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The Johns Hopkins Environmental Health Microbiology and Immunology Laboratory


Research Focus

The research of the Johns Hopkins Environmental Health Microbiology and Immunology Laboratory (JH-EHMIL) focuses on improving understanding of the dynamics and determinants of environmental and occupational stressors and infectious diseases.


A goal of JH-EHMIL is to advance understanding of the health consequences of joint exposures to pathogens and toxicants in environmental and occupational contexts, including food animal production, drinking and recreational water, and municipal and industrial waste management. Training of researchers in JH-EHMIL bridges the laboratory and population-based sciences and integrates advanced methods from both disciplines into community-driven epidemiologic studies of pathogen and metal exposures, antimicrobial resistance, and host immune response to infection.


A central challenge JH-EHMIL scientists are working on is the development of minimally-invasive exposure and disease outcome biomarkers that could reduce participant burden related to biospecimen collection in population-based studies. Minimally-invasive biomarkers in saliva and nasal swabs could advance understanding of the temporal dynamics of exposure and natural history of disease in remote, resource-limited settings where invasive collections (blood, stool, urine) pose practical challenges.

Dr. Heaney also teaches courses as part of the PhD Track in Exposure Sciences and Environmental Epidemiology.

Environmental Justice: Concepts, Methods, and Practice (180.625.01) Term 3—2017 is open for registration.