Cara Maesano is a scientist and researcher in Environmental Epidemiology at the Sorbonne University and the Pierre Louis Institute for Epidemiology and Public Health. Her work focuses on understanding the links between environmental stressors and adverse health impacts, with a focus on air pollution and cardiorespiratory health.
She is currently working on multiple projects on both the European and international scales investigating the relationships between genetics, epigenetics and environmental factors for health outcomes in respiratory health, metabolic disorders, and neurodevelopment, as well as projects concerning the impact of urban emissions on mortality and cardiorespiratory health. The MAORHI project seeks to fill in gaps in our knowledge about urban air pollution and to understand personal exposure to air pollutants by providing detailed spatiotemporal information on air pollutant concentrations collected via personal mobile sensors.
Cara has worked for multiple international scientific collaborations and has previously contributed to research projects with focuses on different topics ranging from the Cosmic Microwave Background to Neutrino Oscillations. She holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Davis, and her works focus on fundamental physics research, environmental exposures, public health, and climate-related health concerns.
MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET
My motivation for creating a better and more sustainable civilization comes from a deep interest in a technologically advanced, sustainable future, as well as in creating an equal and fair society for everyone. These two ideals are threatened by climate change, and most importantly, the impacts of climate change on public health.
As a scientist, I feel compelled to apply my background in scientific research to the threats of climate change, and what I believe to be the world’s most dangerous issue. Climate change represents extraordinary technical challenges and scientific puzzles that must be tackled by governments, corporations, scientific institutions and the public alike. The health impacts also need to be addressed, and understanding their causes and consequences will be vital in adapting to the changing climate. Air pollution is particularly troublesome, as the impacts are so significant, yet exposure levels for each individual vary greatly and depend on the activity levels, socio-economic status and many other factors. To tackle this issue, I am investigating air pollutant concentrations and personal exposure using mobile air pollutant sensors, providing a deeper view of air quality issues in an urban setting.