Institution: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
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 ozone, biodiesel, and 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. Some of my research effort attempts to identify the mechanisms that make some populations are more sensitive to the effects of air pollutants. Additionally I have a project involving the development of a cell exposure system which would rapidly assess the toxic effects of agents (pollutants, household chemicals, pharmaceuticals, etc) using measurements of gas phase metabolites released by cell cultures. This approach is particularly useful for high-through put screening approaches to chemical toxicity and for gas phase agents that cannot be conventionally screened with media covering cultured cells.