Laboratory members

Dr Yan Lin (Postdoc Researcher)

Yan Lin is a postdoctoral associate in Jim Zhang’s laboratory at Duke Global Health Institute. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA EHS department in 2019 under the supervision of Yifang Zhu. Yan’s research primarily aims to illustrate the impact of air pollution on population’s exposure to toxic chemicals (e.g., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and the subsequent health effects, which has resulted in more than 30 peer-reviewed publications in environmental and medical journals. His current research focused on (1). developing novel exposure biomarkers with increased specificity to pollution sources; and (2). examining biological mechanisms linking air pollution to cardiopulmonary diseases and adverse birth outcomes.

Zhenchun Yang (Postdoc Researcher)

Zhenchun Yang is a postdoctoral associate at DGHI, Duke University. He received his PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Imperial College London. His work focuses on monitoring and modelling air pollution exposure in urban areas. He has developed land-use regression models for ultrafine particles in urban residential areas in London during his PhD study. His postdoctoral research will develop land-use regression models for Shanghai, China, for the GAAP study led by Professor Jim Zhang.

Xiangtian (TIM) Wang (Ph.D. Student)

Tim is a third-year Ph.D. student at Nicholas School of Environment. His research interest is developing novel biomarkers for air pollution on human health. Now, he focuses on using the metabolites of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon(PAH) as biomarkers to evaluate the exposure of air pollution and the effects on health outcomes.


Emily Craig (Ph.D. Student)

Emily is a first year Ph.D. Student at Nicholas School of the Environment. She did her undergraduate studies in marine science at the University of Maine, and after graduation was a Fulbright student research scholar in Sir Lanka. While she is just starting the program, she is interested in how early life exposure to air pollution leads to long-term health effects and epigenetic reprograming.


Ruoxue (Rory) Chen (Ph.D. Student)

Ruoxue is a first year Ph.D. student at Nicholas School of Environment. She gained her master’s degree (MEM) at Nicholas School of Environment in May 2022. Her master’s project focused on vegetative cover, urban heat, and heat-related illnesses among formerly redlined communities in Durham, North Carolina. She is currently interested in the interplay of indoor, outdoor air pollution and climate change, as well as using novel biomarkers to analyze how indoor air pollution affects human health.

Lauren Prox (Ph.D. Student)

Lauren Prox holds a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science from George Mason University, and her favorite atmospheric science topics include air pollution and biometeorology. She was drawn to Dr. Zhang’s Exposure Biology and Chemistry Laboratory due to its emphasis on air quality, human health, global health. As a PhD student in Duke’s Environment program, Lauren intends to research the relationship between air quality and human health in the United States and Asia. Lauren is also a 2021 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar.