L.H. Lumey

L.H. Lumey

L.H. Lumey

Epidemiology at the Columbia University Medical Center


722 West 168 Street, Rm 1617
New York NY USA 10032


Dr. Lumey was born in the Netherlands and trained in medicine, history and philosophy of science, and epidemiology in Amsterdam, Leiden, Edinburgh, Cambridge, and New York. He has had a long-standing affiliation with Columbia starting with the Sergievsky Center in the 1980s. Dr Lumey worked at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam between 1984-1993, the National Institute for Public Health and Environmental Protection RIVM of the Netherlands from 1998-1990, the American Health Foundation in New York from 1993-1998, and was Director of the New York City Perinatal HIV Transmission Collaborative Study from 1998-1999. Thereafter he joined the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia. Over the last decades, Dr Lumey's research focus has been on the design and analysis of single and multi-generation cohort studies worldwide to investigate the relation between the early fetal environment and adult health. These studies include but are not limited to men and women exposed to severe malnutrition during different periods in pregnancy at the end of World War II in the Netherlands. He has reported extensively on immediate and long term effects on morbidity and mortality, including the relation between nutrition in gestation and size at birth, adult body size, lipid profiles, glucose metabolism, and their relation to DNA methylation profiles. With his collaborators in Leiden, he published the first study in humans linking prenatal famine exposure to persisting changes in DNA methylation of the IGF2 gene using data from the Dutch Famine population. Further studies in this population show that prenatal famine and genetic characteristics are independently associated with DNA methylation at regulatory loci. His work aims at better understanding the biological mechanisms that might explain long-term health effects of changes in the prenatal environment and ways of prevention.


PhD, 1988, Columbia University
MPH, 1985, Columbia University
MD, 1982, Univ of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Other, 1977, University of Cambridge, UK

Other Affiliations

Molecular Epidemiology Department, Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands

Honors & Awards

Fulbright Fellow, Columbia University, 1982-1986
Lorentz Fellow, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, NIAS, Wassenaar, 2008-09
George G. Graham Annual Lecture, Center for Human Nutrition, Johns Hopkins University, 2015

Select Global Activities

Visiting Professor, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, 2013 , Sweden
Visiting Professor, Universidade Federal de Ciencias da Saude de Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2014, Brazil

Select Publications

L.H.Lumey, A.C.Ravelli, L.G.Wiessing, J.G.Koppe,P.E.Treffers, Z.A.Stein. The Dutch famine birth cohort study: design, validation of exposure, and selected characteristics of subjects after 43 years follow-up. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 7:354-67, 1993 L.H.Lumey, A,D.Stein, H.S.Kahn, K. van der Pal-de Bruin, G.J.Blauw, P.A.Zybert, E.S.Susser. Cohort profile: the Dutch Hunger winter families study. Int J Epidemiol 36: 1196-207, 2007 A.D.Stein, H.S.Kahn, A. Rundle, P.A.Zybert, K. van der Pal-de Bruin, L.H.Lumey. Anthropometric measures in middle age after exposure to famine during gestation: evidence from the Dutch famine. Am J Clin Nutr 85: 869-76, 2007 B.T.Heijmans, E.W.Tobi, A.D.Stein, H.Putter, G.J.Blauw, E.S.Susser, P.E.Slagboom, L.H.Lumey. Persistent epigenetic differences associated with prenatal exposure to famine in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105: 17046-9, 2008 E.W.Tobi, J.J.Goeman, R.Monajemi, H.Gu, H.Putter, Y.Zhang, R.C.Slieker, A.P.Stok, P.E.Thijssen, F.Müller, E.W.van Zwet, C.Bock, A.Meissner, L.H.Lumey, P.E.Slagboom, B.T.Heijmans BT. DNA methylation signatures link prenatal famine exposure to growth and metabolism. Nature Comm Nov 26, 2014. doi:10.1038/ncomms6592 P.Ekamper, F.van Poppel, A.D.Stein, G.E.Bijwaard, L.H.Lumey. Prenatal Famine Exposure and Adult Mortality through Age 63 Years from Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease and Other Causes. Am J Epidemiol 181: 271-279, 2015 E.W. Tobi, R.Slieker, A.D.Stein, H.E.D.Suchiman, P.E.Slagboom, E.W.van Zwet, B.T.Heijmans, L.H.Lumey. Early gestation as the critical time-window for changes in the prenatal environment to affect the adult human blood methylome. Int J Epidemiol (in press)

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