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Robert Laumbach , M.D., M.P.H., C.I.H.

Associate Professor Rutgers University – School of Public HealthEOHSI – Clinical Research and Occupational Medicine
Photo of Robert Laumbach M.D., M.P.H., C.I.H.


Research Areas
Current research interests are focused on two areas: 1) the interactive effects of exposure to multiple air pollutants and psychosocial stressors, and their cumulative impact on urban disparities in asthma, heart disease and cancer and 2) biological mechanisms underlying the effects of diesel exhaust and other air pollutants on pulmonary and cardiovascular disease. Approaches include community-based participatory research, controlled exposure studies, and semi-controlled “real-world” environmental exposure studies.

Research Highlights

  • Using controlled exposure to study interactions between exposure to diesel exhaust and psychological stress, we demonstrated that diesel exhaust can cause systemic “sickness response symptoms” in young healthy adults
  • Using controlled exposure, we demonstrated that 1-aminopyrene may be a useful, specific biomarker for exposure to diesel exhaust.
  • A simulated commuter car ride caused changes in cardiovascular function among volunteers with diabetes, measured as a decrease in heart rate variability at 24 hours after the ride
  • Exposure to plume of dust and smoke from the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster was not associated with increased respiratory symptoms outside of the lower Manhattan area

Scholarly Activities

  • Development of collaborative relationships with stakeholders interested in applying scientific principles and knowledge to mitigate the environmental health problems and injustices in urban communities and communities adjacent to seaports in New Jersey.
  • Promotion of science in public health policy in New Jersey through service on the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Science Advisory Board and New Jersey Clean Air Council.

Recent Publications

  1. Gholizadeh, A, Black, K, Kipen, H, Laumbach, R, Gow, A, Weisel, C, Javanmard, M. Detection of respiratory inflammation biomarkers in non-processed exhaled breath condensate samples using reduced graphene oxide. RSC Adv. 2022;12 (55):35627-35638. doi: 10.1039/d2ra05764f. PubMed PMID:36545081 PubMed Central PMC9745889
  2. Myers, NT, Laumbach, RJ, Black, KG, Ohman-Strickland, P, Alimokhtari, S, Legard, A, De Resende, A, Calderón, L, Lu, FT, Mainelis, G et al.. Portable air cleaners and residential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 aerosols: A real-world study. Indoor Air. 2022;32 (4):e13029. doi: 10.1111/ina.13029. PubMed PMID:35481935 PubMed Central PMC9111720
  3. Laumbach, RJ, Cromar, KR. Personal Interventions to Reduce Exposure to Outdoor Air Pollution. Annu Rev Public Health. 2022;43 :293-309. doi: 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-052120-103607. PubMed PMID:34936825
  4. Laumbach, RJ, Mainelis, G, Black, KG, Myers, NT, Ohman-Strickland, P, Alimokhtari, S, Hastings, S, Legard, A, de Resende, A, Calderón, L et al.. Presence of SARS-CoV-2 Aerosol in Residences of Adults with COVID-19. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2022;19 (2):338-341. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.202107-847RL. PubMed PMID:34762562 PubMed Central PMC8867362
  5. Sastry, J, Agawane, S, Rajan, M, Black, K, Laumbach, R, Ramagopal, M. The effect of the indoor environment on wheeze- and sleep-related symptoms in young Indian children. Lung India. 2021;38 (4):307-313. doi: 10.4103/lungindia.lungindia_120_20. PubMed PMID:34259167 PubMed Central PMC8272434
  6. Jan, I, Chen, K, Sayan, M, Uprety, P, Laumbach, RJ, Ennis, RD, Haffty, BG. Prevalence of Surface Contamination With SARS-CoV-2 in a Radiation Oncology Clinic. JAMA Oncol. 2020;6 (10):1632-1634. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.3552. PubMed PMID:32852509 PubMed Central PMC7453342
  7. Mariduena, J, Ramagopal, M, Hiatt, M, Chandra, S, Laumbach, R, Hegyi, T. Vascular endothelial growth factor levels and bronchopulmonary dysplasia in preterm infants. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2022;35 (8):1517-1522. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2020.1760826. PubMed PMID:32366142
  8. Laumbach, RJ. Clearing the Air on Personal Interventions to Reduce Exposure to Wildfire Smoke. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2019;16 (7):815-818. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201812-894PS. PubMed PMID:31145636 PubMed Central PMC6600837
  9. Sunil, VR, Radbel, J, Hussain, S, Vayas, KN, Cervelli, J, Deen, M, Kipen, H, Udasin, I, Laumbach, R, Sunderram, J et al.. Sarcoid-Like Granulomatous Disease: Pathologic Case Series in World Trade Center Dust Exposed Rescue and Recovery Workers. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16 (5):. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16050815. PubMed PMID:30845693 PubMed Central PMC6427752
  10. Payne-Sturges, DC, Scammell, MK, Levy, JI, Cory-Slechta, DA, Symanski, E, Carr Shmool, JL, Laumbach, R, Linder, S, Clougherty, JE. Methods for Evaluating the Combined Effects of Chemical and Nonchemical Exposures for Cumulative Environmental Health Risk Assessment. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15 (12):. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15122797. PubMed PMID:30544651 PubMed Central PMC6313653
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