Junfeng Zhang

Overview:

Dr. Zhang joined the Duke Faculty in fall 2013 from the University of Southern California where he had been a professor of environmental and global health and the director of Environmental and Biomarkers Analysis Laboratory since 2010. His prior positions include professor, department chair, and associate dean at the Rutgers School of Public Health. Dr. Zhang has more than 290 peer-reviewed publications. His work has been featured in major international media such as the Time, the New York Times, BBC, ABC, CBS, Yahoo News, etc. His early work on characterizing sources of non-methane greenhouse gases made him one of the officially recognized contributor to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to IPCC. He is the 2012 recipient of the Jeremy Wesolowski Award, the highest award of the International Society of Exposure Science. He also received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the Rutgers Graduate School.

Dr. Zhang’s research interests include developing novel biomarkers of human exposure and health effects, assessing health and climate co-benefits of air pollution interventions, and examining biological mechanisms by which environmental exposures exert adverse health effects. Dr. Zhang has led a number of international collaborations to study air pollution health effects and underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms. These studies integrate epidemiological and toxicological approaches into natural experiment designs. He has conducted several indoor air purification intervention studies to evaluate the effectiveness of personal exposure reduction in improving health outcomes in China. Currently, he is conducting intervention trials of residential air purification in older adults with a heart disease history and adults at risk for Type 2 diabetes living in Los Angels where air pollution levels are high. He is co-leading a project to study whether and how particulate matter pollution affects respiratory viral infections in two cities of Mongolia. 

Positions:

Professor of Global and Environmental Health

Environmental Sciences and Policy
Nicholas School of the Environment

Chair of the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division

Environmental Sciences and Policy
Nicholas School of the Environment

Research Professor of Global Health

Duke Global Health Institute
Institutes and Provost's Academic Units

Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Duke Cancer Institute
School of Medicine

Education:

Ph.D. 1994

Rutgers University

Grants:

Cooperative Program in Nanomaterials Hazard and Exposure Assessment Traineeships (NanoHEAT)

Administered By
Pratt School of Engineering
Awarded By
Environmental Protection Agency
Role
Mentor
Start Date
End Date

Duke University Program in Environmental Health

Administered By
Environmental Sciences and Policy
Awarded By
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Role
Mentor
Start Date
End Date

Effects of perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS) exposure on adverse pregnancy outcomes and fetal development

Administered By
Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Sciences
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Mentor
Start Date
End Date

The effect of household air pollution on the health outcomes of infants in Botswana

Administered By
Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
Awarded By
Thrasher Research Fund
Role
Co-Mentor
Start Date
End Date

Measurement of urinary 8-isoprostane and 11-dehydrothromboxane

Administered By
Duke Global Health Institute
Awarded By
University of California - San Francisco
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Publications:

Tobacco smoking and older people amid the COVID-19 pandemic: an elephant in the room.

Authors
Yao, Y; Liu, K; Zhang, J; Iso, H; Lam, TH
MLA Citation
Yao, Yao, et al. “Tobacco smoking and older people amid the COVID-19 pandemic: an elephant in the room.Age and Ageing, vol. 50, no. 6, Nov. 2021, pp. 1865–67. Epmc, doi:10.1093/ageing/afab170.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1489810
PMID
34314479
Source
epmc
Published In
Age and Ageing
Volume
50
Published Date
Start Page
1865
End Page
1867
DOI
10.1093/ageing/afab170

Association between outdoor artificial light at night and sleep duration among older adults in China: A cross-sectional study.

<h4>Background</h4>Light after dusk disrupts the circadian rhythms and shifts the timing of sleep later; but it is unknown whether outdoor artificial light at night (ALAN) affects sleep quality. This study aimed to explore the association between residential outdoor ALAN and sleep duration in a nationally representative sample of Chinese older adults.<h4>Methods</h4>We examined the cross-sectional associations of outdoor ALAN with self-reported sleep duration in 13,474 older adults participating in the 2017-2018 wave of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS). Outdoor ALAN exposure was estimated at the residence level using satellite images. We applied generalized linear mixed models to investigate the association between ALAN exposure and sleep duration. We performed stratified analyses by age, sex, education, and household income levels. Moreover, we used multi-level logistic regression models to investigate the effects of ALAN on the short sleep duration (≤6 h) and the long sleep duration (>8 h), respectively, in reference to sleep for >6-8 h per day.<h4>Results</h4>We found a significant association between outdoor ALAN intensity and sleep duration. The highest quartile of ALAN was associated with 17.04 (95% CI: 9.42-24.78) fewer minutes of sleep as compared to the lowest quartile. The reductions in sleep duration per quartile change in ALAN were greater in the young old (≥65-85 years) and in those with higher levels of education, and those with higher household income, respectively. We did not detect a sex difference. In addition, those in the highest quartile of ALAN were more likely to report a 25% (95% CI: 10%-42%) increase in short sleep (<6 h), and a 21% (95% CI: 9%-31%) decrease in long sleep (>8 h).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Increasing outdoor nighttime light intensity surrounding residences was associated with shorter sleep duration in older residents in China. This finding implies the importance of urban outdoor artificial light management as a potential means to lower the public health burden of sleep disorders.
Authors
Hu, K; Li, W; Zhang, Y; Chen, H; Bai, C; Yang, Z; Lorenz, T; Liu, K; Shirai, K; Song, J; Zhao, Q; Zhao, Y; Zhang, JJ; Wei, J; Pan, J; Qi, J; Ye, T; Zeng, Y; Yao, Y
MLA Citation
Hu, Kejia, et al. “Association between outdoor artificial light at night and sleep duration among older adults in China: A cross-sectional study. (Accepted)Environmental Research, vol. 212, no. Pt B, Sept. 2022, p. 113343. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.envres.2022.113343.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1519460
PMID
35461841
Source
epmc
Published In
Environmental Research
Volume
212
Published Date
Start Page
113343
DOI
10.1016/j.envres.2022.113343

Identifying the threshold of outdoor PM<sub>2.5</sub> reversing the beneficial association between physical activity and lung function: A national longitudinal study in China.

<h4>Background</h4>Despite cumulative evidence reports the interaction effects of physical activity (PA) and air pollution on lung function, the findings have been inconsistent. We aimed to identify the threshold values that reverse the beneficial effects of PA on lung function.<h4>Methods</h4>This multistage probability sampling study examined 13,032 individuals aged ≥45 years across China from 2011 to 2015. City-level particulate matter 2.5 μm or less in diameter (PM<sub>2.5</sub>) were estimated based on a two-stage machine learning model, with a spatial resolution of 0.1° × 0.1°. We assessed PA and a range of covariates using standardized self-reported questionnaires. The peak expiratory flow (PEF) was measured using a peak flow meter. We used mixed-effects linear regression models to examine the associations between PA and PM<sub>2.5</sub>, and their interactions with PEF.<h4>Results</h4>Participants were 60.4 ± 9.4 years old [mean ± standard deviation (SD)]. The mean ± SD of PM<sub>2.5</sub> and PEF was 54.4 ± 23.0 μg/m<sup>3</sup> and 273 ± 116 L/min, respectively. Each 10 μg/m<sup>3</sup> increase in PM<sub>2.5</sub> was associated with a 1.27 L/min decrease in PEF. The PEF increased by 2.48 (95% confidence interval, CI: 0.40, 4.55) L/min, 0.74 (95% CI: -1.17, 2.66) L/min, and 1.99 (95% CI: 0.001, 3.99) L/min following a 10 h/week increment of walking, moderate intensity PA, and vigorous intensity PA, respectively. Detrimental associations between PM<sub>2.5</sub> and PEF outweighed PA benefits for approximate PM<sub>2.5</sub> concentrations >81 μg/m<sup>3</sup> (95% CI: 58.9, 111) and >77 μg/m<sup>3</sup> (95% CI: 39.7, 102) for walking and vigorous intensity PA, respectively.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We identified the threshold of ambient PM<sub>2.5</sub> above which the beneficial association of PA with lung function may be reversed to an adverse one. Although the threshold may vary across populations and places, the findings suggested that reducing air pollution could enhance the benefits of PA on lung function.
Authors
Guo, Q; Zhao, Y; Zhao, J; Qian, L; Bian, M; Xue, T; Zhang, JJ; Duan, X
MLA Citation
Guo, Qian, et al. “Identifying the threshold of outdoor PM2.5 reversing the beneficial association between physical activity and lung function: A national longitudinal study in China. (Accepted)The Science of the Total Environment, vol. 839, Sept. 2022, p. 156138. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156138.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1521905
PMID
35605854
Source
epmc
Published In
The Science of the Total Environment
Volume
839
Published Date
Start Page
156138
DOI
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156138

Tobacco retail outlets, neighborhood deprivation and the risk of prenatal smoke exposure.

IMPLICATIONS: In this study, we found several significant associations that suggest a more nuanced understanding of the potential influence of environmental- and individual-level factors for levels of prenatal smoke exposure. Results suggested a significant positive association between TRO exposure and cotinine levels, after adjusting for the individual factors such as race, education, and marital status. Individually, NDI was similarly positively associated with cotinine levels as well. However, when combining TRO exposure alongside NDI in the same model, TROs were no longer significantly associated with overall cotinine levels.
Authors
Wheeler, DC; Boyle, J; Barsell, DJ; Maguire, RL; Zhang, J; Oliver, JA; Jones, S; Dahman, B; Murphy, SK; Hoyo, C; Baggett, CD; McClernon, J; Fuemmeler, BF
MLA Citation
Wheeler, David C., et al. “Tobacco retail outlets, neighborhood deprivation and the risk of prenatal smoke exposure.Nicotine Tob Res, July 2022. Pubmed, doi:10.1093/ntr/ntac164.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1526616
PMID
35793204
Source
pubmed
Published In
Nicotine Tob Res
Published Date
DOI
10.1093/ntr/ntac164

Effects of physical activity intensity on adulthood obesity as a function of long-term exposure to ambient PM<sub>2.5</sub>: Observations from a Chinese nationwide representative sample.

Long-term exposure to PM<sub>2.5</sub> has been associated with increased obesity risk, while physical activity (PA) is a suggested protective factor. This raises a dilemma whether the increased dose of PM<sub>2.5</sub> due to PA-intensified ventilation would offset the benefits of PA. Using a national representative sample, we aim to (1) ascertain inclusive findings of the association between PA and obesity, and (2) examine whether PM<sub>2.5</sub> exposure modifies the PA-obesity relationship. We recruited 91,121 Chinese adults from 31 provinces using a multi-stage stratified-clustering random sampling method. PM<sub>2.5</sub> was estimated using a validated machine learning method with a spatial resolution of 0.1° × 0.1°. PA intensity was calculated as metabolic equivalent (MET)-hour/week by summing all activities. Body weight, height, and waist circumference (WC) were measured after overnight fasting. Obesity-related traits included continuous outcomes (Body mass index [BMI], WC, and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR)) and binomial outcomes (general obesity, abdominal obesity, and WHtR obesity). Generalized linear regression models were used to estimate the interaction effects between PM<sub>2.5</sub> and PA on obesity, controlling for covariates. The results indicated that each IQR increase in PA was associated with 0.078 (95% CI: -0.096 to -0.061) kg/m<sup>2</sup>, 0.342 (-0.389 to -0.294) cm, and 0.0022 (-0.0025 to -0.0019) decrease in BMI, WC, and WHtR, respectively. The joint association showed that benefits of PA on obesity were attenuated as PM<sub>2.5</sub> increased. Risk of abdominal obesity decreased 11.3% (OR = 0.887, 95% CI: 0.866, 0.908) per IQR increase in PA among the low-PM<sub>2.5</sub> (≤55.9 μg/m<sup>3</sup>) exposure group, but only 5.5% (OR = 0.945, 95% CI: 0.930, 0.960) among the high-PM<sub>2.5</sub> (>55.9 μg/m<sup>3</sup>) exposure group. We concluded the increase in PA intensity was significantly associated with lower risk of obesity in adults living across mainland China, where annual level of PM<sub>2.5</sub> were mostly exceeding the standard. Reducing PM<sub>2.5</sub> exposure would enhance the PA benefits as a risk reduction strategy.
Authors
Guo, Q; Xue, T; Wang, B; Cao, S; Wang, L; Zhang, JJ; Duan, X
MLA Citation
Guo, Qian, et al. “Effects of physical activity intensity on adulthood obesity as a function of long-term exposure to ambient PM2.5: Observations from a Chinese nationwide representative sample.The Science of the Total Environment, vol. 823, June 2022, p. 153417. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.153417.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1509697
PMID
35093342
Source
epmc
Published In
The Science of the Total Environment
Volume
823
Published Date
Start Page
153417
DOI
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.153417