Funded Projects

With 75-plus funded research projects and centers, the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) examines how environmental and workplace factors affect health, with a focus on people and communities most at risk for adverse health outcomes. Examples of our research are listed below.

Clean Air


This is the largest study of its kind to explore the connection between air pollution and the No. 1 cause of death in the United States: cardiovascular disease. Dr. Joel Kaufman directs the prospective cohort study study, funded over 10 years by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.


Clean Water

Superfund Research Program

The Superfund Research Program is an interdisciplinary program involving faculty and graduate students from Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, Civil Engineering, Biochemistry, Forestry and Microbiology. The goals are to develop biological markers to assess peoples' exposure to toxicants and susceptibility to disease, to assess physiological damage in humans and wildlife and to develop new technology to remediate contaminated sites.


Safe Food

The Center for Public Health Nutrition 

The Center for Public Health Nutrition facilitates interdisciplinary research to improve nutrition, food systems and population health. Located within the University of Washington School of Public Health, the center brings together faculty and staff from the departments of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, Epidemiology and Health Services.


Food systems at UW

DEOHS faculty and others who specialize in food systems within the UW School of Public Health in the Nutritional Sciences Program, together with the Population Health Initiative, have convened a UW Food Systems Education and Research Network to bring together UW experts from multiple disciplines to address food systems challenges and develop new food systems research and education initiatives at local and global levels.


Safe Workplaces

Northwest Center for Occupational Health & Safety | DEOHS Continuing Education

The Northwest Center is one of 17 Education and Research Centers funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). It supports graduate education in industrial hygiene and safety, occupational medicine, and occupational health nursing. It serves as an educational resource for the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska and administers a continuing education program to upgrade the skills of people working in occupational and environmental health.


Occupational Epidemiology and Health Outcomes Program

The Occupational Epidemiology and Health Outcomes Program uses workers' compensation data and its own research to improve medical care, update treatment guidelines, and provide information on treatment outcomes to injured workers and physicians.


Pacific Northwest OSHA Education Center

Since 1995, the Pacific Northwest OSHA Education Center has been the only authorized OSHA training facility in the Pacific Northwest. The Education Center offers high quality, standards-based training for the private and public sectors. An experienced team of OSHA-authorized instructors presents up-to-date federal and state safety and health regulations. Classes are held in Anchorage, AK; Boise, ID; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Richland, WA; and other cities by arrangement.


Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center

One of nine regional centers funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center focuses on the prevention of occupational disease and injury among farming, fishing, and forestry operators, workers and their families in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Support is also received from the Washington State Medical Aid and Accident fund to focus on the health and safety of Washington's agricultural populations.


Sustainable Communities

Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

The UW Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness offers a proactive approach to pandemics to address the root causes of pandemic risk and accelerate action, working with partners in low- and middle-income countries to achieve sustainable impact.


Center for Disaster Resilient Communities

The Center for Disaster Resilient Communities takes an integrated approach to disasters. We prepare for all types of disasters while working closely with communities and partners to improve each phase of the disaster management cycle by advancing effective, high-quality science. Through our work, the Center unites the full breadth and depth of the University of Washington’s expertise in disaster science to help build resilient communities.


Center for Environmental Health Equity

The mission of the UW Center for Environmental Health Equity is to provide technical assistance to tribal and community organizations in Region 10 states (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington) to strengthen their capacity and effectiveness in applying to and successfully managing environmental and energy justice grants and programs.


Center for Exposures, Diseases, Genomics, and Environment (EDGE)

The UW NIEHS Center for Exposures, Diseases, Genomics, and Environment (EDGE) strives to understand and communicate how genetic factors influence human susceptibility to environmental health risks.


Center for Health and the Global Environment

The UW Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHANGE) facilitates interdisciplinary collaborations across UW’s schools and colleges to promote systems-based approaches to help communities prepare for, cope with and adapt to a changing climate. 


Center for One Health Research

The Center for One Health Research explores linkages between human, animal and environmental health, including: zoonotic infectious diseases at the human-animal interface, animals as "sentinels" of environmental health hazards and clinical collaboration between human health care providers and veterinarians in a species-spanning approach. 


Collaborative on Extreme Event Resilience

The UW Collaborative on Extreme Event Resilience (CEER) works to build community resilience to disasters and climate change. The collaborative brings together researchers, scholars, practitioners, policymakers and community-based organizations to create and evaluate evidence-based health policies and practices that reduce health risks related to our changing climate and disaster events, including earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires.



The ECHO PATHWAYS study aims to advance knowledge of environmental and social factors that influence child development through a seven-year study of nearly 3,000 mother-child pairs. Research focuses on child airway health, neurodevelopment, air pollution, stress and endocrine-disrupting chemicals.


Environmental Health and Microbiome Research Center (EHMBRACE)

The UW Environmental Health and Microbiome Research Center (EHMBRACE) investigates environmental exposures, genetic risk factors, microbiome changes and the development of complex human diseases, including cancer, infectious diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. 

Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit

The Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) has assembled a team of experts including pediatricians, occupational and environmental medicine physicians, emergency medicine physicians, toxicologists, and other environmental health specialists to provide health professionals, government officials and families with telephone consultation on the role of environmental exposures on child health.


Infectious diseases research

DEOHS has a number of research labs investigating infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, diarrheal diseases, polio, COVID-19, zoonotic diseases and other communicable diseases. These include:

The Cangelosi lab

DEOHS Professor Jerry Cangelosi leads a research team focused on pathogen detection in clinical and environmental samples, the epidemiology of infectious diseases and the development of diagnostic tools to prevent the spread of disease.


The Environmental and Occupational Health Microbiology lab

DEOHS Professor Scott Meschke leads the Environmental and Occupational Health Microbiology lab investigating the fate, transport, detection and control of pathogens in air, water, food and on surfaces. Research projects include environmental surveillance for poliovirus, mosquito surveillance for West Nile virus and sanitation in low-resource settings.


The Levy lab

DEOHS Associate Professor Karen Levy leads a research team investigating the ecology and epidemiology of waterborne and enteric diseases. Her team uses environmental microbiology and environmental epidemiology methods to study water quality, food safety and the impact of climate and land-use change on the transmission of diarrheal diseases.


STOP Spillover project

DEOHS Professor Elaine Faustman leads the risk analysis and communication hub for the Strategies to Prevent Spillover (STOP Spillover) project funded by the US Agency for International Development. The global research initiative seeks to anticipate and address threats from emerging zoonotic diseases that pose the greatest risk of jumping from animals to humans, such as SARS-CoV-2.

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