BREATHE: Bridging Regional Ecology, Aerosolized Toxins, & Health Effects
The BREATHE Center at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine is a multidisciplinary collaborative for studies Bridging Regional Ecology, Aerosolized Toxins, and Health Effects. Research efforts among our collaborative include regional climate modeling, culture and policy studies on air quality and health, environmental justice and health disparities, and the health impacts of aerosolized particles including dusts, soil microbes, allergenic pollens from invasive species, and pollutants.
Our main partners in this work include faculty in the Center for Conservation Biology (CCB), the College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT), and Biomedical Sciences in the School of Medicine.
Affiliated faculty include researchers in the Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE), the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS), the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CHASS), the School of Public Policy (SPP), and the School of Medicine (SOM). We also have affiliations with the Science and Technology Studies group in the UCR Center for Ideas and Society, and Health Assessment and Research for Communities (HARC).
Our Current Projects
A sampling of ongoing BREATHE-associated research projects:
- Small environmental chamber: The lab of Professor of Biomedical Sciences David Lo and CE-CERT built a small environmental chamber to do long term exposure studies in models of inflammation. Initial studies in collaboration with Assistant Professor Meera Nair's and Professor Monica Carson's labs have been on the effects of chronic exposure to allergens.
- In studies supported by the NIMHD-sponsored U54 Center for Health Disparities Research (healthdisparities.ucr.edu), the environmental chamber is being used to study the effects of Salton Sea aerosols on models of lung inflammation.
- The lab of Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology and Microbiology Emma L. Aronson is looking at material from particle collectors in the Coachella Valley to identify microbes and other material in aerosol particulates. The lab has also submitted proposals to study the effects of inhaled particulates on the lung microbial ecology.
Recruiting for BREATHE
Recruitment for BREATHE is continuing to expand our work in several interdisciplinary areas that address critical issues in air quality and health.