Dr. Francine Laden is Professor of Environmental Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Dr. Laden received her ScD in Epidemiology and MS in Environmental Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Her research interests focus on the environmental epidemiology of chronic diseases, including cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Her research has or is concentrated on the following categories of exposures: air pollution (from ambient and occupational sources), persistent organic pollutants (POPs; organochlorines), secondhand smoke, and the contextual environment (e.g. built environment and green spaces). She is specifically interested in the geographic distribution of disease risk, incorporating geographic information system technology into large cohort studies to explore risk factors such as the built environment and indicators of socioeconomic status, as well as air pollution. She has published key papers on the association of ambient particulate matter and all cause and cardiovascular mortality in the landmark Harvard Six Cities Study and the Nurses’ Health Study and on the association of diesel exhaust exposures and lung cancer mortality in the trucking industry.
She is currently Co-Director of the Harvard and Boston University Environmental Disparities Center: Center for Research on Environmental and Social Stressors in Housing Across the Life Course (CRESSH). The mission of the Center is to study environmental health disparities in low-income communities and throughout Massachusetts. Dr. Laden is a past member of the EPA Science Advisory Board, Past President of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology, the Director of the Environmental, Epidemiology and Risk Program, and the Associate Chair of the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard Chan School.