Health Effects Institute Annual Conference 2023

April 30, 2023 to May 2, 2023

The HEI Annual Conference 2023 was held in Boston, MA at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel on Sunday, April 30 - Tuesday, May 2. The conference was a great opportunity to hear from air pollution experts from around the world. The conference consisted of scientific sessions, keynote speakers, poster presentations, and much more. 

Thank you to all who gathered with us. We hope you can join us next year at HEI's Annual Conference, Sunday, April 28 - Tuesday, April 30, 2024, in Philadelphia, PA!

View the Poster Abstracts for HEI's Annual Conference 2023

Access all session recordings 

Watch the HEI Energy investigator interviews



Apr. 30, 2023 - 10:00am


Apr. 30, 2023 - 11:30am

Welcome and Official Conference Opening

Apr. 30, 2023 - 1:00pm

  • Robert O'Keefe

    Health Effects Institute

Advancing Policy-Relevant Science at HEI: Dan Greenbaum’s Legacy and the Road Ahead

Apr. 30, 2023 - 1:10pm

Session chairs: Jana Milford, University of Colorado, and Jonathan Samet, Colorado School of Public Health

Daniel Greenbaum has led HEI’s efforts to provide decision makers with high quality, impartial, and credible science about the health effects of air pollution to inform air quality decisions in the US and across the globe. In this session, we pay tribute to Mr. Greenbaum, HEI President, who is going to retire in May 2023, after 30 years of effective leadership. We discuss HEI’s contributions under Mr. Greenbaum’s leadership and how they have laid the foundation for the road ahead.

1:10 PM Science in action: US EPA and HEI’s effective partnership

1:30 PM Science in action: Industry’s and HEI’s effective partnership

1:50 PM Setting US National Ambient Air Quality Standards: What’s science got to do with it?

2:05 PM Advancing clean air and air pollution research beyond the US

2:35 PM What’s next on the horizon for HEI?

2:50 PM Remarks from the Audience

Presentations by the Winners of the 2023 Jane Warren Award

Apr. 30, 2023 - 3:10pm

Chair: Ellen Mantus, Health Effects Institute

The Jane Warren Award is given to graduate students or postdocs at academic or research organizations in North America and Europe whose research is related to air pollution, exposure, and health. Selection is based on the scientific merit of their research, quality of the submitted abstract, and relevance to HEI’s mission. The award is named in remembrance of Dr. Jane Warren, who joined HEI in the 1980s and led HEI’s scientific activities as Director of Science from 1999 until her retirement in 2008.

Poster Session 1

Apr. 30, 2023 - 4:00pm

Opening Reception

Apr. 30, 2023 - 6:00pm

Conference Dinner

Apr. 30, 2023 - 7:00pm

At dinner we will celebrate Dan Greenbaum’s nearly 30 years of service as President of HEI, featuring tributes from Jon Samet, Colorado School of Public Health; Gina McCarthy, former Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Richard A. Meserve, Chair of the HEI Board of Directors.

Spotlight on HEI Activities and Future Directions

May. 1, 2023 - 8:30am

Chairs: David Savitz, Brown University and Chair of HEI Research Committee, and Melissa Perry, George Mason University College of Health and Human Services and Chair of HEI Review Committee

We present an overview of current and forthcoming activities at HEI, including results from a recent HEI-funded study investigating links between exposure to air pollution and COVID-related health outcomes; new research underway in our health effects of air pollution and energy programs; new initiatives related to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Belonging (DEIAB); and new Environmental Justice research initiatives.

8:30 AM Long-term exposure to AIR pollution and COVID-19 mortality and morbidity in DENmark (AIRCODEN): Who is most susceptible?

  • Zorana Andersen

    University of Copenhagen, Denmark

8:50 AM Response from the HEI Review Committee

  • Sara D. Adar

    University of Michigan

9:00 AM Updates on HEI’s air pollution program and environmental justice initiatives

  • Ellen K. Mantus
    , Health Effects Institute

9:15 AM Updates on HEI’s Energy program

  • Donna J. Vorhees
    , Health Effects Institute

9:20 AM Updates on HEI’s DEIAB initiatives

  • Lissa McBurney
    , Health Effects Institute

Health Effects of Traffic-Related Air Pollution in a Changing Transportation Landscape

May. 1, 2023 - 10:00am

Chairs: Christina H. Fuller, University of Georgia, and Frank Kelly, Imperial College School of Public Health, UK

The health effects of traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) continue to be of important public health interest. This session will discuss approaches to evaluate exposure to TRAP and associated health effects as technologies and fuels change toward low or zero tailpipe emissions, mobility transforms, and electrification makes greater inroads. The session will also explore the cumulative effects of TRAP, and environmental, social, and behavioral factors on disproportionately affected communities. The session is intended to address some of the challenges and future research opportunities that emerged from findings of HEI’s recently published Special Report 23, Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Selected Health Effects of Long-Term Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution.

10:00 AM Welcome and introduction

10:05 AM A changing transportation landscape

10:25 AM Environmental justice and other implications of new transportation on TRAP and health

10:45 AM TRAP and health and the complex interplay with road traffic noise and other confounders

11:05 AM Cataloging and assessing urban transportation policies to reduce emissions and air pollution

11:25 AM Panel Discussion with opening remarks from David E. Foster

11:55 AM Closing Remarks

Poster Session 2

May. 1, 2023 - 1:00pm

Measuring Cumulative Exposures to Air Pollution at the Community Level

May. 1, 2023 - 3:00pm

Chairs:  Jeffrey R. Brook, University of Toronto, Canada, and Ana M. Rule, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

People are exposed to multiple environmental exposures, from different sources, and through various media in everyday life. Over time, these environmental and social stressors aggregate and accumulate, leading to cumulative impacts on individuals and communities. Some populations, including people of color and lower-income communities, frequently experience unequal environmental burdens and impacts. This session will explore recent advancements in community-level approaches to measuring exposure to air pollution via distributed monitoring and information tools, such as web or phone applications and wearable devices. The session will discuss the opportunities and challenges of these measurement approaches for community-based studies and their implications for policy decision-making. 

3:00 PM Chair introduction: Cumulative impacts and exposure assessment

3:10 PM Community-based environmental exposure assessment and personal monitoring

3:35 PM Assessing biomarkers to understand community exposures

4:00 PM Expanding the exposure assessment landscape using new information tools

4:25 PM Panel Discussion

  • Krystal Pollitt
    , Yale University
  • Donghai Liang

    Emory University

  • Peter James
    , Harvard University
  • Lisa K Baxter

    US Environmental Protection Agency

  • David Balshaw
    , National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

4:55 PM Chair closing remarks

Free Evening

May. 1, 2023 - 5:00pm

Exploring the Link Between Air Pollution and Health in High Pollution Environments: Insights from Recent Research Studies

May. 2, 2023 - 8:30am

Chairs: Jennifer Peel, Colorado State University and Kiros T. Berhane, Columbia University

Much of the current literature on health effects of air pollution comes from studies conducted in high-income countries that now experience relatively low levels of air pollution and are often better equipped with both financial and human resources than low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, the evidence from high-pollution environments on both short- and long-term exposures and associations with morbidity and mortality outcomes is growing, providing needed findings for local pollution control. There are also discussions on strengthening research in LMICs by training researchers and providing resources to conduct high-quality research. The expanding research in LMICs has raised questions about the conduct of research, including partnerships with institutions in high-income countries and ethical concerns. The session will draw on recent studies in LMICs to illustrate the breadth of the emerging evidence and the challenges and opportunities for building a broader evidence base on air pollution and health across regions of the world. 

8:30 AM Welcome and HEI Global Health Program update

  • Pallavi Pant
    , Health Effects Institute

8:40 AM Opening remarks

8:45 AM The challenge of filling the C-R evidence gap in high pollution environments: Implications for research in low and middle income countries

  • Kalpana Balakrishnan

    Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, India

8:55 AM PURE-AIR: Assessing Air Pollution and Cardiopulmonary Disease for 157,436 Individuals from 21 High-, Middle-, and Low-Income Countries

9:10 AM Experience from recent studies on air pollution and health in China

9:25 AM Conducting air pollution and health studies in Colombia: Experience with local and global collaborations

9:40 AM Using evidence for policy action on air pollution: The experience from the GRAPHS study in Ghana

9:55 AM Building equitable and effective research partnerships with LMIC scientists in environmental health

10:10 AM Panel Discussion

Addressing Air Pollution and Climate Change with Shared Solutions

May. 2, 2023 - 12:00pm

Chairs: Gregory Wellenius, Boston University School of Public Health, and Caradee Y. Wright, South African Medical Research Council, South Africa

Climate change and air pollution are different threats to human health, but are intrinsically connected through resource-strained urbanization, policies affecting emissions sources, and the ways that people experience built and natural environments and related exposures to air pollution and heat. This session will focus on the shared solution space of past and ongoing efforts at climate change mitigation and adaptation related to air quality and health, with a particular focus on equity and justice. It will consider benefits and challenges associated with urban greening, electrification, and other urban climate interventions as part of a planning strategy for air quality, health benefits, and climate resilience.

12:00 PM Introduction: Different threats, same solutions

12:10 PM Analyzing environmental justice in EPA air quality policies

12:40 PM Urban greening for air quality, health benefits, and urban climate resilience

1:10 PM Addressing climate and air quality in India and the United States

1:40 PM Panel discussion with speakers and chairs on climate and air quality inequities and centering justice in solutions, followed by questions and answers from the audience

2:20 PM Closing remarks

Conference Adjourns

May. 2, 2023 - 2:40pm
Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel
606 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210
United States


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