Aliso Canyon Health Study Team

The Aliso Canyon Health Study is led by a team of prominent and established researchers at UCLA with the expertise needed to answer questions about the disaster.

The UCLA team and partners represent experts in the fields of environmental and health sciences, geographic information science, remote sensing, toxicology, clinical medicine, disaster recovery, health care delivery systems, and data analytics.

aerial view of UCLA

Principal Investigators

Michael Jerrett, PhD

Principal Investigator and Exposure Core Lead

Aliso Canyon Health Study

Director

UCLA Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH)

 

Co-Director

UCLA Center for Healthy Climate Solutions

 

 

Michael Jerrett, PhD, Principal Investigator (PI) and Exposure Core Lead, has been heavily engaged in environmental health research in California and Los Angeles for more than 20 years. Over this time, he has amassed a comprehensive understanding of key exposures and how they affect population health in Los Angeles. He brings a wealth of experience, expertise, credibility, local knowledge, and previously collected or modeled data to this project.

Dr. Jerrett is the Director of the UCLA Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH), Co-Director of the UCLA Center for Healthy Climate Solutions, and Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He is an internationally renowned expert in Geographic Information Science (GIS) for Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. For the past 24 years, he has researched how to characterize population exposures to air pollution and assess health effects from environmental exposures.

Dr. Jerrett has published some of the most widely-cited papers in the fields of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology in leading journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA. He has authored more than 285 peer-reviewed publications on environmental health topics, including papers on many environmental exposures and health effects assessments in California.

He will ensure study findings are disseminated in top journals and in briefs to the community to maximize the impact of the research.

Honghu Liu, PhD

Principal Investigator and Data & Analysis Core Lead

Aliso Canyon Health Study

Professor, Chair of the Section of Public and Population Health

UCLA School of Dentistry

Henry Honghu Liu, PhD, Principal Investigator and Data & Analysis Core Lead, will lead the health survey, creation of a comprehensive data hub as the data repository, data analyses, and statistical modeling of health outcomes.

With a solid background in computer science, biostatistics, epidemiology, and health services research, Dr. Liu has more than 20 years of experience in survey design, sampling, different data collection platforms, database design and management, complex data repositories for multi-site collaborations, and advanced statistical modeling. He served as the PI for many population health studies, including a number of multi-site collaborations at the national level. In particular, he served as the PI for a large-scale Multi-site Adherence Collaboration in HIV (MACH14) consortium, bringing together collaborators from 14 top research institutes across the U.S. over seven years. With a dual role also as the Director of MACH14’s Data and Statistical Coordination Center, he led the design and operations of its complex data repository, surveys, data analyses and statistical modeling of health outcomes.

Dr. Liu has also been the PI/Director for four large Los Angeles County contracts, including the Baldwin Hills Health Assessment and Environmental Justice Study. He is familiar with the demographic and health distribution of residents in all eight health service planning areas, including Aliso Canyon. He has also worked in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine at UCLA and has extensive experience investigating the impact of air pollution on lung function and general health.

Dr. Liu has published more than 170 peer-reviewed journal articles, including a large number of articles addressing the relationships between public and population health, community environment, social support, neighborhood safety, and other social ecological issues.

Core Leads

Nadereh Pourat, PhD

Project Manager and Program Administration Core Lead

Aliso Canyon Health Study

Nadereh Pourat, PhD, Project Manager and Program Administration Core Lead, oversees all administration functions for this project and will also lead the Secondary/Existing Data Health Assessment component of the study.

Dr. Pourat is the Director of the Health Economics and Evaluation Research (HEER) Program at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHRP) and has extensive experience in evaluations of national, statewide, and local programs, including the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Health Center Program, California Medicaid 1115 Waiver programs including Whole Person Care, PRIME, and Health Homes Program using mixed methods evaluation designs. She has obtained and conducted extensive analysis on administrative data from public (e.g., hospital discharges) and private (e.g., health clinic) data sources. HEER has multiple resources for conducting studies including servers with extensive capacity for Private Health Information; staff who are CITI-HIPAA certified; and a HIPAA-compliant Protected Health Information Data Access Center to house, protect, manage, and analyze such data.

Dr. Pourat is also a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and a Professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry.

Jesus Araujo, MD, PhD

Health and Well-Being Core Co-Lead

Aliso Canyon Health Study

Jesus Araujo, MD, PhD, Health and Well-Being Core Co-Lead, has been a pioneer in the field of Environmental Cardiology. His laboratory was the first to demonstrate the proatherogenic effects of ambient ultrafine particles (UFP), which involve activation of macrophages and the 5-lipoxygenase pathway in the liver. He also has an excellent record in the study of oxidative stress and inflammation in the vasculature, as well as determining the role in atherosclerosis of anti-oxidant genes such as Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and its transcription factor Nrf2. He has successfully led multidisciplinary and multi-institutional teams and tasks, including work with the co-investigators in previous projects funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the American Heart Association (AHA).

In a published report with PI Dr. Jerrett, Dr. Araujo identified a panel of sensitive oxidative and inflammatory biomarkers informing on early cardiovascular effects induced by air pollution in a cohort of young subjects traveling from less polluted Los Angeles to more polluted Beijing. Some of those biomarkers will be used in this proposed study.

Wendie Robbins, PhD

Health and Well-Being Core Co-Lead

Aliso Canyon Health Study

Wendie Robbins, PhD, MSN, Health and Well-Being Core Co-Lead, is a Professor and Endowed Chair of Biological Nursing Science at UCLA. She has a joint appointment between the School of Nursing and the Fielding School of Public Health. She holds faculty appointments with the UCLA Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH), UCLA Molecular Toxicology IDP, and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Robbins has over 30 years of research expertise studying the impact of workplace and environmental exposures on health, including molecular toxicology and epidemiologic field studies. She has conducted field studies nationally and internationally. She has served as an expert consultant on epidemiologic protocols for assessing environmental effects on reproductive health for the U.S. EPA Integrated Risk Information System, Human Health Risk Assessment Program.

Dr. Robbins is an advanced practice Nurse Practitioner with over a decade of clinical service providing care for mothers and children in medically underserved areas of the U.S. Southwest. At UCLA, she has mentored more than 180 undergraduate and graduate students in her research laboratory and in epidemiologic field studies that focus on populations most vulnerable to adverse environmental and occupational exposures.

David Eisenman, MD

Community Stakeholders Communications Core Lead

Aliso Canyon Health Study

David Eisenman, MD, MSHS, Community Stakeholders Communications Core Lead, brings internationally-recognized subject matter expertise, research and practical experience with community engagement and community-based participatory research, and expertise in disaster risk and resilience factors. He directs the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters and works closely with Dr. Jerrett as Deputy Director in the UCLA Healthy Climate Solutions Center.

Dr. Eisenman was a PI on the Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience Project, a five-year, community-level, randomized control trial of a program for building community-level resilience to emergencies and disasters that was centered on community engagement methods. He was Principal Investigator on two randomized control trials of disaster preparedness programs that used community participatory methods (National Institute of Nursing Research and Center for Disease Control & Prevention) and Co-PI of a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded randomized controlled trial evaluating the implementation, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of collaborative care for PTSD in six federally qualified health centers.

Dr. Eisenman is a practicing physician. He is a Forum Member on the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Disasters and Emergencies and a committee member on their recently completed systematic review of the public health disaster research literature, “Evidence-Based Practice for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response.”

Full UCLA Team

Professor and Chair of Biostatistics

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Research Program Manager

UCLA Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

mike fricano headshot


Public Information Officer

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Project Manager and Researcher

UCLA Center for Healthy Climate Solutions

Administrative Analyst

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Director of Communications and Publications

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

adrian manalang

Director of Finance and Administration

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

sienna marley headshot

Master of Public Health Student

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Ying-Ying Meng

Director of Research

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Research Data Analyst, Environmental Health Sciences

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

PhD Candidate, Environmental Health Sciences

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

David Park headshot

Research Data Analyst, Environmental Health Sciences

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Kim Paul headshot

Assistant Professor-in-Residence, Neurology

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Jason Shen photo

Senior Project Scientist, Section of Public and Population Health

UCLA School of Dentistry

Adjunct Assistant Professor

UCLA School of Dentistry

Post-Doctoral Scholar, Environmental Health Sciences


UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Post-Doctoral Researcher

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Professor of Environmental Health Sciences

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Scientific Oversight Committee

The Scientific Oversight Committee (SOC) plays a critical role in the development and advancement of the Aliso Canyon Health Study. The SOC includes independent experts and public agency representatives and has expertise in areas critical to this study such as: Epidemiology, Disaster Behavioral Health, Toxicology, Pediatric and Adult Medicine, Community-Based Research, Exposure Assessment, Environmental Science, Air Monitoring, and Air Modeling.

The SOC reviews and approve UCLA’s methods and analysis throughout. At the end of the Health Study’s third year, the SOC will independently assess UCLA’s effort to determine if the Health Study should continue. Afterwards, the SOC will evaluate the Health Study’s progress on an annual basis.

Learn more about the SOC.