Ruth Chen, PhD
Professor of Practice, Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering & Applied Science
Dr. Chen's experience and accomplishments in the field of public health are in three areas: community health, risk assessment, and regulatory public health.
In the area of community health, Dr. Chen has obtained an EPA technical outreach grant for the New Chicago Neighborhood in Memphis, TN. She has also received a $500,000 CDC grant for biomonitoring of hazardous environmental agents in Tennessee for the Tennessee Department of Health. In the area of risk assessment, Dr. Chen has been a staff fellow at NIH working on pharmacokinetics and detoxification of Tylenol. She has also been the human health epidemiologist for the Tennessee Department of Health working on risk communication, environmental health, environmental remediation, and occupational health. She has also been an environmental health regulator working as the Environmental Toxicologist for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation as the human health expert for Superfund, Water Pollution, Air Pollution, Radiation Health, and Community Assistance. She was also the Drinking Water Certification Officer for the State of Tennessee monitoring the safety of drinking water supply.
Dr. Chen teaches environmental toxicology and risk assessment, risk management and decision making at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
What opportunities do you see for interdisciplinary collaboration on public health initiatives in the future?
“There are many areas for interdisciplinary collaboration on public health, among them:
1) The delivery of chemo-preventive agents of lung cancer via aerosol;
2) The accurate targeting of antiviral agents in asthma treatment and prevention;
3) The characterization of tobacco smoke;
4) Nanotechnology and environmental health;
5) Control of bioterrorism agents;
6) Risk assessment of environemental exposure in a community; and
7) Risk communcation of environmental contamination.”