PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 1985
My research focuses on occupational and environmental exposure assessment methodology and its application to epidemiologic studies of the relationship between chemical exposure and disease. In this context, my research has (and will) involved many different chemical substances including mineral fibers, chromium, lead, and PCB's in occupational, residential, and outdoor environments. Methodological questions of interest include the development of exposure assessment techniques and strategies useful for the retrospective reconstruction of exposures and the design of studies for characterization of current and future exposures necessary to the evaluation of potential health outcomes. Since the relationship between exposure and dose is not known for the vast majority of environmental chemicals, exposure assessment research is essential to development of generalized models useful for epidemiologic analysis and determination of quantitative exposure-response relationships needed for risk assessment. As such, my research is often collaborative.
An example of the above is my interest in surface contamination as a source of percutaneous or hand-to-mouth routes of exposure. My involvement in an ongoing study of lead paint dust in inner city homes is illustrative of the importance of accurate exposure assessment to complex collaborative health effects studies. The initial phases of this study involved the development and validation of a reproducible means of environmental lead paint dust surface sampling useful to the estimation of exposure of children. This exposure surrogate is now being used in a long-term study of the relationship between environmental contamination and blood lead concentrations. In addition, these exposure methods are being used to evaluate the efficacy and cost effectiveness of various interventions designed to reduce exposure.
My future research will continue in this vein, utilizing the results of specific studies to further investigate the relationship between exposure and disease. For example I have recently collected pilot data evaluating the relationship between wood smoke exposure and the severity of respiratory illness in Navajo children. Other areas of anticipated future research include further man-made vitreous fiber studies, delineation of the effect of chronic environmental exposure on various neurologic functions in Poland, and refinement of Cr+3/Cr+6 carcinogenicity models based on a study of chromate production workers.