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Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma

Air pollution and climate health research

Air pollution exposure is detrimental to health, with the World Health Organization attributing approximately 7 million annual deaths to exposure. Morbidity and mortality have been associated with increasing rates of wildland fire smoke exposure and residents living in fire-prone areas affected by wildland fires were exposed to significant levels of smoke during the latest wildland fire season in the Western U.S. states, specially in California. We have conducted research for more than 10 years in the Central Valley area focusing on immune health and the effects of air pollution in vulnerable populations.

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Featured PBS Interview: How firefighters’ life-saving work puts them at a higher risk of cancer.

Recent News

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Video contest

High school students: Make a 2-3 minute educational video on climate change and health!!!

Research and focus on the impacts of climate change (e.g. increasing temperatures, wildfires, pollen season, increased air pollution, etc.) on our health.

Enter individually or up to 4 member/team

Record on the platform of your choice (e.g. tiktok, youtube)  and submit the link to enter to: (Questions to same email)

Submissions are CLOSED, winners will be decided SOON  

All winners will have their video showcased on our website!

Challenges of climate change

We also recognize climate change as a social justice issue and a public health crisis.  A rapidly warming planet will devastate our country and the world through worsening heat waves, wildfires, storms in some regions, and severe droughts in others that will disproportionately affect populations already made vulnerable from poverty and racism. Furthermore, people with lower incomes are more likely to live in communities with higher pollution levels from traffic-related air pollution, which is also an issue of environmental justice.

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Recent Highlights

Dr Aguilera presented at the National Monthly call for Elders Climate Action

State of the Air Report Released - see an article discussing  the findings: 

We recommend this incredible 5-minute video on the threats climate change poses for human health produced by 7th grader Camille Chu

Dr Nadeau's interview for NEJM Journal Watch Audio General Medicine

Article interview for Nature: "How record wildfires are harming human health" 11/24/21

Our Yale Climate Connections radio story with Kari Nadeau begins airing November 8, and you can listen to it here at our website:

The World Health Organization just released the WHO global air quality guidelines: particulate matter (‎PM2.5 and PM10)‎, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide

The Lancet released: Call for emergency action to limit global temperature increases, restore biodiversity, and protect health

Sustainability Initiative Series  offered by our partners

Sean N. Parker Center Receives $10.5 million to assess health impacts of wildfire smoke

Raging wildfires linked to thousands of COVID-19 cases and hundreds of deaths in 2020, study says

Airing on NBC News: "Tiny smoke particles could make wildfires particularly harmful to human health" 

Latest publication: "Air pollution exposure is linked with methylation of immunoregulatory genes, altered immune cell profiles, and increased blood pressure in children".

Dr Aguilera was interviewed for STAT: "Wildfire smoke is particularly harmful to kids’ respiratory health, study finds"

Our director for air pollution and health research was interviewed in Scienceline "Prescribed fires may mean safer smoke". 

Our research was recently featured in the New York Times. "Wildfire Smoke Is Poisoning California’s Kids. Some Pay a Higher Price".

A recent communication in Nature highlighted our work. "California Scientists Race to Assess Health Risks of Wildfire Smoke". 

Mary Prunicki was honored as part of the: "Best of 2020: Stanford Medicine’s top podcasts".

From our Partners in the Community

Everyone deserves access to healthy food. But in too many American cities, food deserts and systemic inequities limit this access. Fresno, California is an agriculturally rich region, but nutritious food is not accessible or affordable for all of its residents. To combat this, two nonprofits, Fresno Metro Ministry and St. Rest Baptist Church, partnered to create the St. Rest + Food to Share Hub – a robust, equitable and place-based investment in Southwest Fresno for food recovery, storage and distribution. The partnership exemplifies the transformative potential of knitting together multiple forms of funding toward community impact.


Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University
Biomedical Innovations Building 1700
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305

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