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Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

Zhang awarded Transformational Project Award from AHA

KZ_HeadshotKai Zhang, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health and a member of the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH), was recently awarded a Transformational Project Award (TPA) from the American Heart Association (AHA). The award totals $300,000.

TPA is a competitive grant program supporting the innovative research that has a high probability of revealing new avenues of investigation in cardiovascular research. Zhang’s project is multidisciplinary to link the state-of-the-art exposure science approach with cardiovascular health research, bringing together experts from Northwestern University, Columbia University, and Washington University in St. Louis.

As part of his project, Zhang and his team will assess the impact of urban exposures in the development of 
cardiovascular diseases by leveraging the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. This project will utilize the emerging urban exposome framework that incorporates ambient air pollution and hundreds of features of the natural, built and social environments within cities. This study will provide critical insights for informing interventions, city planning, and behavior adaptations aimed at reducing the global burden of cardiovascular diseases.