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AIR QUALITY SECTION (AQS)

AQS Staff


Kevin Chao, Ph. D.

Kevin Chao is a research scientist with 18 years of experience with chemical releases, including federal Laboratory Response Networks, impacts on hospital preparedness and healthcare facilities, emergency medical services, city infrastructure, and homeland security. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Yale University. He has 35 years of experience in chemistry and air quality, including gas emissions from fires and wildfires.



Wenhao Chen, Ph. D.

Wenhao Chen is a research scientist with the California Department of Public Health. She holds a B.S. and a M.S. in Civil Engineering from Tianjin University, China and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University with emphasis on building environmental system and indoor air quality. Dr. Chen's research focuses on how to apply and improve engineering methods to control indoor pollutants and to reduce human exposure. She has expertise in testing and modeling chemical emissions from indoor materials/products, characterizing electronic vaping devices and their chemical emissions, developing indoor air cleaning technologies, and integrated building environmental system design. She has authored (or co-authored) over 50 journal and conference papers.


Sutapa Ghosal, Ph.D.

Sutapa Ghosal is a research scientist with the California Department of Public Health. Dr. Ghosal specializes in spectroscopy and microscopy-based techniques for the characterization and identification of complex environmental samples. She holds a BS in chemistry from Columbia University; MS and PhD in atmospheric chemistry from University of California, Irvine. Dr. Ghosal started her work in atmospheric chemistry and bioforensics fields at Lawrence Berkeley and subsequently Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. She has expertise in a broad range of analytical areas including Raman micro-spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Nano-scale secondary ion mass spectrometry, Atomic Force Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy. Her current work focuses on the research and development of Raman micro-spectroscopy-based methodologies for the non-invasive characterization of biologicals, pharmaceuticals, and nano-materials, as well as a range of environmental samples. She has authored (or co-authored) over 60 journal and conference papers.



Kazukiyo Kumagai, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.Eng., RSPH Fellow

Kazukiyo (Kazu) Kumagai is the Chief of the Air Quality Section of the California Department of Public Health. He is also an Affiliate Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Adjunct Professor at Tokyo University of Science. Dr. Kumagai holds a B.Eng. and M.Eng. in Architectural Engineering from Tokyo University of Science, Japan, MPH in Environmental Health Science from the Institute of Public Health, Japan and PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Kumagai has worked for over 20 years in the field of environmental health and engineering. His interest is on air quality monitoring, exposure assessment, developing and evaluating exposure reduction technologies applied in indoor and outdoor, and research driven by air quality policy. Dr. Kumagai is a member of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate, International Society of Exposure Science, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning and Engineers and other major organizations on indoor and outdoor atmospheric environment.


Janet Macher, Sc.D., M.P.H., ISIAQ Fellow (Retired)

Janet is an air pollution research specialist with the California Department of Public Health. She has a master's degree from the University of California and doctorate from Harvard University with emphasis on environmental health, public health, and microbiology. Dr. Macher has studied engineering measures to control airborne infectious and hypersensitivity diseases, evaluated methods to collect and identify airborne biological material, conducted laboratory studies on the measurement of dampness, and participated in epidemiological studies in the state of California.

Dr. Macher is a member of the American Association for Aerosol Research, American Biological Safety Association, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the Gesellshaft fr Aerosol Forschung; and the International and Pan-American Associations for Aerobiology.


Mark Mendell, Ph.D., ISIAQ Fellow

Mark Mendell, Ph.D., is currently an Air Pollution Research Specialist in the Indoor Air Quality Section of the California Department of Public Health and a Staff Scientist/Epidemiologist in the Indoor Environment Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. Dr. Mendell is on the editorial board of the journal Indoor Air and a member of the International Academy of Indoor Air Sciences. He holds a BA from Cornell University; a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon; and a PhD in epidemiology from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Dr. Mendell has worked for over 20 years in the field of environmental epidemiology, focused on health effects related to indoor environments in buildings. His work includes field research to help understand relationships between specific factors and conditions in buildings and health effects in occupants, and critical reviews of the literature on specific environment/health relationships in buildings. His research interests include the causes and prevention of building-related symptoms (also called sick building syndrome) in offices; health risks, including asthma and allergies, associated with indoor environments, ventilation systems, moisture, microbial growth, and chemical emissions; and effects of school environments on the health and performance of students. His current or recent research support is from the California Energy Commission, the U.S. Green Building Council, the U.S. EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. General Services Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the National Center for Environmental Health, and the World Health Organization.


Dilhara Ranasinghe, Ph. D.

Dilhara Ranasinghe is a research scientist working on community and outdoor air quality issues. She holds a PhD and a MS in Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences from University of California Los Angeles and a BS in Physics from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. She has experience in designing, planning, and conducting air quality field measurements in near-road and urban neighborhoods using various mobile and stationary measurement techniques. Her expertise includes analysis of complex geospatial and spatiotemporal air quality data, use of air dispersion models in air quality and human exposure assessments, and incorporating environmental measurements and toxicology data in human health risk assessments.


Jeff Wagner, Ph. D.

Jeff Wagner is a research scientist and subject matter expert on airborne particulate matter (PM) sampling, analysis, and exposure assessment study design. He holds a PhD in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health, an MS in Environmental Engineering in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), a BS in Engineering Physics from UIUC, and an AB in philosophy from UIUC. Dr. Wagner's applied public health research over the past 25 years has included innovative field and laboratory studies of smoke from wildfires and biomass burning, infectious aerosol modeling, vaping and second-hand smoke, low-cost community air sampling, microscopy-based PM measurement, microplastics and flame retardants, asbestos from natural occurrences (NOA) and vehicle brake wear, and other unique PM from urban, rural, and indoor sources.


Ping Wang, Ph.D., M.Eng.

Ping Wang is a research scientist (Chemical Sciences) in the Indoor Air Quality Section of the California Department of Public Health. She holds a B. Eng. and M. Eng. in Applied Chemistry from Dalian University of Technology in China, with emphasis on Analytical Chemistry. Dr. Wang received her PhD from Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan, focused on materials characterization using various spectroscopic techniques. In addition, she had her postdoctoral training at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to investigate DNA damage and repair, with focus on combined chemical, biochemical and biological approaches to understand key questions in environmental mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. Dr. Wang has demonstrated expertise in various analytical techniques such as TD (Thermal Desorption)-GC/MS, TD-GC/FID, GC/MS, TGA (Thermal Gravimetric Analysis)-GC/MS, HPLC, ICP-OES, FT-IR, UV-vis, DSC, XRD, BET, TPR/TPD, SEM, gel electrophoresis and wet chemistry (precipitation, ion exchange, extraction, titration, and electro-coagulation). Her research interests include nanomaterial analysis/characterization, analytical chemistry, environmental chemistry and their applications in public health field. Dr. Wang is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Pacific Coast Catalysis Society (PCCS), and North American Catalysis Society (NACS).


Zhong-Min Wang, Ph. D.

Zhong-Min Wang is a research scientist and an expert in air sampling, analysis, and air quality control for both indoor and outdoor air. Dr. Wang received his PhD in Environmental Engineering from University of Cincinnati and did his postdoctoral training at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and NIOSH. He also holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Zhejiang University, China, and a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from South China University of Technology, China. His research areas include the health effects of naturally-generated or human activity-generated aerosols, air sampling for both PM and VOCs, air quality control, and human exposure assessment.  Dr. Wang's expertise includes microscopy and spectroscopy analysis of particulate matter (SEM, TEM, FTIR, XRD, XRF, CPC, SMPS, etc.),  air monitoring using FRM samplers, low-cost PM sensors, real-time GC-MS, and nanosized or ultrafine particle characterization.


Flavia Wong, B.A.

Flavia Wong is a research scientist (Chemical Sciences) with the Indoor Air Quality Section of the California Department of Public Health. She holds a B.A. in Biochemistry from California State University, Hayward, (renamed as East Bay). Flavia has extensive experience working with various sample matrices and analyzing for different types of pollutants in the environment. She is familiar with various analytical techniques such as TD (Thermal Desorption)-GC/MS, GC/MS, HPLC, GC, ICP-OES, ICP-MS, AA, IC, UV-Visible and Wet Chemistry. She has been involved in method development and sample analysis for many case investigations and projects for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention. She is currently working on projects and studies dealing with indoor air pollutants.



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