Institution: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Voice: (919) 966-6257
Research description: Exposure to ambient air particulate matter(PM) has been associated with increased human deaths and cardiopulmonary morbidity, such as lung infections and increased asthma symptoms. I am investigating some types of PM and associated gases (such as aldehydes) that may be associated with those health effects so that the US EPA may be able to better regulate or manage the sources of the PM that are identified as playing a role in the adverse health outcomes. I am currently focusing on the effects of diesel exhaust using a variety of approaches ranging from exposing cultured human cells to the exhaust, to studying responses of humans exposed out in traffic. The EPA rules for diesel exhaust from large trucks implemented in 2007 and 2010 will drastically change the type of emissions, and I am currently designing and implementing testing strategies to assess the toxicity of the future types of diesel emissions. Additionally some of my research effort attempts to identify what populations are more sensitive to the effects of air pollutants, and the genetic and environmental reasons behind the increased sensitivity.