Edmund Y. W. Seto, MS, PhD

Associate Professor, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences (Primary department)
Dr. Seto received his PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the quantification of exposures and risk as they relate to environmental and occupational health. Using Geographic Information System (GIS) spatial methods, mathematical models, and novel information technologies, Dr. Seto has conducted exposure assessments for built environment studies of air pollution and noise exposures, as well as assessments of exposures to infectious agents in global health contexts. A computer scientist by training, his group explores new technologies such as the use of mobile devices and low-cost sensor systems to infer the relationship between individual and population behaviors and how they relate to exposures to environmental and workplace hazards. Dr. Seto's rapid prototyping lab fosters interdisciplinary collaboration to create new technologies to improve public health. Before coming to the University of Washington, he was Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at UC Berkeley. He co-directed the UC Berkeley Health Impact Group to advance the field of Health Impact Assessment. And, he served as Associate Faculty Director for the UC Center for Information Technology in the Interest of Society (CITRIS).

Contact Information

University of Washington
Office: HSB F-226C
Box: 357234

Research Interests

  • Exposure assessment, Air pollution exposure measurement and modeling, Community noise measurement and modeling, Epidemiologic infectious disease transmission modeling, Mobile phone-based exposure science, Low-cost sensor systems
  • KEYWORDS: Exposure assessment, epidemiologic modeling, infectious disease transmission, traffic related air pollution, noise, mobile phone technologies, low-cost sensors, wireless health, rapid prototyping, geographic information science, geographic information system


MS, Environmental Health Sciences, University of California (Berkeley), 1995
PhD, Environmental Health Sciences, University of California (Berkeley), 2000


Use of Community-Based Mapping and Modeling to Reduce Air Pollution Exposures (NIH)

The impact of natural experiments on child obesity: a systems science approach (NIH)
Evaluation of Alternative Sensor-Based Exposure Assessment Methods (Health Effects Institute)

Validating the CalFit Smartphone Sensor in Two Epidemiologic Investigations (NIH)

Positive effects of natural environment for human health and well-being (PHENOTYPE) (European Union)

Smart Health and Wellbeing: Large: Collaborative Research: Integrated Communications and Inference Systems for Continuous Coordinated Care of Older Adults in the Home (NSF)

Improvements in Air Quality and Health Outcomes among California Medicaid Enrollees Due to Goods Movement Actions (Health Effects Institute)

CALINE traffic pollutant dispersion modeling and noise exposure modeling for the Black Women's Health Study, Environmental Exposures and Incident Hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes (NIH)

Prevention Research Center, Community-based Health Impact Assessment (CDC)

Initiative for Wireless Health and Wellness at UC Davis

Assessing the changing food environment and diets in China using the CalFit smartphone system
Selected Publications

1.    Hua, J., Seto, E., Li, Y., Wang, M (2014) Development and evaluation of a food environment survey in three urban environments of Kunming, China, BMC Public Health, 14:235.
2.    Eskenazi, B, Quiros-Alcala, L, Lipsett, JM, Wu, LD, Kruger, P, Ntimbane, T, Nawn, JB, Bornman, MSR, Seto, E, (accepted) mSpray: a mobile phone technology to improve malaria control efforts and monitor human exposure to malaria control pesticides in Limpopo, South Africa, Environmental International.
3.    Lee, EY, Jerrett M, Ross, Z, Coogan, P, Seto, E (in press) Assessment of Traffic-Related Noise in Three Cities in the United States, Environmental Research.
4.    Olivieri, A, Seto, E, Cooper, RC, Cahn, M, Colford, J, Crook, J, Debroux, J, Mandrell, R, Suslow, T, Tchobanoglous, G, Hultquist, R, Spath, D, Mosher, J (in press) Risk Based Review of California’s Water Recycling Criteria for Agricultural Irrigation, Journal of Environmental Engineering.
5.    Chaparro, M.P., Whaley, S.E., Crespi, C.M., Koleilat, M., Nobari, T.Z., Seto, E., Wang, M.C. (accepted) Influences of the neighborhood food environment on adiposity of low-income preschool-aged children in Los Angeles County: a longitudinal study, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
6.    Samaranayake S, Holstius D, Monteil J, Tracton K, Glaser S, Seto E, Bayen A (2014) Real-time estimation of pollution emissions and dispersion from highway traffic. Computer-aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering. DOI: 10.1111/mice.12078
7.    Holstius D, Pillarisetti A, Smith KR, Seto E (2014) Field calibrations of a low-cost aerosol sensor at a regulatory monitoring site in California. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 7, 605-632.
8.    Schuchter, J, Bhatia, R, Corburn, J, Seto, E (in press) Health Impact Assessment Practice in the United States: A Study of Alignment with Standards, Environmental Impact Assessment Review.
9.    Jensen, M.H., Mahmoudi, Z., Christensen, T.F., Tarnow, L., Seto, E., Johansen, M.D., Hejlesen, O.K. (2014) Evaluation of an Algorithm for Retrospective Hypoglycemia Detection using Professional Continuous Glucose Monitoring Data, Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 8(1): 117-122.
10.    Donaire-Gonzalez, D, de Nazelle, A, Seto, E, Mendez, M, Nieuwenhuijsen, MJ, Jerrett, M (2013) Comparison of physical activity measures using smartphone based CalFit and Actigraph, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 15(6):e111.
11.    de Nazelle, A, Seto, E, Donaire-Gonzalez, D, Mendez, M, Matamala, J, Nieuwenhuijsen,  MJ, Jerrett, M (2013) Improving estimates of air pollution exposure through ubiquitous sensing technologies, Environmental Pollution, 176, 92-99.  doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2012.12.032  
12.    Seto, EYW, Sousa-Figueiredo, JC, Betson, M, Byalero, C, Kabatereine, NB, Stothard JR, (2012) Patterns of intestinal schistosomiasis among mothers and young children from Lake Albert, Uganda: water contact and social networks inferred from wearable global positioning system dataloggers, Geospatial Health, 7(1) 1-13.
13.    Obdrzalek, S, Kurillo, G, Ofli, F, Bajcsy, R, Seto, E, Jimison, H, Pavel, M (2012) Accuracy and Robustness of Kinect Pose Estimation in the Context of Coaching of Elderly Population, EMBC 2012.
14.    Coogan, PF, White, LF, Jerrett, M, Brook, RD, Su, JG, Seto, E, Burnett, R, Palmer, JR, Rosenberg, L (2012) Air Pollution and Incidence of Hypertension and Diabetes in African American Women living in Los Angeles, Circulation. doi: 10.1161/ CIRCULATIONAHA.111.052753
15.    Seto, EYW, Remais, JV, Carlton, EJ, Wang, S, Liang, S, Brindley, PJ, Qiu, D, Spear, RC, Wang, LD, Wang, TP, Chen, HG, Dong, XQ, Wang, LY, Hao, Y, Bergquist, R, Zhou, XN (2011) Toward Sustainable and Comprehensive Control of Schistosomiasis in China: Lessons from Sichuan, PLoS Negl Trop Dis 5(10): e1372. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001372
16.    Seto, E, Wong, B, Lu, D, Zhong, B. (2011) Praziquantel Resistance in China: Should We Be Worried? The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
17.    Almanza, E, Jerrett, M, Dunton, G, Seto, E, Pentz, MA (2012) A study of community design, greenness and physical activity in children using satellite, GPS and accelerometer data, Health and Place, 18(1): 46-54.
18.    Stothard, J.R. Sousa-Figueiredo, J.C., Betson, M., Seto, E.Y.W., Kabatereine, N.B. (2011) Investigating the spatial micro-epidemiology of diseases within a point-prevalence sample: A field applicable method for rapid mapping of households using low-cost GPS-dataloggers, Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
19.    Gilhuly, K, Purciel, M, Farhang, L, Lucky, J, Harris, EC, Heller, J, Seto, EYW (2011) Using health impact assessment in community development to improve air quality and public health, Community Development, 42(2) 193-207, DOI: 10.1080/15575330.2011.553289.
20.    Bhatia, R and Seto, E (2010) Quantitative estimation in Health Impact Assessment: Opportunities and challenges, Environmental Impact Assessment Review, in press available at doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2010.08.003
21.    Wier, M., Weintraub, J., Humphreys, E.J., Seto, E., Bhatia, R. (2008) An area-level model of vehicle-pedestrian injury collisions with implications for land use and transportation planning, Accident Analysis & Prevention, 41(1): 137-145.
22.    Gurarie, D. and Seto, E.Y.W. (2008) Connectivity Sustains Disease Transmission in Environments with Low Potential for Endemicity: Modeling Schistosomiasis with Hydrologic and Social Connectivities, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, doi:10.1098/rsif.2008.0265.
23.    Seto, E.Y.W., Wu, W., Liu, H.Y., Chen, H.G., Hubbard, A., Holt, A., Davis, G.M., (2008) Schistosomiasis and the Three Gorges Dam: an EcoHealth Perspective, Integrated Management of Coastal and Freshwater Systems, 2(3): 6-10.
24.    Seto, E.Y.W., Knapp, F., Zhong, B., Yang, C. (2007) The use of the global positioning system to assess individual-level water contact and time-activity patterns associated with schistosomiasis transmission, Geospatial Health, 1(2): 233-241.
25.    Seto, E.Y.W., Holt, A, Rivard, T, Bhatia, R (2007) Spatial distribution of traffic induced noise exposures in a US city: an analytic tool for assessing the health impacts of urban planning decisions, International Journal of Health Geographics, 6(24).

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