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Environmental Epidemiology

Environmental epidemiologists seek to understand the health effects of biological, chemical, and physical stressors to improve the health and well-being of human populations. EHE researchers are on the forefront of developing and applying advanced epidemiologic and causal inference approaches to address pressing environmental health challenges. Our faculty are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in their fields with expertise in a variety of research areas, including the effects of chemical exposures, climate, air pollutants, and the built environment on health across the lifespan.

Research Highlights

Methodology for Children’s Environmental Health Research

The NIH’s Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes Program aims to understand the effects of a broad range of early environmental influences on child health and development. As part of ECHO’s Data Analysis Center, EHE faculty serve as experts on epidemiologic methods for environmental health research including application of exposure biomarkers, geospatial methods for exposure assessment, and estimating effects of exposure mixtures. Our faculty are leading and collaborating on numerous ECHO projects leveraging rich chemical exposure data available within ECHO.

Using Electronic Health Records (EHRs) for Population Health Research

Geisinger Center for Health Research and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health joined to form the Environmental Health Institute (EHI) in 2007. The mission of the EHI is to understand how land use, the built environment, energy production and use, food systems and water systems may impact human health in central and northeast Pennsylvania. EHRs are ideal for environmental epidemiologic research given individuals seeking medical care are represented across diverse built, physical, and social environments. Geisinger EHRs have been used to study the effects of unconventional natural gas development on asthma, birth outcomes, chronic rhinosinusitis, depressive symptoms, fatigue, heart failure, and migraine; risk of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection from high-density livestock operations; and effects of built and natural environments on type 2 diabetes risk in adults.

Associated Faculty


*Denotes faculty who are accepting PhD students.