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Josiah L. Kephart, PhD, MPH

Josiah Kephart headshot

Assistant Professor
Environmental and Occupational Health, Drexel FIRST Program, Urban Health Collaborative
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PhD, Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University
MPH, Global Environmental Sustainability and Health, Johns Hopkins University
BA, Global Affairs, George Mason University


Josiah Kephart, PhD, MPH, is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and the Urban Health Collaborative. Kephart joined the Dornsife School of Public Health as part of the Drexel FIRST (Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation) program.

Kephart is an environmental epidemiologist who seeks to understand and mitigate the environmental determinants of health disparities. After working in community health in Philadelphia and Honduras, he received an MPH and PhD in exposure science and environmental epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

His early research focused on designing and implementing randomized controlled trials of interventions to reduce household air pollution and improve cardiopulmonary health among women in indigenous Aymara communities in Peru. With the support of a Fogarty Global Health Fellowship, his research has provided novel evidence of hazardous emissions from gas stoves, which are widely promoted and distributed to low-resource households in the Global South as a “clean” alternative fuel.

Kephart's recent research focuses on understanding the contribution of climate change, air pollution, and the urban environment to health disparities in Latin America and the U.S. By leveraging the tools of environmental and social epidemiology, his research aims to understand the impacts of large-scale environmental exposures, including extreme heat, air pollution, and floods on health and health inequities at the population level.

Research Interests

  • Environmental Exposures
  • Urban Health
  • Health Disparities
  • Environmental and Social Epidemiology
  • Climate Change
  • Global Health


Kephart JL, Gouveia N, Rodriguez DA, Indvik K, Alfaro T, Texcalac JL, Miranda JJ, Bilal U, Diez Roux AV. Ambient nitrogen dioxide in 47,187 neighborhoods across 326 cities in eight Latin American countries: population exposures and associations with urban features. The Lancet Planetary Health. (2023). 7(12):976-984. doi: 10.1016/S2542-5196(23)00237-1.

Kephart JL, Sánchez BN, Moore J, Schinasi LH, Bakhtsiyarava M, Ju Y, Gouveia N, Caiaffa WT, Dronova I, Arunachalam S, Diez Roux AV, Rodríguez DA. City-level impact of extreme temperatures and mortality in Latin America. Nature Medicine. (2022). doi: 10.1038/s41591- 022-01872-6. Highlighted in a Nature Research Briefing. Rise in ambient temperature is associated with increased mortality in Latin America.

Kephart JL, Fandiño-Del-Rio M, Williams KN, Shade T, Adekunle T, Steenland K, Naeher LP, Moulton LH, Gonzales GF, Chiang M, Chartier RT, Koehler K, Checkley W. Household air pollution concentrations after liquefied petroleum gas interventions in rural Peru: Findings from a one-year randomized controlled trial followed by a one-year pragmatic crossover trial. Environmental Health Perspectives. (2022); 130(5). doi: 10.1289/EHP10054.

Kephart JL, Delclòs-Alió X, Bilal U, Sarmiento OL, Barrientos-Gutiérrez T, Ramirez-Zea M, Quistberg AD, Rodríguez DA, Diez Roux AV. The effect of population mobility on COVID-19 incidence in 314 Latin American cities: a longitudinal ecological study with mobile phone location data. The Lancet Digital Health. (2021). 3(11):E716-E722. doi: 10.1016/S2589-7500(21)00174-6. Cited in the CDC COVID-19 Science Update (Edition 104) and in two articles from a major news outlet in Argentina.

Kephart JL, Avila-Palencia I, Bilal U, Gouveia N, Caiaffa WT, Diez Roux AV. COVID-19, ambient air pollution, and environmental health inequities in Latin American cities. Journal of Urban Health. (2021); 98(3):428–432. doi: 10.1007/s11524-020-00509-8.

Gouveia N, Kephart JL, Dronova I, McClure L, Granados JAT, Morales Betancourt R, Cortinez-O’Ryan A, Texcalac JT, Martinez-Folger K, Rodriguez D, Diez Roux AV. Ambient fine particulate matter in Latin American cities: levels, population exposure, and associated urban factors. Science of the Total Environment. (2021); 772:145035. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145035.

Kephart JL, Fandiño-Del-Rio M, Williams KN, Malpartida G, Lee A, Steenland K, Naeher LP, Gonzales GF, Chiang M, Checkley W, Koehler K. Nitrogen dioxide exposures from LPG stoves in a cleaner-cooking intervention trial. Environment International. (2021); 146:106196. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2020.106196.

Checkley W, Williams KN, Kephart JL, Fandiño-Del-Rio M, Steenland NK, Gonzales GF, Naeher LP, Harvey SA, Moulton LH, Davila-Roman VG, Goodman D, Tarazona-Meza C, Miele CH, Simkovich S, Chiang M, Chartier RT, Koehler K. Effects of a Household Air Pollution Intervention with Liquefied Petroleum Gas on Cardiopulmonary Outcomes in Peru: A Randomized Controlled Trial. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. (2021); 203(11):1386-1397. doi: 10.1164/rccm.202006-2319OC.

Fandiño-Del-Rio M, Kephart JL, Williams KN, Malpartida G, Boyd Barr D, Steenland K, Koehler K, Checkley W. Household air pollution and blood markers of inflammation: a cross-sectional analysis. Indoor Air. (2021). 31:1509-1521. doi: 10.1111/ina.12814.

Kephart JL, Fandiño-Del-Rio M, Koehler K, Bernabe-Ortiz A, Miranda JJ, Gilman RH, Checkley W. Indoor air pollution concentrations and cardiometabolic health across four diverse settings in Peru: a cross-sectional study. Environmental Health. (2020); 19:59. doi: 10.1186/s12940-020-00612-y.

Kephart JL, Fandiño-Del-Rio M, Williams KN, Malpartida G, Steenland K, Naeher L, Gonzales GF, Chiang, M, Checkley W, Koehler K. Nitrogen dioxide exposures from biomass cookstoves in the Peruvian Andes. Indoor Air. (2020); 30:735–744. doi: 10.1111/ina.12653.

Williams KN, Kephart JL, Fandiño-Del-Rio M, Simkovich S, Koehler K, Harvey S, Checkley W, CHAP trial Investigators. Exploring the impact of a liquefied petroleum gas intervention on time use in rural Peru: A mixed methods study on perceptions, use, and implications of time savings. Environment International. (2020); 145:105932. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2020.105932.

Williams KN, Kephart JL, Fandiño-Del-Rio M, Condori L, Koehler K, Moulton LH, Checkley W, Harvey S. Beyond cost: Exploring fuel choices and the socio-cultural dynamics of liquefied petroleum gas stove adoption in Peru. Energy Research and Social Science. (2020); 66:101591. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2020.101591.

Williams KN, Kephart JL, Fandiño-Del-Rio M, O’Brien CJ, Moulton LH, Koehler K, Harvey S, Checkley W. Use of liquefied petroleum gas in Puno, Peru: Fuel needs under conditions of free fuel and near-exclusive use. Energy for Sustainable Development. (2020); 58:150-157. doi: 10.1016/j.esd.2020.07.011.

Fandiño-Del-Rio M, Kephart JL, Williams KN, Moulton LH, Steenland K, Checkley W, Koehler K. Household air pollution exposure and associations with household characteristics among biomass cookstove users in Puno, Peru. Environmental Research. (2020); 191:110028. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110028.

See Dr. Kephart's complete list of publications on Google Scholar