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Exposure Research

Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Staff

Michael S. Breen

Title: Research Physical Scientist

EPA Division: Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division

EPA Branch: Exposure Modeling Research Branch

Dr. Breen’s current research focuses on the development of air pollution exposure models, integrated with novel personal sensor technologies, to improve exposure and risk assessments for individuals in health studies and citizen scientists. He is a co investigator for two health studies assessing the exposure and effects of air pollutants, one study with asthmatic children living near major roadways in Detroit, Michigan (NEXUS) and another study with a coronary artery disease cohort in central North Carolina (CATHGEN). He has developed, evaluated, and is currently applying novel exposure modeling and time-activity tools, which includes the Exposure Model for Individuals (EMI) and GPS-based Microenvironment Tracker (MicroTrac) model (www.epa.gov/heasd/emi).


  • Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 2004
  • M.S, Electrical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1994
  • B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Massachusetts – Lowell, 1990

Professional Experience:

  • Research Physical Scientist, USEPA, ORD, NERL, 2007-present
  • Federal Post-Doctoral Fellow, USEPA, ORD, National Center for Computational Toxicology, 2005-2007
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow/Research Associate, Case Western Reserve University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, 2004-2005
  • Senior Research Engineer, Picker International (currently Phillips Medical Systems), Computed Tomography Research Division, 1997-1999
  • Research Engineer, Research and Development/Missile Systems Laboratories, Raytheon Corporation, 1990-1997

Professional Societies and Affiliations:

  • International Society of Exposure Science (ISES), Member, 2007-present
  • Scientific Program Committee Member, ISES Annual Meeting, 2012-2013
  • Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis, 2012-present
  • Journal Reviewer, Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, 2008-present
  • Journal Reviewer, Environmental Science & Technology, 2009-present
  • Journal Reviewer, Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2012-present
  • Journal Reviewer, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 2006-present

Select Awards and Honors:

  • International Society of Exposure Science, Sally Liu Outstanding New Researcher Award, 2011
  • US EPA, Pathfinder Innovation Project Award for design of methods to integrate data and models across EPA, 2011
  • US EPA, Scientific and Technological Achievement Award - Level III for development of visual and analysis tools for human health risk assessments, 2011
  • US EPA, Scientific and Technological Achievement Award - Level III for application of mechanistic toxicology to ecological risk assessment of endocrine active chemicals, 2010
  • US Patent for design of computer model to predict cell death for image-guided thermal ablation therapy, 2010
  • US Patent for design of imaging system for tissue pathology of small animals, 2010

Select Publications:

  • Breen M.S., Schultz B., Sohn M., Long T., Langstaff J., Williams R., Isaacs K., Meng Q., Stallings C., Smith L. A Review of Air Exchange Rate Models for Air Pollution Exposure Assessments. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2013 doi:10.1038/jes.2013.30.
  • Liuliu D, Batterman S, Godwin C, Chin J, Parker E, Breen MS, Brakefield W, Robins T, Lewis T. Air Change Rates and Interzonal Flows in Residences, and the Need for Multi-Zone Models for Exposure and Health Analyses. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2012 9:4639-4661.
  • Vette A, Burke J, Norris G, Landis M, Batterman S, Breen MS, Isakov V, Lewis T, Gilmour M, Kamal A, Hammond D, Vedantham R, Bereznicki S, Tian N, Croghan C. The Near-Road Exposures and Effects of Urban Air Pollutants Study (NEXUS): Study Design and Methods. Sci Total Environ 2012 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.10.072.
  • Breen MS, Breen M, Williams R, Schultz B. Predicting Residential Air Exchange Rates from Questionnaires and Meteorology: Model Evaluation in Central North Carolina. Environ Sci Technol 2010 44:9349-56.
  • Goldsmith M, Transue T, Chang D, Tornero-Velez R, Breen MS, Dary C. PAVA: Physiological and Anatomical Visual Analytics for Mapping of Tissue-Specific Concentration and Time-Course Data. J Pharmacokinet Pharmacodyn 2010 37:277-87.
  • Breen MS, Breen M, Terasaki N, Yamazaki M, Conolly R. Computational Model of Steroidogenesis in Human H295R Cells to Predict Biochemical Response to Endocrine Active Chemicals: Model Development for Metyrapone. Environ Health Perspect 2010 118:265-72.
  • Breen MS, Villeneuve D, Breen M, Ankley G, Conolly R. Mechanistic Computational Model of Ovarian Steroidogenesis to Predict Biochemical Responses to Endocrine Active Compounds. Ann Biomed Eng 2007 35:970-981.

Published & Presented Research (1999-Present)

Contact Info:
Michael Breen
Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
National Exposure Research Laboratory
US EPA Office of Research and Development
109 TW Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Telephone: 919-541-9409
Email: breen.michael@epa.gov

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