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Climate and Health Research

Faculty at the Urban Health Collaborative and the Dornsife School of Public Health are working to address climate change as it affects communities locally and globally.

Table of Contents:

Climate and Health Research at the UHC

Climate projects at the Urban Health Collaborative include the following:

Drexel Climate Change and Urban Health Research Center

The Urban Health Collaborative's multi-million dollar grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences established the Drexel Climate Change and Urban Health Research Center, which will support research to help protect the growing urban populations of the world from the adverse health and equity effects of climate change.

Impacts of Climate-Related Extreme Flood Events

Through a Cotswold Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Josiah Kephart, PhD, MPH, is examining the impacts of climate-related extreme flood events on health and health disparities in Latin American cities.


Climate Change and Urban Health in Latin America (SALURBAL-Climate) examines the impacts of specific climate related exposures, including extreme temperatures, droughts, floods, and air pollution on health and health inequities. The SALURBAL data resource includes urban environment, demographic, and health outcome variables for 371 cities across 11 countries in Latin America. This resource allows the team to study the role of city and neighborhood-level factors in exacerbating or mitigating the health impacts of climate change, and to compare differences both within and between cities across the region.

Past SALURBAL studies include Green Spaces, Air Pollution, and Climate-Related Heat Mortality in Latin American Cities.

Climate Change and Urban Health: Opportunities for Research and Action

For an overview of climate change findings from the UHC and SALURBAL, watch Dr. Diez Roux's lecture, which was presented at the Yale Center on Climate Change and Health:

Drexel Environmental Collaboratory

The following are projects of Drexel's Environmental Collaboratory, which funds research grants that promote climate innovation and environmental justice through problem solving.

  • Impacts of Climate Change on Primary Care Utilization and Needs in Philadelphia: This project is analyzing the impact extreme heat, flooding and cold patterns will have on primary care utilization.
  • Fair Data for Just Adaptation: Promoting Environmental Justice in Climate Adaptation Policy by Improving Environmental Data Infrastructures: This project is transforming data infrastructure to allow climate data to become more findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR).
  • Developing a Community-Led Research Project in Collaboration with ENLACE, San Juan, Puerto Rico: This project is analyzing geospatial flood data and engaging undergraduates in participatory research to build climate-resilient communities.
  • The Refugees of Eastwick: Urban Renewal in the Age of Climate Change: This project is producing a short film portraying the history of environmental injustice in Philadelphia and the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities.
  • A Community-Scale Monitoring System for Multiple Air Pollutants in South Philadelphia: This project is monitoring  air pollutants and trace pollution sources in a vulnerable community in South Philadelphia.

Faculty Working on Climate Change and Health Equity

Jane Clougherty
Department: Environmental and Occupational Health
Research interests: Dr. Clougherty’s research focuses on the combined health effects of chronic social stressors and air pollution exposures, particularly in urban community settings.

Anneclaire de Roos
Department: Environmental and Occupational Health
Research interests: Dr. De Roos’ research has focused on environmental risk factors for cancers, including workplace exposures (pesticides, solvents), persistent organic pollutants (PCBs, dioxins), and point sources of pollution (industrial facilities, traffic).

Ana Diez Roux
Department: Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Research interests: Dr. Diez Roux’s research interests include social determinants of health, neighborhoods and health, race and ethnic health disparities, psychosocial factors and cardiovascular disease, air pollution epidemiology, urban health, multilevel methods, complex systems approaches to population health, and health in Latin America.

Jerry Fagliano
Environmental and Occupational Health
Research interests: Dr. Fagliano’s research interests include environmental exposures, public health practice, health disparities, and climate change.

Josiah L. Kephart
Department: Environmental and Occupational Health
Research interests: Dr. 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.

Longjian Liu
Department: Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Research interests: Dr. Liu is the Principal Investigator of Drexel (US) - SARI (China) research and Education project on Climate Change, Energy, Low-Carbon, and Urban Health Technology.

Leah Schinasi
Department: Environmental and Occupational Health
Research interests: Dr. Schinasi conducts research at the intersection of climate vulnerability, climate adaptation, and health equity. She is particularly interested in conducting research to inform the design of climate adaptation strategies that promote health equity and justice.

See more Dornsife faculty who are interested in climate change and health under the "Health in Communities" heading.

Climate-Related Publications by Dornsife Faculty 


Severe Weather Events




Other Climate-Related Publications

Additional Climate Resources

UHC Data Portal

Publicly Available Climate Datasets