Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research

The Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research (CERH) - Understanding the Changing Global Health

CERH is a multidisciplinary research group at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland. The strategy of CERH is related to research, education and outreach activities related to the effects of global environmental health effects. The research activities are versatile and employ registry, population-based, clinical and experimental studies. The information is synthesized through meta-analyses and burden of disease assessments. CERH provides training in public health, epidemiology and environmental health for medical and doctoral students. Starting from June 2022 CERH is a part of the new Research Unit of Population Health at the Faculty of Medicine.
Tree figure with symbols presenting different research topics of the center


The overall aim of CERH research is to assess the health impact and burden of disease from environmental exposures directly or indirectly related to global environmental change.  Specific research themes include studies on the effects of air pollution, temperature and housing factors on respiratory infections and chronic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and reproductive health, including application of genetic methods to address gene-environment interaction in asthma to investigate mechanisms conveying susceptibility. One important theme is to study the effects of extreme temperatures in combination with indoor and other outdoor exposures on symptoms, morbidity and mortality from the most common chronic diseases.

The ground-breaking approach of CERH is to apply multidisciplinary complementary research methodologies by conducting broad nationwide registry-linkage studies, follow-ups of large population-based epidemiologic studies, controlled experimental studies, and by synthesizing the evidence applying meta-analyses and burden of disease assessment. The obtained results of empirical research are applied to future scenarios that can be extrapolated to different parts of Europe and to other parts of the world.

The produced research results enable to develop evidence-based mitigation and prevention measures, thus supporting health policy planning as well as developing health care systems to manage the arising health problems.



CERH provides basic training related to public health, epidemiology and environmental health for medical students and systematic training for doctoral students. 


CERH co-operates actively with national and international partners operating in the field of environmental health. An important activity of CERH is the close co-operation with WHO, which has resulted in designation to WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Change, Environment and Public Health for the period May 2014-May 2022. 

A Part of the Biodiverse Anthropocenes, Biocenter Oulu and Medical Research Center Oulu (MRC)

CERH is one of the Biocenter Oulu Spearhead projects - Life-long health 2020-2023:
Molecular and Environmental Basis for Asthma in a Changing Climate, PI:s Jouni J. K. Jaakkola and Maritta S. Jaakkola 

CERH is a part of the Biodiverse Anthropocenes Research Programme of the University of Oulu supported by the Academy of Finland PROFI6 funding (2021-2026). 

CERH is one of the Medical Research Center (MRC) Oulu Focus Area Research Groups:
Jaakkola Jouni ja Maritta: Genes and environmental exposures in the etiology and prognosis of adult asthma and its subtypes

CERH, a part of Health-Earth (H-Earth) network

H–earth is an international and interdisciplinary network of institutions and individuals which aims to build knowledge about global change and health and develop capacity for effective responses by policymakers, practitioners and communities thereby ensuring long-term population health. Recognising, assessing, forewarning, minimising and adapting to the risks brought by global ecological and social change is vital if global population health is to be improved and to endure. The teaching of this material in schools and universities, at all levels, and to all health workers (i.e. beyond public health) is an important H-earth goal. Understanding the adverse health consequences of unchecked adverse global environmental change is also important for many other disciplines, professions, policy makers and people of all faiths.
More information: H-Earth website

Researchers and projects


Ongoing projects at the University of Oulu

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Contact info

Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research (CERH)

Research Unit of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu
Mailing address: CERH, P. O. Box 5000, FI-90014 University of Oulu, FINLAND
Visiting address: Kontinkangas Campus, Faculty of Medicine Main Building, Aapistie 5 B, 1st floor, Oulu, FINLAND
Internal address: 5CERH
Email: cerh (a)
Staff email addresses: firstname.lastname (a)