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News Release

Anschutz Medical Campus expands research in Environmental Health

9/30/2009
John Adgate, PhD, Colorado School of Public Health

The Colorado School of Public Health announced its selection for the chairperson of its Department of Environmental & Occupational Health this week at the Uniting Public Health meeting in Copper Mountain, Colo. The conference provided a perfect opportunity for the announcement, bringing together several hundred Colorado public and environmental health professionals for the first time.

John Adgate, PhD, comes to the Colorado School of Public Health from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health where he was an associate professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences. His research focuses on improving exposure assessment in epidemiologic studies—studying the factors that affect the health and illness of entire populations—by documenting the magnitude and variability of human exposure to air pollutants, pesticides, metals, and allergens. Some of his research projects have included evaluating methods that might help to reduce lead poisoning in the home, outcomes of long-term exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollutants, and a controlled trial to test an allergen reduction intervention in inner city residences. 

Adgate officially begins in January 2010, however, in the interim, he already is actively building partnerships and setting priorities for the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health within the Colorado School of Public Health. His top priority is faculty recruitment. 

Currently the majority of Colorado’s environmental health faculty reside at Colorado State University, a partner of the Colorado School of Public Health along with the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Northern Colorado. Adgate will build on this base, but his plan is to recruit new faculty who will be based at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo. According to Adgate, recruitment will focus on expertise in environmental epidemiology, modeling environmental systems and the measurement of exposures or health effects.  He will also continue to build on existing expertise in chemical exposure and respiratory disease. 

“As departments go, this one will start small, but we expect to grow over time,” said Adgate. “The faculty expansion will increase the School’s capacity to recognize and prevent the physical, chemical, biological and social hazards that contribute to illness in workers and in the public.”

Currently the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health is home to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center, an occupational and environmental medicine residency program, and a master of public health degree in environmental and occupational health.

About Colorado School of Public Health
The new Colorado School of Public Health is the first and only school of public health in the Rocky Mountain Region, attracting top tier faculty and students from across the country, and providing a vital contribution towards ensuring our region’s health and well-being. Collaboratively formed by the University of Colorado Denver, Colorado State University, and the University of Northern Colorado, the Colorado School of Public Health provides training, innovative research and community service to actively address public health issues, including chronic disease, access to health care, environmental threats, emerging infectious diseases, and costly injuries. 

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Contact: Tonya Ewers-Maikish, 303.315.6374, tonya.ewers@ucdenver.edu