Future Leaders in CEE: Why Do Particles Make People Sick?
It is well established that air pollution is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, mostly due to cerebrovascular and ischemic cardiovascular diseases. Airborne particulate matter (PM) with diameters less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5 ) is most strongly linked to adverse health outcomes from air pollution. Since air pollution exposure is thought to be responsible for millions of deaths per year, there is an urgent need to understand PM toxicity. Despite decades of research, the PM components and biological mechanisms that contribute to PM toxicity are poorly understood. The goal of this talk is to introduce the audience to multidisciplinary approaches and challenges associated with PM toxicology research.
About the speaker:
Dr. David Gonzalez is an atmospheric chemist and aerosol scientist with postdoctoral training in environmental cardiology and toxicology. He is broadly interested in understanding the relationship between airborne particulate matter (PM) chemistry and mechanisms underlying health effects from PM exposure. He was born in Mexico, grew up in Texas, and moved to Southern California where he attended Moorpark Community College. He then transferred to UCLA and received a BS in Chemistry (2012) and an MS/PhD in Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (2019). His PhD work with Dr. Suzanne Paulson (UCLA) studied the chemistry of reactive oxygen species generated by biomass burning aerosols in lung fluid. Collaborative doctoral work with Dr. Andrew Ghio, a veteran pulmonologist at the EPA, investigated mechanisms of pulmonary toxicity from PM exposure. Dr. Gonzalez currently conducts postdoctoral research in the Environmental Cardiology & Vascular Biology Lab led by renowned physician-scientist, Dr. Jesus Araujo, at the UCLA School of Medicine. His postdoctoral work focuses on dissecting mechanisms by which PM promotes plaque buildup in the arteries (atherosclerosis) and ischemic cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Gonzalez has been supported by the Cota-Robles Fellowship, Switzer Environmental Fellowship, NIEHS Postdoctoral Diversity Supplement and NIEHS Molecular Toxicology Postdoctoral Training Grant at UCLA. Additionally, Dr. Gonzalez is a leader and committed advocate for enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in academia. At UCLA, he served as Co-President of the Organization for Cultural Diversity in Science (OCDS) and was inducted into the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society in 2019.