Jane Q. Koenig, PhD, MS

Professor Emeritus, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences (Primary department)
Dr. Koenig's main research interest is the respiratory and cardiac health effects of air pollution and especially the responses of individuals judged to be susceptible, such as persons with asthma or other chronic respiratory diseases. She has studied associations between wood smoke and lung function in young children and associations between emergency room visits for asthma and particulate matter air pollution in Seattle. Dr. Koenig is the director of a new EPA Northwest Research Center for Particulate Air Pollution and Health as of June 1999. The objective for the Center is to evaluate unique components of particulate matter in Western States and to test for association with health outcomes. Dr. Koenig's current research activities fall into three general areas which are designed to address the respiratory risks of air pollutants: Controlled laboratory studies using human subjects. Field or epidemiological studies evaluating respiratory health in populations exposed to fine particulate matter from wood smoke or other sources in their neighborhoods. Assessment of physiologic, biochemical or morphological changes in cultured human epithelial cells after air pollutant exposure.

Contact Information

Office: F-561A
Box: 357234
University of Washington, Health Sciences Building
Seattle, WA 98195-7234
Tel: 206-543-2026

Research Interests

  • Respiratory physiology, pulmonary effects of inhalation of airborne pollutants on susceptible populations
  • KEYWORDS: air pollution, Ambient air pollutants, Asbestos, Asthma, Children's health; Health effects of air pollution; Indoor air; Ozone; Wood smoke


PhD, Psychology, University of Washington, 1963
MS, Psychology, University of Washington, 1961


Controlled laboratory exposure is carried out in our Pulmonary Physiology laboratory. We currently are studying the effects of dietary antioxidants on the pulmonary response to ozone in subjects with asthma and testing for genetic biomarkers of sensitivity to air pollutants.
Field studies have included a study of elementary school children who are exposed to elevated concentrations of fine particulate matter from wood smoke. As a part of the PM Center we are assessing lung and cardiac function in panels of subjects in a study of exposure assessment of indoor, outdoor and personnel exposures. We are measuring many aspects of particles including size, acidity, metallic component, and organic fraction.
The cultured cell assessments are asking more mechanistic questions about responses of air pollutants than can be studied with human subjects. We grow human nasal epithelial cells on porous membranes and expose them simultaneously to air or pollutant (ozone at the present).
Currently Dr. Koenig is collaborating on two studies, which examine the effects of environmental intervention on asthma aggravation in young children.
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