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 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, Dr. Thurston was awarded the prestigious Haagen Smit Prize by the scientific journal Atmospheric Environment.
Professor, Department of Environmental Medicine
Professor, Department of Population Health
International journal of environmental research & public health. 2017 Dec 25; 15(1):
Lancet. 2017 Dec 5; ?-?
American journal of respiratory & critical care medicine. 2017 Jul 01; 196(1):6-7
Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association (1995). 2017 Jun 21; 1-16
American journal of respiratory & critical care medicine. 2017 Mar 15; 195(6):718-724
Environment international. 2017 Feb 23; 102:66-73
European respiratory journal. 2017 Jan 11; 49(1):?-?