Welcome to the Department of Environmental Medicine

Concerned about poor air quality due to smoke from the fires in Canada? Here are some tips to help protect your health:

  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activity as much as possible.
  • Wear an N95 respirator mask when outside.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible.
  • Use an indoor air cleaner, if available
  • Recirculate the air in your car or truck
  • If you have a central air handling system, see if you can turn off the fresh air intake (turn system to recirculate mode)
  • If you use window air conditioners, close the damper and make sure the seal between the unit and window is as tight as possible.
  • Keep your windows and doors closed.

There is a lot of excellent and reliable information provided by the US EPA, that even includes how to use a DIY Air Cleaner


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an air quality health advisory for Monroe County and nearby counties in response to the hazy and smoky air that the Rochester region has been experiencing as a result of the continuing wildfires in eastern Canada. The Monroe County Health Department also offers a link to monitor the air quality index locally and additional guidance on conducting outdoor activities.


Currently seeking applicants for a Faculty position at the Assistant or Associate professor level

Paige LawrenceA message from the Chair, B. Paige Lawrence, Ph.D.

Our mission is to prevent disease before it starts

The Department of Environmental Medicine is a cohesive and dedicated team of faculty, fellows, students, and staff. We are committed to reducing disease and improving health through multidisciplinary studies of environmental factors that are known or suspected to contribute to a range of diseases and disorders. The Department supports and promotes activities including basic and translational biomedical research, education and training at the graduate and postgraduate levels, and clinical programs in occupational health and environmental medicine.

Research discoveries and pioneering ideas from our Department regularly drive new thinking and have had a positive impact by reducing environmentally-related diseases, uncovering new preventative and therapeutic approaches, and revealing mechanisms via which the environment influences physiology. Research and community engagement from our Department have also culminated in health policy changes at the federal level that have had a far-reaching impact on reducing environmentally-related adverse health effects. In short, we are uncovering how the environment that we live in influences a broad spectrum of diseases, which is the key to having a healthy future.

Programs led by Department faculty are at the vanguard of toxicology and environmental health research, education, and clinical practice. The Department of Environmental Medicine administers several nationally regarded, interdisciplinary programs, including the Environmental Health Science Center, Toxicology Program, Lung Biology and Disease Program, Center for Inhalation and Flavoring Toxicology Research, Life Sciences Learning Center, as well as clinical programs in the Finger Lakes Occupational Health Services clinic.

The Department promotes a rich and supportive learning environment for students and fellows. Our state-of-the-art research and educational programs provide broad-based training to prepare tomorrow’s leaders in toxicology and environmental health, and to develop professionals and citizens instilled with technical acumen, critical thinking skills, and dedication to service. Our core values align with principles of ICARE – Inclusion, Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect, and Excellence that have been adopted across the UR Medical Center. This is the foundation for how we treat each other, and is embedded in how we welcome, encourage, support and celebrate the successes of our amazing and diverse faculty, staff, students, fellows, community partners, and patients.