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George D. Thurston

George D. Thurston

Professor, Department of Medicine

Professor, Department of Population Health

human health effects of exposures to air pollutants, particulate matter , outdoor air pollution, ozone, asthma, cardiovascular disease

Professor Thurston is Director of the Program in Exposure Assessment and Human Health Effects at the Department of Environmental Medicine, NYU School of Medicine, and is a leading scholar on the human health effects of air pollution. His research has focused on health effects of air pollution in New York City, as well as in cities across the nation and around the world. In 1987, he published the first research that showed the association between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and mortality, as well as the first paper using source apportionment methods to relate specific PM2.5 sources with mortality, especially coal burning.  In New York City, this has included his Backpack Study of the effect of diesel air pollution on children with asthma in the South Bronx. His research and collaborations in cities around the globe has included a study of the effects of industrial air pollution among children in Cubatao, Brazil. He was also an author of the most recent World Health Organization (WHO) Global Burden of Disease (GBD) report, published in the Lancet in 2012, which provided global estimates of the life years lost due to outdoor fine particulate matter air pollution (PM2.5), which were based in large measure on Dr. Thurston's ACS cohort studies of PM2.5 air pollution and mortality, and his leading-edge collaborative research in which global PM2.5 concentrations were estimated based on global satellite data. Dr. Thurston has also been a leader in advancing the intersection of science and public policy decision-making. He has been called upon to testify before the US Senate and the House of Representatives on dozens of occasions to explain the public policy implications of air pollution research, most recently in October 2011 regarding the proposed mercury emission regulations. In 1999, he spoke at the Community of Parties (COP5) Kyoto Protocol meeting held in Bonn, Germany regarding his research on the immediate human health co-benefits of climate change mitigation steps from associated cleaner air quality. In 2002, he was called upon to testify before the Senate on the human health effects associated with the Word Trade Center disaster, in which he took a leadership role in collecting air pollution samples independent of the government, and in directly sharing that information with the community through public forums led by him at NYU and in Lower Manhattan. He has also served as a member of the U.S. EPA Clean Air Science Advisory Council (CASAC) that advises the EPA Administrator on the setting of the U.S. air quality standards, and has served on a National Academy of Science advisory committee on the environmental aspects of Waste Incineration. As a result of these activities, he has been frequently interviewed by the networks and the press, most recently on CNN International regarding the increasing problem of air pollution in Beijing, China. He has provided consistent leadership in his scientific organizations, and his research has been honored for its excellence by the scientific community. In May 2003, he organized and hosted the U.S. EPA supported international meeting: Workshop on the Source Apportionment of PM Health Effects. In 2004, he co-hosted the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology annual meeting, held at the NYU Kimmel Center in Washington Square. In 2012, Prof. Thurston was awarded the prestigious Haagen Smit Prize by the scientific journal Atmospheric Environment, and in 2018 he was awarded the American Thoracic Society's Public Service Award.



Academic office

341 East 25th Street

Second Floor, 212

New York, NY 10010

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These focus areas and their associated publications are derived from medical subject headings from PubMed.
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Chen, Jie; Hoek, Gerard; de Hoogh, Kees; Rodopoulou, Sophia; Andersen, Zorana J; Bellander, Tom; Brandt, Jørgen; Fecht, Daniela; Forastiere, Francesco; Gulliver, John; Hertel, Ole; Hoffmann, Barbara; Hvidtfeldt, Ulla Arthur; Verschuren, W M Monique; Jöckel, Karl-Heinz; Jørgensen, Jeanette T; Katsouyanni, Klea; Ketzel, Matthias; Méndez, Diego Yacamán; Leander, Karin; Liu, Shuo; Ljungman, Petter; Faure, Elodie; Magnusson, Patrik K E; Nagel, Gabriele; Pershagen, Göran; Peters, Annette; Raaschou-Nielsen, Ole; Rizzuto, Debora; Samoli, Evangelia; van der Schouw, Yvonne T; Schramm, Sara; Severi, Gianluca; Stafoggia, Massimo; Strak, Maciej; Sørensen, Mette; Tjønneland, Anne; Weinmayr, Gudrun; Wolf, Kathrin; Zitt, Emanuel; Brunekreef, Bert; Thurston, George D

Environmental science & technology. 2022 07 05; 56(13):9277-9290

Rahman, Md Mostafijur; Garcia, Erika; Lim, Chris C; Ghazipura, Marya; Alam, Nur; Palinkas, Lawrence A; McConnell, Rob; Thurston, George

Environment international. 2022 May 02; 164:107267

Rahman, Md Mostafijur; Thurston, George

Environment international. 2022 May; 163:107233

Rahman, Md Mostafijur; Nahar, Kamrun; Begum, Bilkis A; Hopke, Philip K; Thurston, George D

Annals of the American Thoracic Society. 2022 Jan; 19(1):28-38

Respiratory Emergency Department Visit Associations with Exposures to Fine Particulate Matter Mass, Constituents, and Sources in Dhaka, Bangladesh Air Pollution

Rahman, Md Mostafijur; Nahar, Kamrun; Begum, Bilkis A.; Hopke, Philip K.; Thurston, George D.

Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society. 2022; 19(1):28-38

Thurston, George D

Environment international. 2021 Dec 30; 160:107066

Rahman, Md Mostafijur; Begum, Bilkis A; Hopke, Philip K; Nahar, Kamrun; Newman, Jonathan; Thurston, George D

International journal of epidemiology. 2021 Aug 30; 50(4):1172-1183

Maciejczyk, Polina; Chen, Lung Chi; Thurston, George

Atmosphere. 2021 Aug 01; 12(<prism:issueIdentifier>9):?-?