A New Start, and New Studies at UW

I’ve started my new position at the University of Washington in Seattle.
The timing couldn’t be better as several new research studies will start this fall.
  • The BAAQMD has funded a study, which will allow my research group to evaluate new low-cost air quality monitors, comparing their performance against the Air District’s monitors.  This project will allow us to determine best practices for deploying low cost air pollution monitoring in urban environments.
  • The Health Effects Institute will fund a new study in the spring, in which we will deploy large numbers of air quality monitors in Alameda County, focusing on near roadway sites.  Using scripted experiments, we will compare various approaches to using a dense network of air pollution monitors to estimate individual exposures.  This  study will inform future air pollution exposure assessments for epidemiological studies.
  • China NSF has funded a new study in which we will use low-cost air pollution monitors to estimate exposures to PM, and assess its effects on children’s development in Yunnan, China.
  • NIH has funded a new study, in which we will develop systems science models to explore the impact of community-based interventions on the development of young children.  This study will use retrospective data from the Women Infants and Children program throughout the LA region.
  • NIH will fund a new community-engaged research study with partners in Imperial County to examine PM exposures and their sources.  In this exciting study, the focus will be on understanding how various community, academic, and governmental organizations can work together to collect and analyze data, and translate information into policy action.

The above new studies will augment ongoing studies, which are just starting to produce results:

  • The NSF Smart Health and Wellbeing study has successfully used Microsoft Kinect cameras to monitor physical activity in older adults in their homes.  I have finished a manuscript describing the modeling of these individuals’ behaviors as they interact with technology and Health Coaches.
  • The Health Effects Institute’s study of Goods Movement Policies in California has finished its monitoring campaigns, and a manuscript is in preparation describing the reductions in air pollution that have occurred in one of our study regions, the Los Angeles area.  This upcoming year will produce land use regression models of air pollution concentrations for the state.
  • The Black Women’s Health Study is still working towards compiling traffic data for our main study areas across the U.S.  In the meantime, we have refined our traffic noise exposure models, and have readied the CALINE air pollutant dispersion model to estimate exposures for the large numbers of subjects in this study.  A paper describing noise in three of our study areas is currently in review.
  • The European Commission’s PHENOTYPE study is currently collecting data on greenspace exposures and their associations with health effects using CalFit technology in four European countries.  In November, we will meet in Utrecht to review the preliminary findings from this large study.
  • The Chinese Kunming Food Environment Study has moved from exposure methods development into a new phase, in which we are conducting an epidemiological study relating food environment exposures to diet and health outcomes in high school adolescents.  Various manuscripts related to the use of CalFit phones are currently in review.
  • At CITRIS, a number of innovative health technology projects are still in progress. My group will continue to partner with CITRIS-affiliated researchers to develop and study the use of the these technologies in public health and clinical health contexts.

This fall a number of studies will close:

  • The CDC PRC-funded Technical Support Center at UC Berkeley has closed in September.  Currently, there are no plans to teach HIA at Berkeley due to budget cuts within the School of Public Health.  Students and agencies interested in HIA are may seek technical support alternatives at UCLA, UW, and Human Impact Partners.  To support ongoing HIA practice, we will continue to work towards publishing our findings related to evaluation of HIA training in the US, and our findings related to the associations between the built environment and determinants of chronic disease.
  • The NIH CalFit study is currently in the process of closing enrollment.  The project will close at the end of the year.  However, future CalFit studies will be conducted by my new lab at UW.

We’re Semifinalists! Voice your support for our submission to the Knight Foundation News Challenge: Health

We’ve partnered with Stamen Design — leaders in data visualization on a Knight News Foundation Challenge for Health. And…

We’re one of 40 Semifinalists!

Yay!  Check out our submission here.

If we win, the project would allow us to work with Chabot Space and Science Center and Alameda County secondary school students to explore the levels air pollutions at and around their schools and homes.  The project will make use of data collected from my groups ongoing research projects: this one, and this one too.

Help us spread the word about the project, and if you like the idea, “applaud” it.


The Health Effects Institute Funding Near Roadway Monitoring and Exposure Assessment Study

My group at UW will be funded next spring by the Health Effects Institute (HEI) to conduct a 2-year study in which we will deploy over 60 traffic-related real-time air pollution monitors throughout Alameda County.  The first study of its kind, the dense monitoring network will provide crucial information on the ebb and flow of traffic related air pollution at extremely fine spatial and temporal scales.  The network will enable exposure assessment experiments within Alameda County, which will also be conducted as part of the HEI-funded study.  For more information contact me:  eseto@uw.edu