Dr. Anthony Wexler, PhD

Anthony Wexler

Position Title
Co-Director, Exposure, Environmental Health Sciences Centeras


Anthony Wexler, PhD, MS is a research scientist who measures and models atmospheric aerosols related to urban smog, human health and global warming. His engineering background is the foundation for his understanding of the body’s physiological systems.

Dr. Wexler’s work focuses on the ways air pollution travels through the atmosphere to airways and affects different parts of the body. He uses experiments, crunches numbers and takes into account theories in physics to do his research.

The Extended Aerosol Inorganics Model (E-AIM) is among Dr. Wexler’s many innovative accomplishments, which he developed in collaboration with Dr. Simon Clegg at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. This online model is the gold standard for aerosol thermodynamics and runs over 100,000 calculations each year for scientists worldwide.

More recently, Dr. Wexler has been working on two research projects with his colleagues Drs. Bein, Lein and Silverman at the Environmental Health Sciences Center at UC Davis. These projects are exploring the neurological health effects of near-roadway air pollution and examining possible connections to autism spectrum disorder and Alzheimer’s disease. Results from the autism and Alzheimer’s studies have uncovered some important clues that could someday help explain the higher prevalence of these conditions in people living near busy roadways.

In the autism experiment, rats exposed in real time to air pollution had behavioral and pathological effects suggesting the development of the central nervous system was disrupted sometime around conception through six weeks after birth. In the Alzheimer’s experiment, wild-type (normal) and genetically predisposed rats exposed to air pollution for 15 months showed behaviors and pathology also suggesting a relationship to the disease.

These studies and hundreds of others Dr. Wexler has published over his expansive career make him one of the world’s leading thinkers on the impact air pollution has on human health. He also holds five patents related to his research and is a fellow of the American Association for Aerosol Research.

Dr. Wexler’s expertise is recognized worldwide. He’s a fellow of the American Association for Aerosol Research and is on the editorial board of Atmospheric Environment. He’s served on the board of several other prestigious journals, including Aerosol Science and Technology.

He’s a past President of the American Association of Aerosol Research and has been an advisor on fine particulate research to the US Department of Energy, as well as international advisory chair at the Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Social Media

Positions at UC Davis

Areas of Expertise

  • Aerosol science
  • Air pollution
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Biomedical transport
  • Climate adaptation
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Wildfires

Major Research Papers

Lin, Kaisen & Wallis, Christopher & Wong, Emily & Edwards, Patricia & Cole, Austin & Winkle, Laura & Wexler, Anthony. (2023). Heterogeneous deposition of regular and mentholated little cigar smoke in the lungs of Sprague-Dawley rats. Particle and Fibre Toxicology. 20. 10.1186/s12989-023-00554-6. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/375418516_Heterogeneous_deposition_of_regular_and_mentholated_little_cigar_smoke_in_the_lungs_of_Sprague-Dawley_rats

Marsh, Donald & Wexler, Anthony & Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik. (2023). Interacting information streams on the nephron arterial network. Frontiers in Network Physiology. 3. 10.3389/fnetp.2023.1254964. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/374865268_Interacting_information_streams_on_the_nephron_arterial_network

Islam, Asef & Ronco, Anthony & Becker, Stephen & Blackburn, Jeremiah & Schittny, Johannes & Kim, Kyoungmi & Stein-Wexler, Rebecca & Wexler, Anthony. (2023). Can lung airway geometry be used to predict autism? A preliminary machine learning-based study. Anatomical record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007). 307. 10.1002/ar.25332. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/375463039_Can_lung_airway_geometry_be_used_to_predict_autism_A_preliminary_machine_learning-based_study

Li, Lei & Wexler, Anthony & Li, Xue & Hu, Ligang & Jiang, Guibin. (2023). In Situ Characterization of Bioaerosols at the Single-Particle Level Using Single-Particle Mass Spectrometry: A Promising Tool for Defending Human Health against Bioaerosol Transmission. Analytical chemistry. 95. 10.1021/acs.analchem.2c05324. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/372107872_In_Situ_Characterization_of_Bioaerosols_at_the_Single-Particle_Level_Using_Single-Particle_Mass_Spectrometry_A_Promising_Tool_for_Defending_Human_Health_against_Bioaerosol_Transmission

Asadi, Sima & Hnia, Nassima & Barre, Ramya & Wexler, Anthony & Ristenpart, William & Bouvier, Nicole. (2023). Influenza transmission in the guinea pig model is insensitive to the ventilation airflow speed: Evidence for the role of aerosolized fomites. Physical Review Fluids. 8. 10.1103/PhysRevFluids.8.040502. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/370166179_Influenza_transmission_in_the_guinea_pig_model_is_insensitive_to_the_ventilation_airflow_speed_Evidence_for_the_role_of_aerosolized_fomites

Education and Degree(s)
  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 1990
  • MS, Mechanical Engineering. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1978
  • BS, Engineering Physics, University of California, Berkeley, 1976
Honors and Awards
  • Chair, Haagen-Smit Prize Committee, Atmospheric Environment (2013 to 2016)
  • Fellow, American Association for Aerosol Research (2011)
  • Outstanding Mid-career Research Faculty Award, College of Engineering, UC Davis (2005)
  • Plenary Lecturer, American Association for Aerosol Research Conference (1998)
  • Dean’s Special Merit Award, University of Delaware (1991 to 1998)
  • Editor’s Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for Journal of Geophysical Research, Atmospheres, American Geophysical Union (1997)
  • Dean’s Teaching Commendation, University of Delaware (1993 and 1996)
  • Kenneth T. Whitby Award, American Association for Aerosol Research (1995)
  • Provost’s Special Merit Award, University of Delaware (1993, 1996 and 1999)
  • Rockwell Scholarship (1989)