Animal/Human Inhalation Facility
Directors: Günter Oberdörster, DVM, Ph.D. and Mark J. Utell, M.D.
Users Committee: Alison Elder, Ph.D., Günter Oberdörster, DVM, Ph.D., Jacob N. Finkelstein, Ph.D., Patricia J. Sime, M.D.
Inhalation of airborne particulate matter (PM), ozone and other components of air pollution are now well-recognized risk factors for pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases. It is currently estimated that thousands of deaths per year occur in the United States alone due to poor air quality and this burden is substantially higher in developing countries. There is growing appreciation of a link between inhaled exposure to pollutants and neurological diseases as well.
The Inhalation Facility combines both animal and human exposure facilities as two adjoining yet physically distinct entities, providing a unique opportunity to expose both humans and rodents to the same aerosols as well as laboratory generated surrogate model particles. This allows us to design bi-directional translational studies by evaluating in more detail in the animals, mechanisms of effects observed in controlled human exposure studies; and vice versa, validating effects in humans that have been found in animal models.
The Inhalation Facility has been used to study the effects of World Trade Center dust on inflammation in animal models (Alison Elder) as well as the effects of ultrafine particles on cardiovascular function (Mark Frampton and Mark Utell).