Research interests: Improving child and maternal health through upgrades to domestic infrastructure, children’s exposure to fecal contamination, personal protective equipment for COVID-19, and research in humanitarian settings
In July 2021, Berkeley Public Health welcomed new Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences Laura (Layla) Kwong. Dr. Kwong received her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. Our staff writer, Eliza Partika, sat down to talk with her about her work and hopes for the semester.
Where did you live and work before joining Berkeley Public Health?
I was formerly a postdoc research fellow at Stanford’s interdisciplinary Woods Institute for the Environment and lived in Palo Alto.
What are you currently working on?
For five of the past 15 years, I’ve lived, learned, and worked with community project partners in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, China, Mongolia, Peru, Uganda, and Egypt. My current research is at the Global Environmental Health Equity Lab, where I conduct community-engaged research to improve child and maternal well-being by addressing environmental health issues in low-income countries, humanitarian settings, and other low-resource contexts. I use qualitative and quantitative methods including interviews, video observations, household surveys and sensors to assess and evaluate the environmental exposures, design interventions and the impacts of these interventions.
What are your hopes going into the new semester at Berkeley Public Health?
I’m looking forward to engaging students in human-centered interventions, development, and evaluation!