Final Report: Research Coordination Core

EPA Grant Number: R827353C015
Subproject: this is subproject number 015 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R827353
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: EPA Harvard Center for Ambient Particle Health Effects
Center Director: Koutrakis, Petros
Title: Research Coordination Core
Investigators: Dockery, Douglas W. , Speizer, Frank E. , Koutrakis, Petros
Institution: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health , Harvard University
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: June 1, 1999 through May 31, 2005 (Extended to May 31, 2006)
RFA: Airborne Particulate Matter (PM) Centers (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Particulate Matter , Air Quality and Air Toxics , Air

Objective:

The Research Coordination Core was responsible for defining, coordinating, and integrating all research conducted as part of the Center and was led by Dr. Dockery. A key aspect of the Center was its intention to have an ongoing and continual evaluation of research needs and priorities. To achieve this goal, the Center included a rigorous and multi-phased research coordination and evaluation process, which was developed based on our experience from over twenty years of multi-disciplinary collaborations in air pollution health effects. This coordination and evaluation process drew upon experts from a wide range of disciplines at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Medical School, as well as experts from outside agencies, universities, and other organizations that provided focused and timely responses to current and evolving questions about airborne particulate matter (PM). Specifically, experts from six internal and external groups contributed to the research coordination and evaluation process and determined the direction and coordination of PM research that was conducted at the Center. These groups included: the National Research Council (NRC), the External Science Advisory Committee, the consortium of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Airborne Particulate Matter Centers, the Working Group on PM Exposures and Health Effects, the Working Group on Research Strategy Evaluation, and the Steering Committee at the center at Harvard. Their contributions to the research coordination and evaluation process are described below.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

National Research Council

The National Research Council panel on Research Priorities for Airborne Particulate Matter was an important source of direction for the Center. In fact, the Center’s proposed ten initial projects were developed to address the immediate research priorities listed in NRC’s report entitled “Immediate Priorities and Long-Range Research Portfolio.” The Center was fortunate to have two investigators, Drs. Koutrakis and Speizer, as members of the NRC Expert panel. As a result, direct and immediate access to panel deliberations was available to Center investigators and was used to decide the Center’s future research priorities and directions.

External Advisory Committee

A multi-disciplinary External Advisory Committee of distinguished scientists was established to provide input into both ongoing and future research directions. The Advisory Committee was comprised of experts in a range of disciplines, including atmospheric chemistry, exposure and risk assessment, policy, biostatistics, epidemiology, cardiac and respiratory health, and toxicology. Some committee members were recruited from other PM Centers to foster and facilitate exchange and collaborations. The Committee met annually for two days to formally review the Center activities. The first meeting day was devoted to the traditional presentation of study designs and results, and was followed by a structured workshop on the second day to define research needs and priorities. This workshop included both the Committee members and the Center investigators.

Consortium of EPA Airborne Particulate Matter Centers

As one of EPA’s PM Centers, we approached the other Centers to form a consortium of PM Centers. The specific aims of this Consortium were to ensure that research in each Center was coordinated with, complementary to, and not redundant with that of other EPA PM Centers, and to facilitate rapid dissemination of research findings and other information between Centers, the EPA, the rest of the scientific community, and the lay public. To achieve these specific aims, the Consortium organized an annual colloquium to review particulate matter research. As part of this colloquium, representatives from each of the EPA-sponsored Centers would participate in a structured meeting to plan and coordinate research activities. Through the Consortium, the EPA Centers established linked sites on the Web to provide descriptions of current research programs, downloadable copies of research reports and publications, and access to extended summaries and original data.

Harvard Working Group on PM Health Effects

A previously established Working Group on PM Health Effects met bi-weekly to encourage informal interactions between the Center investigators. This group was formed several years prior and included experts in exposure and risk assessment, epidemiology, toxicology, clinical medicine and physiology. The PM Center at Harvard established a formal structure for this working group and provided core support for its activities.

Working Group on Evaluation of Research Strategies

We used a formal decision and value of information analysis of particulate matter control and research to guide our decisions about future research activities. This analysis was based on the concept of the value of information (i.e., the expected value of the likely consequences of suboptimal decisions) as a measure of the costs of current levels of uncertainty. To implement our future research evaluation process, we characterized quantitatively the current risk uncertainties and developed estimates of the informativeness and cost of alternative research strategies.

Most of these approaches were based on frequentist notions of probability and standard approaches for analysis of the propagation of uncertainty (e.g., Gauss’ law, lognormal error analysis, or Monte Carlo simulation). Model uncertainty was determined through the use of formally elicited expert judgment.

Steering Committee at the PM Center at Harvard

The PM Center at Harvard was directed by a Steering Committee consisting of the Center Director, the two Co-Directors, and the Principal Investigators of the research projects and cores. Dr. Koutrakis, the Principal Investigator, chaired the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee was responsible for the overall direction, coordination, and integration of the research conducted by the Center. It established research priorities and directions based on recommendations from external groups, including the National Research Council, the External Advisory Committee, the Consortium of PM Centers, and the Harvard Working Groups on Particle Health Effects and Evaluation of Research Strategies. The Steering Committee met at least quarterly to monitor progress, identify new research initiatives, and coordinate research with other Centers.


Journal Articles on this Report : 10 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 10 publications 10 publications in selected types All 10 journal articles
Other center views: All 200 publications 198 publications in selected types All 197 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Carrothers TJ, Evans JS. Assessing the impact of differential measurement error on estimates of fine particle mortality. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association 2000;50(1):65-74. R827353 (Final)
R827353C015 (Final)
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  • Full-text: Taylor&Francis-Full Text PDF
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  • Abstract: Taylor&Francis-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Evans JS, Wolff SK, Phonboon K, Levy JI, Smith KR. Exposure efficiency:an idea whose time has come? Chemosphere 2002;49(9):1075-1091. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C015 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Ito K, Christensen WF, Eatough DJ, Henry RC, Kim E, Laden F, Lall R, Larson TV, Neas L, Hopke PK, Thurston GD. PM source apportionment and health effects: 2. An investigation of intermethod variability in associations between source-apportioned fine particle mass and daily mortality in Washington, DC. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology 2006;16(4):300-310. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C015 (Final)
    R827351 (Final)
    R827351C001 (Final)
    R827354 (Final)
    R827354C001 (Final)
    R827355 (Final)
    R827355C008 (Final)
    R827997 (Final)
    R832415 (2010)
    R832415 (2011)
    R832415 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Levy JI, Wolff SK, Evans JS. A regression-based approach for estimating primary and secondary particulate matter intake fractions. Risk Analysis 2002;22(5):895-904. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C012 (Final)
    R827353C015 (Final)
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  • Abstract: Wiley Online-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Levy JI, Wilson AM, Evans JS, Spengler JD. Estimation of primary and secondary particulate matter intake fractions for power plants in Georgia. Environmental Science & Technology 2003;37(24):5528-5536. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C012 (Final)
    R827353C015 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Lippmann M, Frampton M, Schwartz J, Dockery D, Schlesinger R, Koutrakis P, Froines J, Nel A, Finkelstein J, Godleski J, Kaufman J, Koenig J, Larson T, Luchtel D, Liu L-JS, Oberdorster G, Peters A, Sarnat J, Sioutas C, Suh H, Sullivan J, Utell M, Wichmann E, Zelikoff J. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Particulate Matter Health Effects Research Centers Program: a midcourse report of status, progress, and plans. Environmental Health Perspectives 2003;111(8):1074-1092. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C006 (Final)
    R827353C015 (Final)
    R827351 (2002)
    R827351 (Final)
    R827352 (Final)
    R827352C002 (Final)
    R827352C014 (Final)
    R827354 (Final)
    R827355 (Final)
    R832415 (2010)
    R832415 (2011)
    R832415 (Final)
    R832415C003 (2011)
    R832415C004 (2011)
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  • Journal Article Mar TF, Ito K, Koenig JQ, Larson TV, Eatough DJ, Henry RC, Kim E, Laden F, Lall R, Neas L, Stolzel M, Paatero P, Hopke PK, Thurston GD. PM source apportionment and health effects. 3. Investigation of inter-method variations in associations between estimated source contributions of PM2.5 and daily mortality in Phoenix, AZ. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology 2006;16(4):311-320. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C015 (Final)
    R827351 (Final)
    R827354 (Final)
    R827354C001 (Final)
    R827355 (Final)
    R827355C002 (Final)
    R827355C008 (Final)
    R832415 (2010)
    R832415 (2011)
    R832415 (Final)
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  • Abstract: JESEE-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Nishioka Y, Levy JI, Norris GA, Wilson A, Hofstetter P, Spengler JD. Integrating risk assessment and life cycle assessment:a case study of insulation. Risk Analysis 2002;22(5):1003-1017. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C015 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Schwartz J. The use of epidemiology in environmental risk assessment. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 2002;8(6):1253-1265. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C015 (Final)
  • Full-text: Taylor&Francis-Full Text PDF
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  • Abstract: Taylor&Francis-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Thurston GD, Ito K, Mar T, Christensen WF, Eatough DJ, Henry RC, Kim E, Laden F, Lall R, Larson TV, Liu H, Neas L, Pinto J, Stolzel M, Suh H, Hopke PK. Workgroup report: Workshop on source apportionment of particulate matter health effects—intercomparison of results and implications. Environmental Health Perspectives 2005;113(12):1768-1774. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C015 (Final)
    R827351 (Final)
    R827351C001 (Final)
    R827354 (Final)
    R827354C001 (Final)
    R827355 (Final)
    R827355C008 (Final)
    R832415 (2010)
    R832415 (2011)
    R832415 (Final)
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, Air, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, HUMAN HEALTH, Air Pollution Monitoring, particulate matter, Toxicology, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Epidemiology, Air Pollution Effects, Risk Assessments, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Monitoring, Health Effects, Physical Processes, Children's Health, genetic susceptability, indoor air, Atmospheric Sciences, Biology, Risk Assessment, ambient air quality, interindividual variability, microbiology, molecular epidemiology, monitoring, particulates, sensitive populations, chemical exposure, air pollutants, cardiopulmonary responses, health risks, human health effects, indoor exposure, PM 2.5, ambient air monitoring, exposure and effects, ambient air, ambient measurement methods, exposure, lead, pulmonary disease, developmental effects, biological response, respiratory disease, air pollution, ambient monitoring, children, Human Health Risk Assessment, particle exposure, biological mechanism , cardiopulmonary response, human exposure, inhalation, pulmonary, susceptibility, particulate exposure, assessment of exposure, ambient particle health effects, human susceptibility, environmental health hazard, inhalation toxicology, cardiopulmonary, indoor air quality, inhaled particles, air quality, cardiovascular disease, exposure assessment, human health risk, respiratory

    Relevant Websites:

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/epacenter/epa_center_99-05/index.html Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R827353    EPA Harvard Center for Ambient Particle Health Effects

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R827353C001 Assessing Human Exposures to Particulate and Gaseous Air Pollutants
    R827353C002 Quantifying Exposure Error and its Effect on Epidemiological Studies
    R827353C003 St. Louis Bus, Steubenville and Atlanta Studies
    R827353C004 Examining Conditions That Predispose Towards Acute Adverse Effects of Particulate Exposures
    R827353C005 Assessing Life-Shortening Associated with Exposure to Particulate Matter
    R827353C006 Investigating Chronic Effects of Exposure to Particulate Matter
    R827353C007 Determining the Effects of Particle Characteristics on Respiratory Health of Children
    R827353C008 Differentiating the Roles of Particle Size, Particle Composition, and Gaseous Co-Pollutants on Cardiac Ischemia
    R827353C009 Assessing Deposition of Ambient Particles in the Lung
    R827353C010 Relating Changes in Blood Viscosity, Other Clotting Parameters, Heart Rate, and Heart Rate Variability to Particulate and Criteria Gas Exposures
    R827353C011 Studies of Oxidant Mechanisms
    R827353C012 Modeling Relationships Between Mobile Source Particle Emissions and Population Exposures
    R827353C013 Toxicological Evaluation of Realistic Emissions of Source Aerosols (TERESA) Study
    R827353C014 Identifying the Physical and Chemical Properties of Particulate Matter Responsible for the Observed Adverse Health Effects
    R827353C015 Research Coordination Core
    R827353C016 Analytical and Facilities Core
    R827353C017 Technology Development and Transfer Core