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George D. Thurston

George D. Thurston, ScD

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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ScD from Harvard University

ScD from Harvard University

Roca-Barceló, Aina; Rice, Mary B.; Nunez, Yanelli; Thurston, George; Weinmayr, Gudrun; Straif, Kurt; Roscoe, Charlotte; Ebi, Kristie L.; Andersen, Zorana Jovanovic; De Nazelle, Audrey; Negev, Maya

Environmental epidemiology (Philadelphia, Pa.). 2024 Feb 12; 8(<prism:issueIdentifier>1):E288-?

Roca-Barceló, Aina; Rice, Mary B; Nunez, Yanelli; Thurston, George; Weinmayr, Gudrun; Straif, Kurt; Roscoe, Charlotte; Ebi, Kristie L; Andersen, Zorana Jovanovic; de Nazelle, Audrey; Negev, Maya

Environmental epidemiology (Philadelphia, Pa.). 2024 Feb; 8(1):e288

Weinmayr, Gudrun; Chen, Jie; Jaensch, Andrea; Skodda, Lea; Rodopoulou, Sophia; Strak, Maciej; de Hoogh, Kees; Andersen, Zorana J; Bellander, Tom; Brandt, Jørgen; Fecht, Daniela; Forastiere, Francesco; Gulliver, John; Hertel, Ole; Hoffmann, Barbara; Hvidtfeldt, Ulla Arthur; Katsouyanni, Klea; Ketzel, Matthias; Leander, Karin; Magnusson, Patrik K E; Pershagen, Göran; Rizzuto, Debora; Samoli, Evangelia; Severi, Gianluca; Stafoggia, Massimo; Tjønneland, Anne; Vermeulen, Roel; Wolf, Kathrin; Zitt, Emanuel; Brunekreef, Bert; Thurston, George; Hoek, Gerard; Raaschou-Nielsen, Ole; Nagel, Gabriele

Science of the total environment. 2023 Nov 22; 912:168789

Vilcassim, Ruzmyn; Thurston, George D

EBioMedicine. 2023 Jul; 93:104668

Azad, Shams; Luglio, David G.; Gordon, Terry; Thurston, George; Ghandehari, Masoud

Atmospheric pollution research. 2023 Jun 01; 14(<prism:issueIdentifier>6):?-?

Kim, Byoungjun; Spoer, Ben R; Titus, Andrea R; Chen, Alexander; Thurston, George D; Gourevitch, Marc N; Thorpe, Lorna E

American journal of preventive medicine. 2023 Apr; 64(4):468-476

Krittanawong, Chayakrit; Qadeer, Yusuf Kamran; Hayes, Richard B; Wang, Zhen; Virani, Salim; Thurston, George D; Lavie, Carl J

Current problems in cardiology. 2023 Feb 23; 48(6):101670

Ryan, Ian; Deng, Xinlei; Thurston, George; Khwaja, Haider; Romeiko, Xiaobo; Zhang, Wangjian; Marks, Tia; Ye, Bo; Lin, Shao

Environmental monitoring & assessment. 2022 Nov 14; 195(1):103