Population Health Resource Directory
The goal of this directory is to present the breadth of expertise and resources across disciplines and campuses currently working on population health challenges. We hope this directory will create new opportunities for partnership and collaboration as we move towards fulfilling the 25-year vision of this groundbreaking Population Health Initiative.
Search or filter by institution, category, keyword, or location to begin. As a means of growing this directory, we encourage you to add yourself or your center via the "Submit a Listing" icon if you are not currently listed.
My students and I conduct research on the integration of renewable energy sources into the grid. The connection to global health is through the benefits that electrification brings to unserved populations.
I study the response of the built environment, primarily buildings, bridges and marine structures, to natural hazards with an emphasis on earthquakes. My research includes methods for new design, seismic retrofit, post-earthquake repair, and seismic risk assessment of vulnerable and earthquake-damaged buildings.
I direct the THINK (Transportation-Human Interaction-and- Network Knowledge) Lab (http://depts.washington.edu/thinklab). The THINK lab studies the sustainability and resilience of a city through the lens of human beings interacting with the physical environment. We generate new knowledge and insights for use in city planning, infrastructure development and policy design. More specifically, THINK lab’s research activities center on unpacking the complexities across scales, from micro-level individual mobility behaviors, to meso-level social tie networks formed as the result of space and time-based individual behaviors, and macro-level system behaviors that propagate through multiple networks.
I am currently a MPI on a NIIH funded R01 project (3-population 3-scale social network model to assess disease dispersion). In the project, we develop individual mobility trajectories from a mass amount of data, on which social networks are established and flu spreading patterns are simulated.
I am an Assistant Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Washington. A scholar of engineering projects and organizations, I conduct research on infrastructure for developing communities with a particular interest in topics of social sustainability.
While I am particularly interested in the global south, I am also interested in any context that is experiencing significant change in basic civil infrastructure (or, is developing). The practical goal of my research is to make basic civil infrastructure better serve all the world’s people by enabling increased human capabilities.
Ana M. Gómez-Bravo is a Professor of Spanish in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies at the University of Washington. Her current work focuses on issues related to food and culture in the Hispanic World, including the impact of culture on nutrition, and traditional medicine and health practices.
Professor Gómez-Bravo is the author of Food and Culture in the Hispanic World (Comida y cultura en el mundo hispánico) (Equinox 2017) as well as other books and many articles focusing on various topics on pre-modern literature and culture as well as the role of food and medicine in the development of the idea of ethnic and racial difference.
My research is in the social and economic determinants of health and health care utilization, with a focus on the Mexican health care system.
I am also interested in the impact of health care access on economic outcomes and migration decisions.
Prof Cox is one of the lead investigators in an International Consortium put together with the aim of identifying the genetic basis of cleft lip/palate. Patients, and particularly families with multiple affected individuals, have been collected from the US, Australia, Netherlands, Colombia and the Philippines.
The project, currently supported by federal funding from Australia, has been conducting exome and whole-genome sequencing. New candidate genes are being assessed in Prof Cox’s laboratory through functional studies involving a combination of in vitro assays and mouse models.
Additional research in the Cox lab is focused on the molecular and developmental mechanisms causing facial clefts, the role of diet in mitigating the severity of presentation, and the role of ‘cleft’ genes in other dental phenotypes commonly seen in patients. We are interested in partnering with other clinicians and basic researchers with interests in clinical outcomes in the management of individuals with clefts or other craniofacial malformations, genetic testing, or basic epithelial biology.
Our core works on social, behavioral and public health related research supporting HIV prevention and care.
The specific aims of the Sociobehavioral and Prevention Research Core are to support:
HIV Prevention Research, including technical assistance to CFAR investigators, organizing forums for interdisciplinary research community development, expanding our substantive expertise to include addictions, substance use, and mental health research.
Local Community Outreach, including working with CFAR’s Community Action Board to pursue community-based research priorities and translational opportunities, taking advantage of our institutional ties to Seattle & King County Public Health to stimulate collaborative research projects and evidence-based policy development.
International Community Outreach, including working with the International Core to identify collaborative research and translational opportunities with the new University of Nairobi Center for HIV Prevention and Research (UNCHIVPR) on translational research for HIV prevention. Integrating social, behavioral, and clinical science is increasingly necessary for progress in controlling HIV, and the Sociobehavioral and Prevention Research Core works to assure this synergy by providing support to behavioral, clinical, and social scientists in their research.
A major concern of demography is estimating and projecting population, mortality, migration and fertility by age, sex, race, ethnicity and other factors. It is widely used in government and international policy, and research in the health and social sciences. In particular, it is a key input to research and decision-making in global health,
climate change and educational policy.
For the past 10 years, my group has: been working with the United Nations to develop new statistical methods for probabilistic population projections. Traditionally, the UN, like almost all other agencies, produced deterministic population projections, which were supplemented with projections based on different scenarios of demographic changes. This approach has been criticized as lacking validity, and the UN was keen to move beyond it.
For the first time in July 2015, the UN issued official probabilistic population projections for all countries to 2100, using our methods. These projections quantify uncertainty associated with demographic projections, using Bayesian hierarchical models for fertility and mortality. In the probabilistic projection method, uncertainty in future demographic outcomes is assessed by constructing a large sample of future trajectories for these outcomes, for example, total population size. For each year in the future, point projections are given by the median outcome of the sample of trajectories while percentiles of the sample are used to construct prediction intervals.
Some substantive results were summarized by Gerland, Raftery [co-first authors] et al (2014), which was ranked in the top 0.1% of all articles ever published in Science magazine by impact. This article has overturned our understanding of the world’s likely future demographic path. Conventional wisdom had been that world population would peak around the middle of this century and stabilize at around 9 billion, but the new projections indicate that world population stabilization is unlikely this century, and that world population may well exceed 11 billion by 2100.
These new methods and findings have raised many new research questions, both methodological and substantive, which we are now working on.
My work develops statistical models targeting questions in sociology, demography, economics, and health. I’m currently working on in developing statistical models that parsimoniously represent high-dimensional, complex dependence structure in social networks; estimating vital rates from sparsely sampled data; and incorporating uncertainty and interpretability in predictive models. A theme among these projects has been the need to carefully consider design and data collection, both in situations where new data are being collected and when combining existing datasets.
My main interest is in statistical analysis of infectious disease dynamics. I develop statistical methodology that uses genetic data from infectious disease agents as well as epidemiological surveillance data to increase our understanding of how infectious diseases spread in a population. I have worked on within and between host evolution of HIV, seasonal dynamics of human influenza, adaptive evolution of pathogenic E. coli, and predictive modeling of cholera outbreaks in Bangladesh.
My other interests include adaptive immune system, multi-state disease modeling with applications to cancer progression and/or recurrence, and compartmental models of hematopoiesis.
I am an interdisciplinary feminist scholar with specializations in science studies, literature, and new media. Part of my work concerns access to knowledge about the material world in the context of social equity, as portrayed in literary and visual media. I use developments in both evolutionary research and feminist theory to analyze representations of the scientific apparatus and its effects on the natural world, through the lenses of gender, race, class, sexuality, and ability.
I am a Professor in the Toxicology Program and an Adjunct Professor in the department of Pharmacology. I am also a Faculty member of the two interdisciplinary graduate programs at U. of Washington- the Neurobiology and Behavior (N&B) Graduate Program and the Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) Graduate Program.
Our current research interests are to: 1) elucidate mechanisms that regulate neurogenesis (the generation of functional neurons) both during brain development and in adult brain, and the physiological function of adult neurogenesis in olfaction and cognition; 2) investigate whether and how exposure to environmental neurotoxicants, such as heavy metals lead and cadmium, may perturb adult neurogenesis and impair olfaction and cognition; 3) test the hypothesis that environmental factors and gene-environment interactions (GXE) may increase Alzheimer’s disease risk and accelerate cognitive decline; 4) investigate potential sex differences on disease susceptibility upon exposure to environmental neurotoxicants; 5) identify window of susceptibility of exposure to lead and cadmium on impairment in olfaction and cognition; 6) identify mechanisms and strategies to mitigate the adverse effect of lead and cadmium neurotoxicity on cognitive impairment. Our lab is a medium sized lab that consists of post-doctoral fellows and students who are bright, motivated, collegial, and friendly.
Sverre Vedal is Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington (UW) School of Public Health. He is a pulmonary physician and an epidemiologist with research interests in the adverse health effects of community air pollution and in occupational lung disease. He received his MD from the University of Colorado and MSc in epidemiology from Harvard University.
Dr. Vedal directs the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Center for Clean Air Research at the University of Washington that employs the disciplines of exposure science, toxicology, epidemiology and biostatistics to investigate the cardiovascular health effects of exposure to multi-pollutant atmospheres. He has published widely on air pollution exposure and health effects and served on advisory committees of the US EPA and the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Vedal teaches courses in the UW School of Public Health, sees patients in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and supervises clinical trainees and graduate student research. He currently holds the AXA Research Fund Chair in Air Pollution and Health at the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences in Beijing, China and spends 3 to 4 months each year working with Chinese collaborators on air pollution exposure and health studies in China.
Dr. Sheppard is Professor and Assistant Chair of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and Professor of Biostatistics. She has a Ph.D. in biostatistics. Her interests center on observational study methods, epidemiology, and the health effects of occupational and environmental exposures.
She is principal investigator of a NIH-funded training grant called Biostatistics, Epidemiologic & Bioinformatic Training in Environmental Health. She leads the biostatistical cores for several projects and collaborates with DEOHS faculty on air pollution cohort studies, identifying the effects of multipollutant exposures, and studying manganese exposures.
She is a member of the Epidemiology editorial board, the Health Effects Institute Review Committee, the EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, and has served on the EPA Scientific Advisory Board Chemical Assessment Advisory Committees for Ethylene Oxide Review and for Toxicological Review of Libby Amphibole Asbestos.
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.
Dr. Kaufman is a physician-epidemiologist, board-certified in internal medicine and occupational medicine. He has been a full-time faculty member at the UW since 1997, currently holding appointments in the Departments of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, and Medicine (General Internal Medicine), and Epidemiology.
His current research activities are primarily focused on environmental factors in cardiovascular and respiratory disease. He is the principal investigator of a major epidemiological prospective cohort study of air pollution and cardiovascular disease (The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution, or “MESA Air”). He is also principal investigator of an NIH-funded Specialized Center for Research at the University of Washington on Cardiovascular Disease and Traffic-Related Air Pollution. He directs the UW Northlake Controlled Exposure Facility, a facility customized for experimental inhalation toxicology studies on health effects of combustion products including diesel exhaust.
Dr. Kaufman’s research integrates the disciplines of epidemiology, exposure sciences, toxicology, and clinical medicine.
David Kalman is a professor in the Environmental Health program. He is a chemist by training, earning his doctorate from the University of Washington in 1978. He joined the faculty in that year and has held numerous positions including director of the Environmental Health Laboratory and director of one graduate degree program and (currently) director of undergraduate degree education. His research focuses on chemical issues, such as hazardous properties of materials, environmental fate and transport, environmental quality assessment, hazard management, and occupational and community exposure assessment, especially using biomarkers of exposure.
He has participated in several national peer reviews of biomarker related issues, most recently regarding dioxins and Vietnam War veterans. Active research areas include assessment of exposures and effects of arsenic in drinking water, diet, and soil.
Dr. Hess is Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. He has an MD and an MPH in global environmental health and is residency trained and board certified in emergency medicine. He is the principal investigator of an NIH-funded grant supporting work in India on the epidemiology of extreme heat and strategies for developing, implementing, and evaluating heat early warning systems.
He is a member of the Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE) at UW. Dr. Hess is also a consultant for the Climate and Health Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he works as a medical advisor on the health effects of climate change and evidence-based interventions to enhance preparedness and promote climate change adaptation at the state and federal levels. He is a section editor at the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine and a recipient of the Presidential GreenGov award.
Dr. Fenske’s work has focused on the evaluation of environmental health risks in special populations, such as children, farm workers, and farm producers. Specialty areas include health risks of pesticide exposures, development of new exposure assessment methods, and investigation of the role of skin exposure for workers and children. His teaching activities include exposure assessment, environmental risk, and public health policy related to pesticides.
Dr. Fenske directs the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, a regional center devoted to the prevention of injury and illness among operators, workers, and their families in Northwest farming, forestry and fishing. He received the 2006 NIOSH Director’s Award for Excellence in Research and the 2007 Jerome Wesolowski Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Exposure Science from the International Society of Exposure Science.
He currently serves as a member of National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine. In 2008-2009 Dr. Fenske was Chair of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee to Review the Health Effects of Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Seventh Biennial Update), and served from 2006-2009 as a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Human Studies Review Board. He also authored the Chemical Hazards section of the International Labor Organization’s Protocol on Agricultural Health and Safety in 2009. He recently served as Co-Chair, Technical Advisory Group on Climate Change, Human Health and Security, Washington State (2010-12).
A. Neurodevelopmental Toxicity of Metals and Pesticides
The long-range objective of Dr. Faustman’s research is two-fold: to identify biochemical mechanisms of developmental toxicity and to develop new methods for the evaluation of health risks posed by environmental agents. Major research efforts in the laboratory are currently directed towards metals, primarily methylmercury, arsenic, cadmium, pesticides, such as organophosphates, benomyl and N-Nitroso compounds, and other known carcinogens, mutagens and teratogens. In vitro experiments are performed using primary rat embryo cell cultures for CNS and limb tissues, and embryonal carcinoma cells to investigate mechanisms of developmental toxicity of these agents. Embryonal fibroblasts are also isolated from transgenic animals and used to evaluate the role of specific gene pathways in toxicant induced developmental effects. Dr. Faustman’s efforts in risk assessment include an effort to combine results derived from laboratory experiments to develop mechanistically-based toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic models of developmental toxicity. Additionally, Dr. Faustman is involved in the development of new methods applicable to both cancer and non-cancer risk assessment. Currently, techniques are being developed to enhance our understanding of the cellular and molecular factors involved in normal and toxicant-perturbed neurodevelopment. Methodologies include microarray genomic and proteomic analyses for assessment of molecular impact of neurotoxicants of changes at the level of protein expression and function. Please contact the researcher listed with the individual project for more information on research opportunities.
B. Pesticide Exposure and Toxicity in Children
The Center for Child Environmental Health Risks Research is another major IRARC research effort. The Center is jointly funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Center researchers are working to understand the biochemical, molecular, and exposure mechanisms that define children’s susceptibility to pesticides. In addition, researchers are working to assess pesticide risks to normal development and learning.
C. Improving Risk Management and Regulation
This is a focus of research for the Center for the Study and Improvement of Regulation. A joint project between Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Washington; the mission of the Center is to examine and to improve existing environmental, health and safety regulations at the federal, state and local levels by providing frameworks for incorporation of new technologies and application of new science. An important emphasis of these projects is an assessment of risk management options and approaches.
Dr. Nicole Errett is a Lecturer in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. She holds a PhD in Health and Public Policy, an MSPH in Health Policy, and a BA in Public Health Studies from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Her research interests and expertise are in the use of public policy to enhance health outcomes during and after disaster.
Dr. Errett brings nearly a decade of practical experience in public health and healthcare emergency preparedness and management. She served as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Policy and Legislative Director at the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, and the Evaluation and Assessment Manager at the Northwest Healthcare Response Network.
Dr. Errett is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning, where she is working as a member of an interdisciplinary team to understand the impact of maritime transportation disruption on post-disaster healthcare delivery in maritime transportation dependent communities.
The general area of research in Dr. Costa’s laboratory is neurotoxicology. Neurotoxic substances may play a role in a number of neurodevelopmental disorders, and in neurological neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr. Costa’s laboratory is interested in the study of the cellular, biochemical and molecular mechanisms involved in neurotoxicity, utilizing in vivo and in vitro cell culture systems, as well as biochemical, molecular and imaging techniques and transgenic animal models.
Tania Busch Isaksen is a lecturer in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Health Services. In addition to her lecturer responsibilities, she maintains an active, practice-based research portfolio focused on measuring public health outcomes associated with extreme heat; climate change risk communication methods; and climate change-related public health adaptation planning and response.
Tania has over 24 years of environmental public health experience working in local public, private and academic settings. She earned her PhD from the UW in Environmental and Occupational Hygiene, her MPH from the University of Washington’s eMPH Program, her BS in Environmental Health from Colorado State University, and is a long-time Registered Environmental Health Specialist.
Dr. Thomas Burbacher is Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington (UW) where he teaches classes in basic Environmental and Occupational Health. He is the Head of the Division of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences and Director of the Infant Primate Research Laboratory at the UW National Primate Research Center. He is also the Head of the Developmental Toxicology Research Emphasis Area at the Center on Human Development and Disability (CHDD) and serves as the Director of the Research Translation and Community Engagement Cores for the UW Superfund Research Program.
Dr. Burbacher holds a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Washington. His postdoctoral work included research in Developmental Toxicology in the Environmental Pathology Training Program at the UW. Dr. Burbacher’s research investigates changes in brain development and function caused by prenatal exposure to neuroactive substances. His research reaches across species, including studies with human populations and a variety of animal models, to enhance a fundamental understanding of toxicants and their role in biological and behavioral development. Data from Dr. Burbacher’s research program are used to help formulate policies aimed at the protection of human populations from levels of exposure to environmental contaminants such as methylmercury and methanol that are associated with adverse health effects and developmental disabilities.