Division of Environmental Medicine

Welcome to University of Louisville's Division of Environmental Medicine, a division within the UofL Department of Medicine.


Envirome Institute Building 2021Mission

The Division of Environmental Medicine was created in 2018 within the Department of Medicine with the mission to understand the relationships between the environment and human health towards preventing and mitigating chronic disease through environmental adaptations and interventions. The division supports a multidisciplinary research program focused on studying how environmental conditions and characteristics relate to the development, mitigation, or prevention of cardiovascular and metabolic disease (e.g. heart disease, diabetes). Faculty within the division conduct place-based clinical and basic research, educate the next generation of environmental health and medicine scientists, and engage with Louisville communities.


Environmental Medicine

Environmental medicine is a multidisciplinary field involving environmental science, medicine, chemistry, toxicology, epidemiology, sociology, and other disciplines. It is a specialized form of environmental health, a branch of public health, which advances health and well-being by identifying and limiting exposure to hazardous agents in the environment. Environmental medicine scientists study how these environmental exposures are related to the causes and effects of disease and test interventions that can prevent and mitigate disease formation and progression.   


Research Foci

Natural Environment

  • Effects of green environments on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases
  • Relationships between components of nature, such as pollen and biodiversity, on human health  
  • How fundamental systems of the ecosphere (air, water, and soil) contribute to human health, wellbeing, or disease

Social Environment

  • Effects of ambient and roadway air pollution (PM2.5) on cardiovascular and metabolic disease progression
  • Effects of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on the cardiovascular and metabolic disease progression
  • Developing methods to spatially visualize pollution and disease risk and burdens among communities

Personal Environment

  • Effects of tobacco and vaping on cardiovascular and metabolic disease progression
  • Relationships between lifestyle patterns (sleep, diet, exercise) and cardiovascular and metabolic disease progression
  • Developing novel approaches to measure environmental factors that impact human health, wellbeing, or disease


The Envirome

The Human Envirome is the complete set of natural, social, and personal conditions that shape each person's health. Unique to every person, over the course of their lifetime, their envirome regulates and influences development, disease risk, physical and mental health, and lifespan.

The Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute is an affiliated research institute within the Division of Environmental Medicine. Researchers within the Envirome Institute study how conditions of the human envirome promote health or instigate disease.  Learn more about the Envirome Institute.




McNally, Lindsey A., et al. "Considerations for using isolated cell systems to understand cardiac metabolism and biology." Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology (2021).

Glycolysis, Mitochondria, Catabolism, Anabolism, Heart failure, Cardiomyocyte4/1/2021

Jin, Lexiao, et al. "Electronic Cigarette Solvents, Pulmonary Irritation and Endothelial Dysfunction: Role of Acetaldehyde and Formaldehyde." American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology (2021).

Aldehydes, Cardiovascular disease, Electronic cigarettes, Endothelium, Irritants, Tobacco2/5/2021

Kim, Thuy et al. “Disclosing Inspection Results at Point-of-Service: Affect of Characteristics of Food Establishment Inspection Programs on Foodborne Illness Outcomes.” Journal of Environmental Health 83.6 (2021): 8-13. 

Food safety, Environmental health, Restaurant inspection, Foodborne illness2/1/2021

O’Toole, Timothy E., et al. "Urinary Levels of the Acrolein Conjugates of Carnosine Are Associated with Cardiovascular Disease Risk." International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22.3 (2021): 1383.

Carnosine, Acrolein, Cardiovascular disease, Biomarker1/30/2021

Ohanyan, Vahagn, et al. "Myocardial Blood Flow Control by Oxygen Sensing Vascular Kvβ Proteins." Circulation Research (2021).

Potassium channels, Coronary circulation, Physiology, Aldo-keto reductases, Ion channels1/27/2021

Smith, Ted, Gail Cassell, and Aruni Bhatnagar. "Wastewater Surveillance Can Have a Second Act in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution." JAMA Health Forum. Vol. 2. No. 1. American Medical Association, 2021.

Infectious diseases, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Vaccination


Abouleisa, Riham, et al. "Transient Cell Cycle Induction in Cardiomyocytes to Treat Ischemic Heart Failure." (2020).

Myocardial infarction (MI), Regenerative capacity


Mohamed, Tamer MA, and Daniel J. Conklin. "Emerging technology and platforms for cardiotoxicity testing." (2020): 115262.

Anticancer drugs, Cardiomyocyte, Embryonic stem cells, High throughput, Human-induced pluripotent stem cells, Toxicity


Dassanayaka, Sujith, et al. "Cardiomyocyte Oga haploinsufficiency increases O-GlcNAcylation but hastens ventricular dysfunction following myocardial infarction." Plos one 15.11 (2020): e0242250.

Heart, Heart failure, Cardiomyocytes, Cardiovascular physiology, Myocardial infarction, Echocardiography, Mouse models, Apoptosis


O’Toole, Timothy E., et al. "Urinary levels of the acrolein conjugates of carnosine are associated with inhaled toxicants." Inhalation Toxicology 32.13-14 (2020): 468-476.

Carnosine, PM2.5, Smoking, Acrolein, Biomarker


Kaufman, Joel D., et al. "Guidance to reduce the cardiovascular burden of ambient air pollutants: a policy statement from the American Heart Association." Circulation 142.23 (2020): e432-e447.

Air pollution, Cardiovascular diseases, AHA Scientific Statements, Particulate matter, Policy making


Miller, Jessica M., et al. "Heart slice culture system reliably demonstrates clinical drug-related cardiotoxicity." Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 406 (2020): 115213.

Antineoplastic Agents, Cardiotoxins, Doxorubicin, Trastuzumab, Apoptosis, Cardiotoxicity, Tissue Culture Techniques


Irfan, Affan B., et al. "Smoking Accelerates Atrioventricular Conduction in Humans Concordant with Increased Dopamine Release." Cardiovascular toxicology (2020): 1-10.

Cigarette, Cotinine, Electrocardiography, Catecholamines, PR interval, PR segment, P wave, Atrioventricular, Smoking, Dopamine


Posa, Dheeraj Kumar, and Shahid P. Baba. "Intracellular pH Regulation of Skeletal Muscle in the Milieu of Insulin Signaling." Nutrients 12.10 (2020): 2910.

Carnosine, Chronic kidney disease, Diabetes, Glycolysis, Histidyl dipeptides, Insulin signaling, Intracellular pH, Obesity


Cave, Barbra, et al. "Working Toward elimination of Hepatitis C: The Kentucky Hepatitis academic Mentorship Program." Clinical Liver Disease 16.3 (2020): 123.

Hepatitis C, Public Health, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV, Treatment, Injectable Drugs, Harm Reduction, Therapy


Kang, Yi, et al. "Administration of cardiac mesenchymal cells modulates innate immunity in the acute phase of myocardial infarction in mice." Scientific Reports 10.1 (2020): 1-13.

Cardiac arrhythmia, Cardiac myocytes, Myocardium, Cardiovascular diseases, Teratoma, Embryonic stem cells, Heart diseases, Heart failure, Cancer, Fibrosis, Adult, Embryo, Transplant rejection, Primates, Therapeutic immunosuppression, Heart, Neoplasms, Transplantation, Stem cells, Pluripotent, Engraftment, Paracrine, Cell therapy, Clinical research, European society of cardiology, Enhanced s-cone syndrome


Lynch, Jordan, et al. "Acute and chronic vascular effects of inhaled crotonaldehyde in mice: Role of TRPA1." Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 402 (2020): 115120.

Aldehydes, Blood pressure, Cigarettes, Endothelial dysfunction, Tobacco products, Transient receptor potential ankyrin-1


Rai, Shesh N., et al. "Statistical design of Phase II/III clinical trials for testing therapeutic interventions in COVID-19 patients." BMC medical research methodology 20.1 (2020): 1-16.

Composite outcomes, COVID-19, Efficacy, Hospitalization, Interim analysis, Intubation, Power, Mortality, Sample size, Toxicity monitoring


Lynch, Jordan, et al. "Tobacco Smoke and Endothelial Dysfunction: Role of Aldehydes?." Current Hypertension Reports 22.9 (2020): 1-9.

Acrolein, Aldehydes, Tobacco cigarettes, Electronic cigarettes, Electronic nicotine delivery systems, Endothelial dysfunction


Yeager, Ray A., et al. "Wastewater sample site selection to estimate geographically-resolved community prevalence of COVID-19: A research protocol." medRxiv (2020).

Wastewater based epidemiology, Wastewater, Sewer, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Site Selection


Kaplin, Adam Ian, et al. "Evidence and magnitude of seasonality in SARS-CoV-2 transmission: Penny wise, pandemic foolish?." medRxiv (2020).

COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Temperature, Seasonality, Transmission


Baba, Shahid, et al. "Space Flight Diet-Induced Deficiency and Response to Gravity-Free Resistive Exercise." Nutrients 12.8 (2020): 2400.

Immune system, Microgravity, Ergogenic, Nutrition


Wysoczynski, Marcin, et al. "Macrophage Long Non-Coding RNAs in Pathogenesis of Cardiovascular Disease." Non-coding RNA 6.3 (2020): 28.

Cardiovascular disease, Inflammation, lncRNA, Macrophage


Baba, Shahid, et al. "Space Flight Diet-Induced Deficiency and Response to Gravity-Free Resistive Exercise." Nutrients 12.8 (2020): 2400.

Immune system, Microgravity, Ergogenic, Nutrition


Zhao, Jingjing, et al. "Cardiospecific overexpression of ATPGD1 (carnosine synthase) increases histidine dipeptide levels and prevents myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury." Journal of the American Heart Association 9.12 (2020): e015222.

Carnosine, Balenine, Anserine, Carnosine synthase, Intracellular pH, Ischemia reperfusion, Acrolein


Yeager, Ray A., Theodore R. Smith, and Aruni Bhatnagar. "Green environments and cardiovascular health." Trends in cardiovascular medicine 30.4 (2020): 241-246.

Prevention, Cardiovascular disease, Risk factors, Environment


Collins, Helen E., and John C. Chatham. "Regulation of cardiac O-GlcNAcylation: more than just nutrient availability." Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular Basis of Disease 1866.5 (2020): 165712.

O-GlcNAc, O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT), O-GlcNAcase (OGA), Heart, Nutrient regulation, Metabolism, Cardiomyocyte, GFAT


Moore IV, Joseph B., and Shizuka Uchida. "Functional characterization of long noncoding RNAs." Current opinion in cardiology 35.3 (2020): 199-206.

Cardiovascular disease , Long noncoding RNAs , MicroRNAs


Yeager, Ray, et al. "Association between residential greenness and exposure to volatile organic compounds." Science of The Total Environment 707 (2020): 135435.

Greenness, VOC, NDVI, Pollution, Metabolites, Exposure


Basner, Mathias, Daniel W. Riggs, and Daniel J. Conklin. "Environmental determinants of hypertension and diabetes mellitus: sounding off about the effects of noise." (2020): e016048.

Hypertension, Editorials, Traffic, Noise, Air pollution, Sleep disturbance, Diabetes mellitus


Konkle, Stacey L., et al. "National secular trends in ambient air volatile organic compound levels and biomarkers of exposure in the United States." Environmental research 182 (2020): 108991.

Volatile organic compounds, VOCs, Air pollution, Secular trends, Environmental health, NHANES, Biomarkers of exposure


Keith, Rachel J., et al. "Characterization of volatile organic compound metabolites in cigarette smokers, electronic nicotine device users, dual users, and nonusers of tobacco." Nicotine and Tobacco Research 22.2 (2020): 264-272.

Nicotine, Tobacco, Volatile organic compounds, Metabolites, Cigarettes, Smokers


Carll, Alex P., et al. "Inhalation of printer-emitted particles impairs cardiac conduction, hemodynamics, and autonomic regulation and induces arrhythmia and electrical remodeling in rats." Particle and fibre toxicology 17.1 (2020): 1-21.

Arrhythmia, Particulate matter, Autonomic, Electrocardiogram, Cardiac, Nanoparticles, Printers, Telemetry, Left ventricular pressure, Contractility, Repolarization, Electrical remodeling


Heidel, Justin S., et al. "The effect of cardiogenic factors on cardiac mesenchymal cell anti-fibrogenic paracrine signaling and therapeutic performance." Theranostics 10.4 (2020): 1514.

Cardiac Mesenchymal Cells, Fibrosis, Myocardial Infarction, Paracrine Signaling, Therapy1/1/2020

Riggs, Daniel W., et al. "Exposure to airborne fine particulate matter is associated with impaired endothelial function and biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation." Environmental research 180 (2020): 108890.

Air pollution, Endothelial dysfunction, PM2.5, Isoprostanes, Reactive hyperemia index, Cytokines