Thank you for reaching out to me! Please feel free to have a cup of coffee/tea/US black tea (i.e., Coca Cola).

This is what I used to have during my Ph.D.: zero-sugar US black tea. With two great Coke lover buddies, we can drink a whole 32x pack up in less than a week! If you physically visit my place, I will share a can of it with you.

Introduction to myself

I am a postdoc in Environmental Engineering and Sciences at the Air Quality Research Center, University of California Davis. My advisor is Dr. Anthony Wexler (

I received my Ph.D. degree in Environmental Engineering in Civil Engineering (ranked #3 in the U.S.) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in May 2022, under the supervision of Prof. Vishal Verma. My committee members include Dr. Vishal Verma, Dr. Nicole Riemer, Dr. Helen Nguyen, and Dr. Alexander Laskin (from Purdue University). During my Ph.D., I had been collaborating with Dr. Brent Stephens (from Illinois Institute of Technology), Dr. Alexander Laskin, and Dr. Simon Hu (from ZJU-UIUC). During 2014-2016, I studied in the M.S. program in Environmental Engineering and Sciences at the University of Florida and worked with Dr. Chang-Yu Wu (currently working at the University of Miami).

Currently, I have been focusing on developing a novel instrument for measuring the ion mobility of organic species in the atmosphere. The device is anticipated to be applied to detecting and distinguishing different organic pollutants in grape vineyards where the California wildfire has posed severe effects during the growth of grapes and production of wines. 

I am enthusiastic about improving awareness in understanding the mechanisms of the effect of ambient pollution on the human body, measuring the toxicological term of ambient pollutants, and predicting their exposure outcomes directly by their toxicological effect. To realize this, a frame of exposure mechanism and measurement technique must be built, which will be my research goal in the near future.


June 2016 - May 2022: Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering in Civil Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

August 2014 - August 2016: M.S. in Environmental Engineering Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

September 2009 - June 2013: B.S. in Applied Chemistry, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China

Employment History

March 2022 – Present 

June 2016 – March 2022

August 2014 – June 2016

August 2012 – September 2012

Research Projects


1.  Yu, H., Wang, Y., Puthussery, J.V., and Verma, V. Source Apportionment of Acellular Oxidative Potential of Ambient PM2.5 with Five Endpoints in the Midwest US. Plan to submit to Journal of Hazardous Materials.

2.  Zhang, W., Yu, H., Verma, V., and Laskin, A. Field Evidence for Enhanced Generation of Reactive Oxygen Species in Atmospheric Aerosol Containing Quinoline Components. Submitted to Atmospheric Sciences in May 2022.

3.  Wang, Y., Salana, S., Yu, H., Puthussery, J.V., and Verma, V., 2022. On the Relative Contributions of Iron and Organic Compounds and their Interaction in Cellular Oxidative Potential of Ambient PM2.5. Environmental Science and Technology Letters. DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.2c00316.

4.  Yu, H., Puthussery, J.V., Wang, Y., and Verma, V., 2021. Spatiotemporal Variability in the Oxidative Potential of Ambient Fine Particulate Matter in Midwestern United States. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. DOI: 10.5194/acp-2021-376.

5.  Wang, Y., Puthussery, J.V., Yu, H., Liu, Y., Salana, S., and Verma, V., 2021. Sources of Cellular Oxidative Potential of Water-soluble Fine Ambient Particulate Matter in the Midwestern United States. Journal of Hazardous Materials. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127777.

6.  Zeng, Y., Yu, H., Zhao, H., Stephens, B., & Verma, V., 2021. Influence of Environmental Conditions on the Dithiothreitol (DTT)-based Oxidative Potential of Size-resolved Indoor Particulate Matter of Ambient Origin. Atmospheric Environment. DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2021.118429.

7.  Wang, Y., Puthussery, J.V., Yu, H., and Verma, V., 2020. Synergistic and Antagonistic Interactions Among Organic and Metallic Components of the Ambient Particulate Matter (PM) for the Cytotoxicity Measured by Chinese Hamster Ovary Cells. Science of the Total Environment. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139511.

8.  Yu, H., Puthussery, J.V., and Verma, V., 2019. A Semi-automated Multi-endpoint Reactive Oxygen Species Activity Analyzer (SAMERA) for Measuring the Oxidative Potential of ambient PM2.5 aqueous extracts. Aerosol Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1080/02786826.2019.1693492.

9.      Wei, J., Yu, H., Wang, Y., and Verma, V., 2018. Complexation of Iron and Copper in Ambient Particulate Matter and Its Effect on the Oxidative Potential Measured in a Surrogate Lung Fluid. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b05731.

10.   Yu, H., Wei, J., Cheng, Y., Subedi, K. and Verma, V., 2018. Synergistic and Antagonistic Interactions among the Particulate Matter Components in generating Reactive Oxygen Species based on the Dithiothreitol Assay. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b04261.

11.   Yu, H., Afshar-Mohajer, N., Theodore, A.D., Lednicky, J.A., Fan, Z.H. and Wu, C.Y., 2018. An Efficient Virus Aerosol Sampler Enabled by Adiabatic Expansion. Journal of Aerosol Science. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaerosci.2018.01.001.

12.   Xiong, Q., Yu, H., Wang, R., Wei, J., & Verma, V., 2017. Rethinking Dithiothreitol-Based Particulate Matter Oxidative Potential: Measuring Dithiothreitol Consumption versus Reactive Oxygen Species Generation. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b01272.

Conference Presentations


Honors and Awards


Activities in Academia

Mentorship (Mentee List)