Population Health Resource Directory

Terrance Kavanagh


Glutathione (GSH) is an important endogenous antioxidant that has roles in free radical scavenging, protecting against reactive oxygen/nitrogen species and in the metabolism/excretion of xenobiotics. Our laboratory has established in vitro and in vivo transgenic mouse models of altered glutathione (GSH) synthesis. We are using these mice to investigate the effects of altered GSH synthesis on susceptibility to various exposures including air pollutants, engineered nanomaterials, and various drugs and environmental chemicals. We are also interested in the role of GSH synthesis in individual susceptibility of humans to free radical and toxicant-mediated injury. We are conducting studies to determine the effects of genetically altered GSH synthesis on cellular susceptibility to toxicant-induced DNA, protein and lipid damage, cell signaling and apoptosis. We are also interested in the factors that regulate the expression of GSH related genes in humans, rodents and other species.

Multiple sources of air pollutants such as industrial processes, automobile traffic, forest fires or indoor cooking fires continue to plague human society, resulting in adverse effects on the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system, the central nervous system, and on growth and development. Working with Drs. Joel Kaufman and Michael Rosenfeld, we are investigating the adverse effects of diesel exhaust and particulate matter on lung function, vascular reactivity and the development and stability of atherosclerotic lesions in mice. This project is employing a model of enhanced sensitivity to oxidative stress (Gclm null mice), genetically diverse mice (the Collaborative Cross mouse strains), as well as mouse and human vascular endothelial cells and macrophages to examine the biochemical and cellular mechanisms underlying the adverse cardiovascular outcomes associated with exposure to air pollution.

Nanotechnology holds promise for advancement in many disciplines, including electronics, optronics, energy, transportation, biomedicine and other sectors. Because of their small size and inherent high surface area/reactivity, or because the materials used to synthesize nanoparticles can be toxic, we have been interested in helping to define which physical and chemical characteristics of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) predispose to toxicity and adverse health outcomes. Together with Drs. David Eaton, Elaine Faustman, Michael Yost (DEOHS), William Parks (Pulmonary Medicine and UW Center for Lung Biology), Xiaohu Gao (Bioengineering) and François Baneyx (Chemical Engineering and UW Center for Nanotechnology), we are participants in the NIEHS Centers for Nanotechnology Health Implications Research (NCNHIR) Consortium. This program is using in vitro toxicology, in vivo toxicology (including systems toxicology/mouse genetics), and risk assessment approaches to investigate the adverse effects of ENMs with the goals of elucidating the mechanisms by which they cause toxicity and inflammation, and using this mechanistic information to facilitate the design of safer ENMs.

In addition to the above projects, Dr. Kavanagh is Deputy Director of the Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health (CEEH), and oversees its Pilot Projects Program, and the CEEH Technology Access Unit. He also directs the CEEH Analytical Cytology Core. This facility houses two fluorescence activated cell sorters, a spectral imaging microscope, and a Nipkow-disk confocal microscope, which are useful for multi-parameter quantitative fluorescence measurements on cells and tissues.

Home Campus, School, or College
School of Public Health
Population Health Focus Keywords
Built Environment Impacts, Environmental Health, Technology and Health, Non-Infectious Disease
Field of Study
Public Health, Technology
Key Populations
In what countries of the world does your research take place?


Home Campus, School, or College

Parasitic diseases remain a major cause of death and disability in the developing world. Most of these “neglected tropical diseases” (NTDs) are worms with complex life cycles that connect them – and their human hosts – intimately with the environment.

I work on schistosomiasis, a water-borne NTD that affects more than 200 million people worldwide. My research focuses on the spatial scale of schistosomiasis transmission and aims to inform practical, ecologically based approaches to disease control.

This work is conducted in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team – The Upstream Alliance – and together we unravel the complex associations between the parasites, their human, livestock, and snail hosts, and environmental and socio-economic context.


I am a core faculty member of the Nutritional Sciences Program and faculty in the Departments of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and Pathology.

I teach three courses on nutrient metabolism and one course on food safety.

My research focuses on cardiovascular disease with emphases on the links between air pollution, respiratory infection, chronic kidney disease and the development of atherosclerosis.


I am interested in chemical carcinogenesis, including the myctotoxin, aflatoxin B1, which, when combined with hepatitis B virus infection, is a major contributor to the extraordinarily high incidence of primary hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer; HCC) in many parts of the world.

HCC is a major cause of cancer-related mortality in many parts of China, Southeast Asia, and central Africa.

I’m interested in how dietary factors can alter the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for AFB-induced HCC.


Our work seeks to address two world trends that are powerfully reshaping human existence:

  1. The degradation if not destruction of large parts of the natural world, and
  2. Unprecedented technological development, both in terms of its computational sophistication and pervasiveness.

Some of our research questions:

  • Are frequent interactions with diverse nature important, or even necessary, for children to develop well — physically and psychologically?
  • Do we need interaction not just with domestic nature but more wild nature – that which is often big, untamed, unmanaged, self-organizing, and unencumbered by human artifice?
  • What are the psychological effects of interacting with “Technological Nature” – technologies that mediate, augment, or simulate nature (e.g., robot pets, real-time digital windows of nature, and tele-operated gardening)?
  • How can personified computational systems (e.g., humanoid robots, androids, and “smart homes”) be designed to enhance children’s social and moral development?
  • How can technological systems be designed to enhance the world and human flourishing?

Cheryl is a social psychologist whose research examines prejudice and discrimination, particularly from the perspective of members of socially marginalized groups. Some domains of interest in her lab include diversity, immigration, social inequality, and employment discrimination law.

A recent population health-related experiment in her lab explores how exposure to news media depicting police brutality targeting African Americans affects psychological and cardiovascular stress responses among African Americans and White Americans. By experimentally exploring individual level stress responses, this project identifies the mechanisms that connect discrimination in society with impaired health.

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I graduated with a BSc (Hons) from the former University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, and with a PhD in Mathematical Statistics from the Georg-August University in Goettingen, Germany. From 1985-1995 I was based in South Africa, engaging as a biostatistician in both health research and development of biostatistics educational programs, including the biostatistics curriculum for the MPH at University of Cape Town. Since 1996, I have been on the faculty of the Department of Biostatistics in the UW School of Public Health.

I have continued to collaborate with colleagues in South Africa and to teach there. I am an Honorary Professor in the School of Nursing and Public Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa. I am a passionate educator, and I have been involved in well-received initiatives to promote biostatistics development in South Africa, most recently in-person and online courses in Biostatistics and Biostatistical Reasoning for health researchers at UKZN and collaboration with UW’s I-TECH to develop a curriculum for distance-based education for South African health care.

I have a substantial body of work, both in the USA and South Africa, aimed at identifying problem pregnancies and establishing risk factors for these pregnancies. I also have extensive South African collaborations in the field of environmental and occupational epidemiology, in studies of neurological and respiratory function in particular. My current research in South Africa is primarily focused on the impact of firearm availability on homicide rates.


The Canadian Studies Center and Arctic and International Relations initiative in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies focuses on the growing effectiveness of Arctic Indigenous internationalism and its impact on local and global governance, and on social and economic equity including educational capacity.


I am interested in the issues of hunger, food security and food sovereignty as they shape social development and change.


Monica Oxford, Ph.D. is a Research Professor in the Department of Family and Child Nursing and the Executive Director of NCAST Programs and interim director of the Barnard Center of Infant Mental Health and Development.

Dr. Oxford’s research focuses on early parenting and child developmental outcomes for vulnerable families living in challenging environments.

Dr. Oxford’s interest is in how context, parenting, and child characteristics combine to inform particular patterns of child outcomes and how intervention services promote both parent and child wellbeing.


PACES in Epilepsy is a consumer-driven, evidenced based self-management intervention for adults with chronic epilepsy. The prograim aims to educate participants about epilepsy and its co-morbidities in order to promote improved problem-solving, and to apply cognitive-behavior therapy principles to managing stress and sadness.

We have researched and validated the program for both face-to-face and telehealth applications, and are in the process of adapting the program for people in rural/remote areas and Veterans. We are actively seeking partnership for knowledge translation/program implementation and sustention, as well as expansion of our work to other populations (e.g., people with MS).


In my work on the philosophy of human rights, I explain the rationale for health rights to be universal human rights.

In Human Rights and Human Well-Being (Oxford; 2010), I show how to define an Expanded Original Position that can adequately address rights to health care for those with special health care needs, a topic that John Rawls was not able to address with his version of the Original Position.

In my course in the philosophy of human rights (PHIL 338), we discuss the capabilities approach of Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen of which rights to health are an important part. In my course on issues of global justice (PHIL 207), we discuss environmental justice and climate change.


Sara Goering is Associate Professor of Philosophy, member of the Program on Values, faculty in the Disability Studies Program, and adjunct in Bioethics & Humanities. Her work is primarily at the intersection of medical ethics, disability studies, and neural technology.

She is interested in how we frame disability in relation to quality of life and public health, and emphasizes the moral importance of including marginalized populations (including disabled people) in health care and public health decision making.

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Health promotion research, including multi-level interventions in underserved communities, and cancer prevention and survivorship with a focus on health disparities


Technology_based interventions to support aging; design, implementation and evaluation of informatics tools to support older adults and their families in home and hospice care.

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My program of research is focused on promoting parent-child shared management of chronic conditions, with a special focus on sleep and asthma.

In particular, I am interested in improving health trajectories through innovative sleep or medication adherence interventions aimed at improving daytime function (executive function, symptoms) as well as patient- and family-reported outcomes.

Currently, I am testing a web-based, tailored, dyadic intervention promoting sleep shared management in school-age children with asthma and their parents.


Decreasing opiod use, increasing chronic pain management and palliative care


Program of research is focused on both preventing injury as well as improving outcomes from injury in older adults.


The HEALTH-E initiative is an interdisciplinary research group at the University of Washington, Seattle examining technology and aging. We are interested in designing technology tools to promote independent aging.


My research addresses women’s experiences with reproductive technology and assisted reproductive practices as well as the bioethics of transnational reproductive practices. The focus is on the partially out of various aspects of the maternal role and how that impacts the meaning of the role of mother and women’s identities as mother with special attention to the impacts of race, class and national identity.


To apply analytical tools from Applied Math and Operations Research/Management Science to (i) design effective risk-transfer mechanisms, such as insurance for geophysical events; (ii) build stochastic models to evaluate projects, such as infrastructure investment, in face of uncertainty, and (iii) help organizations and individuals optimize their investment, consumption, savings, and insurance decisions.

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My program of research is primarily focused on improving health outcomes through team-based healthcare practice transformation. I am interested in improving the Quadruple Aim outcomes of 1) patient experience, 2) population health, 3) reducing costs, 4) care team well-being.

Most of my work focuses on the interprofessional health professions learning continuum from education into practice settings using a variety of mixed methods–ranging from surveys, to observations, to analysis of patient outcomes from medical records. I am also very interested in the role of the built environment in health, particularly in walkable communities and parks/open spaces as social determinants of health.


My program of research is focused on improving sleep health and health outcomes (quality of life, patient reported outcomes) in children with and without chronic conditions and their families. Our team is interested in the effect of poor sleep health on the trajectories of health outcomes in children and their families. We also investigate the utility of noninvasive urine biomarkers that might predispose children with chronic conditions to develop sleep disorders (obstructive sleep apnea) which could provide unique and essential information for clinical practice and enable early detection of sleep disorders.


The Dog Aging Project (DAP, http://www.dogagingproject.com) is devoted to understanding the genetic and environmental determinants of healthy aging in companion dogs. To do this, we are creating a longitudinal study of 10,000 companion (pet) dogs throughout the country.

We will gather information about each dog’s genetics, molecular biology, home environment (including social setting, air and water quality, behavior, etc.), and electronic veterinary records. We will also explore the potential of interventions to improve healthspan in companion dogs.

Our large-scale study will teach us much about the genetic and environmental determinants of healthy aging in a diverse population, and has direct translational relevance for human populations.


As a scholar, I work to connect the practices of literary reading and writing to community life. I was the Founding Director of Richard Hugo House, a literary center here in Seattle and I am now on the English Department faculty here at UW. I am interested in being part of initiatives that showcase or utilize the study of poetry and prose, along with the practices of creative writing, to develop individual health and healthy communities.

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Our research projects focus on dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatment (EBT) for mental health problems domestically and internationally. We are interested in implementation questions around how to simplify interventions, how to train and supervise providers, and how to leverage existing resources (like supervisors, community health workers) to provide and supervise EBT. Our global mental health work is focused on implementation of EBT in low and middle-income countries, using a task-shifting/sharing model in which lay counselors deliver EBT, under close supervision of local supervisors and external (e.g., US-based) expert trainers. We have a number of NIH-funded studies with implementation science questions focused on increasing EBT fidelity, scaling up EBT, and testing EBT under different conditions (e.g., types of supervision). In collaboration with colleagues at Johns Hopkins, we developed and tested a common elements intervention in 4 LMICs.

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