Professor of Environmental Science
Edward H. Kass Distinguished Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Senior Physician Department of Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Dr. Speizer’s research effort is divided between his role as a senior investigator in the Environmental Epidemiology Program in the Department of Environmental Health, and his responsibilities in the Channing Division of Network Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. The two programs are integrated specifically in the area of studies of the natural history of respiratory diseases and in the studies of environmental risks for chronic diseases including risks for cancer and cardiorespiratory diseases. The projects in respiratory diseases involve population based studies of large groups of subjects who are identified because of acute and chronic exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollutants and monitored for symptoms and pulmonary function. Several studies have been directed toward understanding the long term consequences of chronic exposure to cigarette smoking as well as air pollutants on the development of asthma and chronic obstructive respiratory disease and these studies have required repeated observations on population groups for up to twenty years. In addition, newer studies are attempting to estimate the effects of ambient particle pollution exposure on cardiac vulnerability in potential high risk patients
Dr. Speizer, through the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, was the founding principle investigator of the Nurses Health Study, which involves 121,000 middle aged women who have now been followed prospectively for over 35 years. Data from this study has been utilized by a large number of epidemiology graduate students from the school interested in exploring hypotheses related to cancer, cardiovascular and other chronic diseases in women. Major findings related to life style risk factors for these diseases have been and are being explored.