Most Significant Contributions

          Upon my arrival at the University of Alberta, we developed and now teach the graduate course in Pediatrics, Children’s Health and the Environment. It compiles years of experience working with students from different backgrounds, non-governmental organizations, and professionals from various disciplines. These and my research experiences confirm my conviction that interdisciplinary collaborative work is essential to move forward on the subject of environmental health.

          I was part of the MILAGRO interdisciplinary, multicenter air quality study in Mexico City (2006). This study was led by the Noble Prize winner Mario Molina and Luisa Molina. E.g.:
               Molina LT, Madronich S, ..., Osornio-Vargas AR. An overview of the MILAGRO 2006 campaign: Mexico City emissions and their transport and transformation. Atmos Chem Phys 10:1-64, 2010.
          The research and policy implications of this significant study are still in progress.
          I was responsible for developing the Basic Research Division, Mexican National Cancer Institute, serving as chairman between 1990-1992 & 1994–1998. I started with a handful of new enthusiastic young investigators, and now it is a mature Division hosting various research groups.
          My expertise in particulate matter-related toxicity and environmental health has focused on experimentally understanding how complex chemical mixtures determine cellular responses. E.g.:
               Manzano-Leon N
Serrano-Lomelin J, ... O´Neill MS, Osornio-Vargas AR. TNFa and IL-6 responses to particulate matter in vitro: Variation according to PM size, season, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and soil content. Env Health Perspect 124(4):406-412, 2016.

Interdisciplinary Research
          I started a collaborative interdisciplinary team to study the geographic distribution of chemicals emitted into the air, adverse birth outcomes, and children’s cancer in Canada. The group includes toxicology, epidemiology, data mining, geographic information systems, pediatrics, obstetrics, cardiology and knowledge users. We focus on using public databases to provide potentially useful information in understanding environmental influences on health. All funding received since 2009 is based on interdisciplinary research initiatives, including international ones. Examples of publications resulting from these efforts are:
               Jabbar MSM
Bellinger C, Zaiane OR, Osornio-Vargas A. Discovering co-location patterns with aggregated spatial transactions and dependency rules. Int J Data Sci Anal (2018) 5:137-154, 2018.
               Serrano-Lomelin J, Nielsen C, Jabbar S, Wine O, Bellinger C
, ... Zaiane O, Osornio Vargas A. Interdisciplinary-driven hypotheses on spatial associations of mixtures of industrial air pollutants with adverse birth outcomes. Environment International 131:104972, 2019.

Research and Policy
          Our work on the toxic effects of air pollutants allowed me to be a member of the working group reviewing the Mexican Federal Air Quality Norm for Particulate Matter (NOM-025-SSA1-1993) for the Ministry of Health (1999 –2000). This work moved the PM10 air quality standard from 150 to 120 mg/m3. Results that provided support are:
               Osornio-Vargas AR
, et al. 2003. Proinflammatory and cytotoxic effects of Mexico City air pollution particulate matter in vitro are dependent on particle size and composition. Environ Health Perspect, 111:1289-1293, 2003.

 © Alvaro R. Osornio Vargas 2022