Center Information
Board of Directors
Scientific Advisory Panel
Financial Support (List of Supporters)

The Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center (NUATRC), located in the Texas Medical Center, was authorized by the U.S. Congress in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (Title III, Sec. 112(p)), and incorporated in 1991.  It is named after the late Congressman Mickey Leland, whose efforts on behalf of public health contributed significantly to the passage of key amendments to the Clean Air Act.

The NUATRC is a research facility that has been specifically charged to sponsor and gather scientific information on the human health effects caused by exposure to air toxics.  By law, it is a non-profit corporation, financed by government and private funds.  To date, private sector gifts to the NUATRC have come primarily from corporations in the petroleum and chemical industries.

As established by law, the NUATRC is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors, and receives scientific guidance from a nationally-based thirteen-member Scientific Advisory Panel.

  The mission of the NUATRC is to develop and support research which will yield a better understanding of the potential risks posed to human health by exposure to air toxics, as defined by the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.  The Center's research program, developed collaboratively by scientific experts from academia, industry and government, seeks to fill the gaps in scientific data that are required to make sound environmental health public policy decisions.


  • to study health effects in human populations exposed to air toxics
  • to develop new approaches and methods for assessing the potential risks resulting from exposures to air toxics
  • to provide sound, peer-reviewed scientific data for regulatory purposes

To meet these needs, the Center develops and directs a comprehensive research program in urban populations addressing the health effects of the 189 materials that Congress has identified as hazardous air pollutants.

The Center sponsors peer-reviewed research designed to assess and rank public-health risks associated with these materials.

These findings will help the federal government meetits mandates to:

  • evaluate, by the end of the decade, the potential health risks of air toxics to human health
  • promulgate, if necessary, future air-quality regulations and standards to reduce or prevent averse health effects caused by air toxics
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Board of Directors

The NUATRC is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors.  This Board includes noted health research scientists and administrators from major academic institutions, as well as key state and local government regulatory agencies.

Board members are selected based on their experience in the fields of public health, environmental pollution and medicine.

Current Board of Directors
Jane Delgado
National Alliance for Hispanic Health
John Hiatt - Treasurer
Quest Diagnostics (Semi-Retired)
Roberta Ness
UT Health School of Public Health
Leslie Fields
Sierra Club
R. Bruce LaBoon - Chair
Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP
Hermania Palacio
Harris County Pub Health & Environ Science
Shawn Gerstenberger
University of Nevada Las Vegas
Jane Luxton
Pepper Hamilton LLP
John Walke
Natural Resources Defense Council
Scientific Advisory Panel
  In keeping with the Clean Air Act requirement, the Board of Directors establishes an thirteen-member Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP).  The SAP is comprised of scientists from a number of disciplines, including exposure assessors, epidemiologists, respiratory physiologists, toxicologists and statisticians, drawn from government, academic, and private sector institutions.  The SAP advises the Board on the NUATRC's research program. 

Current Scientific Advisory Panel Members

Ed Avol
University of Southern California
George Delclos
University of Texas SPH
Bertram Price
Price Associate, Inc.
James J. Collins - Chair
Dow Chemical Company
David H. Garabrant
University of Michigan
Nathan Rabinovitch
National Jewish Medical and Research Center
  Pertti J. Hakkinen - V. Chair
Nat'l Institutes of Health (NIH)
Michael L. Cunningham
Nat'l Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Harvey Jeffries
University of North Carolina
Linda Sheldon

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Congress clearly stated, in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, its intent that both federal and private sector funds should be used to support the air toxics effort. As a result, the Mickey Leland National Urban Air Toxics Research Center has received a total of less than 5% of its funding from corporations and other private sector supporters.

Since 1992, each year, the U.S. Congress has appropriated and issued, under the oversight of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, funds to assist in the support of the Center's research. Other support for the NUATRC has come from contributions made by corporate sponsors, other non profits, as well as other government agencies.

As the NUATRC moves toward implementing its mission and achieving its important goals, substantial additional public and private sector support will be needed.  More industrial firms, as well as Foundations and other sources will be asked to take part in the funding of the Center's complex research efforts.

  Past and present supporters:
    Ashland Chemical Inc.
    B. F. Goodrich Corporation
    E. I. du Pont
    East Harris County Mfg. Assoc. (EHCMA)
    Ethyl Corporation
    Exxon Chemical Company
    ExxonMobil Company, USA
    FMC Corporation
    Georgia-Pacific Corporation
    Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
    Greater Houston Partnership
    Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC)
    Houston Endowment Foundation
    Houston Regional Monitoring (HRM)
    Harris County
    ICI Americas
    Lubrizol Corporation
    Lyondell Chemical
    Mitchell Energy
    Monsanto Corporation
    Reliant Energy HL&P
    Rohm & Haas
    Shell Foundation
    Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)
    Texaco Foundation
    Texas Eastman Company
    Toyota Motor Company North America
    Union Carbide Corporation
    Westlake Polymers Corporation
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