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Microbiological and Chemical Exposure Assessment Staff

Stephen J. Vesper

Title: Research Biologist

EPA Division: Microbiological and Chemical Exposure Assessment Research Division

EPA Branch: Microbial Exposure Research Branch

Dr. Vesper’s goal is to understand the environmental factors associated with the development of asthma and with asthma exacerbation. Along with Dr. Haugland, Dr. Vesper patented in 2002 “mold specific quantitative PCR” (MSQPCR). In conjunction with HUD, MSQPCR was used to quantify 36 molds in a random national sampling of homes to create the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI). In a 10 year prospective study with the University of Cincinnati Environmental Health Department, we found that infants exposed to very moldy, i.e. high ERMI, homes were much more likely to develop asthma. Next we want to examine the combined roles of indoor and outdoor contaminants in asthma’s etiology which should lead to practical methods to reduce the asthma burden in the US.


  • Ph.D. Environmental Biology, Ohio State University, 1983
  • M.S. Plant Pathology, Ohio State University, 1975
  • B.S. Biology, Xavier University, 1972

Professional Experience:

  • Biologist, US EPA, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Cincinnati, OH 1998-present
  • Research Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 1990-1998
  • Senior Microbiologist, Biotechnology Group, Henkel-Emery Co, Cincinnati, OH 1987-1990
  • Research Microbiologist, Battelle Columbus Division, Columbus, OH 1983-1987

Professional Societies and Affiliations:

  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM) - 1983 to present
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) - 1990 to present

Select Awards and Honors:

  • 2009 Scientific and Technology Achievement Award (STAA)
  • 2008 Bronze Medal – Support NASA for the International Space Station Integrity
  • 2008 Scientific and Technology Achievement Award (STAA)
  • 2006 Bronze Medal - American Healthy Homes Survey Team (member)
  • 2006 ORD Science Communication –Asthma Research Accomplishment Report Team (member)
  • 2005 Exceptional/Outstanding ORD Technical Assistance to the Regions
  • 2004 Scientific and Technology Achievement Award (STAA)
  • 2002 US EPA Bronze Medal for Commendable Service
  • 2001 US EPA Gold Medal for Exceptional Service
  • 2001 Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer
  • 2000 Scientific and Technology Achievement Award (STAA)
  • 1999 US EPA Incentive Award-Special Act or Service Award

Select Presentations:

  • Vesper, S. 2011, MSQPCR and ERMI, International BioAerosol Conference. Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Vesper, S. 2011, Infants in High ERMI Homes More Likely to Develop Asthma. American Healthy Home Conference, Denver, CO
  • Vesper, S. 2010, Traditional Mold Analysis and the ERMI. Regional Industrial Hygiene Association Meeting, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Vesper, S. 2009, Possible NASA Applications of MSQPCR. Johnson Space Flight Center, Houston, TX
  • Vesper, S. 2009, CDC Applications of MSQPCR. CDC, Atlanta, GA

Published & Presented Research (1999-Present)

Contact Info:

Stephen J. Vesper
Microbiological and Chemical Exposure Assessment Research Division
National Exposure Research Laboratory
Office of Research and Development
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
27 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45268
Telephone: 513-569-7367

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