Dr. Christopher Heaney joined the Center in 2020, collaborating on several fronts related to our research, practice, and education portfolios. His primary role at the Center is to lead the Community Science and Innovation for Environmental Justice (CSI-EJ) Initiative. He is also an associate professor of Environmental Health and Engineering, Epidemiology, and International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and he is the founding director of the Environmental Health Microbiology and Immunology Laboratory (EHMIL) and Salivary Biomarkers of Infectious Diseases (SBID) program at the Bloomberg School as well.
The Center’s CSI-EJ Initiative uses science to advance cutting-edge, community-driven research designed with, by, and for communities living at the fence line of industrial food animal production (IFAP) facilities or working in those facilities. The Initiative aims to respond to these communities’ concerns and lived experiences and support movements for environmental justice with an integrated scientific, policy, and civic engagement backbone. In addition to advancing scientific research, the Initiative supports education, training, and career development of doctoral students and fence-line community leaders, as well as convenings that bring together academic researchers, fence-line communities, and policymakers.
Chris’s research integrates the disciplines of environmental microbiology, molecular biology, immunology, atmospheric chemistry, exposure assessment, epidemiology, and community-based participatory research (CBPR) to address community-identified concerns with disproportionate and adverse impacts of land use, waste management, and food animal production practices on community health and well-being. He has fostered collaborative, community-driven research partnerships with diverse community organizations across North America, including the Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help, the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, the Sussex Health & Environmental Network, the Mid-Atlantic Justice Coalition, the South Baltimore Community Land Trust, the West End Revitalization Association, and the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association.
Chris earned his master of science degree in environmental sciences and engineering and his doctorate in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship as a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Health Scholar-Community Track at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.