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Aaron J. Cohen

Consulting Principal Scientist

Aaron Cohen has worked at HEI from 1990 until his retirement in spring of 2016, and continues to contribute as a Consulting Principal Scientist for the Global Burden of Disease project. During his tenure he worked on the development, management, and evaluation of HEI’s population-based research, including coordinated multicity epidemiological studies in the United States and internationally, as well as studies that evaluate the health impacts of actions taken to improve air quality (Accountability). He led the production of HEI’s second review of the literature on the health effects of air pollution in the developing countries of Asia, and helped to coordinate HEI’s Accountability research program. In the past, he was involved in the organization and management of epidemiological research projects such as the Reanalysis of the American Cancer Society and Six-Cities studies, the NMMAPS, APHENA, PAPA, and ESCALA multi-city time-series studies; program planning and evaluation, including the Environmental Epidemiology Planning Project and HEI’s Communication 11, Assessing Health Impact of Air Quality Regulations: Concepts and Methods; and HEI reviews of the scientific literature, such as Special Report 15, HEI’s first review of the health effects of air pollution in the developing countries of Asia, and a review of the carcinogenicity of diesel exhaust.

Since 1999 Cohen has served as a Temporary Advisor to the World Health Organization on issues related to health impact assessment of air pollution, most recently as a member of the Steering Committee for the development of WHO’s World Air Quality Guidelines, and as co-chair of the Working Group on Urban Outdoor Air Pollution, which produced estimates of the global burden of disease due to outdoor air pollution for the WHO’s World Health Report 2002. He currently cochairs the expert group that will update those estimates over the next two years. He received his D.Sc. in Epidemiology, and M.P.H. from the Boston University School of Public Health, where he has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environmental Health since 1994. He is also a Registered Respiratory Therapist (A.S. and B.S., Northeastern University), and worked for 15 years in newborn intensive care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and subsequently as Research Associate in Perinatal Epidemiology, conducting epidemiological and clinical research on neonatal respiratory disease, and the evaluation of related medical technologies.