SEARCH: Solutions to Energy, AiR, Climate, and Health


Armed with a $3 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a Johns Hopkins research team joined forces with researchers at Yale University and other universities to form an EPA Center on Air, Climate, and Energy. The Center hosts four research projects and will be directed by Michelle Bell, Professor of Environmental Health at Yale University and a Johns Hopkins alumna. 

The Johns Hopkins team is led by Ben Hobbs, E²SHI Director and Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, and includes six other Johns Hopkins faculty that bring expertise in measuring air quality, developing sensor technology, and using satellite images to gather the data needed for several of the Center’s projects. Among their tasks include examining air quality and health impacts of the energy transition – or changes in where we get our energy supply – across the United States. By combining models from different fields, the project will identify factors contributing to emissions, air quality and health associated with key energy-related transitions in order to understand how these factors affect regional and local differences in air pollution and public health effects today and under a changing climate.

This multidisciplinary project will produce detailed estimates of the health consequences of energy choices, while also identifying key modifiable factors – such as transportation, land-use, and power generation – and how those factors and their air pollution impacts are likely to change over time.

Johns Hopkins Research Team

JHU Principal Investigator

Ben Hobbs, E²SHI Director and Professor, Dept of Environmental Health and Engineering

JHU Co-Investigators

  • Frank Curriero, Associate Professor, Dept of Epidemiology
  • Hugh Ellis, Professor, Dept of Environmental Health and Engineering
  • Howard Katz, Professor, Dept of Materials Science and Engineering
  • Kirsten Koehler, Assistant Professor, Dept of Environmental Health and Engineering
  • Roger Peng, Associate Professor, Dept of Biostatistics
  • Ben Zaitchik, E²SHI Associate and Assistant Professor, Dept of Earth and Planetary Sciences


JHU Hub article about the center (March 2, 2016)

Information about the Center from Yale University

Summary of project in the US Environmental Protection Agency website

Related Projects


Health effects of extreme heat on asthma

Detecting hazardous risks with sensor devices

The Wheelabrator is a waste-to-energy facility that burns municipal solid waste from the region and produces
thermal energy that is distributed to buildings in downtown Baltimore. Photo credit: Ivy Dawned

If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.
— Chinese Proverb