Cynthia is the Mary Gray Cobey Professor of Neonatology with tenure, Chief of Neonatology and Associate Chair for Research, Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Pediatric Research.

Dr. Bearer completed a BA with honors in mathematics from Smith College; a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University; and an M.D. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She became an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University in 1994 where she was promoted to Professor of Pediatrics with tenure. In 2008 she moved to University of Maryland School of Medicine to become the Mary Gray Cobey Professor of Neonatology. In 2009 she became Chief, Division of Neonatology and in 2012 Associate Chair for Research.

She has published extensively on fetal and pediatric environmental health. Her research has received funding from NIH, CDC and U.S. EPA. She has established fatty acid ethyl esters as a biomarker for both in utero exposure to ethanol, and impact on neurocognitive outcomes. She holds a patent on this technology. Her laboratory is studying the impact of common solvents including ethanol on the development of the cerebellum using both cellular and animal models. She is currently funded by the NIH/NICHD to study the impact of bilirubin and hypoxic ischemic injury on the ability of the brain to correctly wire itself. She is a frequently invited speaker nationally and internationally.

She has published extensively in the scientific literature: 8 book chapters and 70 peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Bearer is Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Pediatric Research. She is a member of the American Pediatrics Society and the Society for Pediatric Research. She has served on the Committee to Evaluate Children’s Health of the National Academy of Science. She is past President of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Study Group. She is former Chair of the Board for the Children’s Environmental Health Network. She has served on the Scientific Advisory Board for the U.S. EPA. She is a Smith College Medalist.