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Why working at PHO is important to me:

"An important benefit of working at PHO is the ability to apply our research, knowledge, and expertise at a level that can directly influence policy and practice to improve the health of Ontarians."

Hong Chen, Scientist
New: Scientist Profile

Watch Dr. Hong Chen talk about:
  • What excites him about his work
  • The impact of his research
  • Why he chose PHO

Trouble viewing? Watch on YouTube.



    Academic degrees and accreditations

    • Doctor of philosophy (Epidemiology), McGill University
    • Master of science (Management Information Systems), Texas A&M University
    • Master of science (Environmental Sciences), University of Akron

    Areas of expertise

    • Environmental epidemiology
    • Environmental exposure assessment
    • Biostatistics
    • Environmental exposure assessment using geographic information systems (GIS)

    PHO research interests

    • Understanding the human health effects of exposure to environmental risk factors, particularly ambient air pollution, traffic-related noise, and extreme temperature.
    • Methodological development regarding the modelling of health impacts of air pollution, with a focus on developing spatiotemporal models to characterize the spatial and temporal variability of air pollutants.
    • Informing policy- and decision-making on actions geared towards achieving environmental exposure reduction and disease prevention.

    Current PHO research activities

    • Assessing the associations between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and noise and the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
    • Investigating the effects of air pollution on the development of major neurodegenerative diseases, especially dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
    • Quantifying the health burden of ambient temperatures on mortality and morbidity.
    • Examining the effects of environmental exposures on the long-term survival and other outcomes of adults living with major chronic diseases.
    • Evaluating the public health impacts of environmental health programs, such as smog advisories.

    Top publications

    1. Chen H, Kwong JC, Copes R, Tu K, Villeneuve PJ, van Donkelaar A, Hystad P, Martin RV, Murray BJ, Jessiman B, Wilton AS, Kopp A, Burnett RT. Living near major roads and the incidence of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis: a population-based cohort study. Lancet. 2017;389(10070):718-26.

    2. Chen H, Burnett RT, Copes R, Kwong JC, Villeneuve PJ, Goldberg MS, Brook RD, van Donkelaar A, Jerrett M, Martin RV, Kopp A, Brook JR, Tu JV. Ambient fine particulate matter and mortality among survivors of myocardial infarction: population-based cohort study. Environ Health Perspect. 2016;124(9):1421-8.

    3. Chen H, Kwong JC, Copes R, Villeneuve PJ, Goldberg MS, Weichenthal S, van Donkelaar A, Jerrett M, Martin RV, Brook JR, Kopp A, Burnett RT. Cohort Profile: The Ontario Population Health and Environment Cohort (ONPHEC). Int J Epidemiol. 2016;46(2):405-j.

    4. Chen H, Burnett RT, Kwong JC, Villeneuve PJ, Goldberg MS, Brook RD, van Donkelaar A, Jerrett M, Martin RV, Kopp A, Brook JR, Copes R. Spatial association between ambient fine particulate matter and incident hypertension. Circulation. 2014;129(5):562-9.

    5. Chen H, Burnett RT, Kwong JC, Villeneuve PJ, Goldberg MS, Brook RD, van Donkelaar A, Jerrett M, Martin RV, Brook JR, Copes R. Risk of incident diabetes in relation to long-term exposure to fine particulate matter in Ontario, Canada. Environ Health Perspect. 2013;121(7):804-10.


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    Page last updated: 2017-08-18 11:07 AM
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