Laura (Layla) H. Kwong PhD

Assistant Professor
Environmental Health Sciences

Laura (Layla) H. Kwong is an assistant professor in Environmental Health Sciences who focuses on exposure to environmental contaminants and infectious disease, impacts on child and maternal health and development, and interventions to reduce adverse impacts. She has worked in Bangladesh, India, China, Mongolia, Fiji, Indonesia, Peru, Uganda, and Mali in urban, rural, and humanitarian settings.

Laura (Layla) Kwong is an assistant professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health focused on global environmental health equity. An engineer by training, Dr. Kwong  uses human-centered design principles to develop engineering interventions that address public health issues in low-income countries, particularly issues related to air pollution and infectious diseases, with a special focus on children.As part of her extensive fieldwork, Dr. Kwong has lived and worked with project partners in Bangladesh, Indonesia, China, Mongolia, Peru, and Uganda for 2 of the past 8 years. Recent and planned projects include a randomized-controlled trial of face masks to prevent transmission of COVID-19, an evaluation of liquid propane gas as a replacement for biomass in the Rohingya refugee camp; refugee housing, reducing respiratory disease in densely-packed, low-income neighborhoods; animal-inclusive community-led total sanitation; and container-based sanitation.

Dr. Kwong received a PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. Prior to her time at Stanford, Dr. Kwong worked on water security and national water quality standards as an ORISE Fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  • PhD – Civil & Environmental Engineering, Stanford University 
  • MS – Civil & Environmental Engineering, Stanford University 
  • BS – Chemistry; Biology, University of Minnesota
  • BA – Physiology, University of Minnesota
  • Designing and testing interventions to improved child and maternal health in low-resources settings
  • Household interventions to reduce air pollution and/or mitigate climate change
  • Environmental health in humanitarian settings
  • Children’s exposure to parasites and enteric pathogens and interventions to reduce exposure to feces in to soil and food. 
  • Management of adult and child feces through container-based sanitation and child-friendly toilets
  • Animal feces management