Impacting environmental health: Yanelli Nunez, PhD.

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How do you discover your life’s work in environmental health? The paths are many, but Dr. Nunez provides a compelling example.


Dr. Nunez’s family emigrated to the United States in search of job opportunities and a better life when they were teenagers. The transition from living in a small rural town in southern Mexico to San Diego, California sparked her interest in learning how our environments shape us and influence our lifestyles and health.

In this video, discover how this first-generation student discovered her passion for environmental health sciences and her mission to help create healthy, sustainable communities where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

Yanelli Nunez, Ph.D.; Doctors, Scientists and Engineers for Health Energy

Yanelli Nunez obtained his doctorate. in Environmental Health Sciences from Columbia University in 2020 after earning a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from San Diego State University and serving as a Peace Corps Public Health Volunteer in Senegal, East Africa West.

During her graduate studies, Dr. Nunez examined the effects of long-term exposure to air pollution on the worsening of neurodegenerative diseases. She has also worked on studies assessing co-exposure to multiple environmental pollutants to more fully characterize the totality of environmental stressors and their impact on health. During her graduate training, Dr. Nunez discovered pronounced racial and social inequalities in environmental exposures and resulting health disparities, which led her to focus her postgraduate training on equity. environmental.

In the summer of 2022, Dr. Nunez completed his postdoctoral training at Columbia University, analyzing trends in air pollution emissions to determine whether air quality improvements in the United States have been equitable among racial and economic groups.

Dr. Nunez is currently a scientist at PSE Healthy Energy, working closely with community organizations, policy makers and stakeholders. She is expanding her environmental health research into the areas of climate resilience, energy equity and environmental justice.

Dr. Nunez is an avid runner and hiker. She loves the outdoors, trying new foods and exploring new cultures.

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