The Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth) project supported by the Fogarty International Centre, US National Institutes of Health, is a partnership between the Public Health Foundation of India and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


  • Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Delhi-NCR, India
  • Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH), Boston, USA
  • Centre of Excellence-Centre for Cardio-metabolic Risk Reduction in South Asia (CoE-CARRS), India
  • Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF), Chennai, India
  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India
  • Emory University, Atlanta, USA
  • Sri Ramachandra University (SRU), Chennai, India
  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi, India
  • Urban Emissions Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, India


Administrative oversight Committee

  • Dr. David HunterCo-chair
  • Prof. K. Srinath ReddyCo-chair
  • Dr. Richard CashHSPH
  • Dr. Joel SchwartzHSPH
  • Dr. Lindsey JaacksHSPH
  • Dr. Francesca DominiciHSPH
  • Dr. Rao AiyagariPHFI
  • Dr. PrabhakaranPHFI
  • Dr. Sanjay ZodpeyPHFI
  • Dr. Damodar Bachani, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
  • Dr. Dan Greenbaum, Health Effects Institute
  • Dr. V. Mohan, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation
  • Dr. Nikhil Tandon, All India Institute of Medical Sciences

Training oversight Committee

  • Dr. Richard CashHSPH
  • Dr. Joel SchwartzHSPH
  • Dr. Nancy SeiberHSPH
  • Dr. PrabhakaranPHFI
  • Dr. Sanjay ZodpeyPHFI

Publications, Presentations, and Ancillary Studies Policy (PP&A) committee

  • Dr. Preet K. DhillonCo-chair
  • Dr. Dominici FrancescaCo-chair


  • Prof. Srinath ReddyPrincipal Investigator
  • Prof. D. PrabhakaranPrincipal Investigator
  • Dr. Preet K DhillonCo-Investigator
  • Dr. Roopa ShivashankarCo-investigator
  • Dr. Safraj Shahul HameedCo-investigator
  • Ms. Melina S. MagsumbolCo-investigator
  • Mr. Bhargav KrishnaCo-Investigator
  • Dr. Gagandeep K WaliaCo-investigator
  • Dr. Ajay VamadevanCo-investigator
  • Dr. Suganthi JaganathanProject Coordinator
  • Mr. Kishore KumarResearch Fellow
  • Mr. Sanjeev AggarwalFinance officer
  • Dr. Dimple KondalStatistician
  • Dr. Siddhartha MandalStatistician


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

  • Richard CashPrincipal Investigator
  • Joel SchwartzPrincipal Investigator
  • Doug DockeryFaculty/Mentor
  • Petros KoutrakisFaculty/Mentor
  • David ChristianiFaculty/Mentor
  • Nancy Long SieberProgram Manager
  • Yeo R KatherineCoordinator

HSPH Faculty

  • Lindsey Jaacks
  • Brent Coull
  • Rafael Irizarry
  • David Hunter
  • Francine Laden
  • Donna Spiegelman
  • Glorian Sorensen
  • Wish Vishwanath
  • Lisa Berkman
  • Subu Subramanian
  • Wafaie Fawzi
  • Frank Hu
  • Vishal Vaidya

The project aims to accelerate scientific infrastructure development, enhance capacity, and support research needed to fully characterize the relationship between air pollution and cardio-metabolic (CM) risk factors and diseases in India. The project also aims to build a critical core of environmental health researchers in India that will help develop the evidence base for health-centric policy-making across sectors moving forward.


Aim 1: Estimate air pollution exposure in Chennai and New Delhi.

Aim 2: Estimate the association between exposure to air pollution, temperature, CM risk factors, and CM diseases, and characterize susceptibility to these risk factors and diseases.

Aim 3: Characterize DNA methylation patterns associated with air pollution and investigate whether they predict air pollution-mediated cardiovascular health effects.

Aim 4: Estimate the association between ambient exposure to air pollution and blood vitamin D levels in Chennai and New Delhi.

Capacity Building

Short Term Training Courses in India

Mentored Opportunities at HSPH

Masters Level Training Program at HSPH

Research and Insights
  • Rapid urbanization has given India some of the world’s worst air pollution, a factor implicated in the deaths of more than 620,000 Indians each year.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Delhi’s air is the most polluted in the world.
  • Recent findings by the WHO, which examined pollution levels in nearly 1,600 cities in 91 countries for the years 2008 to 2013, show that the annual mean fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentration in Delhi was 153 μg/m3, far exceeding the WHO-recommended annual mean of <10 μg/m3.
  • Urban living can affect a person’s risk of CM disease in many different ways. In addition to increasing exposure to air pollution, a known risk factor, it often affects the major potentially modifiable drivers of CM risk factors, including tobacco use, occupation, alcohol use, obesity, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet.
  • An emerging body of evidence indicates a link between many of these factors—specifically obesity, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, and air pollution—and the built environment. The WHO recently cited exposure to outdoor air pollution (6th) and physical inactivity (11th) among the top 15 risk factors for the global burden of disease in South Asian countries.
What we do
  • Developing a model to estimate ambient exposure to Ambient Air Pollution (AAP) and health outcomes in Chennai and Delhi, India.
  • Estimating association between exposure to AAP, temperature, CM risk factors and diseases, and characterizing susceptibility.
  • Characterizing Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation patterns associated with Air Pollution (AP) & investigate whether they predict AAP-mediated CM health effects.
  • Estimating association between AAP & vitamin D levels.
  • Expanding the exposure model Pan-India to utilize health data collected across additional cohorts.
  • Characterizing personal exposure patters in urban settings, and how they are differentiated by location, socio-economic status (SES), occupation, mode of travel, etc.


Case Studies

Evaluating the efficacy of cloth facemasks in reducing particulate matter exposure

Exposure to particulate matter is associated with respiratory and cardiovascular health effects and premature mortality,1 and it reflects a global public health concern. Particles o2.5 μm (PM2.5) are often considered more harmful than larger-sized particles because of their ability to penetrate to human bronchi and lungs.

Indian perspective in food traceability: A review

A complete definition of traceability is given by Olsen and Borit (2013), they define traceability as “The ability to access any or all information relating to that which is under consideration, throughout its entire life cycle, by means of recorded identifications”.


Upcoming Short courses *

Studentship announcement

* Inviting Applications


September 2017
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Category: GeneralN/A: World Environmental Health Day

N/A: World Environmental Health Day
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