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Christopher Carlsten

Respiratory Division, Department of Medicine;

School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine

Name: Christopher Carlsten
Title: Associate Professor & Chair in Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease
Degrees: M.D., MPH
Office: 2775 Laurel St, 7th Floor
Phone: (604) 875-4729
Fax: (604) 875-4727
Email: carlsten@mail.ubc.ca

Research Interests

  • Air pollution health effects (focus: diesel exhaust, respiratory and immunologic effects, oxidative stress)
  • Controlled inhalation models (humans; 'in vivo')
  • Effects of complex inhaled exposures ('synergy'; complementing experimental with epidemiologic models)
  • Translational research (state-of-the-art lab methods within experiments that concretely address public health concerns)
  • Understanding effects of genetics on pollutant effect (gene-by-environment analysis, recognizing its limitations)


Chris Carlsten, MD MPH is an Associate Professor of Medicine and holds the endowed Chair in Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease at the University of British Columbia.  He also holds adjunct positions at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, the UBC School of Population and Public Health and the James Hogg Research Centre.

He attended undergraduate and medical school at Stanford University before training in internal, occupational, pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Washington.  His clinical and research interests center on occupational airways disease, and his efforts have recently resulted in his being granted both the CIHR New Investigator Award and the Career Investigator Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

The Carlsten laboratory focuses on the respiratory and immunological health effects of inhaled environmental and occupational exposures, using diesel exhaust, western red cedar, and phthalates as model inhalants. In particular, the lab uses controlled human exposures to address the synergism due to co-exposure to inhaled particles and allergens in mediating health effects related to asthma induction and exacerbation.  An epidemiological complement to the experimental model uses a meta-birth cohort of over 20,000 children to study incident asthma related to air pollution (http://tag.spph.ubc.ca).

As director of the Occupational Lung Disease Clinic at The Lung Centre (Vancouver General Hospital), Dr. Carlsten welcomes patients with concerns regarding occupational or environmental exposures contributing to respiratory disease including asthma, COPD, interstitial lung disease, cancer, and pleural disease. 

For more information, please see:

Lab website:


Faculty profile:



A list of publications and abstracts is available here.

Dr. Carlsten welcomes Masters and PhD-level students with interest in his research to contact him regarding possible training opportunities with CCOERD.

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