Catherine Karr

Adjunct Professor, Epidemiology
Professor, Pediatrics - General Pediatrics
Professor, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences



PhD Epidemiology, University of Washington, 2004
MD Medicine, University of Washington, 1999
MS Toxicology, University of Washington, 1989



Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
Box 354695
4225 Roosevelt Way NE, Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98105


Catherine Karr is a pediatric environmental medicine specialist and environmental epidemiologist. She has a primary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics, Joint in Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, and Adjunct in Epidemiology. Her research areas include environmental contaminants and pediatric respiratory health including asthma, health of farmworker children, and global children's environmental health. Much of her research utilizes community engaged research approaches. She shares leadership of a large pregnancy cohort as part of the NIH Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program. She is affiliated with the Pacific Northwest Center for Agricultural Safety and Health and Interdisciplinary Center for Exposures, Disease, Genetics and the Environment (EDGE). She has a general pediatric practice at the UW Pediatric Clinic at Roosevelt and also provides specialty pediatric environmental medicine consultation at this site and the Harborview Medical Center. As Director of the NW Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU), she sets the direction for outreach and education as well as responding to queries from health care providers, government officials and families regarding health risks associated with environmental exposures.

Research Interests

  • Pediatric environmental health
  • Air pollution
  • Asthma
  • Pesticides
  • Global children's environmental health
  • Farmworker health
  • Community engaged research

Recent Publications (PubMed)

Prenatal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons is not associated with behavior problems in preschool and early school-aged children: A prospective multi-cohort study.
(2022 Nov 9)
Environ Res 216(Pt 4): 114759
Wallace ER, Buth E, Szpiro AA, Ni Y, Loftus CT, Masterson E, Day DB, Sun BZ, Sullivan A, Barrett E, Nguyen RH, Robinson M, Kannan K, Mason A, Sathyanarayana S, LeWinn KZ, Bush NR, Karr CJ

Maternal exposure to urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in pregnancy and childhood asthma in a pooled multi-cohort study.
(2022 Sep 3)
Environ Int 170(): 107494
Loftus CT, Szpiro AA, Workman T, Wallace ER, Hazlehurst MF, Day DB, Ni Y, Carroll KN, Adgent MA, Moore PE, Barrett ES, Nguyen RHN, Kannan K, Robinson M, Masterson EE, Tylavsky FA, Bush NR, LeWinn KZ, Sathyanarayana S, Karr CJ

Cohort profile: the ECHO prenatal and early childhood pathways to health consortium (ECHO-PATHWAYS).
(2022 Oct 21)
BMJ Open 12(10): e064288
LeWinn KZ, Karr CJ, Hazlehurst M, Carroll K, Loftus C, Nguyen R, Barrett E, Swan SH, Szpiro AA, Paquette A, Moore P, Spalt E, Younglove L, Sullivan A, Colburn T, Byington N, Sims Taylor L, Moe S, Wang S, Cordeiro A, Mattias A, Powell J, Johnson T, Norona-Zhou A, Mason A, Bush NR, Sathyanarayana S

Partnership to Develop and Deliver Curriculum Supporting Student-led Air Quality Research in Rural Washington State.
Prog Community Health Partnersh 16(3): 411-420
Stampfer O, Cassio OT, Grajales JA, Black JL, Austin E, Seto E, Karr CJ

A Permutation Test-Based Approach to Strengthening Inference on the Effects of Environmental Mixtures: Comparison between Single-Index Analytic Methods.
(2022 Aug)
Environ Health Perspect 130(8): 87010
Day DB, Sathyanarayana S, LeWinn KZ, Karr CJ, Mason WA, Szpiro AA

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