Air Pollution Exposure Platform

Dr. Christopher Carlsten

Platform Leader: Dr. Christopher Carlsten

Team Members:

Dr. Jordan Guenette
Dr. Andrew Halayko
Dr. Neeloffer Mookherjee
Dr. Don Sin
Dr. Wan Tan
Dr. Teresa To
Min Ryu (PhD Candidate)
Nafeez Syed (PhD Candidate)



  • To integrate the COPD cohorts into APEL (Air Pollution Exposure Laboratory)’s well-developed exposure model
  • To address key questions of mechanism and biological plausibility of observations linking air pollution with COPD, connecting to public health concerns
  • To demonstrate that traffic-related air pollution augments subclinical (biomarker) and clinical (lung function) elements of airway disease in smokers at risk for developing COPD


To T, Zhu J, Carlsten C, Larsen K, Ryckman K, Feldman LY, Crighton E, Lougheed M, Licskai C, Villeneuve PJ, Su J, Sadatsafavi M, Gray N, Gershon AS. “Do community demographics, environmental characteristics and access to care affect the risk of developing COPD in people with asthma?”. Eur Respir J, 2017 June; in press.

Carlsten C, Rider CF. “Traffic-related air pollution and allergic disease: an update in the context of global urbanization.” Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Apr; 17(2):85-59.  doi: 10.1097/ACI.0000000000000351.

Kramer MM, Hirota JA, Sood A, Teschke K, Carlsten C. “Airway and serum adipokines after allergen and diesel exposure in a controlled human crossover study of atopic adults.” Transl Res. 2017 April; 182:49-60. doi:10.1016/j.trsl.2016.11.001

Clifford R, Jones M, MacIsaac J, McEwen L, Goodman S, Mostafavi S, Kobor M, Carlsten C. “Inhalation of diesel exhaust and allergen alters human bronchial epithelium DNA methylation.” J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Jan. 139(1):112-121. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2016.03.046.

Biagioni BJ, Tam S, Chen YR, Sin DD, Carlsten C. “Effect of controlled human exposure to diesel exhaust and allergen on airway surfactant protein D, myeloperoxidase, and club (Clara) cell secretory protein 16.” Clin Exp Allergy. 2016 Sept; 46(9):1206-1213. doi: 10.1111/cea.12732.

To T, Zhu J, Larsen K, Simatovic J, Williams D, Gershon A, Lougheed MD, Licskai C, Chen H, Villeneuve PJ, Crighton E, Su Y, Sadatsafavi M, Carlsten C, Canadian Respiratory Research Network. “Progression from Asthma to Asthma and COPD Overlap Syndrome (ACOS): Is air pollution a risk factor?” Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2016 Aug 15; 194(4):429-438. doi:10.1164/rccm.201510-1932OC.

Zhang X, Hirota JA, Yang C, Carlsten C. “Effect of GST variants on lung function following diesel exhaust and allergen co-exposure in a controlled human crossover study.” Free Radical Bio Med. 2016 Jul; 96:385-91. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2016.04.202.

Gold MJ, Hiebert PR, Park HY, Stefanowicz D, Starkey MR, Deane A, Brown AC, Liu G, Horvat JC, Ibrahim ZA, Sukkar MB Hansbro PM, Carlsten C, VanEeden S, Sin DD, McNagny KM, Knight DA, Hirota JA. “Mucosal production of uric acid by airway epithelial cells contributes to particulate matter-induced allergic sensitization.” Mucosal Immunol. 2016 May;9(3):809-20. doi: 10.1038/mi.2015.104.

Rider CF, Yamamoto M, Gunther OP, Hirota JH, Singh A, Tebbutt SJ, Carlsten C. “Controlled diesel exhaust and allergen co-exposure modulates miRNA and gene expression in humans: Effects on inflammatory lung markers.” J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2016 Apr 24. 138(6); 1690-1700. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2016.02.038.