OUR RESEARCH GROUP
Due to COVID-19, we are all currently working remotely, except for those working on lab projects. We have 3 post-doctoral researchers and 2 PhD students in the group, along with other PhD students I co-mentor with other faculty, and a few Masters and Undergraduate students working on thesis projects.
Students interested in joining the group should email me and the lab manager Jeff Shirai.
UW Population Health Initiative COVID-19 Equity Research – We are mapping and assessing the neighborhood-level associations between race/ethnicity, sociodemographic, environmental exposures, and COVID-19 indicators, including case positivity, testing rates, and vaccination.
UW EarthLab Vegetation and Vertical Air Pollution Profiles Study – We are using a large instrumented Matrice unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drone to collect vertical profile air pollution measurements in different urban environments in the Seattle, WA area to assess the role of vegetation on different sources of air pollution.
NIH ABC Nairobi, Kenya Study – We are assessing household and community air pollution exposures for a pregnant women/birth cohort study of neurodevelopment.
Indoor Air Quality Intervention Studies – Largely unfunded, these are timely and important studies being conducted by students and post-docs in our group to evaluate the role of HEPA air cleaners, box fan filters, and other strategies to reduce exposures and associated health effects from wildfire smoke and other episodic and very high concentration indoor air quality concerns.
NIH Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) Air Pollution Study – We are assessing exposures using a spatial temporal model informed by multi-pollutant low-cost air quality sensors developed by our group and brain aging, Alzheimer’s Disease in the longitudinal ACT cohort. A companion add-on study is also assessing traffic-relate air pollution (TRAP) using mobile monitoring.
NIH TWIN PUWP Study – We are recruiting twin pairs from the Washington State Twin Registry in the Seattle region to use Portable UW Particle (PUWP) personnel exposure monitors and provide biological samples to assess the associations between spatial and temporally resolved, GPS-tracked air pollution exposures and system inflammation.
TWIN COVID-19 Health Impacts Studies – We are analyzing data from an online survey of the members of the Washington State Twin Registry soon after the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home order, and at select times during the pandemic. The survey assesses a variety of outcomes, including mental health, socialization, sleep, etc.
Chengdu, China Modern Mobility Study – We are conducting a panel and crossover study to assess the association between traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) exposure and acute cardiorespiratory outcomes, and the effect of a mini-powered air purifying respirator (mini-PAPR) in reducing the potential health effects for a mix of different mobility/transportation modes.
NIH AIRE Imperial Valley Children’s Asthma Study – We are using a network of community-engaged low-cost PM sensor monitors to assess the associations between PM2.5 and PM10 exposure and asthma symptoms for school-aged children in the Imperial Valley, CA.
CARB AB617 San Ysidro Project – We are using a network of multi-pollutant low-cost air quality sensors to understand air pollution exposures in San Ysidro — a community next to the busiest land border crossing between US-Mexico. The project includes Community-to-Community workshops to assist groups in establishing their community air monitoring.
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RECENT COMPLETED RESEARCH
NIH PRISMS TEMU Study – We developed and tested a personal exposure monitor and Redcap symptom tracking system for children with asthma.
NIH MESA AIR Air Pollution Sensors Study – We collocated multi-pollutant low-cost sensor monitors at government air quality monitoring sites in several cities across the US, and calibrated/validated the sensors. We found that city-specific calibration results in useful sensor data for epidemiological studies.
Washington State Mobile ObserVations of Ultrafine Particles (MOV-UP) Study – We utilized vehicles instrumented with advanced air pollution monitoring instruments to measure and differentiate ultrafine particle concentrations in communities underneath the flight paths of the SeaTac Airport.
NIH Imperial Valley Research-to-Action Study – We designed, developed, and calibrated/validated a network of 40 low-cost PM sensor monitors as part of a community-engaged research partnership in the Imperial Valley, CA. Monitoring informed the greater numbers of air pollution episodes identified by community air monitoring compared to conventional government air monitoring in the valley, and real-time monitoring was used for schools’ asthma flag programs.
Washington Environmental Health Disparities Map – We partnered with Community-based organizations and state and regional environmental agencies to develop a state-wide cumulative environmental impacts mapping tool to guide environmental justice and climate equity policies.
- NIEHS, let’s be anti-racistYesterday, I joined a meeting of the NIEHS Centers with NIEHS leadership to discuss “Antiracism: Motivating Action with Accountability”. It was a brief, but useful conversation on ways in which NIEHS and its affiliated centers across the country are working towards recognition of systemetic racism, identifying the spheres of influence they have to break down or disrupt these systems, and becoming more accountable to BIPOC and BIPOC issues. There were some interesting questions explored: Can… Continue reading NIEHS, let’s be anti-racist
- Washington state passes Cap-and-Trade policy, uses the Environmental Health Disparities MapThe Washington state legislature passed SB 5126 – the Washington Climate Commitment Act – which addresses climate change and its adverse impacts on environmental and human health. The new act: Creates a cap-and-trade program to meet the greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets already established under RCW 70A.45.020, reaching by year 2050, a reduction in emissions to 5 million metric tons, or 95% below 1990 levels. Adds a 5 cent tax per gallon of fuel. Allocates revenue… Continue reading Washington state passes Cap-and-Trade policy, uses the Environmental Health Disparities Map
- New paper estimating the deaths due to the September 2020 wildfire smoke in Washington StateThis week, our group published a new paper analyzing the increase in PM2.5 concentrations in Washington State due to a major wildfire smoke event that occured in September 2020. PM2.5 concentrations increased by an average of 97.1 μg/m3. Using a concentration response function method, we estimated potentially 92 excess deaths due to the wildfire smoke. We also considered a thought-provoking hypothetical policy: what if all households living below the federal poverty level in Washington state… Continue reading New paper estimating the deaths due to the September 2020 wildfire smoke in Washington State
- Front & Centered: “Our View from the Frontlines: What are the Gaps Between Policy and Practice?” 3-part video seriesCongratulations to our friends at Front & Centered, who hosted a powerful 3-part web series “Our View from the Frontlines: What are the Gaps Between Policy and Practice?“ Panels of community and public health experts shared their experiences with the COVID pandemic, providing powerful insights on the inequties in health care access, jobs, and health outcomes that have contributed to the disproportionate impact of COVID on BIPOC communities. At the same time, speakers talked about… Continue reading Front & Centered: “Our View from the Frontlines: What are the Gaps Between Policy and Practice?” 3-part video series
- Thank you note from WA Attorney General, Bob FergusonI’m well-conditioned to freak out when I receive a letter from an attorney! But today, I received a pleasant surprise, a thank you letter from the WA Attorney General, thanking me for participating in the recent WA EJ Symposium. It was my pleasure, really. More importantly, the letter mentioned communties disproportionately impacted by structural racism, and that we have considerable work ahead of us in order to achieve environmental justice. The letter was signed “Bob”.… Continue reading Thank you note from WA Attorney General, Bob Ferguson