Skip to Content
Healthy Buildings

Learn the latest on COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a highly contagious respiratory illness impacting people around the world. Our team is actively monitoring the developing crisis, sharing facts and information from other experts and engaging in new research to help in the fight. Click below to visit our dedicated COVID-19 site and stay informed.

Get COVID-19 Facts Close This Message

Meet the Team

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Joseph Allen, DSC, MPH, CIH

Director of the Healthy Buildings Program

Joseph Allen, DSC, MPH, CIH

Dr. Joseph G. Allen is an assistant professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and co-author of Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity, with John Macomber at Harvard Business School. He began his career conducting forensic health investigations of sick buildings in several hundred buildings across a diverse range of industries, including healthcare, biotechnology, education, commercial office real estate and manufacturing. At Harvard, Dr. Allen directs the Healthy Buildings program where he created ‘The 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building’. He is also the faculty advisor to the Harvard Healthier Building Materials Academy. He works with Fortune 500 companies on implementing Healthy Building strategies in their global portfolios and presents internationally on the topic of Healthy Buildings. His work has been featured widely in the popular press, including the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, National Geographic, Time, NPR, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Fortune and The New York Times. Dr. Allen is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology and an Associate Editor of the journal Indoor Air. He earned his Doctor of Science (DSc) and Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees from the Boston University School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Biology from Boston College.

Memo Cedeno Laurent, DSC

Associate Director of the Healthy Buildings Program

Memo Cedeno Laurent, DSC

Memo is a research associate at the department of environmental health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research focuses on developing tools that leverage the data collection potential for mobile health quasi-experimental studies of the built environment. He has conducted research that advances the understanding of mechanisms by which climate changed-related environmental exposures impact health, productivity, and safety; provides evidence linking energy efficiency opportunities in buildings to public health co-benefits; and provides disaster response resources to characterize environmental exposures and evaluate their health effects during and after critical events. Currently, Memo is coordinating research efforts on exposure to chemicals and health through the Marilyn Hoffman Program, which aims to advance our understanding of the health consequences of chemicals and other toxins, especially among vulnerable populations.

Memo holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Monterrey Tech and worked in the automotive industry in both Mexico and Germany. He then received a M.S. degree in Energy Engineering from Aachen University, in Germany. In 2014, he graduated from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health with a Sc.D. degree in Environmental Health.

Anna Young, PhD, MS

Postdoctoral Fellow for the Healthy Buildings Program

Anna Young, PhD, MS
Anna Young is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research focuses on healthier materials and products in buildings as a strategy to reduce our exposures to toxic chemicals. She recently earned her PhD in the department, where she conducted dissertation research about global exposures to chemicals in office buildings, the hormonal activities of building dust in cell assays due to chemicals, and the benefits of healthier materials interventions to reduce toxic chemical loads in buildings. She has sought to advance several exposure assessment methods, including the uses of cell assays on dust to assess “building health”, silicone wristbands to sample people’s chemical exposures in buildings, and portable instruments to non-destructively scan products for chemical indicators.
 
Anna also holds an MS in Environmental Health from the Harvard Chan School and a BA in Computer Science and Environmental Studies from Yale University.

Emily Jones, MSE

Doctoral Candidate for the Healthy Buildings Program

Emily Jones, MSE

Emily (Gilson) Jones is a doctoral candidate in the Population Health Sciences program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences where her coursework and research focus on ways in which buildings affect our health. Before coming to Harvard, she worked as an environmental consultant specializing in groundwater remediation and environmental data science. She also has experience performing research into different aspects of environmental fate and transport, including greenhouse gas dynamics in wetlands, stability and speciation of metals in wetlands with implications for bioremediation, and environmental functions of bacteria. She earned her Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) degree from Princeton University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2015 and her Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013.

Parichehr Salimifard, PhD, ScD, MSc

Postdoctoral Fellow for the Healthy Buildings Program

Parichehr Salimifard, PhD, ScD, MSc

Parichehr’s research interests fit under the umbrella of built environment with crossovers to fluid dynamics, aerosol science, energy efficiency, sustainability, environmental health, and statistics.

In her postdoctoral research, Parichehr has been focused on Co-benefits of Built Environment (CoBE), investigating the energy savings, emissions reductions, and health and climate co-benefits of improving the sustainability in built environment. Currently, she is leading the development of the next versions of Harvard CoBE tool and its various modules including co-benefits of specific climate policies, water savings co-benefits of built environment, energy conservation pathway optimization, and building-to-grid integration.

Parichehr’s doctoral research was focused on aerosols dynamics and sensing; more specifically on particle transport, deposition, and resuspension, and aerosol sensing and size characterization. During her M.Sc., she worked on building energy modeling which involved part-load energy modeling of building subsystems and investigating the trade-offs between the energy conservation measures installation and indoor air quality.

Parichehr holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on fluid mechanics and heat transfer from Persian Gulf University, Iran. She earned her M.Sc. in Architectural Engineering – Mechanical Option with minor in Computational Science in 2014 at Penn State University, where she also earned her Ph.D. in Architectural Engineering – Mechanical Option in 2018

Parham Azimi, PHD, SCD, MSC

Postdoctoral Fellow for the Healthy Buildings Program

Parham Azimi, PHD, SCD, MSC

His research focuses on fate, transport, and control of indoor aerosols of indoor and ambient origin, transmission risk of airborne infectious diseases, chronic health impacts of fine particles in various microenvironments, and energy performance of residential and commercial buildings. Currently, he is working on estimating and mapping global health and climate co-benefits of energy saving in buildings, evaluating transmission risks of airborne infectious diseases including influenza, measles, and coronaviruses in schools and healthcare centers and effectiveness of infection control strategies, and characterizing harmful emissions from e-cigarettes.

Dr. Azimi joined the Healthy Buildings Program in 2019 after two years of working as a research associate in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he also received his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering in 2016. He earned his M.Sc. degree in Environmental Engineering in 2012 and a B.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering in 2010 both from the Department of Civil Engineering at Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.

Maya Bliss

Research Coordinator for the Healthy Buildings Program

Maya Bliss

Maya joined the Healthy Buildings team as a research assistant and transitioned to Research Coordinator in 2019, where she oversees the administrative tasks for the team, including the summer program. Her participation in research includes helping facilitate the logistics for the Global COGfx Study and the Firefighter research, for which she manages communication with participants and key contacts and study development logistics. Maya also helps manage the implementation of the team’s AppLab platform, both internally and to advise with the setup of external projects. She earned her B.Sc. from Brandeis University where she studied Health: Science, Society, and Policy and Environmental Studies. 

Jose Vallarino

Project Engineer for the Healthy Buildings Program

Jose Vallarino

Jose Vallarino is a project engineer in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He has over 25 years’ experience managing exposure studies focused on indoor and ambient environmental air quality. He has collaborated in research projects in the US, Africa, Asia and Europe. He, provides oversight of sampling protocols, designs monitoring platforms, and serves as the QA officer for several HSPH research center grants. He also provides guidance on research administration in areas of Human Subjects, Data Use Agreements and Data Security.

Marissa VanRy

Research Assistant for the Healthy Buildings Team

Marissa VanRy

Marissa VanRy is a Research Assistant in the Healthy Buildings Program. Marissa is a second year Master of Public Health student in Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Washington (UW). She received her B.Sc. in Environmental Science with an emphasis on forestry and ecology, and works concurrently for UW Environmental Health & Safety as a Regulatory Authority in public health. Her background and research interests involve the complex relationships between climate change and public health, and investigating regulatory solutions which promote human and environmental health. She works primarily on the Co-Benefits of the Built Environment CoBE tool.

Jie Yin, PHD, MSC, MEng

Postdoctoral Fellow for the Healthy Buildings Program

Jie Yin, PHD, MSC, MEng

Jie Yin is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Yin’s research interests lie in the cross-disciplinary field of urban planning/design and public health. He is now working on quantifying the health impacts of biophilic design and nature contact by using virtual reality, eye-tracking, bio-monitoring sensors and spatial analysis. Before coming to Harvard, he spent eight years working on eco-city theory and rural sustainable development at Tongji University and Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning & Design Institute. As a certified urban planner in China, Dr. Yin has led several award-winning projects on environmental planning, urban/rural design, land-use planning and community design. Dr. Yin holds Ph.D. and S.M. degrees in Environmental Health from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a M.Eng. degree in Urban Planning and Design from Tongji University.

Zahra Keshavarz, MSC

Research Assistant for the Healthy Buildings Program

Zahra Keshavarz, MSC

Her research focuses on the assessment of hazardous emissions from electronic-cigarettes including various aldehydes and methylglyoxal and transmission and control of airborne infectious diseases such as measles and coronavirus in various micro-environments. 

Zahra holds a B.Sc. in civil engineering and an M.Sc. in structural engineering. Her graduate research work was focused on applications of artificial intelligence techniques in predicting building characteristics. She also has a background in indoor environmental engineering. Before joining the for-Health team, Zahra worked as an indoor air consultant at the company Indoor Science in Chicago, IL.

Rachel Kelleher

Research Assistant for the Healthy Buildings Program

Rachel Kelleher

Rachel Kelleher is a research assistant currently working on the WeWork study. She is responsible for conducting the study with the team on volunteer participants and is also working on the data processing for the data that has already been collected. She is currently a junior at Wentworth Institute of Technology studying Biomedical Engineering. Her research interests include the development of medical devices and prosthetics.

Devin Wittenberg

Research Assistant for the Healthy Buildings Program

Devin Wittenberg

Devin is currently a junior at the Wentworth Institute of Technology studying biomedical engineering. As an intern at the Harvard School of Public Health, he is a research assistant on a project examining indoor air quality and cognitive function.  He is responsible for managing and troubleshooting various sensors, as well as helping with data management and processing. He hopes to better understand how research questions are developed and then implemented as experiments.

Translate