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Ongoing Research

At any given time, HEI has a variety of ongoing studies at various stages of completion. Here, you will find a list of studies with more detailed information for each, including abstracts and posters presented at HEI Annual Conferences. We also indicate which studies have been completed and are currently undergoing HEI’s rigorous review process.

person directing traffic wearing a face mask
  • Low levels of air pollution
  • Exposure to traffic-related air pollution
  • Non-tailpipe emissions and exposures near roadways and in tunnels
  • Effectiveness of air quality interventions
  • Mechanistic studies of air pollution and health
  • Rosenblith Award New Investigators
  • Statistical methods development
  • Ongoing Studies

    Accountability Studies

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    University of Southern California

    This study evaluated respiratory symptoms and lung function growth in children in Southern California from 1993-2012. Using data from 3 cohorts of the Children’s Health Study, the study attempts to relate changes in health outcomes to major air quality regulations during that time period.

    Status: In review
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    University of California, Los Angeles

    The investigators are evaluating the effects on air quality and health associated with the CARB’s Emission Reduction Plan for Ports and Goods Movement. They are examining the changes in criteria and hazardous air pollutants and characterize health outcomes (costs, ER visits and hospitalization for asthma) among Medicaid beneficiaries.

    Status: Ongoing
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    Georgia Institute of Technology

    This study is assessing the effect of major stationary source and mobile source control programs on emissions and air quality in the Southeast U.S., using detailed emissions and air pollution measurements and modeling combined with time-series analyses of cardiovascular and respiratory emergency department visits and hospital admissions.

    Status: Ongoing

    Low Exposure Studies

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    Professor, School of Environmental Health, University of British Columbia, Canada

    This study will investigate mortality effects of low levels of air pollution in Canada using Canadian Census data from about 6 million people. The shape of the exposure-response function will be characterized using newly developed flexible non-linear exposure-response functions. See also this Program Summary of HEI's research program on low levels of air pollution. 

    Status: Ongoing
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    Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, University of Utrecht, Netherlands

    This study will investigate health effects of low levels of air pollution in Europe using pooled data from 10 ESCAPE cohorts with individual covariate information, and 6 large administrative cohorts with less detailed information; resulting in a study population of about 25 million people. See also this Program Summary of HEI's research program on low levels of air pollution. 

    Status: Ongoing
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    Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

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    Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

    This study will examine health effects of low levels of air pollution in the US using data from about ~56 million people enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid. In addition, they will develop new causal modeling methods to characterize the shape of the exposure-response function. See also this Program Summary of HEI's research program on low levels of air pollution. 

    Status: Ongoing

    Mechanistic Studies

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    Duke University

    This study will be examining the effect of exposure to air pollution on biomarkers of cardiovascular metabolic risk and blood-borne whole genome gene expression profiles in a cohort with clinically evident heart disease.

    Status: Ongoing

    This study assessed the association between air pollution and adverse pregnancy outcomes in a population-based cohort and nested case control study of women in Wuhan China.

    Status: In review

    New Investigator Studies

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    University of Southern California

    This New Investigator Award study evaluated whether ambient PM exposure increases the risk for dementia and mild cognitive impairment, using data from the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS) cohort.

    Status: In review
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    University of Texas-Austin

    This New Investigator Award study is evaluating changes in different types of RNA molecules inside cells after exposure to ozone and carbonyls.

    Status: Ongoing

    This New Investigator Award study uses portable, real-time sensors to assess misclassification associated with surrogate measures of exposure in a panel of participants that live close to, or far from, traffic and have electric or gas cook stoves. The focus is on ultrafine particles, PM2.5, black carbon, and NO2.

    Status: Ongoing
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    East Carolina University

    This New Investigator Award study is evaluating whether injury after exposure to ozone is mediated through changes in the lung and blood of levels of oxidized phospholipids. This will be tested in normal mice and in mice genetically lacking the Scavenger Receptor B1 that binds oxidized phospholipids.

    Status: Ongoing
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    Georgia Institute of Technology

    This New Investigator Award study is evaluating the composition and oxidative properties of both laboratory-generated and field-sampled particulate matter mixtures.

    Status: Ongoing
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    University of North Carolina

    This New Investigator Award study investigates the toxicity of fine particulate matter formed from the photochemical oxidation of isoprene, in indoor and outdoor smog-chamber facilities. Experiments will feature synthesized isoprene oxidation products, mixtures of isoprene, diesel PM and urban VOCs, and also urban (“high” NOx) and downwind-urban (“low” NOx) conditions with an acidic seed.

    Status: Ongoing

    Non-Tailpipe and Tunnel Studies

    The investigators are characterizing contributions to ambient particles released directly (tailpipe and non-tailpipe emissions) and indirectly (resuspended road dust). They will identify variables that may influence the emissions, using a mobile sampling platform to collect particle samples in the Greater Boston area.

    Status: Ongoing
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    Desert Reseach Institute

    This study is characterizing vehicle emission in two tunnels with different proportions of diesel and gasoline vehicles, measuring fleet average emission factors for a number of pollutants and comparing the results to previous tunnel studies.

    Status: Ongoing

    Ozone Studies

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    University of California–San Francisco
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    University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill

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    University of Rochester

    This multi-center study focused on the effects of ozone in human volunteers, aged 55 to 70 years, who were exposed in chambers to near ambient levels of ozone with intermittent exercise. Effects on the cardiovascular system, along with changes in pulmonary function, inflammation and oxidative stress were studied.

    Status: In review
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    Oregon Health & Science University

    This study evaluated the hypothesis that bronchial airway reactivity in response to ozone exposure is modulated by the bone marrow production of certain eosinophils that have a beneficial effect upon airway function. This study evaluated guinea pigs exposed to 0.1 and 0.2 ppm of ozone.

    Status: In review
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    New England Research Institute

    This statistical data analysis center developed an analysis plan, managed data, and analyzed data collected in the multicenter controlled ozone exposure study in human volunteers. For more information see RFA 10-1 and the study by Drs.John Balmes, Philip Bromberg, and Mark Frampton.

    Status: In review

    Traffic Exposure Studies

    This study is performing extensive measurements at different building heights (both outdoors and indoors) in canyon streets with high buildings to develop a three-dimensional land-use regression model for Hong Kong residents.

    Status: Ongoing

    This study aims to improve estimates of concentrations of traffic-related air pollutants using source-oriented emission and dispersion models and Bayesian Melding, a novel data fusion technique that combines measured and modeled concentrations of traffic pollutants.

    Status: Ongoing
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    North Carolina State University

    This study is exploring how traffic activity metrics, land-use parameters, and transport of pollutants influence the near-road concentrations measured through extensive sampling campaigns.

    Status: Ongoing

    This study is evaluating novel multi-pollutant traffic surrogates by collecting measurements in and around two student dormitories in Atlanta and will explore the use of metabolomics to identify possible exposure-related metabolites.

    Status: Ongoing
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    University of Washington

    This study is comparing exposure estimates from wearable personal exposure monitors with estimates derived from other exposure assessment methods.

    Status: Ongoing