USC Assistant Professor selected for prestigious JPB Environmental Health Fellowship


Bokie Muigai

Publish date

October 31, 2022


Assistant Professor of environmental health, Max Aung, PhD, MPH, has been selected as a 2022 JPB Environmental Health fellow. This competitive fellowship program supports junior faculty members in the U.S. who demonstrate expertise, commitment, and enthusiasm toward addressing complex societal environmental health problems in under-resourced communities.

Max Aung, PhD, MPH
Max Aung, PhD, MPH (photo courtesy Max Aung)

The fellowship is based at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and is funded by the JPB Foundation. Through a highly selective process, 14 fellows from across the country were awarded the fellowship on October 1, 2022. Aung joins the third cohort of the program, founded nine years ago, as the only scholar from California.

Aung’s areas of research focus on applying data science frameworks to understand potential mechanisms linking chemical mixtures to health across the life course. His ongoing research in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Opportunities Infrastructure Fund (OIF). He is the principal investigator on integrating bioactive lipids as potential mechanistic mediators of prenatal chemical pollutants exposures and child neurodevelopment.

JPB Fellows receive up to $125,000 over the course of the 3.5 year program. This funding will sustain a growing pillar of Aung’s research on immigrant and environmental health, and build the foundation for future long-term proposals and collaborations. The fellowship supports research projects that produce knowledge about factors that “affect health and health equity, and solutions for increasing health equity.”

His past work includes investigating the influence of environmental pollutant exposures on pregnancy outcomes, including pre-term birth, infant birth size and weight, and biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress. JPB fellowship’s mission is to support rigorous scholars like Aung, with the opportunity to network with interdisciplinary scholars and learn cutting edge methodology and approaches to investigate social and environmental determinants of health.

Aung’s other roles include Co-Director of the Environmental Health Methodological, Trainings and Teaching Enterprise (EH MATTERS) program. This is a two-year undergraduate mentorship program at USC whose aim is to incorporate diverse voices into the field of environmental health sciences and introduces students to environmental justice through community research. He is also currently Assistant Director and an alumnus of the Agents of Change in Environmental Justice Fellowship. Prior to this, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholars Fellow.

Max Aung, PhD, MPH, is a 2022 JPB Environmental Health fellow. He is an assistant professor in environmental health in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences at Keck School of Medicine of USC. He is the Co-Director of the EH MATTERS program, and the Assistant Director of Agents of Change.

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