Professor, College of Health Sciences
Professor and Chair, Environmental and Occupational Health
DSc, Boston University School of Public Health, 2003, Environmental Health
Phone: (949) 824-7017
University of California, Irvine
Mail Code: 1830
Irvine, CA 92617
Spatial epidemiology, environmental epidemiology, exposure modeling, GIS
My research involves spatio-temporal analyses of health data for examining the contributions of known risk factors and environmental exposures to the underlying geographic pattern of disease risk. I work extensively with reconstructing historic environmental exposures using GIS and have an extensive knowledge of groundwater modeling, spatial statistics, and on persistent environmental contaminants including tetrachloroethylene (PCE, a dry-cleaning solvent), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, a perfluorinated compound (PFC) involved in the manufacturing of Teflon), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs, a common class of flame retardants). The current focus of my research is the spatio-temporal analysis of birth defects and infant morbidity in relation to air pollution using generalized additive models (GAM) in a geographic framework. As a researcher with the Boston University Superfund Research Program for the past 15 years, I investigate spatial and chemical/non-chemical patterns of cancer, reproductive outcomes, ADHD-related behaviors, and risky behaviors. In addition, I work with colleagues at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to examine geographic patterns of rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, autism spectrum disorder, and breast cancer among the participants of the Nurse’s Health Study (NHS) cohort. As a member of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, my current grant applies spatial statistics to assess geographic location as a barrier to receiving adequate ovarian cancer treatment in California. My work also includes international collaborations with researchers in France, Sweden, Portugal, Denmark, and Italy.
A full list of my published work is available at My NCBI Bibliography:
Superfund Research Program at Boston University
(NIH/NIEHS 2P42 ES007381-16A1, 2012-2021) Role: Principal Investigator at UCI, Project 2.
The BU Superfund Research Program consists of a program of research and interdisciplinary training organized around five closely connected research projects that investigate the effects of specific toxic exposures in human and non-human populations exposed to complex mixtures near a Superfund site. Project 2 explores new methods for detecting and analyzing patterns of chemical and non-chemical interactions in epidemiologic data.
Spatiotemporal Analysis of Disparities in Ovarian Cancer Treatment and Survival
(NIH/NIMHD R01 MD009697-01A1, 2016-2021)
Role: Principal Investigator (MPI).
The goal of the current proposal is to define the contribution of geographic location to racial and socioeconomic disparities in ovarian cancer treatment and survival. This research will contribute to our understanding of the relationship between distance to receiving care and ovarian cancer mortality and quality of care.
UCI PFAS Health Study (CDC/ATSDR U01 TS000308; PI: Bartell; 2019 – 2024)
This study, along with other studies in the CDC/ATSDR PFAS multi-site health study, will determine whether modelled and measured serum concentrations for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are associated with a variety of cross-sectional health outcomes in child and adult participants.
HI-FIVE - Health Impacts of Filtration ImproVements in Elementary Schools (California Air Resources Board 20RD015, 2021-2025). Role: Principal Investigator. The overall goal of this study is to investigate the possible health benefits directly associated with PM2.5 exposure reduction through improved filtration in elementary schools in a highly exposed community in Southern California.
Exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and risk of cancer in children (NIEHS R01ES032196-01A1, 2021-2024)
Role: Principal Investigator (MPI). The goal of this transdisciplinary study is to fill major gaps in knowledge about PFAS routes of exposure during pregnancy and early life, and their subsequent impact on cancer risk in children. No previous epidemiologic studies have assessed childhood cancer risk associated with PFAS exposures.
ISEE, ISES, SER
Boston University 2010—2011
Boston University 2006—2010
Environmental Health Sciences
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Center for Environmental Health Disparities Research