Professor Ed Avol receives prestigious award recognizing his contributions to air pollution research

At the 2017 annual meeting of the International Society of Exposure Science (ISES), Ed Avol, Professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine at USC, was recognized for his career as an exposure scientist in the field of air pollution research and its public health impacts. Avol received the Constance L. Mehlman Award which aims to “to recognize the ISEA member who has most helped shape a National or State policy with exposure analysis or affected a reduction or prevention of exposure.”

Trained at the California Institute of Technology, Avol’s career as an exposure scientist for over 40 years and his body of work continue to shape state and national policies in terms of providing scientific evidence for reducing air pollution exposures.

His early, groundbreaking work demonstrating respiratory effects of gaseous and particulate air pollutants in carefully controlled clinical exposures with human volunteers transitioned to critical planning and operational roles in the historic southern California Children’s Health Study (CHS) (a longitudinal study of over 12,000 children spanning over 20 years). Avol’s work with colleagues has been frequently cited around the world and has improved our understanding of the impact of air pollution on human health. Numerous publications have resulted from the CHS, documenting and estimating the effects of regional and near-roadway air pollution exposure on children’s lung function growth, school absenteeism, and the prevalence of asthma. He has served on several US EPA Clean Air Science Advisory Committees review panels, contributing to the critical review of scientific evidence (under the Clean Air Act) for setting primary standards for the criteria air pollutants nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and particulate matter to protect public health.

In addition to his outstanding contributions to the field of exposure sciences and the impact of his scientific career on policy, Avol’s has made a major commitment to educating and mentoring the next generation of environmental health and exposure scientists at the undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and junior faculty level.

“His devotion and generosity in mentoring, and in outreach to communities heavily impacted by environmental exposures, make him a highly respected, admired and cherished colleague and friend. His work ethic and intellect as well as his modesty are truly inspiring,” said Rima Habre, ScD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine.

About the Constance L. Mehlman Award: Myron Mehlman, the Society’s first President and former managing editor of the Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology, endowed a new ISEA award in 1999 in honor of his late wife, Constance Mehlman, an environmental attorney.