University of Arizona Environmental Engineer Paloma Beamer, PhD, has been awarded a five-year, $666,000 career development grant to study how exposures to environmental pollutants may lead to the development of respiratory disease in children, particularly in vulnerable and underserved populations.
The Assistant Professor in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health received the Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
Completing the research project component of the proposal (Relating Diesel Exhaust Exposure to Respiratory and Immune Outcomes in Early Life) will help understand if exposure to diesel-related pollutants as an infant results in alterations of the immune and respiratory systems that could result in early childhood wheezing or development of asthma. Dr. Beamer will use the findings from this proposal to engineer intervention strategies that can then be tested in community settings and hopefully help reduce the burden of wheezing in childhood.
Completion of this career development plan will establish Dr. Beamer as a researcher at the interface of environmental engineering and epidemiology, and position her to design and evaluate novel interventions aimed at reducing the burden of respiratory disease from environmental exposures.
This research plan forms the basis of a five-year career development plan for Dr. Beamer under the mentorship of Dr. Fernando Martinez (respiratory diseases, epidemiology), Dr. Lynn Gerald (asthma, community-based research), Dr. Duane Sherrill (biostatistics), and Dr. Eric Betterton (atmospheric chemistry and physics). Additional collaborators include Dr. Anne Wright (asthma epidemiology) and Dr. Andrew Comrie (urban air pollution, spatial analysis).