UW Research

Institute for Risk Analysis & Risk Communication



Founded in 1997, the Institute for Risk Analysis and Risk Communication (IRARC) is committed to improving health outcomes through sound science that is translated into effective public health practices and policies using risk analysis and management. To accomplish this, IRARC has had a mission of research, service, and teaching, which includes a multidisciplinary risk analysis course offered among the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS), Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, and Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. DEOHS has also offered graduate courses with a Risk Emphasis and many students have completed this program and are working in universities, government, and consulting.

International risk summer schools have also been taught around the globe. IRARC, directed by Dr. Elaine M. Faustman, along with 16 faculty across the school, university, and community, conducts molecular and cellular laboratory research, develops mechanistic models of toxicity, and translates findings for broad audiences. IRARC seeks to educate scientists and practitioners on the appropriate application of risk assessment and risk communication methods and to translate the findings into effective education and intervention programs.

Currently, IRARC is working with a global consortium to build off of existing One Health training resources to train scientists and stakeholders on how to use risk assessment and risk communication methods and to use these methods to help develop risk-based interventions.

IRARC serves as an integrating institute that includes focused research centers and related research activities. The major underpinning for all IRARC work is in prevention.

Funding Information

USAID Strategies to Prevent Spillover 2020 – present
Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus 2019 – present
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1997-2020
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) 1997-2015
National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD), 1997-2015
National Science Foundation (NSF) 1997-2015

Reporting Structure

Michael Yost, Chair, Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences

Related UW Entities

School of Public Health: Department of Health Services, Department of Epidemiology
School of Medicine: Department of Pediatrics, Department of Medicine, Department of Genome Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
College of the Environment: School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, School of Oceanography, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs
College of Engineering: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

External Partners

Tufts University
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Institute for Systems Biology