Health Effects Institute 2016 Annual Conference

May 1, to May 3, 2016

The 2016 HEI Annual Conference was held in Denver, Colorado from May 1-3, 2016.

The Scientific Program and speaker presentations can be found below. 


Preconference Workshop: Demystifying Causal Inference in Air Pollution Epidemiology

May 1 2016 - 9:00am

Corwin Zigler and Francesca Dominici, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Causal modeling techniques have been proposed as alternatives to conventional epidemiological methods for making inferences about the relationships between air pollution exposures and public health outcomes. This workshop aims to provide attendees with a basic introduction to causal modeling methods and, drawing on details from recent HEI-funded research, with useful insights into the conceptual benefits and practical challenges in their application and interpretation. The pre-conference workshop is open to all conference attendees.

9:00 AM

Workshop Materials

Corwin M. Zigler

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Francesca Dominici

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

The Heat Is On: Climate, Air Quality, and Health

May 1 2016 - 1:00pm

Chairs: Warren Washington, National Center for Atmospheric Research and HEI Board of Directors, and Jana Milford, University of Colorado–Boulder and HEI Review Committee

Air pollution and climate are intricately linked. Changes in global climate may alter temperature, precipitation, wildfire, and dust storm patterns, all of which may affect air pollution and public health. Correspondingly, air pollutant levels may affect climate. Regulations aimed at reducing specific air pollutants could either work in concert with or counteract efforts to reduce potential climate-forcing agents. This session will explore recent developments in climate research, including health effects from heat, droughts, and forest fires, and how air pollution and climate interact.

1:00 PM


Warren Washington

National Center for Atmospheric Research

1:15 PM

Modeling Climate and Air Quality

Christine Wiedinmyer
, National Center for Atmospheric Research

1:45 PM

U.S. Global Change Research Program on Climate Change and Human Health

Allison Crimmins
, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

2:15 PM

Health Effects of Temperature and Its Interaction with Air Pollution: Methodological Issues and Preliminary Results from a Multicountry Study

2:45 PM

Implications of Climate Change for Pollen and Allergic Diseases

3:15 PM


Jana B. Milford
, University of Colorado–Boulder

3:30 PM

General Discussion

Poster Session I

May 1 2016 - 4:00pm

Opening Reception and Dinner

May 1 2016 - 6:00pm
Speaker: Christopher Murray, Director, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington–Seattle

8:00 PM

Keynote Speaker

HEI Update

May 2 2016 - 8:30am

Chairs: David Eaton, University of Washington–Seattle and Chair of the HEI Research Committee, and James Merchant, University of Iowa and Chair of the HEI Review Committee

HEI will present progress of its research programs and publications. Highlights will include updates of HEI’s recent work on diesel exhaust and plans for new research on 21st century oil and gas development. We will also introduce the recipient of the 2015 Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award.

8:30 AM

Introduction of the Committees

8:45 AM

Presentation of the 2015 Walter A. Rosenblith Award

David L. Eaton

8:50 AM

Upcoming Scientific Activities at HEI

Rashid Shaikh
, Health Effects Institute

9:00 AM

HEI’s 21st Century Oil and Natural Gas Development Project

9:20 AM

Progress on Diesel — and Looking Ahead

Daniel S. Greenbaum
, Health Effects Institute

9:40 AM


How Low Should We Go? New Research on Low-level Air Pollution

May 2 2016 - 10:30am

Chairs: Amy Herring, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill and HEI Research Committee, and Roger Peng, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and HEi Review Committee

Although levels are declining in high-income regions, epidemiological studies continue to report associations of air pollution with adverse health effects in the general population even at levels below current air quality standards, providing a continuing impetus for lower standards. This session will review those epidemiological studies, highlight HEI’s new efforts on this topic, and discuss critical study design considerations and challenges that the studies will need to confront.

10:30 AM

Overview of RFA 14-3: assessing health effects of low levels of air pollution

10:40 AM

New HEI studies assessing health effects of low levels of air pollution

10:50 AM

What do policy makers and risk assessors need to know about adverse air pollution effects at low levels?

11:05 AM

The current knowledge on adverse effects of low-level air pollution

Antonella Zanobetti

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

11:30 AM

Critical methodologic issues in planning for studies assessing low levels of air pollution

11:55 AM

Panel Discussion

Mark J Utell

University of Rochester

Jonathan Samet

University of Southern California

Bryan Hubbell

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Antonella Zanobetti

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

C Arden Pope III

Brigham Young University

Poster Session II

May 2 2016 - 1:45pm

The Global Burden of Disease from Air Pollution and Its Major Sources

May 2 2016 - 3:15pm

Chairs: Michal Krzyzanowski, King's College, London, and Terry Keating, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2013 study estimated that exposure to fine particulate air pollution contributed to some 2.9 million premature deaths in 2013, with nearly two-thirds of those deaths occurring in China, India, and other developing Asian countries. This session will present the most recent estimates of the burden due to air pollution in 2013 and trends from 1990 to 2013, and new estimates of current and future projected burden of disease from coal-burning and other major sources in China and India from HEI’s GBD MAPS project.

3:15 PM


Michal Krzyzanowski
Terry Keating

3:25 PM

The Global Burden of Disease Due to Air Pollution and Its Major Sources: Estimates from the GBD 2013 Study

3:45 PM

Estimates of Emissions and PM2.5 Levels from Major Air Pollution Sources in China

4:05 PM

Estimates of Emissions and PM2.5 Levels from Major Air Pollution Sources in India

Sarath Guttikunda
, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India

4:25 PM

Current and Future Burden of Disease from Major Air Pollution Sources in China and India

4:45 PM

Panel and General Discussion

Jonathan M Samet

University of Southern California

Kalpana Balakrishnan

Sri Ramachandran University, India

Free Evening

May 2 2016 - 5:30pm

Ozone and Cardiovascular Effects: Where is "MOSES" Leading Us?

May 3 2016 - 8:30am

Chairs: David Christiani, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and HEI Research Committee, and Lianne Sheppard, University of Washington–Seattle and HEI Review Committee

Many areas struggle to meet the ozone standard, and changing climate and emissions profiles for ozone precursors paint a complicated picture. HEI recently completed the Multicenter Ozone Study in Elderly Subjects (MOSES) of cardiovascular effects at low exposures of ozone. We will discuss the science behind the 2015 ozone regulations in the United States and the current knowledge base linking ozone to cardiovascular and respiratory effects, based on the results of MOSES and other human clinical studies. The session will conclude with comments from the MOSES Review Panel and the public.

8:30 AM


David Christiani

8:40 AM

The Science Behind the Recent Ozone Standards

Molini Patel
, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

9:10 AM

Cardiovascular Effects of Ozone: Evidence from Clinical Studies

Nicholas Mills
, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

9:40 AM


10:10 AM

Cardiovascular Effects at Low Ozone Levels: Results of the MOSES Study

John Balmes
University of California–San Francisco

10:50 AM

Review Panel Response on MOSES Results and Interpretation

11:10 AM

General Discussion

Traffic and Health: Air Pollution, Noise, and Interactions with Socio-Economic Status

May 3 2016 - 12:30pm

Chairs: Barbara Hoffmann, University of Düsseldorf, Germany, and Jeffrey Brook, Environment Canada; both on HEI Research Committee

This session will explore important factors related to the design and interpretation of health studies of traffic-related air pollution. It is intended to build on the findings of HEI’s previous work and to lay the groundwork for upcoming deliberations on research needs in this area. Speakers will discuss differences in traffic and vehicle mixes around the world, and the complex interactions between socioeconomic status (SES) and traffic noise in health studies of traffic-related air pollution.

12:30 PM

Motor Vehicle Emissions: World-Wide Achievements and Challenges for Exposure Assessment

Michael Walsh
, International Council on Clean Transportation

1:00 PM

The Complex Interactions Between SES and Traffic-Related Air Pollution Effects

1:30 PM

Is It Traffic-Related Air Pollution or Traffic Noise, or Both?

Barbara Hoffmann
, University of Düsseldorf, Germany

2:00 PM

Key Policy Questions on Traffic and Health

Chad Bailey
, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

2:15 PM

General Discussion

Conference Adjourns

May 3 2016 - 2:30pm
The Brown Palace Hotel
321 17th Street
Denver, CO 80202
Full Conference

Sunday Through Tuesday.

Includes all meals and breaks, Sunday lunch through Tuesday lunch, except Monday dinner. Includes the Sunday morning pre-conference workshop.

Single Day
Sunday (Workshop Only) Includes coffee.
Sunday (Entire Day) Includes lunch, breaks, reception, and dinner.
Monday Includes breakfast, lunch, and breaks.
Tuesday Includes breakfast, lunch, and breaks.

The Brown Palace Hotel, 321 17th Street, Denver, Colorado 80202. 

Contact Person