Ozone Research Center to be Launched at Duke Kunshan University

March 7, 2016

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke Kunshan University (DKU) is set to join forces with Jiangsu Province’s official regulating departments to tackle key environmental health issues related to ozone in China.

In November, representatives from two provincial departments of Jiangsu Province—the Environmental Protection Department and the Commission of Health and Family Planning—signed an agreement of collaboration with DKU to launch the Regional Ozone Sino-US Collaborative Research Center (ROSUC).

Jim Zhang, professor of global and environmental health at Duke University and DKU, is the director of the center, which will be based at DKU.

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  Dr. Jim Zhang at agreement signing. (Photo: Duke Kunshan)

ROSUC will be a collaborative research center to conduct research on ozone formation, distribution and health effects. The center’s research goal is to generate scientific results to support policies targeting cost-effective controls in the region.

Ozone is a key to understanding air pollution health effects, and current ozone levels frequently exceed the recommended level in Jiangsu Province and the Yangtze River Delta. Health risks associated with ozone exposure and ozone-related atmospheric oxidation potential still are largely unknown for the region.

“We are working actively with the local government to integrate scientific research into policy decisions,” says Denis Simon, executive vice chancellor of DKU and vice director of the ROSUC management committee. “With the establishment of ROSUC, one of our goals is to formulate a prediction and warning system for local ozone levels in reducing ozone exposure and decreasing population health risk.”

“The abnormal ozone level in Jiangsu is posing a health risk for its people, which calls for immediate attention and action,” says Zhang. “By launching ROSUC, we will strive to provide science-based recommendations to the government for controlling ozone pollution and to the public for reducing their exposure to ozone.”

ROSUC is the outcome of DKU’s ongoing work with the Environmental Protection Department and the Commission of Health and Family Planning of Jiangsu Province.

Mengmeng Chen, director of the Environmental Protection Department, has been designated as the chair of the ROSUC Management Committee. In addition to Denis Simon, the management committee includes Jianling Liu, engineer general of Jiangsu Provincial Environmental Protection Department, and Hua Wang, vice director of Jiangsu Provincial Commission of Health and Family Planning, as well as participants from several other local government and research organizations.

The center will officially open in April when President Richard Brodhead visits Duke Kunshan University.


Adapted from original story on the Duke Kunshan University website.