Health Effects Institute Annual Conference

April 5, to April 7, 2020
The 2020 HEI Annual Conference will be held at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel on April 5-7, 2020. 

Meeting rates ($800 for the full conference and $350 for a single day) do not include hotel. For U.S. Government rates, please contact Robert Shavers at HEI. 

Student and Postdoc rates are $300 for the full conference and $100 for a single day (includes reception, breaks, and meals except Sunday dinner). You must be full-time and currently enrolled. Bring your student ID to the conference to collect your registration package. 

HEI is inviting applications for a Travel Award for its 2020 Annual Conference.
Up to six award winners will be invited to present posters on their research at HEI’s conference. Travel awards will be awarded on a competitive basis, upon review of the application and proposed abstract (details). Applications are due by January 22, 2020.
A preliminary program is now available below, as well as registration forms and hotel information. More program details will be posted here soon. For previous HEI Annual Conference materials, see the meetings page.


Registration Opens

Apr 5 2020 - 10:00am

The Big Deal about Big Data and Accountability Research

Apr 5 2020 - 1:00pm

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

Accountability, or evaluating the effectiveness of interventions to improve air quality and public health, remains a topic of high interest. Although there have been some successes, showing effectiveness — particularly at increasingly lower air pollution levels — is challenging. This session will track recent progress, including novel statistical approaches, big data, and data observatories. Speakers will discuss the value of accountability evidence for testing causality, and explore what approaches are needed for future research.

Poster Session 1

Apr 5 2020 - 4:30pm

Opening Reception, Dinner, and Keynote Speaker (TBD)

Apr 5 2020 - 6:00pm

Brain Health and Air Pollution

Apr 6 2020 - 8:30am

Chairs: Barbara Hoffmann, University of Düsseldorf, and David Savitz, Brown University

Globally, neurological disorders represent the second leading cause of death. While increasing evidence has emerged demonstrating an association between air pollution exposure and brain health throughout the life course, important research gaps remain. This session will provide an overview of the relationship between air pollution and neurological effects in childhood and adolescence, and neurodegenerative disease in adulthood, as well as the physiological impacts on the brain that have been observed recently using neuroimaging techniques.

History and Future at HEI

Apr 6 2020 - 11:00am

Chairs: David Savitz, Brown University, and Jim Merchant, University of Iowa

This session will look back at 40 years of HEI history and ahead at the next steps in implementing the new Strategic Plan 2020–2025. We will summarize HEI’s new research on accountability, exposure assessment, global health, and energy, and other new research initiatives.

Poster Session 2

Apr 6 2020 - 1:30pm

Inequalities of Air Pollution Exposure and Associated Health Effects in the U.S.

Apr 6 2020 - 3:00pm

Chairs: Jana Milford, University of Colorado, and Michael Jerrett, University of California, Los Angeles

A growing body of research has examined inequitable distribution of air pollution exposure across racial and socioeconomic groups in the United States. Questions remain about which population groups are inequitably exposed and likely to benefit from air quality improvements. This session will provide an overview of social determinants of health and exposure in the United States, air pollution inequality research to date, and applications in epidemiological research and policy decisions.

Free Evening

Apr 6 2020 - 5:00pm

Particle Characteristics and Associated Health Effects: Then and Now

Apr 7 2020 - 8:30am

Chairs: Frank Kelly, King’s College London, and Jeffrey Brook, University of Toronto

Evidence for the health effects of particulate matter (PM) has led regulatory agencies to establish mass-based ambient air quality standards for PM. Despite significant earlier efforts, it remains unclear whether some chemical constituents or physical characteristics of the PM mixture are of greater public health concern than others. This session will discuss the state of the science related to PM characteristics, including key open questions related to whether regulations targeting specific sources or components of PM might protect public health more effectively than continuing to target PM mass as a whole.

Understanding Ultrafine Particles and Health: How Can We Make Progress?

Apr 7 2020 - 12:30pm

Chairs: Allen Robinson, Carnegie Mellon University, and David Foster, University of Wisconsin, Madison

The contribution of ultrafine particle (UFP) exposure to health effects of the air pollutant mixture is an unresolved issue in air pollution research. A number of recent reviews of the UFP literature continue to point to many of the same challenges in measurement, exposure assessment, and epidemiological studies that were identified by HEI’s review in 2013. This session will summarize those challenges, discuss progress, and identify issues going forward that need to be resolved by targeted research.

Conference Adjourns

Apr 7 2020 - 2:30pm
Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel
606 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210
United States
Program Downloads
Full Conference

Sunday Through Tuesday

Includes all meals and breaks, Sunday lunch through Tuesday lunch, except Monday dinner.

Single Day
Sunday includes lunch, breaks, reception, and dinner.
Monday includes breakfast, lunch, and breaks.
Tuesday includes breakfast, lunch, and breaks.

HEI’s special group rate at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel is $279 plus tax, for a single or double room. Please book your room by March 12, 2020; click here to book online. 

Guests can also call 1-877-901-6632 and mention the HEI Annual Conference to receive the special rate.

Contact Person