Division of Pulmonary Medicine

David J. Prezant, M.D.

Dr. David J. Prezant

Professor, Department of Medicine (Pulmonary Medicine)

Instructor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics


Professional Interests

Dr. David Prezant is the Chief Medical Officer at the Office of Medical Affairs for the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY). Dr. Prezant directs all medical protocol development for both day-to-day operations and homeland security issues. He is also Co-Director of the FDNY World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program and the Senior Pulmonary Consultant for FDNY.

Dr. Prezant is a member of the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Personal Protective Equipment in the Workplace, the National Fire Protection Association's Health and Safety Committee, and the International Association of Firefighters Redmond Medical Advisory Board. He is a Professor of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Director of Albert Einstein Medical School's Pulmonary Course for medical students and the Research Director for their Unified Pulmonary Division.

Dr. Prezant responded on 9/11/01 to the World Trade Center and was present during the collapse and its aftermath. Since that day, he and Dr. Kelly (FDNY's Chief Medical Officer at the Bureau of Health Services) have initiated a multi-million dollar medical monitoring and treatment program for FDNY firefighters funded by FDNY, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Dr. Prezant is the Principal Investigator for the FDNY Data Coordinating Center for the WTC Medical Monitoring Program and is on the Steering Committee for the WTC Medical Monitoring Program. He served as a member of the EPA WTC Technical Advisory Committee, the NYC Dept of Health WTC Registry Scientific Advisory Board, the NYS Governor's WTC panel and the NYC Mayor's medical advisory board.

Dr. Prezant has written extensively on pulmonary physiology, firefighter health and safety and since 9/11 on the health impact of World Trade Center Collapse on NYC Firefighters and EMS rescue workers. His group was the first to describe WTC Cough Syndrome (New England Journal of Medicine 2002) and has published extensively on this subject in the CDC MMWR, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Chest and Environmental Health Perspectives.

His major research interest is in determining the mechanisms responsible for accelerated decline in longitudinal pulmonary function and/or airway hyperreactivity in firefighters after WTC exposure. Other interests are in determining the mechanisms responsible for the increased incidence of sarcoidosis in firefighters after WTC exposure.

Clinical Specialty Areas

  • environmental and occupational lung disease
  • firefighters respiratory disease
  • disaster medicine
  • pulmonary embolism
  • general pulmonary medicine


Seven Years Later, a Cough and a Covenant (September 10, 2008)


Selected Publications

  1. World Trade Center site. N Eng J Med 2002;347:806-15.
  2. Banauch GI, McLaughlin M, Hirschhorn R, Corrigan M, Kelly KJ, Prezant DJ. Injuries and Illnesses among New York City Fire Department rescue workers after responding to the World Trade Center Attacks. MMWR 2002;51:1-5.
  3. Prezant DJ, Kelly KJ, Jackson B, Peterson D, Feldman D, Baron S, Mueller CA, Bernard B, Lushniak B, Smith L, BerryAnn R, Hoffman B. Use of respiratory protection among responders at the World Trade Center Site, New York City, September 2001. MMWR 2002;51:6-8.
  4. Rom WN, Weiden M, Garcia R, Ting AY, Vathesatogkit P, Tse DB, McGuinness G, Roggli V, Prezant DJ. Acute eosinophilic pneumonia in a New York City firefighter exposed to world trade center dust. Am. J. Resp. Crit. Care Med. 2002;166:797-800.
  5. Banauch GI, Alleyne D, Sanchez R, Olender K, Weiden M, Kelly KJ, and PREZANT DJ. Persistent bronchial hyperreactivity in New York City firefighters and rescue workers following collapse of World Trade Center. Am. J. Resp. Crit. Care Med. 2003; 168:54-62.
  6. Edelman P, Osterloh J, Pirkle J, Grainger J, Jones R, Blount B, Calafat A, Turner W, Caudill S, Feldman DM, Baron S, Bernard BP, Lushniak BD, Kelly KJ, PREZANT DJ. Biomonitoring of chemical exposure among New York City firefighters responding to the World Trade Center fire and collapse. Environ Health Perspect, 2003; 111:1906-1911.
  7. Feldman DM, Baron S, Mueller CA, Bernard BP, Lushniak BD, Kelly KJ, PREZANT DJ. Initial symptoms, respiratory function and respirator use in New York City firefighters responding to the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster. Chest 2004;125:1256-64.
  8. World Trade Center dust. Environ Health Perspect, 2004; 112:1564-1569.
  9. Banauch GI, Dhala A, Alleyne D, Alva R, Santhyadka G, Krasko A, Weiden M, Kelly KJ, Prezant DJ. Bronchial hyperreactivity and other inhalation lung injuries in rescue/recovery workers after the World Trade Center collapse. Crit Care Med. 2005;33:S102-S106.
  10. World Trade Center site. Curr Opin Pulm Med 2005; 11:160-8.
  11. Paul Greene, Dianne Kane, Grace Christ, Sallie Lynch and Malachy Corrigan. FDNY crisis counseling: innovative responses to 9/11 firefighters, families, and communities. Published 2005.A textbook in counseling at FDNY after WTC.
  12. Bars MP, Banauch GI, Appel DW, Andreaci M, Mouren P, Kelly KJ, Prezant DJ. Tobacco Free with FDNY: The New York City Fire Department World Trade Center Tobacco Cessation Study. Chest 2006; 129:979-987.
  13. World Trade Center exposure in the New York City Fire Department. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 2006; 174:312-319.
  14. Friedman S, Cone J, Eros-Sarnyai M, Prezant D,m Szeinuk J, Clark N, Milek D, Levin S, Gillio R. Clinical guidelines for adults exposed to World Trade Center Disaster (Respiratory and Mental Health). City Health Info (CHI), NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. September 2006
  15. Lioy PJ, Pellizzari E, and Prezant DJ. Understanding and learning from the WTC Aftermath and its affect on health through Human Exposure Science. Environ. Science Technology. November 15, 2006 ; 6876-6885.
  16. Izbicki G, Chavko R, Banauch GI, Weiden M, Berger K, Kelly KJ, Aldrich TK and Prezant DJ. World Trade Center Sarcoid-like Granulomatous Pulmonary Disease in New York City Fire Department Rescue Workers. CHEST (In press)
  17. Izbicki G, Chavko R, Banauch GI, Weiden M, Berger K, Kelly KJ, Hall C, Aldrich TK and Prezant DJ.  World Trade Center Sarcoid-like Granulomatous Pulmonary Disease in New York City Fire Department Rescue Workers.  Chest, 2007;131:1414-1423
  18. Weiden M, Banauch G, Kelly KJ, and Prezant DJ. Environmental and Occupational Medicine. Firefighters Health and Health Effects of the World Trade Center Collapse. Pgs 477-490. 4th Edition, Edited by Rom WN and Markowitz S. Lippincott-Raven Inc. Philadelphia, 2007.
  19. Alvarez J, Rosen C, Davis K, Smith G, Corrigan M. Stay Connected : psychological services for retired firefighters after 11 September 2001.  PreHospital Disaster Med. 2007 ;22 :49-54.
  20. Menendez AM, Molloy J., Magaldi MC. Health responses of New York City firefighter spouses and their families post-September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2006; 27:905-17.
  21. Kelly KJ, Niles J, McLaughlin MT, Carrol S, Corrigan M, Al-Othman F, and Prezant DJ.  World Trade Center health Impacts on FDNY Rescue Workers - a six year assessment, September 2001 to 2007.  Fire Department of the City of New York, October 2007. Available on-line at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/pdf/2007/wtc_health_impacts_on_fdny_rescue_workers_sept_2007.pdf 
  22. Prezant DJ. WTC Cough Syndrome and its Treatment. Lung. 2008 ; 186 :94S-102S.
  23. Banauch GI, Izbicki G, Chavko R, Christodoulou V, Weiden MD, Webber MP, Cohen HW, Gustave J, Aldrich TK, Kelly KJ, and Prezant DJ. Trial of Prophylactic Inhaled Steroids to Prevent or Reduce Pulmonary Function Decline, Pulmonary Symptoms and Airway Hyperreactivity in Firefighters at the World Trade Center Site. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness 2008; 2:33-39.
  24. Prezant DJ, Levin S, Kelly KJ, Aldrich TK.  Upper and Lower Respiratory Diseases after Occupational and Environmental Disasters.  Mt. Sinai Medical Journal (In Press).     



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Media Coverage

The Guardian (UK) interviews Dr. David Prezant about his new Lancet study that indicates New York City firefighters who were at the World Trade Center site following the 9/11 attacks have an increased risk for cancer.

The Associated Press interviews Dr. David Prezant, senior author, and Dr. Thomas Aldrich, lead author, on their study that investigates the lung health of 9/11 rescue workers. The research, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, was led by Einstein and Montefiore Medical Center, in collaboration with the Fire Department of New York City.

More media coverage

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