LC Path
Polly Hoppin
Polly Hoppin, Sc.D. Research Professor, Program Director

Research Interest

  • Policies and programs that cost-effectively reduce the burden of asthma.
  • Models for interagency/multi-sectoral initiatives to address environmentally-mediated disease. 
  • Promoting the development of safer products, materials and processes as integral to chronic disease prevention.  I lead the Environmental Health Program within the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production (, which encourages health sector decision-makers to prioritize safer materials as they develop research agendas and make policy decisions to reduce the burden of chronic diseases.
  • The development of appropriate science capacity to serve the needs of communities confronting environmental risks to health. 

Educational Background

B.A., Princeton University, 1981

Sc.D., Health Policy and Management/Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, 1991


Polly Hoppin is a Research Professor in the College of Health Sciences, and Program Director of the Environmental Health Initiative at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.  Her work focuses on developing programs and policies that prevent and reduce rates of illness associated with environmental exposures, integrating understanding of links between exposures and disease with development of solutions.  Hoppin, Sc.D., has been a national and regional leader on asthma for fifteen years, coordinating multi-agency national and regional initiatives as Senior Advisor at the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Environmental Protection Agency in the late 1990s, and since 2004, serving as Principal Investigator, lead author and facilitator in a series of projects to advance asthma education and environmental interventions, in partnership with the Asthma Regional Council of New England, the Boston Public Health Commission and numerous health care, community and government partners.  Her current focus with regard to asthma is leading a groundbreaking initiative to develop and implement a state-level “roadmap” for the primary prevention of asthma in Massachusetts, with over fifty organizations involved in synthesizing the relevant science and in pursuing research as well as policy and practice changes towards reducing asthma incidence.  Polly is also co-leading the Lowell Center’s work to identify strategic opportunities to reduce dependency on chemicals known or suspected of causing cancer.  A third major initiative led by Hoppin, Sc.D., has been elevating considerations about health impacts in decisions about the burning of wood for institutional heat and power, and working with clinicians and other partners to identify and promote policy solutions. She has served on numerous boards and committees relating to environmental health and health policy. Hoppin received her AB from Princeton University and her Doctor of Science degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.