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Joshua Apte – HEI Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award

apte work

Apte studies human exposure to air pollution in the built environment, with special interest in fast-growing regions of the developing world.

Aug. 2, 2017

Assistant Professor Joshua Apte, a researcher in air pollution exposure assessment, is being recognized with the Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award from the Health Effects Institute (HEI). 

The award, the only one of its kind given annually by HEI, supports the work of a promising, early-career scientist with three years of funding. The Boston-based institute is a non-profit, independent research organization that provides high-quality, impartial, and relevant science on the health effects of air pollution.

Apte was selected to receive the award for his proposal “Scalable Multipollutant Exposure Assessment Using Routine Mobile Monitoring Platforms”, which builds on his prior novel work to collect large amounts of air pollution data using monitors mounted on Google Street View cars.

For his Rosenblith Award study, he will investigate whether such monitoring could improve exposure assessment for health studies. The study has the potential for a significant impact on the way research related to air pollution and health is conducted.

Apte will measure air pollution concentrations using vehicle-mounted monitors in Oakland, California, and Delhi, India. Next, he will compare these data with other, more traditional exposure assessment approaches, such as fixed-site measurements, land use regression, and satellite estimates. He will also mine data from the multipollutant data set to understand the effects of sources on population exposures. Finally, he will evaluate how scaling up this approach could address data gaps related to air pollution exposure in health studies.

Apte received a Ph.D. in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and has held a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency STAR graduate fellowship and a Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship to the Indian Institute of Technology. In addition, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and subsequently joined the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin in early 2015.

Apte is 23rd scientist to receive the Rosenblith Award since the inception of the program in 1999.


Although the HEI Research Committee normally selects one recipient, associate professor Marie Pedersen, University of Copenhagen, was also recognized for her research related to the impacts of air pollution on asthma.