Dr. Joseph G. Allen is an associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, director of Harvard’s Healthy Buildings Program, and co-author of Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Can Make You Sick—or Keep You Well.
Dr. Allen serves on Harvard’s Presidential Committee on Sustainability, he keynoted the White House’s first-ever Indoor Air Quality Summit, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, served as Commissioner of The Lancet COVID-19 Commission and Chair of its Safe Work, Safe Schools, and Safe Travel Task Force.
In 2023, Allen was featured on the 60 Minutes episode, The Air We Breathe, spotlighting the value of healthy indoor air quality for virus mitigation. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and regularly contributes to the New York Times, Washington Post, and Harvard Business Review.
Jonathan Buonocore, Sc.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. His research mainly focuses on evaluating the health impacts of energy systems, and modeling health “co-benefits” of climate mitigation strategies and energy policies.
He has evaluated air pollution related health impacts from a number of sectors, including electricity generation, transportation, buildings, and oil and gas production. He has also modeled the health co-benefits of strategies including further buildout of renewable energy in the United States, Federal carbon emissions standards on power plants, carbon cap-and-invest policies for transportation in the Northeast U.S., and building electrification.
Currently, he is developing methods to better incorporate equity and environmental justice (EJ) concerns into climate and energy policy assessments, along with evaluating other possible unintended consequences. He is also leading work evaluating exposed populations, infrastructure quality, and potential health impacts around underground natural gas storage facilities, pipelines, and other “midstream” infrastructure, along with evaluating novel technologies to decarbonize building heating.
As a Co-PI of the Co-benefits of Built Environment (CoBE) project, she is leading the CoBE team at Oregon State University and collaborating with other CoBE team members at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Boston University School of Public Health. The teams are working closely together to develop the next versions of CoBE tool and its various modules including co-benefits of specific climate policies, water savings co-benefits of built environment, energy conservation pathway optimization, and building-to-grid integration.
At Oregon State University, Dr. Salimifard leads the Sustainable, Healthy, And Resilient Buildings Lab. The lab’s research projects have crossovers to fluid dynamics, aerosol science, energy efficiency, sustainability, and environmental health. One of the core research areas is indoor environmental quality, particularly control and mitigation of building occupants’ exposure to contaminants and allergen- and virus-carrier particles indoors. Dr. Salimifard has conducted research on aerosols dynamics and sensing; more specifically on particle transport, deposition, resuspension, and aerosol sensing and size characterization. The most recent and emergent contributions of these research projects are in COVID-19 exposure mitigation and control. She has also worked on building energy modeling and investigating the trade-offs between the energy conservation measures installation and indoor air quality.
Before joining Oregon State University, Dr. Salimifard was a postdoctoral fellow with the Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She earned her Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Architectural Engineering – Mechanical Option with a minor in Computational Science at Penn State University. She earned her B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on fluid mechanics and heat transfer from Persian Gulf University.
Danielle von Rechenberg-Paulsson, MA
Communications Manager with the CoBE ProgramRead Bio
Danielle von Rechenberg-Paulsson, MA
Communications Manager with the CoBE Program
Danielle von Rechenberg-Paulsson is the Communications Manager with the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is a purpose-driven communicator with diverse experience in international corporate and agency environments.
Danielle is a strategic project leader with a strong passion to create shared value and make a difference to people and the planet. Within the Healthy Buildings program, her task is to create awareness for the team’s research and engage diverse stakeholders through inspiring stories and creative forms of communication.
Danielle earned her MA in Business at St. Gallen University in Switzerland and holds a BA in Communications from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Furthermore, she successfully completed a Graduate Certificate in Corporate Sustainability and Innovation at the Harvard Extension School.
Gen Pei’s research focuses on building science, indoor air quality, infectious disease transmission, building materials, and energy-efficient and resilient buildings. Currently, he is working on developing effective interventions to mitigate infectious diseases transmission in buildings, and quantifying the health and climate benefits of energy-saving measures in buildings. His doctoral research established a measurement and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling framework to understand pollutant transport, fate, chemical reaction, and control in indoor environments. The goal of his research is to advance our knowledge of developing healthy, smart, sustainable, and resilient buildings.
Gen holds a Ph.D. and an M.Sc. in Architectural Engineering at Pennsylvania State University, and a B.Sc. in Building Environment and Energy Engineering at Xi’an Jiaotong University.
Sandra is a PhD candidate in the Population Health Sciences program at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research interests center on indoor air quality and building design strategies that improve occupant health outcomes. Sandra’s past research experience includes investigating the influence of residential ventilation factors on the severity of asthma symptoms in children as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Healthy Homes Program, as well as two projects under the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Microbiology of the Built Environment Program, which include exploring the effects of indoor environmental factors on the progression of microbial communities in a new hospital and examining the relationship between indoor moisture and fungal growth on building materials.
Before coming to Harvard, Sandra worked in the sustainable building design industry as an engineering consultant while also developing and delivering education through the University of Toronto, the Canada Green Building Council, and the International Well Building Institute. Sandra holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto.
Brian is a Research Assistant for the Co-Benefits of the Build Environment (CoBE) study, which focuses on quantifying energy savings and health and climate co-benefits of improving sustainability in the built environment. He is currently working on development for the CoBE tool and the implementation of future features.
Brian graduated in 2020 from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Applied Physics. His interests focus on the impacts of climate change on the environment and health, and how we can work to mitigate these impacts through a public health lens.
Rachel is a Research Assistant supporting the work of the Healthy Buildings Program. Her interests center on the threat of infectious diseases in the modern world, and the role healthy buildings play in mitigating the risk of infection. She is also interested in exploring the intersection of gender identity, health, and the built environment, in order to advance health equity across the gender spectrum.
Rachel earned her MS in Human Physiology from Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. She also holds a BA in Biology from the University of Virginia.
Anna is a Research Assistant with the Healthy Buildings Program. Her interest lies in exploring the relationship between the built environment and well-being, with a focus on the role of biophilic design. She hopes to study human-environment relationships to achieve her goal of promoting liveable and sustainable cities.
Prior to joining the Healthy Buildings Program, Anna worked as a consultant at PwC Japan where she assisted real estate developers, city planners, and the Japanese government on city development projects. She also has experience working as a LEED consultant in Japan.
Anna holds an M.S. in Regional Science from Cornell University, where she studied the environmental aspects of urban design, and its impact on humans by conducting microclimate simulations. She also holds a B.S. in Environmental Geoscience from Purdue University.
Graduate Research Assistant with the CoBE ProjectRead Bio
Graduate Research Assistant with the CoBE Project
Victoria McCrary is a Ph.D. student at the Sustainable, Healthy, and Resilient Buildings Lab at Oregon State University, working with Dr. Parichehr Salimifard as her adviser. Victoria’s research interests are sustainable buildings, building electrification, and indoor air quality.
Before joining Oregon State University, Victoria earned her Bachelors of Science in Computer Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.
Research Data Analyst with the CoBE ProgramRead Bio
Research Data Analyst with the CoBE Program
Erin is a research data analyst, working with Jonathan Buonocore at the Boston University School of Public Health. Her interests lie at the intersection of local and state climate mitigation strategies, health-informed decarbonization plans, and adaptation efforts that benefit both human and ecosystem health. Her current work involves researching the health impacts of the oil and gas industry, understanding methane contributions from natural gas distribution systems, and assisting CoBe to calculate emissions losses associated with building pipe main infrastructure. Erin has her Bachelors in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and her Master’s in Public Health.