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advancing research at the intersection of geospatial science, epidemiology, & the environment to improve health 

tvplab is a computational dry laboratory based at Fred Hutch




Mimi Ton, MPH, PhD Candidate

Department of Epidemiology,
University of Washington

Research interests: cancer epidemiology, spatial epidemiology, health disparities, cancer survivorship

LinkedIn | email


Research Program – the following are key scientific areas on which we focus our research

1) Identifying environmental risk factors for health: We conduct epidemiologic studies in large-scale populations to identify environmental exposures that may impact the risk of developing disease outcomes. A major focus has been investigating the associations between ambient air pollution exposure and risk of developing liver cancer and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Research grants


2) Spatiotemporal exposure modeling of environmental factors: We apply state-of-the-science geospatial science methods, including geographic information systems (GIS), (geostatistical) kriging, and remote sensing technologies, to develop exposure models of environmental factors. These exposure models provide predicted levels of an environmental exposure across space and time and can be linked with study populations. This data linkage enables us to characterize exposures experienced by study participants, which can then be used to conduct epidemiologic studies that determine the impact of an environmental exposure on health outcomes.

Research grants


3) Translational research for population health impact: We are committed to empowering people with information to understand and/or modify their personal exposures to environmental factors that have been shown to impact health – an important consideration in light of climate change. For example, outdoor air pollution is a known risk factor for lung cancer and other adverse health outcomes such as stroke. Our work has incorporated modern technologies in wearable air pollution sensors and is in collaboration with experts in epidemiology, environmental health, behavioral science, and climate change. We are a proud and active partner of the Climate Impact Program at Plume Labs by AccuWeather.

Research grants


Geospatial Exposure Models – available for epidemiologic research


The following geospatial environmental exposure models have been developed by our lab and collaborators. These models are available for linkage with study populations (using locational information such as geocoded residential addresses) to conduct population-based exposure assessments. Contact us for more info.

1. Light exposure model​​ (proxy for environmental circadian misalignment)

  • ArcGIS StoryMap for a description of the model

  • Methods paper: in preparation

  • Modeling methodology: GIS analyses of raster and vector data combined with statistical analyses incorporating time

  • Model inputs: elevation using Google Earth Engine (Gorelick et al. 2017), time zone boundaries, sunrise time, sunset time

  • Geographic extent: US (nationwide); this model is internationally scalable to other countries

  • Spatial resolution: 30 m

  • Temporal resolution: scalable 

2. Erythemal ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure model 

  • Methods paper: VoPham et al. Environmental Health (2016)

  • Publications using UV exposure model: listed here

  • Modeling methodology: stratified area-to-point residual kriging incorporating satellite remote sensing and GIS

  • Model inputs: surface albedo, aerosol optical depth (AOD), cloud cover, dew point, elevation, latitude, ozone, surface incoming shortwave flux, sulfur dioxide (SO2)

  • Geographic extent: US (contiguous)

  • Spatial resolution: 1 km2

  • Temporal resolution: yearly (1980-2015)

We also have experience using geospatial methods to model and examine the following factors:

  • Dioxin emissions from industrial facilities

  • PM2.5 air pollution

  • Radon

  • Pesticides

  • Aircraft noise

  • Climate change factors (e.g., temperature, wildfires)

  • Social determinants of health (SDOH) including the built environment (e.g., access to healthy foods)

  • Neighborhood socioeconomic status (nSES) (e.g., census tract-level household income, education)

  • Sociodemographics (e.g., census tract-level race, ethnicity, age, sex)

  • Urbanicity/rurality

  • Population density

  • Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for land use-land cover (LULC) classification and greenness/green space 


Research Grants


air pollution.png

Project title: Air pollution and health disparities in liver disease and cancer
Role: Principal Investigator (PI)
Funding: NIH/NIDDK
Grant: K01 Career Development Award (K01 DK125612)

air poll.tif

Project title: Light sensor validation of a spatiotemporal exposure model / The Light Study
Role: PI
Funding: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Bid & Proposal
Grant: Pilot Project



Project title: Reducing PM2.5 exposure and lung cancer risk using spatial data science / The Air Study
Role: PI
Funding: Prevent Cancer Foundation
Grant: Fellowship Award


Project title: Spatiotemporal refinement for environmental circadian misalignment
Role: PI
Funding: University of Washington Exposures, Diseases, Genomics, and Environment (EDGE) Center
Grant: Pilot Project





VoPham T, Jones RR. State of the science on outdoor air pollution exposure and liver cancer risk. Environmental Advances.

VoPham T, Cravero A, Feld LD, Green P, Feng Z, Berry K, Kim NJ, Vutien P, Mendoza JA, Ioannou GN. Associations of race and ethnicity with hepatocellular carcinoma, decompensation, and mortality in US Veterans with cirrhosisCancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Kim NJ, Cravero A, VoPham T, Vutien P, Carr R, Issaka RB, Johnston J, McMahon B, Mera J, Ioannou GN. Addressing racial and ethnic disparities in US liver cancer care. Hepatology Communications.

Ma X, Fisher JA, VoPham T, Vasiliou V, Jones RR. Associations between per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, liver function, and daily alcohol consumption in a sample of U.S. adults. Environmental Research.

Grady ST, Hart JE, Laden F, Roscoe C, Nguyen DD, Nelson EJ, Bozigar M, VoPham T, Manson JE, Weuve J, Adar SD, Forman JP, Rexrode K, Levy JI, Peters JL. Associations between long-term aircraft noise exposure, cardiovascular disease, and mortality in US cohorts of female nurses. Environmental Epidemiology.

Zhao L, Zhang X, Coday M, Garcia DO, Li X, Mossavar-Rahmani Y, Naughton MJ, Lopez-Pentecost M, Saquib N, Shadyab AH, Simon MS, Snetselaar LG, Tabung FK, Tobias DK, VoPham T, McGlynn KA, Sesso HD, Giovannucci E, Manson JE, Hu FB, Tinker LF, Zhang X. Sugar-Sweetened and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and Risk of Liver Cancer and Chronic Liver Disease Mortality. JAMA

Nguyen DD, Levy JI, Kim C, Lane KJ, Simon MC, Hart JE, Whitsel EA, VoPham T, Malwitz A, Peters JL. Characterizing temporal trends in populations exposed to aircraft noise around U.S. airports: 1995-2015. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.



VoPham T, Kim NJ, Berry K, Mendoza JA, Kaufman JD, Ioannou GN. PM2.5 air pollution exposure and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Environmental Research.


VoPham T, Harris HR, Tinker LF, Manson JE, Meliker JR, Wassertheil-Smoller S, Shadyab AH, Saquib N, Anderson GL, Shumaker SA. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older women in the Women's Health Initiative. The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences.

VoPham T, Bertrand KA, Fisher JA, Ward MH, Laden F, Jones RR. Emissions of dioxins and dioxin-like compounds and incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States. Environmental Research.

Delfino YL, VoPham T, Tang MC, Li CI. Disparities in risk of advanced stage liver cancer and mortality by race and ethnicity. Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Barber LE, VoPham T, White LF, Roy HK, Palmer JR, Bertrand KA. Circadian disruption and colorectal cancer incidence in Black women. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Simon MC, Hart JE, Levy JI, VoPham T, Malwitz A, Nguyen D, Bozigar M, Cupples LA, James P, Laden F, Peters JL. Sociodemographic patterns of exposure to civil aircraft noise in the United States. Environmental Health Perspectives.

Vutien P, Berry K, Feng Z, VoPham T, He Q, Green PK, Ioannou GN. Combining FIB-4 and liver stiffness into the FIB-5, a single model that accurately predicts complications of portal hypertension. American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Blair LK, Warner ET, James P, Hart JE, VoPham T, Barnard ME, Newton JD, Murthy DJ, Laden F, Tamimi RM, DuPre NC. Exposure to natural vegetation in relation to mammographic density in a Massachusetts-based clinical cohort. Environmental Epidemiology.

Gregoire AM, VoPham T, Laden F, Yarosh R, O'Brien KM, Sandler DP, White AJ. Residential ultraviolet radiation and breast cancer risk in a large prospective cohort. Environment International.


Barbhaiya M, Hart JE, Malspeis S, Tedeschi SK, VoPham T, Sparks JA, Karlson EW, Laden F, Costenbader KH. Association of Ultraviolet-B Radiation and Risk of SLE among Women in the Nurses' Health Studies. Arthritis Care & Research.


VoPham T, Weaver MD, Adamkiewicz G, Hart JE. Social distancing associations with COVID-19 infection and mortality are modified by crowding and socioeconomic status. Int J Environ Res Public Health.

Ton M, Widener MJ, James P, VoPham T. Food environments and hepatocellular carcinoma incidence. Int J Environ Res Public Health.

Kim CS, Grady ST, Hart JE, Laden F, VoPham T, Nguyen DD, Manson JE, James P, Forman JP, Rexrode KM, Levy JI, Peters JL. Long-term aircraft noise exposure and risk of hypertension in the Nurses' Health Studies. Environmental Research.

Li H, Hart JE, Mahalingaiah S, Nethery RC, VoPham T, Bertone-Johnson E, Laden F. Ultraviolet radiation and age at natural menopause in a nationwide, prospective US cohort. Environmental Research.

Pourebrahim N, Shah P, VoPham T, Doody DR, Bell TR, deHart MP, Madeleine MM. Time and geographic variations in human papillomavirus vaccine uptake in Washington state. Preventive Medicine.

Kwon S, Joshi AD, Lo CH, Drew DA, Nguyen LH, Guo CG, Ma W, Mehta RS, Shebl FM, Warner ET, Astley CM, Merino J, Murray B, Wolf J, Ourselin S, Steves CJ, Spector TD, Hart JE, Song M, VoPham T*, Chan AT. *co-senior-author Association of social distancing and face mask use with risk of COVID-19. Nature Communications.

Gaskins AJ, Mínguez-Alarcón L, VoPham T, Hart JE, Chavarro JE, Schwartz J, Souter I, Laden F. Impact of ambient temperature on ovarian reserve. Fertility and Sterility.

Farland LV, Degnan WJ, Harris HR, Han J, Cho E, VoPham T, Kvaskoff M, Missmer SA. Recreational and residential sun exposure and risk of endometriosis: a prospective cohort study. Human Reproduction.



VoPham T, Bertrand KA, Jones RR, Deziel NC, DuPré NC, James P, Liu Y, Vieira VM, Tamimi RM, Hart JE, Ward MH, Laden F. Dioxin exposure and breast cancer risk in a prospective cohort study. Environmental Research.

Vieira VM, VoPham T, Bertrand KA, James P, DuPré N, Tamimi RM, Laden F, Hart JE. Contribution of socioeconomic and environmental factors to geographic disparities in breast cancer risk in the Nurses' Health Study II. Environmental Epidemiology.

Lam T, VoPham T, Munger KL, Laden F, Hart JE. Long-term effects of latitude, ambient temperature, and ultraviolet radiation on the incidence of multiple sclerosis in two cohorts of US women. Environmental Epidemiology.


Peng C, DuPre N, VoPham T, Heng YJ, Baker GM, Rubadue CA, Glass K, Sonawane A, Zeleznik O, Kraft P, Hankinson SE, Eliassen AH, Hart JE, Laden F, Tamimi RM. Low dose environmental radon exposure and breast tumor gene expression. BMC Cancer.

Kang JH, VoPham T, Laden F, Rosner BA, Wirostko B, Ritch R, Wiggs JL, Qureshi A, Nan H, Pasquale LR. Cohort study of nonmelanoma skin cancer and the risk of exfoliation glaucoma. Journal of Glaucoma.


Liu Y, Yang W, VoPham T, Ma Y, Simon TG, Gao X, Chan AT, Meyerhardt JA, Giovannucci EL, Zhang X. Plant-based and animal-based low-carbohydrate diets and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma among US men and women. Hepatology.

Fritz J, VoPham T, Wright KP Jr, Vetter C. A chronobiological evaluation of the acute effects of Daylight Saving Time on traffic accident risk. Current Biology.

Kawai K, VoPham T, Drucker A, Curhan SG, Curhan GC. Ultraviolet radiation exposure and the risk of herpes zoster in three prospective cohort studies. Mayo Clinic Proceedings.


VoPham T, Bertrand KA, DuPré NC, James P, Vieira VM, Tamimi RM, Laden F, Hart JE. Ultraviolet radiation exposure and breast cancer risk in the Nurses' Health Study II. Environmental Epidemiology.

VoPham T. Environmental risk factors for liver cancer and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Current Epidemiology Reports.

Kamel Boulos MN, Peng G, VoPham T. An overview of GeoAI applications in health and healthcare. International Journal of Health Geographics.

Ma Y, Yang W, Simon TG, Smith-Warner SA, Fung TT, Sui J, Chong D, VoPham T, Meyerhardt JA, Wen D, Giovannucci EL, Chan AT, Zhang X. Dietary patterns and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma among U.S. men and women. Hepatology.

Jones RR, VoPham T, Sevilla B, Airola M, Flory A, Deziel NC, Nuckols JR, Pronk A, Laden F, Ward MH. Verifying locations of sources of historical environmental releases of dioxin-like compounds in the U.S.: implications for exposure assessment and epidemiologic inference. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.


VoPham T. GIS&T and Epidemiology. The Geographic Information Science & Technology Body of Knowledge. University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS).

VoPham T, Bertrand KA, Tamimi RM, Laden F, Hart JE. Ambient PM2.5 air pollution exposure and hepatocellular carcinoma incidence in the United States. Cancer Causes and Control.

VoPham T, Hart JE, Laden F, Chiang YY. Emerging trends in geospatial artificial intelligence (geoAI): potential applications for environmental epidemiology. Environmental Health.

VoPham T*, Weaver MD, Vetter C, Hart JE, Tamimi RM, Laden F, Bertrand KA. Circadian misalignment and hepatocellular carcinoma incidence in the United States. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention. *co-first-author

Hart JE, Bertrand KA, DuPre N, James P, Vieira VM, VoPham T, Mittleman MR, Tamimi RM, Laden F. Exposure to hazardous air pollutants and risk of incident breast cancer in the Nurses' Health Study II. Environmental Health.

Simon TG, King LY, Chong DQ, Nguyen LH, Ma Y, VoPham T, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS, Meyerhardt JA, Corey KE, Khalili H, Chung RT, Zhang X, Chan AT. Diabetes, metabolic comorbidities, and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: Results from two prospective cohort studies. Hepatology.

Li WQ, Drucker AM, Cho E, Laden F, VoPham T, Li S, Weinstock MA, Qureshi AA. Tetracycline use and risk of incident skin cancer: a prospective study. British Journal of Cancer.



VoPham T, DuPré N, Tamimi RM, James P, Bertrand KA, Vieira V, Laden F, Hart JE. Environmental radon exposure and breast cancer risk in the Nurses' Health Study II. Environmental Health.


VoPham T, Bertrand KA, Yuan JM, Tamimi RM, Hart JE, Laden F. Ambient ultraviolet radiation exposure and hepatocellular carcinoma incidence in the United States. Environmental Health.

VoPham T, Bertrand KA, Hart JE, Laden F, Brooks MM, Yuan JM, Talbott EO, Ruddell D, Chang CH, Weissfeld JL. Pesticide exposure and liver cancer: a review. Cancer Causes and Control.

Walker ED, Hart JE, Koutrakis P, Cavallari JM, VoPham T, Luna M, Laden F. Spatial and temporal determinants of A-weighted and frequency specific sound levels-An elastic net approach. Environmental Research.


VoPham T, Hart JE, Bertrand KA, Sun Z, Tamimi RM, Laden F. Spatiotemporal exposure modeling of ambient erythemal ultraviolet radiation. Environmental Health.


VoPham T, Brooks MM, Yuan JM, Talbott EO, Ruddell D, Hart JE, Chang CC, Weissfeld JL. Pesticide exposure and hepatocellular carcinoma risk: A case-control study using a geographic information system (GIS) to link SEER-Medicare and California pesticide data. Environmental Research.

VoPham T, Wilson JP, Ruddell D, Rashed T, Brooks MM, Yuan JM, Talbott EO, Chang CH, Weissfeld JL. Linking pesticides and human health: a geographic information system (GIS) and Landsat remote sensing method to estimate agricultural pesticide exposure. Applied Geography.


El Khoudary SR, McClure CK, VoPham T, Karvonen-Gutierrez CA, Sternfeld B, Cauley JA, Khalil N, Sutton-Tyrrell K. Longitudinal assessment of the menopausal transition, endogenous sex hormones, and perception of physical functioning: the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci.

McClure CK, El Khoudary SR, Karvonen-Gutierrez CA, Ylitalo KR, Tomey K, VoPham T, Sternfeld B, Cauley JA, Harlow S. Prospective associations between inflammatory and hemostatic markers and physical functioning limitations in mid-life women: Longitudinal results of the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN). Experimental Gerontology.

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