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Kellogg J. Schwab, PhD

  • Abel Wolman Professorship in Water and Public Health
  • Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E6620
Baltimore, Maryland 21205

(410) 955-9334

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PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1995
MSPH, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1991


Kellogg Schwab is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Director of the JHU Water Institute.  

The JHU Water Institute integrates Hopkins researchers from across the university including public health, engineering, arts and sciences, business, behavior, policy and economic disciplines to address the critical triangle of water, food and energy. The goal of this Institute is to achieve sustainable, scalable solutions for disparate water and sanitation needs both internationally and domestically.

Dr. Schwab’s research focuses on environmental microbiology and engineering with an emphasis on the fate and transport of pathogenic microorganisms in water, food and the environment. This work includes extensive laboratory-based research designed to develop and evaluate molecular detection methods with subsequent application of these methods in field-based investigations. Data gathered during these studies are then integrated into exposure assessments for risk analysis and microbial risk assessment.

In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health laboratories Dr. Schwab has investigated numerous waterborne and foodborne outbreaks of viral gastroenteritis. Dr. Schwab’s current research projects involve improving environmental detection methods for noroviruses (the leading cause of non-bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide) by integrating quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, proteomics and pyrosequencing. He is also investigating how important human pathogens including noroviruses, hepatitis A virus, rotaviruses, Campylobacter, antibiotic resistant E. coli and enterococci, Cryptosporidium parvum, Toxoplasma gondii and molds such as Aspergillus persist and are transported through environmental media (water, air, and food).

Applying classical and molecular diagnostic tools, he has developed and participated in multiple research projects designed to evaluate the public health impacts of improving water access and potable water quality and the effectiveness of point-of-use water treatment. His research group has also examined the health effects of inadequate management of human and animal waste with a focus on assessing the impact of concentrated animal feeding operations on human health, the environment and quality of life in the communities in which these operations are located. He continues to evaluate the impact of human pollution on urban streams and the Chesapeake Bay caused by aging and deteriorating distribution systems by combining microbial, chemical and geographic information system (GIS) data.

Recent international work has focused on developing field-portable microbial and chemical laboratories. These self-contained labs facilitate evidence-based assessments of point of use and community level water treatment systems designed to provide potable water to individuals in low income countries including Nicaragua, Peru, Ghana and South Africa.

Honors and Awards

Graduate Student Travel Award, 1993 Hoechst Celanese Excellence in Graduate Research Award, 1993 American Society of Microbiology Travel Award, 1995 Division of Molecular Virology Training Award, 1997-1999 Division of Molecular Virology Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research, 1999 Johns Hopkins Award for Excellence in Advising, Mentoring and Teaching, 2005 Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society Alpha Chapter 2009,  American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer 2012-14, Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology 2015

  • Environmental Health Sciences
  • environmental microbiology
  • microbial fate and transport
  • water quality, drinking water treatment, disinfection, groundwater, wastewater, sewage, water and wastewater distribution systems, gastroenteritis, diarrhea, enteric pathogens, parasites (cryptosporidium, toxoplasma, giardia), viruses (norovirus, norwalk-like viruses, hepatitis A virus, rotavirus), bacterial indicators of water quality, bacteriophage, antibiotic resistant bacteria, molecular detection of microorganisms (PCR, RT-PCR, microarrays, hybridization), infectious diseases, microbial risk assessment, food borne and waterborne outbreak investigations, urban environmental pollution, airborne microorganisms, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO), Chesapeake Bay research

Select recent publications from five areas of research

  • WATER TREATMENT - Dunkin N, Weng SC, Jacangelo JG, Schwab KJ. Minimizing Bias in Virally Seeded Water Treatment Studies: Evaluation of Optimal Bacteriophage and Mammalian Virus Preparation Methodologies. In Press. Food and Environmental Virology. 2017. **** Weng SC, Luo Y, Li J, Zhou B, Jacangelo JG, Schwab KJ. Assessment and Speciation of Chlorine Demand in Fresh-Cut Produce Wash Water. Food Control. V60. P543-551 2016. **** Exum NG, Pisanica N, Granger DA, Schwab KJ, Detrick B, Kosek M, Egorov AI, Griffin SM, Heaney CD. Use and application of immunological biomarkers to estimate waterborne infections. Curr Envir Health Rpt. V 3. P 322-334. 2016. **** Huang H, Fairbrother H, Teychene B, Ajmani G, Abbott Chalew TE, Cho, HH, Schwab KJ, Janangelo J.  Carbon nanotube composite membranes for small “designer” waer treatment systems.  Water Science and Technology: Water Supply. V145. pp917-923. 2014. **** Huang H, Cho H, Jacangelo J, Schwab KJ. Mechanisms of membrane fouling control by integrated magnetic ion exchange and coagulation. Env. Sci Technol. V46, p10711-10717.  2012. **** Ajmani G, Goodwin D, Marsh K, Fairbrother DH, Schwab KJ, Janangelo J, Huang H, Modification of low pressure membranes with carbon nanotube layers for fouling control.  Water Research, V46(17) pp5645-5654. 2012. **** Huang H, Cho H, Schwab KJ. Jacangelo JG, Effects of magnetic ion exchange pretreatment on low pressure membrane filtration of natural surface water. Water Research, V46(17) pp5483-5490. 2012. ****
  • FATE AND TRANSPORT OF NANOMATERIALS IN THE ENVIRONMENT - Ajmani G, Cho, HH, Abbott Chalew TE, Schwab KJ, Janangelo J, Huang H, Static and dynamic removal of aquatic natural organic matter by carbon nanotubes.  Water Research. V59. pp 262-270. 2014. **** Chalew T, Ajmani G, Huang H, Schwab KJ. Evaluating nanoparticle breakthrough during drinking water treatment: a pathway of human exposure. Env. Health Perspectives. V121(10). pp 1161-1166. 2013. **** Chalew T, Schwab KJ. Toxicity of commercially available engineered nanoparticles to Caco-2 and SW 480 human intestinal epithelial cells. Cell Biol. Toxicol. V29(2). pp 101-116. 2013. ****
  • NOROVIRUS RESEARCH - Dunkin N, Weng SC, Schwab KJ, McQuarrie J, Bell K, Jacangelo JG. Comparative Inactivation of Murine Norovirus and MS2 Bacteriophage by Peracetic Acid and Monochloramine in Municipal Secondary Wastewater Effluent. Env. Sci. and Technology. V51(5). pp.2972-2981. 2017.. **** Julian TR, Baugher JD, Rippinger C, Pinekenstein R, Kolawole AO, Mehoke T, Wobus CE, Feldman A, Pineda FJ, Schwab KJ. Murine norovirus (MNV-1) exposure in vitro to the purine nucleoside analog Ribavirin increases quasispecies diversity. Virus Research. V211 pp 165-173. 2016. **** Hartmann E, Colquhoun D, Schwab KJ, Halden R. Absolute Quantification of Norovirus Capsid Protein in Food, Water, and Soil Using Synthetic Peptides with Electrospray and MALDI Mass Spectrometry. J of Hazardous Materials. V286. pp 525–532. 2015. ****
  • INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH - Vedachalam S, MacDonald LH, Shiferaw S, Seme A, Schwab KJ. Underreporting of high-risk water and sanitation. PLoS One.; May10, 2017. **** Vedachalam S, Shannon A, and Schwab KJ. Mobile-assisted data collection for effective policymaking. IEEE Internet Policy Letters. January. 2017. **** Vedachalam S, MacDonald LH, Omoluabi E, OlaOlorun F, Otupiri E, Schwab KJ. The role of packaged water in meeting global targets on improved water access. Accepted for Publication. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 2017. **** Exum NG, Olortegui MP, Yori PP, Davis MF, Heaney CD, Kosek M, Schwab KJ. Floors and toilets: Association of floors and sanitation practices with fecal contamination in Peruvian Amazon peri-urban households. Env. Sci and Technology. V50 pp 7373-7381. 2016. **** Fuhrmeister E,  Schwab KJ, Julian T. Estimates of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, and Fecal Coliform Entering the Environment Due to Inadequate Sanitation Treatment Technologies in 108 Low and Middle Income Countries.  Envir Sci Technology. V49(19). pp 11604-1161. 2015. **** Julian T, Islam MA, Pickering A, Roy S, Fuhrmeister E, Ercumen A, Harris A, Bishai J, Schwab KJ.  Genotypic and phenotypic characterization of Escherichia coli isolated from feces, hands, and soils in rural Bangladesh using the Colilert Quanti-Tray System (IDEXX). Appl. Env. Micro. V81 pp 1735-1743.  2015. **** Opryszko M, Guo Y, MacDonald L, MacDonald L, Kiihl S, Schwab KJ. Impact of water-vending kiosks and hygiene education on household drinking water quality in rural Ghana.  American J. Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, V88(4) pp 651-660. 2013. **** Julian T, MacDonald L, Guo Y, Marks S, Kosek M, Yori P, Pinedo S, Schwab KJ. Fecal Indicator Bacteria Contamination of Fomites and Household Demand for Surface Disinfection Products – A Case Study from Peru. American J. Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. V89(5). Pp869-872. 2013. ****
  • ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE INCLUDING ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE - Exum NG, Olortegui MP, Yori PP, Davis MF, Heaney CD, Kosek M, Schwab KJ. Floors and toilets: Association of floors and sanitation practices with fecal contamination in Peruvian Amazon peri-urban households. Env. Sci and Technology. V50 pp 7373-7381. 2016. **** Soller J, Eftim S, Wade TJ, Ichida A, Clancy J, Johnson T, Schwab KJ, Ramirez-Toro G, Nappier S, Ravenscroft J. Use of quantitative microbial risk assessment to improve interpretation of a recreational water epidemiological study.Microbial Risk Analysis. V1.pp 2-11. 2016. **** Haack SK, Duris JW, Kolpin DW, Fogarty LR, Johnson HE, Gibson KE, Focazio M, Schwab KJ,  Hubbard LE, Foreman WT  Genes indicating zoonotic and swine pathogens are persistent in stream water and sediment following a swine manure spill.  Applied Environmental Microbiology, V81. pp 3430-3441. 2015. **** Heaney CD, Exum NG, Dufour AP, Brenner KP, Haugland RA, Chern E, Schwab KJ, Love DC, Serre ML, Noble R, Wade TJ. Water quality, weather and environmental factors associated with fecal indicator organism density in beach sand at two recreational marine beaches.  Science of the Total Environment. V497-498. pp440-447. 2014. **** Sapkota AR, Kinney EL, George A, Hulet RM, Cruz-Cano R, McDermott P, Schwab KJ, Zhang G, Joseph SW.  Lower Prevalence of Antibiotic-resistant Salmonella on Large-Scale U.S. Conventional Poultry Farms that Transitioned to Organic Practices.  Science of the Total Environment. V476-477. pp387-392.  2014. ****