Khandaker Talat Islam, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Research Population and Public Health Sciences

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Talat Islam is an environmental epidemiologist who joined the USC faculty in 2009. He completed his medical education at Dhaka Medical College, Bangladesh and Doctoral degree in Epidemiology at USC. His primary research interest is the contribution of the environmental exposure to diseases and its underlying pathogenesis. A major focus of his research is understanding the effect of environmental exposures on children health outcomes. As a researcher of the Children’s Health Study (CHS) of Southern California, he has investigated the effect of air pollution on respiratory health of children (lung function growth and asthma incidence) with possible role of genes and social stressors. He received Fogarty funding (International Research Scholar Development Award) in 2015 to investigate the effects of cook stove smoke exposure on pregnancy outcomes and pneumonia among infants in Bangladesh. As part of the study, he established and followed a pregnancy cohort in Bangladesh from 18 weeks of pregnancy to 12 months after delivery. He is also interested in understanding the effect of environmental factors in the etiology and prognosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). He collaborates with neurologists as USC in MS research. He is also involved in teaching Epidemiology and Environmental Epidemiology at the graduate level at USC.


  • ATS Assembly on Environmental & Occupational Health: : Val Vallyathan Junior Investigator Award, 2011
  • ATS Assembly on Environmental & Occupational Health: David Bates Award, 2010
  • : American Thoracic Society International Conference in Toronto : Travel Award, 2008


  • Decoding the exposome: data science methodologies and implications in exposome-wide association studies (ExWASs) Exposome. 2024; 4(1):osae001. . View in PubMed
  • Effects of dual use of e-cigarette and cannabis during adolescence on cigarette use in young adulthood Tob Control. 2023 May 05. . View in PubMed
  • Transcriptomic and metabolomic associations with exposures to air pollutants among young adults with childhood asthma history Environ Pollut. 2022 Apr 15; 299:118903. . View in PubMed
  • Secondhand nicotine vaping at home and respiratory symptoms in young adults Thorax. 2022 07; 77(7):663-668. . View in PubMed
  • Association of Changes in Air Quality With Incident Asthma in Children in California, 1993-2014 JAMA. 2019 05 21; 321(19):1906-1915. . View in PubMed
  • Native ancestry is associated with optic neuritis and age of onset in hispanics with multiple sclerosis Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2018 Nov; 5(11):1362-1371. . View in PubMed
  • Relationship between free and total malondialdehyde, a well-established marker of oxidative stress, in various types of human biospecimens J Thorac Dis. 2018 May; 10(5):3088-3097. . View in PubMed
  • Clinical Characteristics of Pediatric-Onset and Adult-Onset Multiple Sclerosis in Hispanic Americans J Child Neurol. 2016 07; 31(8):1068-73. . View in PubMed
  • Genetic ancestry influences asthma susceptibility and lung function among Latinos J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Jan; 135(1):228-35. . View in PubMed
  • Traffic-related air pollution and obesity formation in children: a longitudinal, multilevel analysis Environ Health. 2014 Jun 09; 13:49. . View in PubMed
  • Associations of children’s lung function with ambient air pollution: joint effects of regional and near-roadway pollutants Thorax. 2014 Jun; 69(6):540-7. . View in PubMed
  • Relationship of vitamin D, HIV, HIV treatment, and lipid levels in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study of HIV-infected and uninfected women in the United States J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care. 2014 May-Jun; 13(3):250-9. . View in PubMed
  • Response to letter regarding article, “Childhood air pollutant exposure and carotid artery intima–media thickness in young adults” Circulation. 2013 Jun 04; 127(22):e659. . View in PubMed
  • Childhood air pollutant exposure and carotid artery intima-media thickness in young adults Circulation. 2012 Sep 25; 126(13):1614-20. . View in PubMed
  • Parental stress increases the detrimental effect of traffic exposure on children’s lung function Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011 Oct 01; 184(7):822-7. . View in PubMed
  • Genetic risk and a primary role for cell-mediated immune mechanisms in multiple sclerosis Nature. 2011 Aug 10; 476(7359):214-9. . View in PubMed
  • Carotid artery intima-media thickness in college students: race/ethnicity matters Atherosclerosis. 2011 Aug; 217(2):441-6. . View in PubMed
  • Childhood incident asthma and traffic-related air pollution at home and school Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Jul; 118(7):1021-6. . View in PubMed
  • Role of inducible nitric oxide synthase in asthma risk and lung function growth during adolescence Thorax. 2010 Feb; 65(2):139-45. . View in PubMed
  • Variation in the GST mu locus and tobacco smoke exposure as determinants of childhood lung function Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2009 Apr 01; 179(7):601-7. . View in PubMed
  • Roles of arginase variants, atopy, and ozone in childhood asthmaJ Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Mar; 123(3):596-602602. e1-8. . View in PubMed
  • Effects of in utero and childhood tobacco smoke exposure and beta2-adrenergic receptor genotype on childhood asthma and wheezing Pediatrics. 2008 Jul; 122(1):e107-14. . View in PubMed
  • Ozone, oxidant defense genes, and risk of asthma during adolescence Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Feb 15; 177(4):388-95. . View in PubMed
  • Recent evidence for adverse effects of residential proximity to traffic sources on asthma Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2008 Jan; 14(1):3-8. . View in PubMed
  • Relationship between air pollution, lung function and asthma in adolescents Thorax. 2007 Nov; 62(11):957-63. . View in PubMed
  • Childhood sun exposure influences risk of multiple sclerosis in monozygotic twins Neurology. 2007 Jul 24; 69(4):381-8. . View in PubMed
  • Regular smoking and asthma incidence in adolescents Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2006 Nov 15; 174(10):1094-100. . View in PubMed
  • Differential twin concordance for multiple sclerosis by latitude of birthplace Ann Neurol. 2006 Jul; 60(1):56-64. . View in PubMed
  • Obesity and the risk of newly diagnosed asthma in school-age children Am J Epidemiol. 2003 Sep 01; 158(5):406-15. . View in PubMed
  • Environmental tobacco smoke and carotid arterial stiffness Prev Med. 2003 Aug; 37(2):148-54. . View in PubMed
  • Effects of glutathione S-transferase P1, M1, and T1 on acute respiratory illness in school children Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002 Aug 01; 166(3):346-51. . View in PubMed
  • Indoor risk factors for asthma in a prospective study of adolescents Epidemiology. 2002 May; 13(3):288-95. . View in PubMed
  • Asthma in exercising children exposed to ozone: a cohort study Lancet. 2002 Feb 02; 359(9304):386-91. . View in PubMed
  • The effects of ambient air pollution on school absenteeism due to respiratory illnesses Epidemiology. 2001 Jan; 12(1):43-54. . View in PubMed