A photo of Patrick Ryan.

Patrick H. Ryan, PhD, MS

  • Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
  • UC Department of Environmental Health



My research involves assessing environmental exposures, particularly air pollutants, and studying how they affect pediatric respiratory health and neurodevelopment. My research primarily involves:

  • Air pollution
  • The built environment including greenspace
  • The use of personal monitors and sensors to measure environmental exposures
  • Environmental asbestos exposure

The goals of my research are to answer the following questions: 1) How do we accurately characterize exposure to environmental pollutants, especially air pollutants; and 2) What is the impact or health effects of environmental exposures, especially air pollutants?

Early in my career, I developed the first land-use regression model of elemental carbon, a traffic-related pollutant. This model has been widely applied and used in the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS) to assess childhood exposure to traffic-related air pollution with childhood wheezing, asthma onset and other respiratory diseases. More recently, we have linked traffic-related air pollution to childhood mental health, including anxiety and depression.

My focus on air pollution has also led to community-based research to study air quality and local schools, to demonstrate the effectiveness of anti-idling campaigns on improving air quality near schools. In addition, I have collaborated with engineers to develop personal monitors for air pollution, including ultrafine particles. My research group is currently utilizing these personal monitors to measure adolescents’ personal exposure to air pollution and understand how they impact respiratory health.

Other research interests include the identification of environmental, demographic, home and other factors associated with personal exposure to specific elemental constituents of particulate matter and the impact of naturally occurring elongated mineral fibers (e.g. asbestos) on respiratory and autoimmune disease in the western United States.

My research has been supported by local and national organizations, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Health Effects Institute (HEI). The results of these research efforts have been published in more than 100 peer-reviewed papers.

Locally, I serve on multiple mentoring committees including clinical fellows, K recipients and junior faculty. I also currently serve as the co-director of the MS in Clinical and Translational Research program and the director of Translational Workforce Development for the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training at Cincinnati Children’s.

PhD: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2007.

MS: University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 2004.

BS: Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH, 2001.


Environmental epidemiology; air pollution; personal monitors; greenspace; neurodevelopment; respiratory health

Research Areas

Biostatistics and Epidemiology


Built environment factors predictive of early rapid lung function decline in cystic fibrosis. Gecili, E; Brokamp, C; Rasnick, E; Afonso, PM; Andrinopoulou, ER; Dexheimer, JW; Clancy, JP; Keogh, RH; Ni, Y; Palipana, A; et al. Pediatric Pulmonology. 2023.

Racial Fairness in Precision Medicine: Pediatric Asthma Prediction Algorithms. Pennington, J; Rasnick, E; Martin, LJ; Biagini, JM; Mersha, TB; Parsons, A; Khurana Hershey, GK; Ryan, P; Brokamp, C. American Journal of Health Promotion. 2023; 37:239-242.

Residential greenness, asthma, and lung function among children at high risk of allergic sensitization: a prospective cohort study. Hartley, K; Ryan, PH; Gillespie, GL; Perazzo, J; Wright, JM; Rice, GE; Donovan, GH; Gernes, R; Hershey, GK K; LeMasters, G; et al. Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source. 2022; 21.

Pediatric anxiety and daily fine particulate matter: A longitudinal study. Vancil, A; Strawn, JR; Rasnick, E; Levine, A; Schroeder, HK; Specht, AM; Turner, AL; Ryan, PH; Brokamp, C. 2022; 2.

Air pollution, depressive and anxiety disorders, and brain effects: A systematic review. Zundel, CG; Ryan, P; Brokamp, C; Heeter, A; Huang, Y; Strawn, JR; Marusak, HA. NeuroToxicology. 2022; 93:272-300.

High Resolution and Spatiotemporal Place-Based Computable Exposures at Scale. Rasnick, E; Ryan, P; Vancil, A; Brokamp, C. ISEE Conference Abstracts. 2022; 2022.

Pediatric Anxiety and Daily Fine Particulate Matter: A Longitudinal Study. Vancil, A; Strawn, J; Rasnick, E; Levine, A; Schroeder, H; Specht, A; Turner, A; Ryan, P; Brokamp, C. ISEE Conference Abstracts. 2022; 2022.

A life-course approach for examining the impact of air pollutants on adolescent anxiety and depression and the role of DNA methylation. Brunst, K; Niu, L; Yolton, K; Ryan, P. ISEE Conference Abstracts. 2022; 2022.

Impact of Personal, Subhourly Exposure to Ultrafine Particles on Respiratory Health in Adolescents with Asthma. Turner, AL; Brokamp, C; Wolfe, C; Reponen, T; Ryan, PH. Annals of the American Thoracic Society. 2022; 19:1516-1524.

Internal versus External Predictors of Physical Activity in Youth. Ryan, P; Kaskas, M. Journal of Child and Family Studies. 2022; 1-13.

From the Blog

Asthma and the Legacy of Racism Extends Beyond Poor Neighborhoods
Asthma and Allergy

Asthma and the Legacy of Racism Extends Beyond Poor Neighborhoods

Patrick H. Ryan, PhD, MS5/23/2022

Cincinnati Children’s Supporting Price Hill Air Quality Study
Community Health

Cincinnati Children’s Supporting Price Hill Air Quality Study

Patrick H. Ryan, PhD, MS3/28/2022