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March 5, 2019 | 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Category: Seminar
Location: Integrative Biosciences Center Conference room | Map
6135 Woodward Ave.
Detroit , MI 48202
Cost: Free
Audience: Academic Staff, Community, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty

The Campus Community is invited to a research seminar

 Inhaling Cardiometabolic Diseases: Time for Intervention

hosted by

the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences,

the Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors,

 and Translational Sciences and Clinical Research Innovation -  Office of the Dean of the School of Medicine and the Vice President for Research

with guest speaker, Robert Brook, M.D., University of Michigan

March 5, 2019

11 a.m. to 12 noon

IBio Conference Center

Dr. Robert Brook is a professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Michigan. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed internal medicine residency at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and a fellowship in hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and vascular medicine at the University of Michigan. Dr. Brook joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1999 and was promoted to associate professor in 2008 and to professor in 2014. He is a fellow of the American Heart Association, Society for Vascular Medicine and the National Lipid Association.

His clinical interests are in resistant/secondary hypertension, orthostatic hypotension, complex lipid disorders, and cardiovascular disease prevention. He is the director of the Comprehensive Hypertension Center at the University of Michigan.  

Dr. Brook has authored over 220 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of vascular physiology, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular imaging, hypertension, the metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease prevention, and hyperlipidemia. He has maintained interest in the intersection between lung diseases, air pollution and cardio-metabolic disorders. He has ongoing interests in non-pharmacological treatments of hypertension and served as the chairperson for an American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement on alternative approaches for blood pressure-lowering and as a member of the most recent AHA update on resistant hypertension.  Dr. Brook’s main research interest continues to be the cardio-metabolic health effects of air pollutants with an emphasis on understanding the biological mechanisms by which they cause heart diseases and promote the metabolic syndrome. He has served as the Chairperson of two separate AHA scientific statements regarding the cardiovascular effects of air pollution in 2004 and in 2010 and has ongoing studies across Asia and North America.


Fine particulate matter 2.5) air pollution ranks among the leading risk factors for global morbidity and mortality. The largest source of PM2.5 is from anthropogenic processes involving fossil fuel combustion (e.g., coal, gasoline). While prompting pulmonary illnesses, roughly two-thirds of PM2,5-related deaths are from cardiovascular diseases. Short-term exposure over days to higher air pollution levels is known to trigger myocardial infarctions, strokes, heart failure, arrhythmias and sudden death. However, longer-term exposures over years increase the risks for cardiovascular events by a substantially larger magnitude.  We have shown that this amplified risk is at least partially due to PM2.5 potentiating the development of chronic cardiometabolic conditions including high blood pressure (BP), hyperlipidemia, and insulin resistance/diabetes. As such, air pollution is increasingly being recognized as a risk factor for the cardiometabolic syndrome. Overall air quality has improved across the US during the past few decades leading to reductions in all-cause mortality; nonetheless, nearly 20% of urban locations remain polluted above current Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs). Moreover, low levels of PM2.5 within AQGs (3) still pose significant health risks. Even present-day air pollution levels are associated with at least 88,000 excess deaths per year in the US. To help mitigate the persistent and pernicious threat posed by PM2.5 we have launched a series of studies to test the health benefits of personal-level actions to reduce exposures. Our latest project demonstrated that inexpensive portable air cleaners can reduce indoor PM2.5 concentrations and result in a lowering of BP within a few days among seniors living in Midtown Detroit.  A newly launched study in Beijing China is currently focusing on the protective actions of wearing respirators among post-myocardial infarction patients living in a heavily-polluted megacity. The over-arching objective of our ongoing research program is to validate the benefits of practical personal-level preventive measures to protect against the harmful effects of PM2.5 across the global range of air quality. The ultimate goal is to launch large-scale clinical trials to definitely evalute the merits of these approaches as part of the effort to combat the global epidemic of air pollution.


For more information about this event, please contact Julie O'Connor at 313-577-8845 or