I am actively pursuing multidisciplinary investigations of the health effects of bioaerosols with three major themes: 1) investigation and prevention of airborne infection transmission and applications to biodefense, 2) exhaled breath analysis, and 3) the relationship of asthma onset and exacerbation to exposure to allergens and microbial products. Currently, my research on mechanisms and prevention of airborne infection transmission is focused on influenza. Our recent publication in PLoS Pathogens demonstrated for the first time that 8.8 fold greater numbers of influenza virus particles are present in fine exhaled droplets than in large respiratory droplets and that the fine aerosol droplets are infectious. I am currently co-PI of the EMIT project (Evaluating modes of influenza transmission in a human challenge model), a $10.8M study to define the role of aerosols in human-to-human transmission of influenza virus. A recent review examines the likely role aerosols played in transmission of smallpox. A mathematical model we developed to describe the relationship between indoor air quality and airborne infection is being used to understand and control risks of drug resistant TB transmission. Other work in my lab includes productivity effects of rhinovirus colds in office workers and asthmatic children, occupational asthma, outdoor allergens and asthma, and laboratory and epidemiological studies of control methods for influenza and agents of biological warfare and terrorism. Exhaled breath analysis is a unifying theme of our work with ongoing studies of on exhaled gas and particle phase biomarkers for lung inflammation in asthma and characterization of the personal exposome, and studies of exhaled particles as the vehicle of airborne communicable disease transmission.
I earned a BS in Chemistry from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (Cum Laude), an MD from Johns Hopkins University and a DrPH (Environmental Health) from Harvard University. I trained clinically in medicine at Emory and Boston Universities and Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Harvard. I previously served on the faculties of the Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health and the Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell School of Health and Environment. Currently, I am Professor and Director of the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, University of Maryland School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Adjunct Senior Lecturer on Occupational and Environmental Health at Harvard School of Public Health, and Honorary Professor, Department of Community Medicine, University of Hong Kong. I am board certified in internal and occupational medicine and have 20 years of experience in occupational medicine referral practice. I teach courses on environmental and occupational hygiene, aerobiology, toxicology, indoor air quality, respiratory epidemiology, physiology, pathology, pathophysiology. I am a past chair of the ACGIH Bioaerosols committee and a member of the editorial boards of Indoor Air and BMC Public Health, and for 10 years of Applied Environmental Microbiology. I am a recipient of the Lloyd Hyde Research Award of Emory University, the Harriet Hardy Award for Lifetime Achievement from the New England College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and was elected a Fellow of the International Society for Indoor Air Quality and Climate in 2008.
- Dr.P.H., Environmental Health, Harvard University; M.O.H., Harvard University, M.D., Johns Hopkins University; B.S., Chemistry (Cum Laude), University of Maryland Baltimore County
- Residency in Internal Medicine: Emory University - Grady Hospital, Atlanta, GA and Boston University Hosptal
- Residency in Occuapational and Environmental Medicine, Harvard School of Public Health
- Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Occupational and Environmental Medicine
1. Yan J, Grantham M, Pantelic J, Mesquita PJB de, Albert B, Liu F, Ehrman S, Milton DK, Consortium E. Nasal and aerosol shedding of infectious influenza virus - a community based study. bioRxiv. 2017 Sep 29; https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/09/29/194985.
2. Hunt PR, Friesen MC, Sama S, Ryan L, Milton D. Log-Linear Modeling of Agreement among Expert Exposure Assessors. Ann Occup Hyg. 2015 Jul;59(6):764–774. PMCID: PMC4506313
3. Milton DK, Fabian MP, Cowling BJ, Grantham ML, McDevitt JJ. Influenza virus aerosols in human exhaled breath: particle size, culturability, and effect of surgical masks. PLoS Pathog. 2013 Mar;9(3):e1003205. PMCID: PMC3591312
4. Milton DK. What was the primary mode of smallpox transmission? Implications for biodefense. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2012;2:150. PMCID: PMC3509329
5. Fabian P, Brain J, Houseman EA, Gern J, Milton DK. Origin of exhaled breath particles from healthy and human rhinovirus-infected subjects. J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv. 2011 Jun;24(3):137–147. PMCID: PMC3123971
6. 1. Sordillo JE, Webb T, Kwan D, Kamel J, Hoffman E, Milton DK, Gold DR. Allergen exposure modifies the relation of sensitization to fraction of exhaled nitric oxide levels in children at risk for allergy and asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011 May;127(5):1165–1172.e5. PMCID: PMC3137133
7. McDevitt JJ, Milton DK, Rudnick SN, First MW. Inactivation of poxviruses by upper-room UVC light in a simulated hospital room environment. PLoS ONE. 2008;3(9):e3186. PMCID: PMC2527528
8. Weller EA, Milton DK, Eisen EA, Spiegelman D. Regression calibration for logistic regression with multiple surrogates for one exposure. J Stat Plan Inference. 2007 Feb 1;137(2):449–461.
9. Sama SR, Milton DK, Hunt PR, Houseman EA, Henneberger PK, Rosiello RA. Case-by-case assessment of adult-onset asthma attributable to occupational exposures among members of a health maintenance organization. J Occup Environ Med. 2006 Apr;48(4):400–407. PMID: 16607195
10. Houseman EA, Milton DK. Partial questionnaire designs, questionnaire non-response, and attributable fraction: applications to adult onset asthma. Stat Med. 2006 May 15;25(9):1499–1519. PMID: 16220493
11. Horick N, Weller E, Milton DK, Gold DR, Li R, Spiegelman D. Home endotoxin exposure and wheeze in infants: correction for bias due to exposure measurement error. Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Jan;114(1):135–140. PMCID: PMC1332669
12. Myatt TA, Johnston SL, Zuo Z, Wand M, Kebadze T, Rudnick S, Milton DK. Detection of airborne rhinovirus and its relation to outdoor air supply in office environments. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2004 Jun 1;169(11):1187–1190. PMID: 14754759
13. Sama SR, Hunt PR, Cirillo CIHP, Marx A, Rosiello RA, Henneberger PK, Milton DK. A longitudinal study of adult-onset asthma incidence among HMO members. Environ Health. 2003 Aug 7;2(1):10. PMCID: PMC194432
14. Rudnick SN, Milton DK. Risk of indoor airborne infection transmission estimated from carbon dioxide concentration. Indoor Air. 2003 Sep;13(3):237–245. PMID: 12950586
15. Litonjua AA, Milton DK, Celedon JC, Ryan L, Weiss ST, Gold DR. A longitudinal analysis of wheezing in young children: the independent effects of early life exposure to house dust endotoxin, allergens, and pets. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2002 Nov;110(5):736–742. PMID: 12417882
16. 1. Park JH, Gold DR, Spiegelman DL, Burge HA, Milton DK. House dust endotoxin and wheeze in the first year of life. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2001 Feb;163(2):322–328. PMID: 11179100
17. Milton DK, Glencross PM, Walters MD. Risk of sick leave associated with outdoor air supply rate, humidification, and occupant complaints. Indoor Air. 2000 Dec;10(4):212–221. PMID: 11089326