Division Lead – Climate and Environmental Health Teaching Division
Director – Climate and Environmental Health Research Program
Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science
University of California San Diego
Fellowship Project: Nuts and Olestra for Persistent Organic Pollutant Reduction (NO-POPs) Trial: A Pilot Investigation.
Key words: pesticides, persistent pollutants, mental health, metabolism, respiratory, inflammation, metabolomics, cohort, clinical trial, climate change adaptation.
Dr. Suarez is the Division Lead of the Climate and Environmental Health Teaching Division and the Director of the Climate and Environmental Health Research Program at the H. Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at UC San Diego.
His main research interests involve understanding the environmental determinants of child and adult health in vulnerable populations. As the Principal Investigator of the NIH-funded Study of Secondary Exposures to Pesticides among Children and Adolescents (ESPINA), Dr. Suarez focuses on the impact of pesticide exposure on health, assessed from childhood to adulthood in Pedro Moncayo, Ecuador. Initiated in 2008, the study examines diverse health aspects including neurobehavior, mental health, endocrine function, inflammation, respiratory health, enzymatic activity, metabolomic profiles, liver and thyroid imaging, and smartphone mental health assessments. The study also includes blood/urinary markers and geospatial determinants to assess exposures to various chemicals including pesticides (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides) and persistent pollutants (PFAS, PBDEs, PCBs, OCPs). In 2024, ESPINA will be completing the 16th year of follow-up of participants, as they transition into young adulthood. Dr. Suarez is also involved in community-based participatory processes in Ecuador in collaboration with Fundación Cimas del Ecuador; he collaborates on rural health surveys and mental health screenings, collecting data from 2004-2017 with geocoded information from thousands of individuals.
Additionally, he leads the Nuts and Olestra for Persistent Organic Pollutant Reduction (NO-POPs) trial, investigating the effects of dietary interventions on the excretion of Persistent Organic Pollutants in older adults in San Diego, CA. Suarez also leads work on engineering solutions for improved human resilience to hot climates and serves as a Governor appointee to the Scientific Guidance Panel for the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program.
Last update: Spring 2024