only to husband and father. He is hopeful and, at times, irrationally optimistic.

Areas of Expertise

  • Interventions to mitigate the impact of heat stress on worker health and safety
  • Etiology and prevention of chronic kidney disease in agricultural workers
  • Total Worker Health, especially applied to small enterprises and internationally
  • Prevention of occupational injuries and illnesses
  • Etiology of occupational and environmental disorders
  • Immunotoxicology, especially immune effects of metals (beryllium)
  • Granulomatous lung disorders: Chronic beryllium disease and sarcoidosis
  • Biomarker development
  • Medical surveillance in the workplace
  • Health informatics in the healthcare industry

Education, Licensure & Certifications

  • Fellowship, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Colorado, 1987
  • Internship and Residency, Internal Medicine, Emory University, 1983 
  • MD, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 1980 
  • MA, Cornell University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1977 
  • BA, Amherst College, 1975 


  • 2019 designation as a University of Colorado Distinguished Professor, the highest honor for faculty at CU
  • 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, University of Colorado, CU Anschutz
  • 2015 Diversity Award, CDC/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Diversity Steering Council
  • 2012 Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, University of Colorado, CU Anschutz
  • 2011 Delta Omega, National Public Health Honorary Society, Alpha Upsilon Chapter
  • 2004 Fellow, Collegium Ramazzini
  • 2004 Fellow, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (FACOEM)
  • 1990 Fellow, American College of Chest Physicians (FCCP)

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