Henry Anderson III Graduate Awards

2024 Award

A ONE HEALTH APPROACH TO CHARACTERIZE AIR POLLUTION, AEROBIOME, AND ACUTE RESPIRATORY ILLNESS IN MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA

Jonathan Bryan, Research Specialist, Dr. Jorge Osorio Laboratory, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Worldwide, the deaths of approximately 7 million people were associated with air pollution based on the World Health Organization (World Health Organization, 2018). A report by the Colombian National Health Observatory attributed 15,681 deaths to poor air quality (National Health Observatory, 2018). These statistics influenced air pollution monitoring and programs for surveillance of respiratory health concerns. One shortcoming of these surveillance systems is a primary emphasis on monitoring chemical contaminants but largely neglecting biological contaminants. The One Health concept involves a transdisciplinary effort to address issues at the intersection of human, environmental, and animal health. Using this approach, we will analyze the correlation between air quality, climate change, and bioaerosol presence of pathogens causing acute respiratory illness in Medellín Metropolitan Area, conducted in collaboration with GHI’s One Health Center – Colombia. By monitoring the prevalence of respiratory pathogens in aerosols, we better understand airborne transmission for assessing the effectiveness of preventive measures like vaccines and respiratory hygiene practices. Furthermore, exploring the relationship between air quality and climate change as risk factors for respiratory pathogen transmission can guide policymakers to develop interventions to improve air quality, mitigate climate change impacts, and reduce the burden of respiratory diseases on vulnerable populations.

The Henry Anderson III Graduate Student Award in Environmental and Occupational Public Health supports graduate students pursuing research in those areas. Preference will be given to students in the schools of Medicine and Public Health, Pharmacy, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine, as well as those pursuing local and international environmental public health projects. GHI will grant $5,000 for the duration of a year. The grant was offered for the first time in 2018. Use this link for application information. And use this link for the GHI Title page, including abstract.

Application Deadline for 2024 is now closed.