Catherine Karr, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and adjunct professor of epidemiology, was named a recipient of the 2017 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. It’s the highest honor given by the U.S. government to early career scientists and engineers.
Awardees are selected for their “pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach,” according to a White House release.
Karr (PhD '04 Epidemiology, MD '99 Medicine, MS '89 Toxicology) uses a community-engaged approach to research, focusing on environmental contaminants and pediatric respiratory health — including asthma, the health of farmworker children and global children’s environmental health. Her recent projects include working with Native American and Latino communities in the Yakima Valley to develop low-cost air pollution sensors aimed at reducing wood smoke exposure. She is also conducting an intervention trial among Yakima youth with asthma to evaluate the effectiveness of home air cleaners.
Karr is also a professor of pediatrics and adjunct professor of epidemiology at the UW, as well as director of the Northwest Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, a regional consultation and education service. She cares for patients and teaches resident physicians at the Pediatric Care Center at UW Medical Center-Roosevelt.