Rollins School of Public Health | Faculty Profile

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Emory Rollins School of Public Health
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Paige  Tolbert

Professor Emeritus

Emeritus Professor

Professor Emeritus, Environmental Health

Former O. Wayne Rollins Chair of Environmental Health, Retired 

Dr. Tolbert has a twenty-year career of research, teaching and service in environmental epidemiology. She has experience in a wide range of environmental epidemiology, from intensive molecular lab-based studies to large cohort studies. She has studied carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, pesticides, water pollution, and most recently the pulmonary, cardiac and reproductive health effects of ambient air pollution. The air pollution work is encompassed by a collection of studies referred to as the Studies of Particles and Health in Atlanta (SOPHIA), supported by multiple NIH R01s and other grants in the past ten years, and recently has culminated in the award of an EPA Clean Air Research Center, an $8M five-year collaboration with Georgia Tech.  She also directs a training program in environmental epidemiology (NIOSH T01). Service activities have included numerous expert panels and grant reviews, culminating most recently in being named to the EPA’s chartered Science Advisory Board, the agency’s primary source of guidance on priorities and future directions. Dr. Tolbert has a deep commitment to advancing the professional development of those at the early stages of their careers in this field, including students, post-docs and junior faculty.

Contact Information

1518 Clifton Road NE

Atlanta , GA 30322

Rollins School of Public Health


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Areas of Interest

  • Air Pollution
  • Environmental Health
  • Epidemiology


  • AB 1979, Harvard College
  • MSPH 1986, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
  • PhD 1989, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)

Courses Taught

  • EH 597R: Directed Study
  • EH 599R: Thesis

Affiliations & Activities

USEPA Chartered Science Advisory Board, 2009-pres.

Director, Rollins SPH Environ & Occ Epidemiology Joint MSPH Program, 1993-pres.

USEPA STAR Grant Review Panel, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008 (Rapporteur), 2010

NIH Study Sections (ad hoc): OSH, 1994; EDC-2, 2000; ZRG1 PSE-J58R, ZRG1 PSE-C58R, 2009

Children’s Environmental Health Recognition Award, USEPA, 2006

Special Emphasis Panel, NIH, 2004, 2005, 2012, NIOSH, 2005

National Center for Environmental Health Endocrine Disruptors Leadership Panel, 1995-2001

Alice Hamilton Award for Excellence in Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 1999



  • , , Joint effects of ambient air pollutants on pediatric asthma emergency department visits in Atlanta, 1998-2004. , Epidemiology, 25, 666-73
  • , , Modification of the effect of ambient air pollution on pediatric asthma emergency visits: susceptible subpopulations. , Epidemiology, 25, 843-50
  • , , Ambient pollen concentrations and emergency department visits for asthma and wheeze., Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 130, 630-638
  • , , A method for detection of residual confounding in spatial and other observational studies., Epidemiology, 22, 823-826
  • , , Ambient air pollution and apnea and bradycardia in high-risk infants on home monitors., Environmental Health Perspectives, 119, 1321-1327
  • , , Drinking water turbidity and emergency department visits for gastrointestinal illness in Atlanta, 1993-2004., Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, 20, 19-28
  • , , Prenatal organochlorine exposure and behaviors associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in school-aged children., American Journal of Epidemiology, 171, 593-601
  • , , Short-term associations between ambient air pollutants and pediatric asthma emergency department visits., American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 182, 307-16
  • , , Ambient air pollution and preterm birth: a time-series analysis., Epidemiology, 20, 689-98
  • , , Invited commentary: Heterogeneity of particulate matter health risks. , American Journal of Epidemiology, 166, 889-891