Shawn Gerstenberger

Dean of the School of Public Health
Director of Environmental and Occupational Health Laboratory
Expertise: Lead Poisoning, Public Health


Shawn Gerstenberger is the dean of UNLV's School of Public Health.

Gerstenberger is an expert on childhood lead poisoning prevention and the impact of the environment on human health. His research includes ridding hot sauce, artificial turf, tuna, candy, and cookware of lead and other hazardous contaminants. 

He established the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program in Nevada in collaboration with the Southern Nevada Health District and the Nevada State Health Division. This effort has led to the development of screening protocols for children, a home visitation program, and a multiagency response to childhood lead poisoning cases. He is also the founder of the Nevada Healthy Homes Partnership and has multiple collaborative grants with local and statewide agencies, with current and past funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency. 


  • P.h.D., Toxicology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M.S., Toxicology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • B.S., Reclamation, University of Wisconsin-Plattevile

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Shawn Gerstenberger In The News

August 15, 2019
Some people don't know the real dangers of lead poisoning especially for children. That's why UNLV is working with the City of Las Vegas to educate families and help them have healthy and lead free homes.
August 14, 2019
Despite efforts over the decades to reduce levels of mercury in the air and water, a combination of climate change factors and overfishing has caused mercury levels in many of the fish we eat to continue to rise.
KSNV-TV: News 3
November 28, 2018
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ School of Community Health Sciences has been designated the first accredited school of public health in Nevada by the Council of Education for Public Health (CEHP).
Nevada Current
August 6, 2018
Reported cases of lead poisoning among children are on the rise in Southern Nevada. The increase is attributed in part to more testing. But researchers, pointing to a legacy of inadequate screening in the state, are also calling for stepped up measures to detect lead poisoning in children.

Articles Featuring Shawn Gerstenberger

A group of four UNLV nursing students work on a manikin at the Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas.
Campus NewsSeptember 25, 2019
A collection of news stories capturing the excitement of UNLV’s campus in June, July and August.
People inspecting a home and taking notes.
Business and CommunityJanuary 24, 2018
UNLV Healthy Homes team will also examine homes for health issues such as asthma triggers, energy and fire problems, trip and fall hazards, pests, and mold.
Campus NewsJuly 3, 2014
Gerstenberger, a faculty member at UNLV since 1997, was named interim dean of the school in 2013.
Business and CommunityDecember 2, 2013
UNLV Healthy Homes inspectors also will examine homes for health issues such as trip and fall hazards, pests and mold.