The Institute was founded by physicians from Soroka University Medical Center and scientists from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in response to the growing global concern about the impact of environmental factors, such as climate change and pollution, on health. NEHRI conducts research on a wide range of topics across various medical fields that may be affected by the environment.

NEHRI is located in the Negev desert, which provides a unique environment for research. In addition to air pollution from industrial sources, the Negev region is characterized by a hot climate and frequent exposure to desert dust.

The institute is supported by the Soroka Clinical Research Center and includes PhD and MA research students, academic researchers, programmers, research assistants, and coordinators. All projects are carried out in close collaboration with physicians to address real clinical problems and provide preventative solutions. In national projects, NEHRI has successfully collaborated with organizations such as Magen David Adom EMS services, MDA Blood Services, the National Laboratory of Public Health, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and the Ministry of Health. The institute also has long-term collaborations with foreign institutions such as the Department of Environmental Science at the Harvard School of Public Health, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the Cyprus University of Technology, and the University of Crete.