Grady awarded Michigan Applied Public Policy Research grant

October 12, 2023

Sue GradySue Grady, professor of Geography in the Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences at Michigan State University, has been awarded a 2023-24 Michigan Applied Public Policy Research (MAPPR) grant by the Insitute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) at MSU. Grady's project entitled "Children's blood levels in Detroit Pre and post-demolition" is one of six research projects chosen, each focused on a major policy issue facing the people of Michigan.

Grady and her research team, including geographers, epidemiologists, and urban planners, will study the effect of housing demolitions on high childhood blood lead levels in Detroit over the last decade. In addition to Grady, the interdisciplinary team includes Heather Moody, an associate professor with the Department of Geography and Sustainable Planning at Grand Valley State University, and MSU graduate students Katie Brown, Sarah Beste, and Shangrui Zhu.

“We are very concerned about the persistence of elevated blood lead levels in children in Detroit, as there are many acute and chronic side-effects that may inhibit a child from reaching their full potential. Detroit’s older housing contains lead-based paint,” said Grady. “Between 2014-2022 there were 24,981 demolitions of older housing and commercial buildings in Detroit, the dust of which children may have been exposed. This study will evaluate current demolition practices, by estimating the effect of demolitions on elevated blood lead levels in children in Detroit. These timely findings will inform urban planners, public health practitioners and health care providers in Detroit.”   

"For over 20 years, the MAPPR grant program has supported breakthrough public policy research, which has helped shape the direction of our state and improve the lives of Michiganders," said IPPSR director Matt Grossmann. Grossmann continued, "We believe that the recipients of the 2023-24 MAPPR grants will continue this fine tradition and add to Michigan State's legacy of researching public policy that directly benefits people of our state."