Dr. Joseph G. Allen is an associate 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 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.
Anna Young is a research associate in the Department of Environmental Health and Associate Director of the Healthy Buildings program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research focuses on our indoor exposures to complex mixtures of hormone-disrupting chemicals and builds evidence for healthier materials as a strategy to reduce these chemical exposures in buildings. She has sought to advance novel exposure assessment methods for chemical mixtures, including investigations of hundreds of known and suspected chemicals in silicone wristband samplers worn by office workers, as well as in vitro assessments of hormonal bioactivities of chemical mixtures in indoor dust and silicone wristband samples. During covid-19, she has also led a cohort study to investigate how the home environment and home indoor air quality influence remote workers’ cognitive performance, productivity, and mental well-being while working from home. She earned her PhD and MS in Environmental Health from the Harvard Chan School, and she also holds a BA in Computer Science and Environmental Studies from Yale University.
Danielle von Rechenberg-Paulsson is the Communications Manager with the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is a purpose-driven communicator with diverse experience in international corporate and agency environments. In her previous role, she worked at Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland in marketing and communications before relocating to Boston, MA. Other positions on her career path include Burson Cohn & Wolfe in Switzerland and Sweden as well as Edelman in Germany.
Danielle is a strategic project leader with a strong passion to create shared value and make a difference to people and the planet. Within the Healthy Buildings program, her task is to create awareness for the team’s research and engage diverse stakeholders through inspiring stories and creative forms of communication.
Danielle earned her MA in Business at St. Gallen University in Switzerland. In addition, she holds a BA in Communications from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Currently, she is studying Corporate Sustainability and Innovation at Harvard Extension School.
Parham Azimi’s research focuses on the fate, transport, and control of indoor aerosols of indoor and ambient origin, the chronic health impacts of fine and ultrafine particles, and the transmission of infectious diseases. Currently, he is evaluating the transmission risk of infectious respiratory diseases, including influenza, measles, and Covid-19, in various indoor environments such as cruise ships, schools, and healthcare facilities using a newly-developed mechanistic model. In addition, he is working on the impacts of flood and building characteristics on mold growth and occupational respiratory health in residential buildings.
Parham 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.
Gen Pei’s research focuses on building ventilation, infectious disease transmission in buildings, indoor pollutant sensing technology, indoor chemistry, and energy-efficient buildings. Currently, he is working on developing a framework to quantify the effectiveness of ventilation systems and associated airflow patterns in reducing the transmission risk of infectious diseases in buildings, and studying the health and climate benefits of energy-saving measures in buildings. His doctoral research established a measurement and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling framework to understand pollutant transport, deposition, chemical reaction, and control in indoor environments. The goal of his research is to advance our knowledge of indoor pollutant dynamics and efficient control strategies to develop healthy, smart, and sustainable buildings.
Gen holds a Ph.D. and an M.Sc. in Architectural Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and a B.Sc. in Building Environment and Equipment Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University.
Sandra is a PhD candidate in the Population Health Sciences program at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research interests center on indoor air quality and building design strategies that improve occupant health outcomes. Sandra’s past research experience includes investigating the influence of residential ventilation factors on the severity of asthma symptoms in children as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Healthy Homes Program, as well as two projects under the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Microbiology of the Built Environment Program, which include exploring the effects of indoor envoronmental factors on the progression of microbial communities in a new hospital and examining the relationship between indoor moisture and fungal growth on building materials.
Before coming to Harvard, Sandra worked in the sustainable building design industry as an engineering consultant while also developing and delivering education through the University of Toronto, the Canada Green Building Council, and the International Well Building Institute. Sandra holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto.
Shivani is a PhD student in Environmental Health and concentrator in Maternal and Child Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her interests center on leveraging translational research to reduce racial health disparities manifest in the built environment. She hopes that this work can bridge the existing gap between communities, private organizations, and government, ultimately creating healthier physical and social environments for people to live.
Shivani recently graduated from Haverford College with dual-degrees in Chemistry and Health & Societies and has worked with the Science Research team at Propeller Health for several years. During that time, she conducted research aiming to understand the relationship between environmental and social determinants of chronic respiratory disease and its role in the development of more accessible digital health solutions. She has also been involved in developing health economic content for providers and payers on the benefits of using digital health solutions in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic respiratory disease and obstructive sleep apnea. After her Master’s, Shivani intends to earn her PhD in Environmental Health and become a leader in community-based participatory research.
Mahala is the Project Manager for the Co-Benefits of the Built Environment (CoBE) study, which focuses on quantifying energy savings and health and climate co-benefits of improving sustainability in the built environment. She was an intern working as a research assistant for a year prior to joining the Healthy Buildings team full time, and she is now managing the project in tandem with conducting research. Currently, she is leading the development of the next version of the CoBE tool (CoBE v2).
Mahala graduated in 2021 from Brandeis University with a B.A. in International and Global Studies. Her interests center on energy and sustainability in the built environment in the context of economic growth, international security, and geopolitics. She plans to continue her research and studies in this field with a Master’s degree.
Brian is a Research Assistant for the Co-Benefits of the Build Environment (CoBE) study, which focuses on quantifying energy savings and health and climate co-benefits of improving sustainability in the built environment. He is currently working on development for the CoBE tool and the implementation of future features.
Brian graduated in 2020 from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Applied Physics. His interests focus on the impacts of climate change on the environment and health, and how we can work to mitigate these impacts through a public health lens.
Her research focuses on the assessment of hazardous emissions such as aldehydes and methylglyoxal from electronic cigarettes, evaluating the effectiveness of infection control strategies in indoor environments using low-cost sensors, and mold growth assessment in submerged residential buildings after hurricanes and other catastrophic events. Currently, she is monitoring the indoor air quality (IAQ) and effectiveness of ventilation and filtration systems in several healthcare facilities in Boston, MA and assessing mold growth in residential buildings in New Orleans, LA and Orlando, FL after Hurricane Ida and Ian.
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 Indoor Science in Chicago, IL.
Rachel is a Research Assistant supporting the work of the Healthy Buildings Program. Her interests center on the threat of infectious diseases in the modern world, and the role healthy buildings play in mitigating the risk of infection. She is also interested in exploring the intersection of gender identity, health, and the built environment, in order to advance health equity across the gender spectrum.
Rachel earned her MS in Human Physiology from Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. She also holds a BA in Biology from the University of Virginia.
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.
Flora is a Master’s student in Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health. Her interests center on the cross-disciplinary field of nature, the built environment, individuals, and society, with a particular focus on the impact of the indoor environment on human well-being and the incorporation of biophilic designs into building infrastructures to achieve sustainability and health benefits. She believes that sustainability and health are collective responsibilities that require multidisciplinary collaborations. Her other current research also centers on the impact of the indoor environment on employees’ well-being during the WFH period and the projection of future policies in the post-pandemic workplace. Meanwhile, she also works on studying the dynamics of building characteristics from the perspective of design features and their impact on indoor environmental quality and health outcomes.
Flora graduated from UC Berkeley with double majors in Sustainable Environmental Design and Cognitive Science and has been a research assistant at Berkeley’s Atmospheric Biogeochemistry Lab for two years. Her previous research focused on solving PM2.5 pollution generated from open-field crop burning. She has also initiated multiple community-based sustainability projects in the Bay Area and Harbin, China, aiming to promote the idea of sustainability to the general public. With her background in environmental design, cognitive science, and public health, Flora hopes to continue her study in this diverse field with the indoor environment as the basis to provide better solutions to find the balance and harmony between nature and humans.
Amanda is a Master’s student in Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health. Her work is at the intersection of environmental geochemistry and public health, focused on addressing environmental health disparities though community-based participatory research and evidence-based decision-making.
Amanda holds a BA in Geosciences and Environmental Studies from Wellesley College, where her research investigated the fate, transport, and exposure pathways of herbicides in feminine hygiene products. Prior to Harvard, Amanda worked for the Silent Spring Institute, where she helped develop interactive personal exposure reports for study participants and conducted research on disparities in drinking water quality in communities around the United States.
Walter Whyte is a Master’s student in Environmental Health with a sub-concentration in human rights and social justice at Boston University School of Public Health. His interests focus on the intersection of social determinants of health within lower-income communities. He hopes to build a career that educates and represents urban communities, providing fair, non-discriminatory policies, which can help create healthy communities through environmental health.
Walter is currently working on the Women in the Indoor Built Environment Report and the Healthy Prisons Policy Report. Walter earned his Bachelor’s (BA) in Sociology with a minor in Business Administration from Boston University.
Joseph is a junior at Brandeis University majoring in Environmental Studies and Philosophy. His interests include environmental policy, energy use, and applied ethics. At the Healthy Buildings Program, he is assisting with the design and launch of the Co-Benefits of the Built Environment (CoBE) tool. He is also working with the CoBE team to research building performance standards policies in major cities, such as New York City’s LL97. For a forthcoming report on women’s health in the built environment, Joseph is researching the impacts of extreme temperature and humidity on women. Finally, Joseph is contributing to the methodology design of a study from the COGfx team on the relationship between temperature and creative thinking.
Christian is an undergraduate student of Biological Sciences at Florida State University and joined the Healthy Buildings Teams as a research assistant in 2022. He has conducted research that explores solutions for respiratory health complications that arise due to flood exposure. His goals include providing direction towards future research to reform flood mitigation strategies that will positively impact overall public health. He has also been involved in research that is focused on inequalities faced by women within the built environment. He is targeting methods to decrease susceptibility to contracting infectious diseases in environments where women are at risk. Previously, Christian assisted in researching the roles of genes expressed in glial cells and how they altered animal behavior at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. He intends to attend medical school and become a practicing physician.