To address air pollution in China, an interdisciplinary team including UW CEE faculty has received a Global Innovation Fund Award to collaborate with scientists in China on air pollution and exposure health studies. Air pollution is the fourth highest contributor to premature death in China, following hypertension, poor diet and tobacco smoking, according to the Global Burden of Disease.
UW CEE Professors Tim Larson and Julian Marshall will collaborate with Principal Investigator Sverre Vedal, Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. The project will build on Vedal’s established relationship with investigators at the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES) in Beijing, Nankai University and Tianjin Medical University, both in Tianjin, as well as researchers at the Beijing Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood Vessel Diseases. Other UW collaborators include associate professor Adam Szpiro and professor Andrew Zhou, both from the Department of Biostatistics.
To assist with developing and implementing an air monitoring campaign in Beijing, the funding will support the hiring of a Ph.D. or post-doctoral student. After working at CRAES for a minimum of one quarter to become familiar with the project, the student will compile extensive geographic data for Beijing including land use and traffic data, process satellite remote sensing data for estimating spatio-temporal pollutant concentrations and develop grid predictions of air pollutant concentrations for Beijing using deterministic air quality modeling methods.
The researchers envision the project as the starting point for continued air pollution research in China, with the goal of developing a self-sustaining center called the Center for Advanced Air Pollution Exposure Prediction and Health.