The Environment, Exposure Science & Risk Assessment Center (ESRAC) was founded in 2013 by Kelly Reynolds, PhD, Mary Kay O’Rourke, PhD, and Leslie Dennis, PhD to bring scientific analysis and assessment that would meet community needs.

ESRAC’s mission is to provide expertise to industry, the community, and researchers in the areas of human exposure to hazards in the environment. These include a variety of chemical, biological, and physical hazards we come into contact with throughout our daily lives that can impact our health at home, in the workplace, and within our communities.

The current Director of ESRAC, Dr. Kelly Reynolds, guides the Center and its many projects while Dr. O’Rourke, Dr. Dennis and Marc Verhougstraete, PhD, are current co-directors. Jonathan Sexton, PhD, MS, serves as a Research Specialist, Senior and the K-12 Outreach Coordinator for ESRAC. Collaborating members come from the University of Arizona Colleges of Public Health, Agriculture, Medicine, and Engineering.

One primary area of research includes tracking and preventing healthcare-acquired infections which cause approximately 100,000 deaths every year in the U.S. The approach promotes the understanding of environmental exposures in the context of human health and safety through hazard identification, monitoring, and modeling of exposures, evaluating the impacts of intervention and mitigation strategies on health outcomes, and quantifying the economic impact of these exposures.

ESRAC investigators use a team approach to leverage the strengths of experts across different fields, including microbiology, medicine, epidemiology, public health, and mathematical modeling. This collective knowledge is needed to solve the complex issues of today where we are exposed to a multitude of potentially hazardous compounds present in the environment – including our food, water, and air. These findings inform policy initiatives, direct technology development, educate communities, and prioritize public health projects.

Dr. Kelly Reynolds extends her gratitude to the donors who helped to make ESRAC possible and support the College’s “One Health” program in this video.