Patrick N. Breysse, Ph.D., M.H.S.

  • Director, Division of Environmental Health Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Joint Appointment in Medicine

Research Interests

Environmental health sciences; Industrial hygiene; Exposure assessment; Pollution; Childhood asthma; Environmental epidemiology more


Dr. Patrick Breysse is a professor of environmental health sciences and medicine at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His research focuses on environmental health. 

Dr. Breysse serves as the director of the Division of Environmental Health Engineering and the director of the Occupational and Environmental Hygiene Academic Program in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is also the co-director for the Center for Childhood Asthma in the Urban Environment at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

His team is currently engaged in studying the impact of air pollution on patients with childhood asthma, COPD and respiratory tract infections. 

Dr. Breysse earned his M.P.H and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins. more


  • Director, Division of Environmental Health Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Director, Occupational and Environmental Hygiene Academic Program, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Co-director, Center for Childhood Asthma in the Urban Environment, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Joint Appointment in Medicine

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Breysse's research focuses on the evaluation and control of chemical, biological and physical factors that can impact health or wellbeing. In this context, his research concentrates on risk and exposure assessment. Exposure assessment research includes pollutant source characterization, exposure measurement and interpretation, development and use of biomarkers of exposure/dose/effect, and evaluating relationships between sources, exposures, doses and disease. 

His research currently includes studies on the impact of indoor and outdoor air pollution on respiratory health, with a focus on childhood asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and respiratory tract infections. Dr. Breysse also conducts second secondhand smoke exposure studies around the world in support of tobacco control policy development. 

Dr. Breysse collaborates on complex health and exposure studies around the world, including studies in Peru, Nepal, Mongolia, Columbia and India. In addition, he collaborates with colleagues in material sciences and engineering on the development of novel sensor technology using organic semiconductors.

Selected Publications

Sussan TE, Gajghate S, Chatterjee S, Mandke P, McCormick S, Sudini K, Kumar S, Breysse PN, Diette GB, Sidhaye VK, Biswal S. "Nrf2 reduces allergic asthma in mice through enhanced airway epithelial cytoprotective function." Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2015 Jul 1;309(1):L27-36. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00398.2014.

Kolahdooz F, Butler JL, Christiansen K, Diette GB, Breysse PN, Hansel NN, McCormack MC, Sheehy T, Gittelsohn J, Sharma S. "Food and nutrient intake in African-American children and adolescents aged 5 to 16 years in Baltimore City." J Am Coll Nutr. 2015 Apr;9:1-12. [Epub ahead of print]

McCormack MC, Belli AJ, Kaji DA, Matsui EC, Brigham EP, Peng RD, Sellers C, Williams DL, Diette GB, Breysse PN, Hansel NN. "Obesity as a susceptibility factor to indoor particulate matter health effects in COPD." Eur Respir J. 2015 May;45(5):1248-57. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00081414. Epub 2015 Jan 8.

Brigham EP, Kolahdooz F, Hansel N, Breysse PN, Davis M, Sharma S, Matsui EC, Diette G, McCormack MC. "Association between Western diet pattern and adult asthma: a focused review." Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2015 Apr;114(4):273-80. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2014.11.003. Epub 2014 Dec 15.

Kaji DA, Belli AJ, McCormack MC, Matsui EC, Williams DL, Paulin L, Putcha N, Peng RD, Diette GB, Breysse PN, Hansel NN. "Indoor pollutant exposure is associated with heightened respiratory symptoms in atopic compared to non-atopic individuals with COPD." BMC Pulm Med. 2014 Sep 10;14:147.

Paulin LM, Diette GB, Scott M, McCormack MC, Matsui EC, Curtin-Brosnan J, Williams DL, Kidd-Taylor A, Shea M, Breysse PN, Hansel NN. “Home interventions are effective at decreasing indoor nitrogen dioxide concentrations.” Indoor Air. 2013 Dec 14. doi: 10.1111/ina.12085.

Matsui EC, Hansel NN, Aloe C, Schiltz AM, Peng RD, Rabinovitch N, Ong MJ, Williams DL, Breysse PN, Diette GB, Liu AH. “Indoor pollutant exposures modify the effect of airborne endotoxin on asthma in urban children.” Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013 Nov 15;188(10):1210-5. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201305-0889OC.

Ahluwalia SK, Peng RD, Breysse PN, Diette GB, Curtin-Brosnan J, Aloe C, Matsui EC. “Mouse allergen is the major allergen of public health relevance in Baltimore City.” J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Oct;132(4):830-5.e1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.05.005. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

McCormack MC, Aloe C, Curtin-Brosnan J, Diette GB, Breysse PN, Matsui EC. “Guideline-recommended fractional exhaled nitric oxide is a poor predictor of health-care use among inner-city children and adolescents receiving usual asthma care.” Chest. 2013 Sep;144(3):923-9. doi: 10.1378/chest.12-3098.

Bose S, Breysse PN, McCormack MC, Hansel NN, Rusher RR, Matsui E, Peng R, Curtin-Brosnan J, Diette GB. “Outdoor exposure and vitamin D levels in urban children with asthma.” Nutr J. 2013 Jun 12;12(1):81.

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Courses and Syllabi

  • Environmental Health (180.601.81)
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Principles of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (182.625.81)
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Special Studies Environmental Health Engineering MSPH Essay (182.850.01)
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Activities & Honors


  • Meritorious Achievement Award, American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienistsmerican Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, 2006
  • Delta Omega Public Health Honorary Society, 2003
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1978


  • Safety and Occupational Health Study Section Chair, 2005 - 2008
  • Leader People-to People Professional Exchange in Occupational and Environmental Health in South Africa, 2004

Videos & Media

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Kids’ exposure to secondhand smoke drops—except among those with asthma, NBC News, Aug. 8, 2013

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