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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Washington Professor Wins Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Dr. Catherine Karr, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences in the University of Washington School of Public Health and of pediatrics in the UW School of Medicine, has received the 2017 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Catherine Karr

[Photo: Dr. Catherine Karr]

Dr. Karr was among 102 recipients announced by the White House this week. The award is the highest honor given by the U.S. government to early career scientists and engineers.

“I congratulate these outstanding scientists and engineers on their impactful work,” President Barack Obama said in a statement. “These innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy.”

Dr. Karr, who was nominated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, uses a community-engaged approach to research focusing on environmental contaminants and pediatric respiratory health — including asthma, the health of farmworker children and global children’s environmental health.

Recent projects include working with Native American and Latino communities in the Yakima Valley to develop low-cost air pollution sensors aimed at reducing wood smoke exposure, conducting an intervention trial among Yakima youth with asthma to evaluate the effectiveness of home air cleaners and investigating how exposure to environmental factors from conception through early childhood influences the health of children and adolescents.

Dr. Karr, also an adjunct professor of epidemiology at the UW School of Public Health, directs the Northwest Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, a regional consultation and education service. She also cares for patients and teaches resident physicians at the Pediatric Care Center at UW Medical Center-Roosevelt.

Dr. Emily Fox, associate professor of statistics and Amazon Professor of Machine Learning at the UW, was also nominated. Dr. Fox, also an adjunct associate professor of computer science and engineering and of electrical engineering, was nominated by the National Science Foundation.

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