Dr. David Sterling

Professor, Biostatistics & Epidemiology

Sterling, David

Dr. David Sterling

Education & Experience:
I received a PhD in Public Health Science with a concentration in Environmental and Occupational Health Science from the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, TX, the MS in Environmental Health and Industrial Hygiene from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and a BS in Biology from the University of Oregon. Prior to joining the UNTHSC School of Public Health in 2008, I started out as a Research Chemist at the Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute in Chicago (1983-1986), followed by a faculty position at Old Dominion University College of Health Sciences (1986-1993). I subsequently was a faculty member and Program Director of the graduate Environmental and Occupational Health concentration at Saint Louis University School of Public Health and Social Justice, with a secondary appointment in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Occupational Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine (1993-2008). I was also the founder and Co-Director for the Midwest OSHA Educational Training Center at Saint Louis University.  I am presently a Professor at the UNTHSC School of Public Health (2008-Present), where I was the Chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences for eight years, the Director of the Doctoral Program in Public Health Sciences for four years, and for two years served as the Interim Chair of the Department of Epidemiology. I am certified in the comprehensive practice of Industrial/Occupational Hygiene in both the US and Canada, and have practiced professionally for over 35 years.

Teaching Areas & Public Health Interests:
Over the last 30-plus years I have developed and taught both undergraduate and graduate courses that include environmental determinants of health, occupational health/industrial hygiene, toxicology, air pollution, sampling and analysis methods for chemical and physical hazards, environmental and behavioral health for hospital administrators, environmental epidemiology, risk assessment and exposure science, and research methods for public health. I have developed undergraduate BS, and graduate MS, MPH, DrPH, PhD and Certificate programs, and supervised and mentored students in all of these areas. Many of my past students now work as faculty at other academic undergraduate and graduate university programs, federal agencies such as EPA, and various state, non-profit agencies and industrial corporations. I have developed and led training and continuing education programs in industrial hygiene, asbestos and lead abatement, and hazardous waste management for academics, professionals and trade unions.

Professional Activities & Awards:
I am an active member and Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), where I have served as the president of the continuing education and publications committees, and am presently secretary and incoming president of the special interest group for academics and a member of the direct reading instruments committee. I am also a member of the American Conference of Governmental and Industrial Hygiene (ACGIH), the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) and the International Society for Exposures Science (ISES). Since 2011, I have been a member of the National Board of Public Health Examiners working group that prepares the certification in public health (CPH) exam for the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH). I regularly serve on NIH and other grant peer review committees, have been a peer reviewer for the NIEHS National Toxicology Program, am a regular peer reviewer for more than 10 different journals, have been an editor for special issues of journals, and am an editorial board member for the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health. I have received UNT Health Science Center awards for educational, scholarship, service and leadership excellence, and have mentored students who have received recognition for best published papers and presentations at international conferences.

Scholarly Interests:
My research is primarily focused on methods for determining exposures for use in epidemiology research and risk assessment. My current research activities in this area include developing tools and methods for near-real time crowd sourcing of neighborhood level environmental measurements, and associated physiological and demographic data, and utilizing Community Participatory methods (CBPR) to assess personal and community exposure and health outcomes. I have also developed an initiative to improve the management of asthma through school-based identification, called Asthma 411, which is presently being trialed in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and is part of the UNTHSC Institute for Patient Safety agenda. Overall, over the last 30-plus years, I have been involved with public health research focused on environmental and occupational issues. My research experiences have included: investigating lead exposure of children and adults to lead paint and mining waste in settings ranging from the St. Louis metropolitan area to Herculaneum, Joplin and St. Francis rural counties of Missouri, and internationally in La Oroya and the Mantaro River Valley of Peru (CDC, HUD, EPA, USAID); evaluating environmental causes of early onset dementia at a monastery in Greece; researching the relationship of air pollution and asthma in children utilizing EPA Supersite monitoring and hospital ED discharge data in St. Louis, MO (EPRI); investigating air quality and health impacts using satellite remote sensing methods (Fogerty International); evaluating asbestos exposure and disease progression outcomes of workers (Selikoff Foundation); assessing perceptions of physicians’ knowledge for handling terrorism incidents (CDC/ATSDR); evaluating exposures and controls for agricultural workers (NIOSH); investigating exposure of infants in hospital NICU’s to isocyanates (CCH); establishing the prevalence of asthma in Texas (TDSHS); assessing the radiological preparedness in the state of Texas (TDSHS); and, investigating  the epidemiology of Parkinsonism in welders (NIH/NIEHS and Michael J Fox Foundation).  These projects illustrate my relevant research experience in the assessment of environmental exposure, use of biometric markers, assessing associations with health outcomes, a focused experience on asthma and chronic disease management, and ability to work with communities, diverse populations and in collaboration with communities and other investigators.

Link to Dr. Sterling’s Curriculum Vitae:

Link to Dr. Sterling’s University Profile:

This page was last modified on August 7, 2017