Health Effects Institute 2017 Annual Conference

April 30, 2017 to May 2, 2017

The 2017 HEI Annual Conference was held in Alexandria, Virginia from April 30-May 2, 2017.

The Scientific Program and speaker presentations can be found below.

Stay tuned for the next Annual Conference, April 29 - May 1 2018, Chicago, Illinois. Preliminary program information will be posted in January.


Where Are Vehicles and Fuels Headed in the 21st Century?

Apr. 30, 2017 - 1:00pm

Chairs: David Foster, University of Wisconsin, and Daniel Greenbaum, Health Effects Institute

Transformations are under way in vehicles and fuels in the United States and around the world, prompted in part by current regulatory mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the near term — through 2025–2030 — this will mean much greater use of fuel-efficient gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines, “lower carbon” fuels, and many other approaches. Over the longer term — 2025 and beyond — increasingly wider use of electric-drive vehicles has the potential for broad shifts in vehicles and mobility. This session will explore what we know about advantages and challenges of the main technology and fuel options, and potential implications for air quality and public health.

1:00 PM The Context: A Changing World of Transportation Mobility and Technology

1:30 PM The GDI Engine: Features, Emissions, and Effect of Fuel Composition

2:00 PM Break

2:30 PM Looking Ahead: Electric Drive

3:00 PM The Future of Mobility in the Urban Context (Slides coming soon)

  • Susan Zielinski

    Consultant (former Head of the Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Research and Transformation initiative, University of Michigan)

3:30 PM Wrap-Up: The Way Forward

Poster Session I

Apr. 30, 2017 - 4:15pm


Apr. 30, 2017 - 6:00pm

Making Sense of Sensor Data: Promises and Pitfalls

May. 1, 2017 - 8:30am

Chairs: Jeff Brook, Environment Canada and University of Toronto, and Lianne Sheppard, University of Washington–Seattle

Air pollution sensors and smartphone apps are revolutionizing the way we can monitor environmental exposures and health outcomes in community studies. These novel technologies are inexpensive, easy to use, and portable, and can provide high temporal and spatial resolution; on the other hand, there are questions on data quality, analysis, interpretation, and communication. This session will discuss the current state of the art of sensor technologies, the challenges of their wider use (such as their application in “citizen science”), and how they may advance exposure assessment for health studies.

8:30 AM The State of the Science of Sensor Technologies

9:00 AM The CITI-SENSE Study: Lessons Learned from a "Citizen Science" study

9:25 AM Filling the Gaps in Urban Air Pollution Monitoring with Google Street View Cars

9:50 AM Harnessing Novel Technologies for Exposure Assessment in Epidemiology Studies

10:15 AM General Discussion

HEI Update

May. 1, 2017 - 11:00am

Chairs: David Eaton, University of Washington–Seattle, and James Merchant, University of Iowa

HEI will present progress of its research programs and publications. Highlights will include a presentation of a recently completed accountability study in the Southeastern United States and plans for new research on the effects of traffic-related air pollution and unconventional oil and gas development. We will also introduce the recipient of the 2016 Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award.

11:00 AM Introduction of the Committees

11:10 AM Presentation of the 2016 Walter A. Rosenblith Award

  • David L Eaton

    University of Washington-Seattle

11:15 AM Scientific activities at HEI

11:30 AM Global Health Program

11:40 AM Energy Research Program

11:50 AM Featured HEI Study: A dynamic three-dimensional exposure model for Hong Kong

12:10 PM Featured HEI Study: Comments from the HEI Review Committee

  • Michael Jarrett

    University of California, Los Angeles

12:20 PM Discussion

Poster Session 2

May. 1, 2017 - 1:30pm

A New Vision for Accountability Research?

May. 1, 2017 - 3:15pm

Chairs: Francesca Dominici, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Jennifer Peel, Colorado State University

There is a long-standing interest in evaluating the effectiveness of air quality interventions in reducing air pollution and improving public health. To date, “accountability” studies have had varying degrees of success in relating regulatory actions to outcomes. To encourage potential new research in this area, this session hopes to bring fresh insights for methods and approaches in accountability research, taking into account the challenges encountered.

3:15 PM Accountability and Attribution: Origin and Applications

3:30 PM Accountability Studies: Lesson Learned and Recommendations for Future Opportunities

3:55 PM An Economics Perspective on Accountability Research

4:20 PM Panel Discussion

  • Michael Jarrett

    University of California, Los Angeles

  • Erika Sasser

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

  • Clint Woods

    Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies 

  • Francesca Dominici

    Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Free Evening

May. 6, 2019 - 5:30pm

The Double Life of NO2 - Ozone Precursor and Ambient Pollutant

May. 2, 2017 - 8:30am

Chairs: Jana Milford, University of Colorado–Boulder, and Bert Brunekreef, University of Utrecht

The oxidant gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a regulated criteria pollutant, is the indicator for the larger group of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emitted from combustion sources. NOx react with volatile organic compounds in sunlight to form ozone (O3). This session will examine two separate scientific debates that have implications for future regulations of NOx and NO2: one related to the accuracy of NOx emission inventories and the challenge in modeling the formation of O3 in the troposphere, and the other related to the question of whether NO2 has independent health effects or is more likely an indicator of the broader traffic mixture.

8:30 AM PART I. The Role of NOx in Ozone Formation

8:30 AM Introduction and Background

8:45 AM NOx Emission Inventories Uncertainties and Approaches to Evaluate Them

9:10 AM The Challenge of Modeling the Chemistry of Ozone

9:35 AM General Discussion on "What Additional Experimental or Other Evidence Do We Need to Resolve These Questions?"

10:20 AM PART II. Health Assessment of NO2

10:20 AM Introduction

10:30 AM Evaluations of the Health Effects of Long-Term Exposure to NO2: A European Perspective

10:50 AM EPA Integrated Science Assessment of NO2: Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee Review and Recommendations

  • H Christopher Frey

    North Carolina State University

11:10 AM General Discussion

PM Matters - What More Do We Need to Know?

May. 2, 2017 - 12:30pm

Chairs: Barbara Hoffmann, University of Düsseldorf, Germany, and Mark Frampton, University of Rochester Medical Center

The United States and other countries have made progress in reducing levels of ambient particulate matter (PM), thanks to regulation and the technological innovation in the automotive and other industries. Further progress is expected when additional rules are fully implemented by 2030. In this session, experts from various disciplines will share perspectives on where PM science is, and identify potential key knowledge gaps where research may provide further insight and leverage for future decisions about the PM standard.

12:30 PM PM Progress: Looking Back and Looking to the Future at EPA

12:55 PM Air Pollution and Regulatory Challenges Ahead in the EU: Research That Can Make a Difference

1:20 PM The Future of Environmental Science in Improving Public Health: A View from the Front Lines

1:45 PM Concluding Comments and General Discussion

Conference Adjourns

May. 2, 2017 - 2:30pm
The Westin Alexandria
400 Courthouse Square
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States
Full Conference Rate: 

Sunday Through Tuesday.

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

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

The Westin Alexandria, 400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

HEI Code of Conduct

HEI fully expects that all participants who attend any in-person or online meeting or event behave with the utmost respect for peers, colleagues, staff, volunteers, researchers, sponsors, and everyone across the HEI community. It is our sincere desire that every event, meeting, and gathering we host or participate in fosters and encourages an inclusive, positive, and welcoming environment for all. Read HEI’s full Code of Conduct Statement.