Hyunok Choi

Hyunok Choi, PhD, MPH

Public health researcher examines and quantifies human resilience to adverse environmental conditions.

The World Within Reach
Hyunok Choi, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor

School of Public Health
Department: Environmental Health Sciences

One University Place, Room 153



Post-Doctoral Research Environmental Health
Harvard School of Public Health 2010

Ph.D. Environmental Health Science
Columbia University 2006

Research Interests

One of my main research interests includes quantifying human resilience to adverse environmental condition, as well as the health consequences of such resilience. In particular, I am interested in fetal adaptation to adverse intrauterine environment within the context of “western” lifestyle. As a global phenomenon, the “western lifestyle” influences not only the indoor exposure to the pollutants, but also parental physiologic and behavioral traits. Understanding the distinction between adaptation vs. early disease state during childhood is critical in clarifying the “window of vulnerability”. I hope to examine whether early-life adaptation to these factors increase the susceptibility to childhood diseases, using polycyclic aromatics hydrocarbons and glycol ethers as two model pollutants.

Additional Information

Courses frequently Taught:
EHS 590 Introduction to Environmental Health Sciences


  • Choi, H., Perera, F.P., Tsai, W.Y., Jedrychowski, W., Pac, A., Camann, D.E., Tu,Y., Bendkowska, I., Masters, E.E. Spengler, J.D. Is There a Fetal Window of Vulnerability to Airborne Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons on Intrauterine Growth Restriction? November 2011, PLoS One.
  • Choi, H., Sundell, J., Schmidbauer, N., Spengler, J.D., Bornehag, C.G. Common Household Chemicals and the Allergy Risks in Pre-school Age Children. PlosOne. October, 2010. 5(10): e13423. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013423.
  • Choi, H., Schmidbauer, N., Spengler, J.D., Bornehag, C.G. Sources of Glycol Ethers Exposure at Home. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. December 2010. 7 (12): 4213-4237.
  • Choi, H. and Perera, F.P. Sources of greater fetal vulnerability to airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons among African Americans. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, May, 2010. doi:10.1136/jech.2009.099051.
  • Choi, H., Perera F.P., Penar A., Wang. L., Camann D., Chai-Onn, T., Becker M., Masters E., Jedrychowski W., Jaczek R., and Spengler. J. Estimating Individual-Level Exposure to Airborne Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons throughout Gestational Period based on Personal, Indoor and Outdoor Monitoring. Environmental Health Perspectives. November 2008. 116 (11): 1509 – 1518.
  • Choi, H., Rauh, V., Garfinkel, R., Tu, Y., Perera, F.P. Prenatal Exposure to Airborne Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Risk of Intrauterine Growth Restriction. Environmental Health Perspectives. May 2008. 116 (5): 658 –665.
  • Choi, H, Jedrychowski, W, Spengler, J, Camann, DE, Whyatt, RM, Rauh, V, Tsai, WY, Perera, FP. International Studies of Prenatal Exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Fetal Growth. Environmental Health Perspectives. November 2006. 114 (11): 1744 – 1750.