Current Team Members

Amber L. Kramer

Amber L. Kramer is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar after receiving her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Oregon State University. She joined the Zhu Research group in January 2020 where she is working on the chemical composition of fine particulate matter (PM₂.₅) from different pollution sources. Amber’s research goals are to better understand the adverse human health impacts of air pollution by linking the chemical composition and toxicological profiles of different sources of PM₂.₅. She worked with underrepresented communities, national laboratories, and was a NIEHS Superfund Research Project trainee throughout her graduate work. Her goal is to provide information to all communities as to how they can protect themselves from the harmful effects of PM₂.₅ exposure.

Projects:

• Wildfire emissions exposure:

    • Assess the effectiveness of low-cost sensor networks to track community exposure to wildfire PM₂.₅ emissions, both indoors and outdoors.

    • Assess the link between chemical emissions and toxicological outcomes of different wildfire fuel types.

• Electronic cigarette and vaping:

    • Link measured toxicological outcomes of electronic cigarette/vaping emissions to chemical composition.

LinkedIn

ResearchGate

Charlene Nguyen

Charlene Nguyen is a Ph.D. candidate at the UCLA Department of Environmental Health Sciences, specializing in Industrial Hygiene. Her research interests include occupational health and safety, indoor air quality, and workplace exposure assessment. Her current research explores workplace exposure to exhaled e-cigarette aerosols, primarily exposure e-cig-related air pollutants among workers in vape shops and strategies to mitigate these exposures.

Projects:

• Electronic cigarettes and vaping:

    • Conduct indoor air quality surveys and assess temporal and spatial profiles of e-cig-related fine and ultrafine particles in vape shops.

    • Assess worker exposure to exhaled e-cig aerosols in vape shops through air sampling and biological monitoring of nicotine as a tracer

    • Test air mitigation strategies to reduce worker exposure to e-cig-related air pollutants in vape shops

Publications

Farzan Oroumiyeh

Farzan Oroumiyeh is a Ph.D. cantdidae at UCLA Department of Environmental Health Sciences. Farzan’s research is focused on non-exhaust traffic emission sources, including brake and tire wear emissions, and their spatial distribution in urban environments. Farzan is also exploring more emerging traffic emission sources such as electric vehicle (EV) batteries and their characteristics such as chemical composition and particle size distribution. He has also worked in collaboration with UCLA Department of Mechanical Engineering to study the efficiency of string-based wet electrostatic precipitators in collection of fine and ultrafine particles.

Projects:

• Non-exhaust traffic emissions:

    • Perform on-road measurement of brake and tire wear particles on various light-duty vehicles

    • Examine the spatial distribution of metals and trace elements associated with brake and tire wear particles

    • Compare the contribution of different sources to generation of PM metals and trace elements in the Greater Los Angeles area

    • Collaborate with epidemiologists and biostatisticians to examine the association between the brake and tire wear metals and adverse health outcomes in the Greater Los Angeles area

    • Work on developing a state-of-art sampling apparatus for measuring brake wear particles from heavy-duty vehicles

Haoxuan Chen

Haoxuan Chen is a current Postdoctoral Scholar. He received his Ph.D. degree in 2020 in environmental sciences at Peking University. He has published research articles in Nano Letters, Environmental Sciences & Technology, Environmental International, etc. His research interests include bioaerosols, health effects of air pollution and breath-borne biomarkers.

Projects:

• Electronic cigarettes and vaping:

    • Evaluate the impacts of e-cigs on human health by breath-borne biomarkers

    • Characterize the breath profiles related to e-cigs usage

    • Explore the biological and immune processes of the e-cigs induced pulmonary injury

Publications

ResearchGate

Jonathan Liu

Jonathan Liu is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. His research interests include geospatial characterization of brake and tire wear emissions, modeling methods in environmental health, and novel sources of environmental data.

Projects:

• COVID-19 related:

    • Modeled the effect of shelter-in-place measures on highway traffic and near-road NO and NO2 concentrations

• Non-exhaust traffic emissions:

    • Characterize brake and tire wear metal concentrations using land-use regression techniques

    • Improve land-use regression model predictions by co-Kriging with the PurpleAir sensor network

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Kiera Dixon

Kiera Dixon is a 1st-year M.S. candidate at the UCLA Department of Environmental Health Sciences. She is interested in research involving climate change mitigation, air pollution reduction and environmental justice. She has previously assisted with field research exploring workplace exposure to e-cigarette aerosols among vape shop workers and related mitigation strategies.

LinkedIn

Li Zhang

Li Zhang is a D. Env candidate at the UCLA Department of Environmental Science Engineering. His research interests include climate change and air quality improvement. His current research evaluates the 'Dual Attainments' of reaching CO₂ emission peak and the attainment of the air quality standards for Chinese city, explores the CO₂ emission scenarios for China until 2060, compiles the China Carbon Watch system to quickly estimate the monthly, provincial and CO₂ emissions in all sectors. Besides, he explores the transport and mitigation of exhaled electronic cigarette aerosols in a multizone indoor environment.

Projects:

• Electronic cigarettes and vaping:

    • In an experimental setting, we aim to the effectiveness of different mitigation strategies to reduce indoor particulate pollution due to e-cig under six different conditions.

• 'Dual Attainments' of CO₂ emission peak and air quality:

    The Dual Attainments of reaching CO₂ emission peak and the attainment of the air quality standards are major environmental challenges for Chinese cities. Carrying out research on the evaluation methods of city-level “Dual Attainments” is an important way for China to achieve coordinated governance of addressing climate change and improving air quality. We aim to establish a "Dual Attainments" evaluation model for Chinese cities by integrating emission inventory of CO₂ and major air pollutants, emission scenarios models, transport processes models and spatial analysis models so that city environment researchers, planners, and decision makers can coordinate goals of carbon emissions and air quality.

• China Carbon Watch system:

    A one- or two-year-time lag exists in the current carbon emission reporting system. In order to provide reference for implementing climate actions and assessing the impacts on CO₂ emissions due to emergencies such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, a timely evaluation of CO₂ emission inventory is needed. We aim to compile the China Carbon Watch (CCW) system to quickly estimate the monthly, provincial CO₂ emissions in all sectors, including power, industry, transportation, building and agriculture sectors. The establishment of CCW system could be the footstone for China to reach the peak of carbon emissions around 2030.

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Liqiao (Vicky) Li

Liqiao (Vicky) Li is a Ph.D. candidate at the UCLA Department of Environmental Health Sciences. Her research interests include indoor air pollution and environmental exposure assessment. Her current research explores the characteristics of electronic cigarette-related emissions and their impacts on indoor air quality. She is also working on a COVID-19 related project that assesses the effectiveness of various face coverings to mitigate the outward transport of respiratory droplets indoors.

Projects:

• COVID-19 related:

    • Assess the effectiveness of various face coverings to mitigate the transport of airborne particles produced by coughing in an indoor environment

    • Collaborate with researchers in School of Medicine to evaluate the effectiveness of a novel negative pressure isolation device (i.e., a suction-assisted local aerosol containment chamber) to reduce the health care workers’ exposure to respiratory aerosols

• Electronic cigarettes and vaping:

    • Examine the effects of e-liquid components on evaporation of e-cigarette-emitted fine and ultrafine aerosols

    • Characterize the simulated inhaled and exhaled e-cigarette aerosols using a ventilated artificial lung system with the effects of different parameters

    • Evaluate the impacts of e-cigarettes usage on the air quality of vape shop and its nearby areas

    • Collaborate with researchers in holography and machine learning to evaluate the volatility and morphology of e-cigarette aerosols using lens-free microscopy to capture the real-time behaviors of individual particles

    • Collaborate with researchers in nano-toxicology and cardiology to investigate the toxicity and health effects of e-cigarette aerosols by in vitro and in vivo assays

Publications

LinkedIn

Lisa Yan

Lisa Yan is an undergraduate student at UCLA with the intended major of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics. She is interested in pursuing a career in either the public health or medical field, with research interests in various environmental health exposures as well as epigenetics. She hopes to gain valuable research skills and exposure to the public health field from working with the Zhu Research Group. Her current project with Dr. Zhu’s lab is related to wildfire emissions.

LinkedIn

Muchuan Niu

Muchuan Niu is a current staff research associate in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. He received his master’s degree in Environmental Health Sciences at UCLA in 2019. His research interests include on-road and near road way environmental exposure assessment and clinical studies on air pollution related health effects. His current research focuses on the evaluation of the relative contribution of co-exposure to road traffic noise and air pollution, as well as, using novel VR approach in designing research protocols. He is also working on a COVID-19 related project that assess the effectiveness of various face coverings to mitigate the outward transport of respiratory droplets indoors and an on-going project on assessing the particle protection efficiency of COVID-19 related medical equipment in the operation room.

Projects:

• COVID-19 related:

    • Test the particle leakage from various face coverings and assessing the particle transport characteristics

    • Design research methods to evaluate the 6-feet recommendation for “social distancing”

• Health effects of hazy visibility using VR devices:

    • Perform video shootings for VR immersive visualization

    • Generate questionnaires for subject recruitment and use multiple research devices to perform the test

    • IRB application and human subject testing using non-invasive instruments on physiological endpoints

    • VR equipment setting up and data analysis using R Studio, SigmaPlot, and Excel

LinkedIn

Qiao Yu

Qiao Yu is a Ph.D. candidate at the UCLA Department of Environmental Health Sciences. His research interests include climate change mitigation and air quality co-benefits, Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) policy and environmental justice. His Master Project focused on quantifying the dynamics of air pollution burdens from a multi-factor driven analysis framework. He is currently working on quantifying the health co-benefits of vehicle electrification in California at a community level.

LinkedIn

Rachel Connolly

Rachel Connolly is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Health Sciences department within the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and a Graduate Student Researcher with the Luskin Center for Innovation. Rachel’s research focuses on environmental justice and associated environmental exposures including air quality and access to green space. With the Center, she has collaborated on projects involving the evaluation of environmental incentive programs, with regards to increasing access to environmental amenities for underserved populations, as well as quantitative health impact assessments utilizing environmental health methods. With the lab, she works on projects related to both indoor and outdoor air quality and resulting exposure and health impacts.

Projects:

• Application of low-cost sensors:

    • Monitor indoor and outdoor air quality in a UCLA housing community using low cost air sensors, to determine to what extent these sensors can be used to detect and evaluate the impacts of various emission sources on air quality

• Environmental justice and air quality:

    • Assess the effects of residential gas appliances on indoor and outdoor air quality and public health in California

    • Estimate mortality impacts from a vehicle emission reduction effort – a smog repair incentive program – in the San Joaquin Valley

LinkedIn

Robert Schupp

Robert Schupp is a M.S. student at the UCLA Department of Environmental Health Sciences. His research interests include environmental and occupational exposure assessments. His current research is focused on occupational exposure and related health effects to electronic cigarette-related emissions for vape shop employees.

LinkedIn

Saja Zidan

Saja Zidan is a 4th year undergraduate student at UCLA studying Human Biology and Society with a minor in Global Health. Her research interests include environmental health, health disparities, underserved communities, and the health of refugee communities. She hopes to expand her research experience in environmental exposures and underserved communities this year. Saja hopes to pursue a career in medicine after graduating from UCLA in the Spring.

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Tiancong Ma

Tiancong Ma is a current Postdoctoral Scholar. He received a B.S. degree in 2013 at the South China University of Technology. Then, he received his Ph.D. degree (2019) in physical chemistry at the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has published research articles in J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Adv. Healthcare Mater., Small, Chem. Mater., etc. His research interests include synthesis, applications, and toxicity of nanomaterials, the safety and toxicity of electronic cigarette.

Projects:

• Electronic cigarettes and vaping:

    • Characterize the cytotoxicity of e-cigarette aerosols generated from different e-liquid

    • Elucidate the link between e-cig device features and key e-liquid components and their toxic potential

    • Identify the associated mechanism of e-cigarette induced pulmonary toxicity

Publications

LinkedIn

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