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Assistant Professor

Ana Rule, PhD ’05, MHS '98, focuses on the development and evaluation of novel sampling and analysis strategies for assessments of exposure to biological aerosols, e-cigarette aerosols, and particulate matter.

Contact Info

615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E6614

Research Interests

Air Pollution; Bioaerosols; electronic cigarettes; Environmental Metals; Sampler Characterization; Occupational Health; Industrial Hygiene; Second Hand Smoking;

Experiences & Accomplishments
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Universidad Iberoamericana

My main research goal is the development and evaluation of novel sampling and analysis strategies for the assessment of exposure to biological aerosols, e-cigarette aerosols, and particulate matter. I have worked toward this goal both doing field research as well as laboratory-based controlled studies. The field work has provided tools for understanding the impact of agribusiness in the environment and health of the population, especially how the public is exposed to biological aerosols. These biological agents, in turn, can be vectors of antibiotic resistance, which is emerging as a public health concern to the public in general, but particularly to healthcare and food industry workers, as well as communities living in agricultural settings. My work with electronic cigarettes has established that these devices are important sources of metal exposure. Working closely with epidemiologists, microbiologists and aerosol physicists, we have developed a partnership for the application of air sampling strategies to the detection of aerosols through novel analysis techniques. However, field research requires the support of well controlled laboratory studies in order to characterize new and existing methods, and to develop novel techniques and applications for such methods that can later in turn be applied in field studies. My laboratory work has provided insights into bacterial aerosol viability and the application of analysis techniques traditionally used for water samples. I am currently interested in understanding the scale of exposure to electronic cigarette aerosol, as well as applying air sampling techniques to recognize the scale and evaluate the complexity involved in the assessment of exposure to viruses in agricultural as well as Nosocomial environments.
          A second objective of my work is the development of new instrumentation and strategies for the collection of bulk particulate matter that can be used in analytical and toxicological studies. This work involves the study of aerosol particles in close collaboration with chemists and aerosol physicists to advance the development of strategies for improved particle sampling and detailed laboratory characterization.

Honors & Awards

1996-1998  Fulbright Scholarship to pursue Masters degree
1999           NIOSH Pilot Grant
2000           David L. Swift award in Environmental Health Engineering
2001-2002   Reconocimiento a la Superación Académica - FICSAC (Recognition of Academic Achievement,                         granted by the Commission for Academic Promotion, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico).
2003           NIOSH Pilot Grant
2005           David L. Swift award in Environmental Health Engineering
2010 - 21      Teaching excellence, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Select Publications

Some representative publications intended to cover the breadth of research interests and collaborations.

  • Olmedo P, Goessler W, Tanda S, Grau-Perez M, Jarmul S, Aherrera A, Chen R, CohenJ, Navas-Acien A, Rule AM. Metal concentrations in e-cigarette liquid and aerosol samples: the contribution of metallic coils. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2018 Feb 21;126(2):027010. doi: 10.1289/EHP2175. PMID: 29467105

  • Chen R, Aherrera A, Olmedo-Palma P, Tanda S, Goessler W, Grau-Perez M, Jarmul S, Navas-Acien A, Rule AM. Assessment of Indoor Air Quality at an Electronic Cigarette (Vaping) Convention. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2017 Dec 29 PMID: 29288255

  • Davis MF, Pisanic N, Rhodes SM, Brown A, Keller H, Nadimpalli M, Christ A, Ludwig S, Ordak C, Spicer K, Love DC, Larsen J, Wright A, Blacklin S, Flowers B, Stewart J, Sexton KG, Rule AM, Heaney CD.

  • Rule AM, Apau O, Ahrenholz SH, Brueck SE, Lindsley WG, de Perio MA, Noti JD, Shaffer RE, Rothman R, Grigorovitch A, Noorbakhsh B, Beezhold DH, Yorio PL, Perl TM, Fisher EM. Healthcare personnel exposure in an emergency department during influenza season. PLoS One. 2018 Aug 31; 13(8):e0203223. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0203223

  • Gour N, Sudini K, Muaz Khalil S, Rule AM, Lees P, Gabrielson E, Groopman JD, Lajoie S, Singh A. Unique pulmonary immunotoxicological effects of urban PM are not recapitulated solely by carbon black, diesel exhaust or coal fly ash. Environmental Research, 2018, 161:304–313 PMID: 29178979

Exposure to Metals from E-cigarettes (EMIT)