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Cutting-Edge Methods for Exploring the Connection between Air Pollution and Health Disparities (2015)

Date: Friday, April 17, 2015, 11:30am to 1:30pm

Location: Bibring Conference Room, Gordon Hall 2nd Floor, 25 Shattuck Street


  • Francine Laden, ScD (Mark and Catherine Winkler Associate Professor of Environmental Epidemiology, Departments of Environmental Health and Epidemiology, HSPH; Associate Professor of Medicine, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, BWH & HMS)

  • Gary Adamkiewicz, PhD, MPH (Assistant Professor of Environmental Health and Exposure Disparities, Department of Environmental Health, HSPH)

Workshop Description: Disparities in health and health care are pervasive and persistent.  Differences in environmental exposures in general, and air pollution in particular, have been suggested as a source of such disparities in the U.S. and elsewhere.  This workshop provided an introduction to measuring outdoor and indoor air pollution exposures and to incorporating these measures into epidemiologic studies.  We discussed different methodologies, provided an overview of sources of information about air pollution exposures, and provided some key examples, focusing specifically on sources of health disparities.  We spoke briefly about measurement error and biases that need to be considered in the design and analysis of epidemiologic studies of outdoor air pollution.  We also talked about how housing factors can both shape indoor exposures and modify outdoor exposures.  Participants will receive personalized training and ongoing support as they work to incorporate these methodologies into their grant proposal.

Intended Audience: This workshop was tailored to individuals who would like to incorporate a novel aim or method related to air pollution into a grant they are currently developing, with a particular interest in supporting faculty writing K-awards, R23s, or R01s.  We sought applicants (1) whose projects under development are already disparities-focused, but where the addition of measures of air pollution could strengthen the grant proposal, OR (2) who are developing an air pollution-related proposal that would be strengthened by the addition of a disparities-focused Aim.  The workshop was kept to approximately 10 individuals in order to allow for individual attention and support.  Participants were selected based on judgment by a faculty committee of the Harvard Gene, Environment, and Disparities Research Initiative (a project of the Harvard/MGH Center on Genomics, Vulnerable Populations, and Health Disparities the potential success of the proposal in development.  

Sponsored by: The Harvard Catalyst Health Disparities Research Program and the Harvard/MGH Center on Genomics, Vulnerable Populations, and Health Disparities.

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