Bad air quality

Media Contacts

Melinda Rogers

Communications Specialist , University of Utah Health Sciences Office of Public Affairs

Jan 07, 2014 11:40 AM

The University of Utah’s Program for Air Quality, Health and Society has awarded six seed grants to researchers who will undertake a variety of projects aimed at understanding and addressing the consequences of Utah’s air pollution for human health and welfare. 

Recipients of the grants will work on a wide range of projects, including the development of a personal gas chromatograph for tracking pollutant exposure to in-depth research on the effects of prenatal exposure to wintertime inversion. Several of the grants build cross-disciplinary partnerships and allow investigators to incorporate air quality into their ongoing research programs at the University of Utah. The program will be seeking additional funding in the future to expand its operations beyond its initial seed grant funding. 

The grants, which total $165,000, are being funded by the University of Utah through the institution’s seed-grant program, with support from Vivian Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A. and senior vice president for University of Utah Health Sciences; Thomas Parks, Ph.D., vice president for research; and the Office of Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Grant recipients and research project titles include:

  • Dr. Amanda Bakian (Psychiatry) Acute Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution and Suicide Risk as Modified by Family Effects.
  • Dr. Jeanette Chin (Obstetrics and Gynecology) A Natural Experiment to Assess Prenatal Exposure to Air Pollution and Long-term Health and Reproductive Outcomes.
  • Dr. Ram Gouripeddi (Bioinformatics) OpenFurther: Integrating Environmental and Clinical Data for Enabling Air Quality Research.
  • Dr. Hanseup Kim (Electrical Engineering) Hand-carry Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Detection System for Remote Monitoring of Home Air Quality.
  • Dr. Cheryl Pirozzi (Pulmonary Medicine) Effect of Air Pollution on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.
  • Dr. Russell Richardson (Internal Medicine) Effect of Particulate Matter Air Pollution on Vascular Function in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Abstracts for these projects will soon be posted online at

About the Program

The University of Utah Program for Air Quality, Health and Society was established in December 2012. The multidisciplinary program explores all facets of air pollution, including its  generation, health effects for people, societal implications and ways to reduce or mitigate its effects. The program seeks to position the University of Utah as a national leader in understanding and addressing the consequences of air pollution for human health and welfare.