John Balmes, director of COEH and professor of Medicine in the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at UCSF, received the Rutherford T. Johnstone Award in September 2010 at the Western Occupational Health Conference in Newport Beach, California. Each year, the award is presented to a member or former member who has contributed significantly to occupational and environmental medicine.
Balmes was appointed in 2007 to the California Air Resources Board by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is also director of the Human Exposure Laboratory (HEL), which has been studying the respiratory health effects of air pollutants for over two decades.
HEL scientists are currently studying the airway inflammatory and cardiovascular effects of ozone and secondhand tobacco smoke and seeking to identify genetic factors that influence susceptibility to air pollution.
With the Fresno Asthmatic Children's Environment Study, Balmes and his colleagues are studying the effects of particulate matter, in combination with other ambient air pollutants and bioaerosols, on the natural history of asthma in children.
Balmes also collaborates on studies of the respiratory health effects of biomass smoke, hydrogen sulfide, and arsenic in drinking water (with Kirk Smith, Michael Bates, Allan Smith and Craig Steinmaus respectively). He studies the effects of environmental factors in adult asthma with Paul Blanc.
After accepting the award, Balmes presented the 2010 Rutherford T. Johnstone lecture. View the presention here.
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