Junfeng Zhang

Overview:

Dr. Zhang joined the Duke Faculty in fall 2013 from the University of Southern California where he had been a professor of environmental and global health and the director of Environmental and Biomarkers Analysis Laboratory since 2010. His prior positions include professor, department chair, and associate dean at the Rutgers School of Public Health. Dr. Zhang has more than 140 peer-reviewed publications. His work has been featured in major international media such as the Time, the New York Times, BBC, ABC, CBS, Yahoo News, etc. His early work on characterizing sources of non-methane greenhouse gases made him one of the officially recognized contributor to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to IPCC. He is the 2012 recipient of the Jeremy Wesolowski Award, the highest award of the International Society of Exposure Science. He also received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the Rutgers Graduate School.

Dr. Zhang’s research interests include developing novel biomarkers of human exposure and health effects, assessing health and climate co-benefits of air pollution interventions, and examining biological mechanisms by which environmental exposures exert adverse health effects. Dr. Zhang has led a number of international collaborations to study air pollution health effects and underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms. He is currently leading two multidisciplinary, multi-institutional centers studying the health impact of engineered nanomaterials.

Positions:

Professor of Global and Environmental Health

Environmental Sciences and Policy
Nicholas School of the Environment

Research Professor of Global Health

Duke Global Health Institute
Institutes and Provost's Academic Units

Professor of Global and Environmental Health at Duke Kunshan University

DKU Faculty
Duke Kunshan University

Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Duke Cancer Institute
School of Medicine

Education:

Ph.D. 1994

Rutgers University

Grants:

Cooperative Program in Nanomaterials Hazard and Exposure Assessment Traineeships (NanoHEAT)

Administered By
Pratt School of Engineering
Awarded By
Environmental Protection Agency
Role
Mentor
Start Date
End Date

Effects of perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS) exposure on adverse pregnancy outcomes and fetal development

Administered By
Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Sciences
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Mentor
Start Date
End Date

The effect of household air pollution on the health outcomes of infants in Botswana

Administered By
Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
Awarded By
Thrasher Research Fund
Role
Co-Mentor
Start Date
End Date

Measurement of urinary 8-isoprostane and 11-dehydrothromboxane

Administered By
Duke Global Health Institute
Awarded By
University of California - San Francisco
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Air Pollution Particle Effects on Human Lung Antimycobacterial Immunity

Administered By
Duke Global Health Institute
Awarded By
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Publications:

Long-term exposure to ambient PM<sub>2.5</sub> increase obesity risk in Chinese adults: A cross-sectional study based on a nationwide survey in China.

Certain studies suggest that air pollution could be a risk factor for obesity, but the evidence on the association between air pollution exposure and obesity in adults is limited. This study aims to examine the association between long-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM<sub>2.5</sub>) and obesity-related traits in Chinese adults. Thus, a cross-sectional study was conducted based on a nationally representative sample of 91, 121 adults from 31 provinces in China. Integrated the data from satellites, chemical transport model, and ground observations, annual average concentrations of PM<sub>2.5</sub> was obtained at the township level using a machine learning method. The information on body weight, height, and waist circumference (WC) were obtained from a questionnaire survey. The general obesity and abdominal obesity status were classified based on body mass index (BMI) and WC, respectively. Logistic and multivariate linear regression models were used to examine the association between PM<sub>2.5</sub> and obesity-related traits, along with the examination of potential effect modifications. After adjustment for covariates, a 10 μg/m<sup>3</sup> increase in PM<sub>2.5</sub> concentration was associated with 8.0% [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0%, 10.0%] and 10% (95% CI: 9.0%, 11.0%) increases in odds for general obesity and abdominal obesity, respectively. The odds ratios associated with per 10 μg/m<sup>3</sup> PM<sub>2.5</sub> increase were significantly greater in individuals of older age (≥60 years), of Han ethnicity, with lower socioeconomic status (SES), cooking without using a ventilation device, using unclean household fuels, having near-home pollution sources, and doing no physical exercise. These findings suggest that long-term exposure to ambient PM<sub>2.5</sub> increase obesity risk in Chinese adults. It has significant significance to reduce air pollution to reducing the burden of obesity, particularly for the susceptible populations.
Authors
Cao, S; Guo, Q; Xue, T; Wang, B; Wang, L; Duan, X; Zhang, JJ
MLA Citation
Cao, Suzhen, et al. “Long-term exposure to ambient PM2.5 increase obesity risk in Chinese adults: A cross-sectional study based on a nationwide survey in China.The Science of the Total Environment, vol. 778, July 2021, p. 145812. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145812.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1476739
PMID
33721648
Source
epmc
Published In
The Science of the Total Environment
Volume
778
Published Date
Start Page
145812
DOI
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145812

Children's lung function in relation to changes in socioeconomic, nutritional, and household factors over 20 years in Lanzhou.

<h4>Background</h4>Lanzhou has experienced rapid urbanization, leading to changes in socioeconomic, nutritional, and household factors. These changes may affect children's lung function.<h4>Methods</h4>Two cross-sectional studies of school-age children (6-13 years of age) from the urban (Chengguan) (Period 1 in 1996 with n=390; Period 2 in 2017 with n=192) and the suburban (Xigu) (Period 1 n=344; Period 2 n=492) district were conducted. Demographic information, household factors, and nutrition status were obtained via a questionnaire survey. Forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV<sub>1</sub>) were measured in each period. Student's t-test analysis of variance was used to assess the differences in FVC and FEV<sub>1</sub> between Periods 1 and 2. Generalized linear models were used to analyze the associations between questionnaire derived factors and lung function. Analyses were done separately for girls and boys.<h4>Results</h4>Children had significantly lower mean FEV<sub>1</sub> and FVC measures in Period 2 than in Period 1. This reduction was greater in children living in the urban area than those living in the suburban area. Obese children had significantly lower lung function but this was only statistically significant in Period 1.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Children's lung function (FVC and FEV<sub>1</sub>) were lower in 2017 than in 1996. Rapid urbanization may have contributed to the decline of lung function. Obesity may be a risk factor for impaired lung function in children living in Lanzhou and possibly elsewhere.
Authors
Li, S; Cao, S; Duan, X; Zhang, Y; Gong, J; Xu, X; Guo, Q; Meng, X; Bertrand, M; Zhang, JJ
MLA Citation
Li, Sai, et al. “Children's lung function in relation to changes in socioeconomic, nutritional, and household factors over 20 years in Lanzhou.Journal of Thoracic Disease, vol. 13, no. 7, July 2021, pp. 4574–88. Epmc, doi:10.21037/jtd-20-2232.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1493117
PMID
34422383
Source
epmc
Published In
Journal of Thoracic Disease
Volume
13
Published Date
Start Page
4574
End Page
4588
DOI
10.21037/jtd-20-2232

The effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution on the prevalence of adults' respiratory diseases in four Chinese cities: a comparison between 2017-2018 and 1993-1996.

<h4>Background</h4>Over the past decades, both ambient and household air pollution have changed in several aspects, including the emission sources and the concentrations of pollutants, in many Chinese cities. It is unknown whether these changes are associated with changes in health conditions, especially given changes in other factors due to rapid economic growth.<h4>Methods</h4>Two cross-sectional surveys were conducted in two periods spanning more than twenty years (1993-1996 <i>vs</i>. 2017-2018) in four Chinese cities of Chongqing, Wuhan, Lanzhou, and Guangzhou. Data were collected regarding adults' respiratory disease, smoking status, education, occupation, and household characteristics. Ambient air pollution data were obtained for each study. We first used logistic regression models to construct the district-specific adjusted disease prevalences. In the second stage, first-difference regression models were employed to examine whether the change in respiratory diseases prevalences was associated with the change in outdoor air pollution and indoor air pollution surrogates.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 7,557 and 9,974 households were participating in Period 1 (1993-1996) and Period 2 (2017-2018), respectively. Compared to Period 1, we found substantial reductions in the ambient air pollution concentrations, and a suggestive improvement in cooking-related indoor air pollution in Period 2. We observed decreases in the district-specific covariate-adjusted prevalences of both asthma and chronic bronchitis among participants, with an average reduction of 3.6% (range: 0.0% to 24.3%). From Period 1 to Period 2, one percent decrease in the proportion of cooking with coal was associated with a 19.0% (95% CI, 0.96-37.04%) decrease in the prevalence of males' chronic bronchitis and a 1.86% (0.69-3.04%) increase in the prevalence of females' asthma. Little evidence was observed regarding the potential health benefits associated with the decreases in ambient air pollution levels.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The substantial reduction in household use of coal for cooking might be an important contributor to the decrease in adults' respiratory disease prevalence from 1993-1996 to 2017-2019 in four Chinese cities. Changes in this indoor air pollution source, along with other risk factors for respiratory diseases, may have masked respiratory health benefits associated with reductions in outdoor air pollution levels.
Authors
Yan, M; Gong, J; Liu, Q; Li, W; Duan, X; Cao, S; Li, S; He, L; Yin, Z; Lin, W; Zhang, JJ
MLA Citation
Yan, Meilin, et al. “The effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution on the prevalence of adults' respiratory diseases in four Chinese cities: a comparison between 2017-2018 and 1993-1996.Journal of Thoracic Disease, vol. 13, no. 7, July 2021, pp. 4560–73. Epmc, doi:10.21037/jtd-20-2121.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1493350
PMID
34422382
Source
epmc
Published In
Journal of Thoracic Disease
Volume
13
Published Date
Start Page
4560
End Page
4573
DOI
10.21037/jtd-20-2121

Household environmental factors and children's respiratory health: comparison of two cross-sectional studies over 25 years in Wuhan, China.

<h4>Background</h4>Over the recent decades, residential lifestyle and household environment have changed substantially with rapid development of industrialization and urbanization in China. Whether the prevalence of respiratory diseases changed is still lack of evidence. The objective of this study is to assess potential changes in children's respiratory disease prevalence and associated household environmental factors in Wuhan over a 25-year time interval.<h4>Methods</h4>Two cross-sectional studies in the Period 1 (1993 to 1996) and Period 2 (2017 to 2018) were compared in this research. Elementary school children in period 1 (N=2,517) and in period 2 (N=3,152) were recruited in Wuhan, China. The respiratory health condition, home environmental factors, and family socioeconomic status of each subject were acquired through questionnaire survey using the same protocols in both periods. We used the Chi-square test to analyze the difference of household environmental factors (focused on three indoor air quality determinants) and children's respiratory health condition between two periods. Logistic regression models were used to assess the impacts of household environmental determinants on children's respiratory diseases and symptoms between the two studies, by adjusting a set of covariates.<h4>Results</h4>The three indoor air quality determinants have reduced substantially in prevalence from period 1 to period 2: environment tobacco smoke (ETS) from 86.6% to 45.9%, household coal use from 47.6% to 4.9%, and kitchen smoke from 58.9% to 7.3%. The prevalence of certain respiratory symptoms in children significantly decreased, such as cough with colds (51.1% to 41.6%) and phlegm with colds (22.3% to 17.7%). The prevalence of asthma was 2.5% and 2.4% and that of bronchitis was 27.1% and 29.8% in both periods. Coal use was a risk factor for asthma in period 1 (OR =2.34, 95% CI: 1.30-4.23), while it was not significantly associated with prevalence of asthma in period 2 (OR =0.60, 95% CI: 0.08-4.51).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Household indoor air quality determinants and respiratory health condition of children in Wuhan has been improved over the last 25 years. At present, kitchen smoke is an important factor affecting the prevalence of wheeze whatever child has a cold or not and reducing exposure to ETS could be beneficial to protect children to be less likely to develop bronchitis.
Authors
Meng, X; Cao, S; Li, S; Yan, M; Guo, Q; Gong, J; Liu, Q; Zhang, JJ; Duan, X
MLA Citation
Meng, Xin, et al. “Household environmental factors and children's respiratory health: comparison of two cross-sectional studies over 25 years in Wuhan, China.Journal of Thoracic Disease, vol. 13, no. 7, July 2021, pp. 4589–600. Epmc, doi:10.21037/jtd-20-2170.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1493474
PMID
34422384
Source
epmc
Published In
Journal of Thoracic Disease
Volume
13
Published Date
Start Page
4589
End Page
4600
DOI
10.21037/jtd-20-2170

Changes in children's lung function over two decades in relation to socioeconomic, parental and household factors in Wuhan, China.

<h4>Background</h4>It is important to identify risk and beneficial factors for children's lung function. This study aims to ascertain potential changes in children's lung function in relation to changes in socioeconomic, parental and household factors, based on a comparison between two periods spanning 25 years in Wuhan, the largest metropolis in central China.<h4>Methods</h4>In two cross-sectional studies, lung function measurements and questionnaire surveys were conducted on school-age children in 1993-1996 (Period I) and in 2018 (Period II). Children of 6-12 years old from elementary schools were selected by a multistage sampling method. Demographic information, socioeconomic status, feeding methods, parental illness and behavior patterns, as well as household characteristics, were collected through a questionnaire survey. Spirometric lung function was measured, including forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV<sub>1</sub>), forced expiratory flow at 25% and 75% of the pulmonary volume (FEF25-75), and peak expiratory flow (PEF). Wilcoxon analysis of variances was used to assess the differences in lung function indexes between Period I and Period II. Multiple linear regression models were used to estimate the association of lung function with regard to socioeconomic, parental and household factors, respectively.<h4>Results</h4>Significant prevalence reductions were observed for household coal use, paternal smoking and maternal asthma, while the prevalence increased significantly for children sleeping in their own rooms or own beds and breastfeeding, ventilation use during cooking, and parental education level from Period I to Period II. When adjusted for age, height, weight, sex and other factors assessed in the study, children had significant lower values of FVC, FEV<sub>1</sub>, and PEF in Period II than in Period I. Enclosed kitchen was significantly associated with lower lung function in children in Period I. Urban living condition and higher maternal education level were each associated with a higher FVC, while father having no fixed income was associated with a lower FVC and a lower FEV<sub>1</sub>, respectively, in Period II. In comparison with Period I, the beneficial impact of urban living and that of breastfeeding were enhanced and the detrimental effect of poor household condition was weakened in Period II.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Lung function was lower in 2018 than in 1993-1996 in school-age children living in Wuhan. Although improvements in urban living and household environmental conditions as well as increased breastfeeding in Period II could have contributed to increased lung function, other unmeasured risk factors may have played a more dominant role in leading to a net decrease in lung function from Period I to Period II. Future studies are needed to identify these risk factors.
Authors
Cao, S; Wen, D; Li, S; Guo, Q; Duan, X; Gong, J; Xu, X; Meng, X; Qin, N; Wang, B; Zhang, JJ
MLA Citation
Cao, Suzhen, et al. “Changes in children's lung function over two decades in relation to socioeconomic, parental and household factors in Wuhan, China.Journal of Thoracic Disease, vol. 13, no. 7, July 2021, pp. 4601–13. Epmc, doi:10.21037/jtd-21-158.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1493475
PMID
34422385
Source
epmc
Published In
Journal of Thoracic Disease
Volume
13
Published Date
Start Page
4601
End Page
4613
DOI
10.21037/jtd-21-158