Kinney joined the School of Public Health faculty in January 2017 as the inaugural Beverly Brown Professor of Urban Health. He was trained as an air pollution epidemiologist and came to BU after two decades at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. In his time at Columbia, he showed how warming temperatures make air pollution like urban smog worse, and more harmful to populations. He led the development of an integrated modeling system to predict the air pollution health effects of climate change into the future. Working at the intersection of climate change, health, and policy, Kinney has conducted research from the South Bronx to China to rapidly growing cities throughout Africa. At Columbia, he also created an interdisciplinary research and teaching program examining the potential impacts of climate change on health.