Rima Habre, ScD


Dr. Rima Habre grew up in Beirut, Lebanon. She attended the American University of Beirut (AUB) and completed her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health in 2006.  She then joined the Harvard Cyprus Program and completed her Master of Science degree in Environmental Health (2007). 

As a result, Dr. Habre joined the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA, and graduated with a Doctor of Science degree in Environmental Health in 2012. She trained with Dr. Petros Koutrakis. In addition, she concentrated in environmental Exposure Assessment with a special focus on modeling exposure to air pollution mixtures and sources and understanding their effects on health. 

Dr. Rima Habre Profile photo
Rima Habre, MSc, ScD

Dr. Habre is currently an Assistant Professor in the Division of Environmental Health at the USC Keck School of Medicine

She directs the Exposure Assessment Cores in the LA DREAMERs ECHO Center and the MADRES Environmental Health Disparities Center at USC. She also co-leads the Real-Time Air Pollution and Asthma Study project of the UCLA/USC PRISMS Center

Please visit the Research page to learn more about these and other projects. 



Dr. Habre’s research on air pollution exposure and its health effects in major research centers is briefly described below. Please refer to Publications for more information and findings.

Los Angeles PRISMS Center

Dr. Habre leads a pediatric asthma panel study using wearable sensors and an mHealth informatics platform in the UCLA/USC Los Angeles PRISMS Center (PI Alex Bui, PhD). The goal of this research is to assess the effects of air pollution exposure on asthma exacerbation and build personalized models to predict triggers of asthma attacks in children. 


Overview of the Los Angeles PRISMS Center (2 mins)

NIEHS Exposure Science and the Exposome Webinar Series, Dr. Alex Bui and Dr. Rima Habre (1hr, 3 mins)

MADRES Environmental Health Disparities Center

Dr. Habre leads the Exposure Assessment Core in the the MADRES Center (MPI Breton and Bastain). This research center is examining whether exposure to environmental, psychosocial and built environment stressors leads to excessive gestational weight gain and postpartum weight retention in women and to perturbed infant growth trajectories and increased childhood obesity risk. Dr. Habre uses a variety of personal monitoring and geospatial modeling approaches to model air pollution exposure and understand its health effects in MADRES pregnant women and fetuses.


Dr. Habre’s research in this Center involves developing machine-learning based spatiotemporal air pollution models to retrospectively assess exposures of thousands of our participants and assess measurement error in these exposures.

The overall goal of the USC LA DREAMERs Center (MPI Gilliland and Breton) is to take a transgenerational life course approach to studying the contribution of the environment to the developmental origins of childhood and emerging adult respiratory and metabolic health. Our Center is part of the seven-year NIH initiative, “Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO).”

Aviation-Related Ultrafine Particles and Health

Dr. Habre lead one of the first human health studies investigating the acute effects of exposure to aviation-related ultrafine particles (UFPs) air pollution on systemic inflammation and respiratory health in adults with asthma published in Environment International (2018)



Estimating hourly PM25 concentrations at the neighborhood scale using a low-cost air sensor network: A Los Angeles Case Study.
Environ Res. 2021 Jan 18; 110653.

Deliberating Performance Targets: Follow-on workshop discussing PM10, NO2, CO, and SO2 air sensor targets
Atmos Environ (1994). 2021; 246.

Spatiotemporal Imputation of MAIAC AOD Using Deep Learning with Downscaling
Remote Sens Environ. 2020 Feb; 237.

Exposure Measurement Error in Air Pollution Studies: The Impact of Shared, Multiplicative Measurement Error on Epidemiological Health Risk Estimates
Air Qual Atmos Health. 2020 Jun; 13(6):631-643.

Demographic predictors of urinary arsenic in a low-income predominantly Hispanic pregnancy cohort in Los Angeles
J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2020 Jul 27.

Biomedical REAl-Time Health Evaluation (BREATHE): toward an mHealth informatics platform
JAMIA Open. 2020 Jul; 3(2):190-200.

Contribution of Tailpipe and Non-tailpipe Traffic Sources to Quasi-Ultrafine, Fine and Coarse Particulate Matter in Southern California
J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2020 Sep 29.

Ensemble-based deep learning for estimating PM25 over California with multisource big data including wildfire smoke.
Environ Int. 2020 Sep 24; 145:106143.

Prenatal metal mixtures and fetal size in mid-pregnancy in the MADRES study
Environ Res. 2020 Oct 28; 110388.

Air Pollution Monitoring for Health Research and Patient CareAn Official American Thoracic Society Workshop Report.
Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2019 Oct; 16(10):1207-1214.

Domain Adaptation in Children Activity Recognition
Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2019 Jul; 2019:1725-1728.

Study Design, Protocol and Profile of the Maternal And Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors (MADRES) Pregnancy Cohort: a Prospective Cohort Study in Predominantly Low-Income Hispanic Women in Urban Los Angeles
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2019 May 30; 19(1):189.

Within-subject effects of environmental and social stressors on pre- and post-partum obesity-related biobehavioral responses in low-income Hispanic women: protocol of an intensive longitudinal study
BMC Public Health. 2019 Feb 28; 19(1):253.

Methodologies for assessing contextual exposure to the built environment in physical activity studies: A systematic review
Health Place. 2019 11; 60:102226.

Cluster-based bagging of constrained mixed-effects models for high spatiotemporal resolution nitrogen oxides prediction over large regions
Environ Int. 2019 07; 128:310-323.

Exposure measurement error in air pollution studies: A framework for assessing shared, multiplicative measurement error in ensemble learning estimates of nitrogen oxides
Environ Int. 2019 04; 125:97-106.

Applying Multivariate Segmentation Methods to Human Activity Recognition From Wearable Sensors' Data
JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2019 02 07; 7(2):e11201.

Ambient and Traffic-Related Air Pollution Exposures as Novel Risk Factors for Metabolic Dysfunction and Type 2 Diabetes
Curr Epidemiol Rep. 2018 Jun; 5(2):79-91.

Examining family and neighborhood level predictors of sleep duration in urban youth
Fam Syst Health. 2018 12; 36(4):439-450.

Short-term effects of airport-associated ultrafine particle exposure on lung function and inflammation in adults with asthma
Environ Int. 2018 09; 118:48-59.

Children Activity Recognition: Challenges and Strategies
Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2018 07; 2018:4331-4334.

Prenatal traffic-related air pollution exposures, cord blood adipokines and infant weight
Pediatr Obes. 2018 06; 13(6):348-356.

Effect of inhaled allergens and air pollutants on childhood rhinitis development
Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018 02; 120(2):212-214.

Exposure to traffic-related air pollution and the composition of the gut microbiota in overweight and obese adolescents
Environ Res. 2018 02; 161:472-478.

Effects of air pollution exposure on glucose metabolism in Los Angeles minority children
Pediatr Obes. 2018 01; 13(1):54-62.

Longitudinal associations of in utero and early life near-roadway air pollution with trajectories of childhood body mass index
Environ Health. 2018 09 14; 17(1):64.

Association of Prenatal Exposure to Ambient and Traffic-Related Air Pollution With Newborn Thyroid Function: Findings From the Children's Health Study
JAMA Netw Open. 2018 09 07; 1(5):e182172.

Mining Public Datasets for Modeling Intra-City PM25 Concentrations at a Fine Spatial Resolution.
Proc ACM SIGSPATIAL Int Conf Adv Inf. 2017 Nov; 2017.

Constrained Mixed-Effect Models with Ensemble Learning for Prediction of Nitrogen Oxides Concentrations at High Spatiotemporal Resolution
Environ Sci Technol. 2017 Sep 05; 51(17):9920-9929.

A Scalable Data Integration and Analysis Architecture for Sensor Data of Pediatric Asthma
Proc Int Conf Data Eng. 2017 Apr; 2017:1407-1408.

Longitudinal Associations Between Ambient Air Pollution With Insulin Sensitivity, ß-Cell Function, and Adiposity in Los Angeles Latino Children
Diabetes. 2017 07; 66(7):1789-1796.

Genetic and epigenetic susceptibility of airway inflammation to PM25 in school children: new insights from quantile regression.
Environ Health. 2017 08 18; 16(1):88.

Effects of Childhood Asthma on the Development of Obesity among School-aged Children
Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017 05 01; 195(9):1181-1188.

Sleep duration and risk of physical aggression against peers in urban youth
Sleep Health. 2016 Jun; 2(2):129-135.

Ambient Air Pollutants Have Adverse Effects on Insulin and Glucose Homeostasis in Mexican Americans
Diabetes Care. 2016 Apr; 39(4):547-54.

Traffic-related air pollution and alveolar nitric oxide in southern California children
Eur Respir J. 2016 05; 47(5):1348-56.

Lifetime prevalence of childhood eczema and the effect of indoor environmental factors: Analysis in Hispanic and non-Hispanic white children
Allergy Asthma Proc. 2016 Jan-Feb; 37(1):64-71.

Living near a freeway is associated with lower bone mineral density among Mexican Americans
Osteoporos Int. 2015 Jun; 26(6):1713-21.

The effects of PM25 and its components from indoor and outdoor sources on cough and wheeze symptoms in asthmatic children.
J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2014 Jul; 24(4):380-7.

Sources of indoor air pollution in New York City residences of asthmatic children
J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2014 May-Jun; 24(3):269-78.

Students and Postdocs

Prospective Students and Postdocs

Students interested in pursuing doctoral training with Dr. Habre should consider applying to the PhD program in Epidemiology (Environmental Epidemiology track) listed here in the USC Department of Preventive Medicine.

Prospective postdocs with analytical skills in environmental exposure assessment, aerosol science and instrumentation, air quality modeling, statistical modeling, geospatial analysis, and/or epidemiological methods should contact Dr. Habre to inquire about any current or upcoming openings in her research group.

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