Together with scientists from the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, the School of Nursing, and the Dell Medical School of the University of Texas – Austin (Dr. Kerry Kinney as Principal Investigator), Dr. Félix E. Rivera-Mariani and the RILPRT will be collaborating in a recently-funded project by the US Housing and Urban Development (under the Lead and Healthy Homes Technical Studies Grant Program) to identify the relationship between biological and non-biological indoor contaminants and asthma severity in children. The initial phases of the project will focus on rural regions of Texas, but later phases will be extending national-wide. Dr. Rivera-Mariani and the RIPLRT were recruited to collaborate with their expertise in immunotoxicology of indoor air pollution and to implement human-based immunological approaches that facilitate understanding how indoor contaminants can manipulate the human immune system to exacerbate respiratory diseases. This is in line to the current collaboration of the RIPLRT with scientists of the University of Texas-Austin and the University of Puerto Rico to address the respiratory health of Puerto Ricans in the aftermath of hurricane Maria.
Thanks to Dr. Kerry Kinney, professor at the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at the University of Texas - Austin, for putting together such a great team of collaborators, and for her great work and effort in getting this proposal funded by the US Housing and Urban Development agency.