NIEHS/EPA Children's Centers 2014 Webinar Series: Presenter Biosketches
Dr. Balmes is Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. His research focuses on adverse respiratory and cardiovascular effects of environmental and occupational agents, including air pollutants, secondhand tobacco smoke, hydrogen sulfide, occupational exposure to asbestos, arsenic in drinking water, and biomass smoke exposure in developing countries. Currently he is the Director of the Northern California Center for Occupational and Environmental Health and one of the three multiple PIs directing the EPA/NIEHS UC Berkeley/Stanford Children’s Center, including the Children’s Health and Air Pollution Study in the San Joaquin Valley (CHAPS- SJV). He leads a project on the role of air pollution on obesity and glucose dysregulation within CHAPS. He has served as the physician member of the California Air Resources Board since January 2008.
Dr. Buchanan is Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health. She directs the Great Lakes Center for Children’s Environmental Health Region 5 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit. She is board certified in Family Medicine and Occupational Medicine. Her research interests have included the occupational health of Latino day laborers and other vulnerable worker populations. Currently, she is conducting several research projects related to healthcare provider knowledge and practice regarding the health effects of pollutant exposure in pregnancy, especially methyl mercury from fish consumption.
Dr. Thomas Burbacher is Professor and DIrector of the Toxicology Program in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. Burbacher teaches classes in basic Environmental and Occupational Health and Children's Environmental Health. His research reaches across species, including studies with human populations and a variety of animal models, to enhance a fundamental understanding of toxicants and their role in biological and behavioral development.
Antonia Calafat, Ph.D. serves as Chief of the Personal Care Products Laboratory at the Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. She earned her Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral degrees in Chemistry from the University of the Balearic Islands in Spain. Prior to her career at CDC, she was a Fulbright Scholar and a Research Associate at Emory University. Since starting her tenure at CDC in 1996, Dr. Calafat has been involved in developing, validating, and applying analytical methods for measuring, in biological matrices, environmental chemicals including volatile organic compounds, disinfection-byproducts, chemical warfare agents, and phytoestrogens. She currently leads several active research programs for assessing human exposure to chemicals added to consumer and personal-care products such as phthalates, environmental phenols (e.g., bisphenol A, triclosan, parabens), and polyfluoroalkyl compounds. Dr. Calafat has developed and maintained extensive collaborative research with leading scientists in the fields of exposure science, epidemiology, toxicology and health assessment. Her research has made relevant contributions to CDC’s biomonitoring program including the CDC’s National Reports on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals.
Dr. Gail Christopher is vice president for program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In this role, she leads the Food, Health & Well-Being, Racial Equity, Community & Civic Engagement and Leadership programming.
Gail is a nationally recognized leader in health policy, with particular expertise and experience in the issues related to social determinants of health, health disparities and public policy issues of concern to our nation’s future. Her distinguished career and contributions to public service were honored in 1996 when she was elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. A prolific writer and presenter, Gail is the author or co-author of three books, a monthly column in the Federal Times, and more than 250 articles, presentations, and publications. Gail holds a doctor of naprapathy degree from the Chicago National College of Naprapathy in Illinois and completed advanced study in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in holistic health and clinical nutrition at the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities at Union Graduate School of Cincinnati, Ohio. She is President of the Board of Directors of the Trust for America’s Health.
Dr. Cicutto directs the Clinical Science Program at the University of Colorado Denver and is currently the Director of Community Outreach and Research at National Jewish Health and Co-Director of the Community Outreach and Translation Core of the Denver Children’s Environmental Health Center funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In her role, she is dedicated to reducing the lung health burden of communities through the translation and uptake of the best available research and evidence. She has more than 20 years of experience working in community settings—primarily schools, child-care settings and homes—to develop, implement and evaluate programs that are responsive to community needs while being evidence-based and supportive of the partnerships that often are needed with health care providers. One of the school-based asthma education programs of which she led the development, implementation and evaluation is now a mandated program in Ontario Public Health.
Professor Kathy Cottingham is an ecologist and biostatistician who began working on children’s exposure to arsenic as part of Dartmouth’s formative Center for Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research. She led the three-year pilot project investigating how infants born to the women in the prospective New Hampshire Birth Cohort (NHBC) are exposed to arsenic via both food and water and currently co-leads an ongoing exposure assessment that will be used to quantify effects of arsenic on growth and neurodevelopment through age five. Cottingham and colleagues have conducted market-basket surveys of arsenic concentrations in infant formulas and weaning foods, evaluated associations between rice consumption and short- and long-term biomarkers of arsenic exposure, and quantified the relative exposure of infants in the NHBC to arsenic via breast milk versus formula. Their ongoing work includes assessing infant exposure to arsenic via rice cereal and other high-arsenic foods during weaning.
Michael Crupain, MD, MPH is an Associate Director of the Consumer Reports Safety and Sustainability group and directs food safety testing for the Consumer Reports Foods Safety and Sustainability Center. Michael is interested in the intersection of food, agriculture, and health policy and is board certified in Preventive Medicine. He completed his medical training at New York Medical College and residency at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he also teaches.
Gregory Diette is Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences. He is a pulmonologist with a practice devoted to the care of patients with obstructive lung diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He has an extensive portfolio of patient-based research in asthma and COPD, supported by the National Institutes of Health and other sponsors. Dr. Diette’s current research focuses on identifying factors that cause or provoke asthma with special interest in air pollutants (particulate matter, NO2, secondhand smoke) and allergens (including mouse) that are especially problematic in inner-city homes. His research includes the effects of these pollutants and allergens on inflammation and oxidative stress. More recently, his research has been examining how dietary patterns, especially a Western-style diet, may increase susceptibility to inhalable pollutants and allergens.
Dr. Dolinoy serves as the John G. Searle Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan (UM) School of Public Health and leads the Environmental Epigenetics and Nutrition Laboratory, which investigates how nutritional and environmental factors interact with epigenetic gene regulation to shape health and disease. Dr. Dolinoy is as an investigator in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences-funded UM Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center, investigating early exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), lead and phthalates; epigenetics; and later-in-life body weight and hormone outcomes. In 2011, Dr. Dolinoy received the Norman Kretchmer Memorial Award from the American Society for Nutrition and the Classic Paper of the Year Award from Environmental Health Perspectives.
Dr. Eskenazi is the Jennifer and Brian Maxwell Professor of Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a neuropsychologist and epidemiologist whose long-standing research interest has been the effects of toxicants, including lead, solvents, environmental tobacco smoke, dioxin and pesticides, on human reproduction (both male and female) and child development. She is the Principal Investigator (PI) and Director of an National Institutes of Health/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Center for Excellence in Children’s Environmental Health Research and its keystone project, CHAMACOS, which investigates the exposure pathways and health effects of pesticide exposure in farmworkers and their children and develops interventions to prevent future exposure. She is currently investigating associations between pubertal development and endocrine-disrupting chemicals, including flame retardants and pesticides, in children of the CHAMACOS cohort. Dr. Eskenazi was also the PI on a grant aimed at understanding the effects of U.S.-Mexico migration on childhood obesity; she conducted research on food insecurity, obesity and maternal perception of child weight.
Richard A. Fenske is Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington. He has served as director of the NIOSH-supported Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center since 1996, and is a core faculty member of the NIEHS-supported Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health. Dr. Fenske has focused his research on the assessment and mitigation of chemical hazards through workplace and community studies. He has introduced novel procedures for the assessment of skin exposure among agricultural workers through the use of fluorescent tracers. He has also contributed to the elucidation of pesticide exposure pathways for children living in agricultural communities and in residential settings. Dr. Fenske currently serves as a member of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine. He also serves as President of the International Society of Exposure Science.
Jodi A. Flaws is a Professor in Comparative Biosciences at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign. She received a B.S. in Biology from St. Xavier University, a M.S. in Biology from Loyola University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Arizona. Following completion of the Ph.D. degree, Dr. Flaws performed post-doctoral research on genes and environmental chemicals that regulate female reproductive function. Following post-doctoral training, she accepted an Assistant Professor position at the University of Maryland and subsequently was promoted to Associate Professor. In 2006, Dr. Flaws accepted a position as Professor of Comparative Biosciences at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign.
Dr. Flaws’ research program is mainly focused on determining the mechanisms by which environmental chemicals such as pesticides and plasticizers affect the development and function of the ovary. Her research is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and Environmental Protection Agency. She has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers that have involved extensive participation and authorship by 16 graduate students, 6 post-doctoral fellows, and 10 undergraduate students. She is the recipient of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland Student Mentoring Award, the Patricia Sokolove Outstanding Mentor Award, the Dr. Gordon and Mrs. Helen Kruger Research Excellence Award, the Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence, and the University Scholar Award.
Dr. Fuemmeler is Associate Professor, Community and Family Medicine, Psychology and Neuroscience, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Fuemmeler is a licensed pediatric clinical psychologist who has additional expertise in developmental epidemiology. Broadly, his work focuses on the intersection between childhood neurodevelopment capacities (e.g., executive function, self-regulation, ADHD symptoms) and subsequent health and lifestyle behaviors. Related to this, he is interested in identifying prenatal exposures that compromise neurodevelopmental capacities central to executive functions and ADHD. He directs Project 1 of the Duke University NICHES, Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center which focuses on prenatal and postnatal tobacco smoke exposure, neurodevelopment and potential epigenetic mediating factors.
Dr. Maida Galvez, a board certified Pediatrician, completed the Academic Pediatric Association sponsored fellowship in Environmental Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Departments of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics. She directs Mount Sinai's Region 2 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit and practices General Pediatrics. She is Co-Principal Investigator and a designated New Investigator of an NIEHS and EPA funded research project entitled "Growing Up Healthy in East Harlem," a community based participatory research project examining the environmental determinants of childhood obesity. She is also Co-Investigator of an NIEHS/NCI funded project assessing environmental determinants of puberty in girls. Her areas of interests include the urban built environment, endocrine disruptors, and childhood growth and development. Her undergraduate degree is from the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Sciences/City College of New York. She received her MD and MPH from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, trained in the Social Pediatrics Residency Program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, followed by a Pediatric Chief Residency at Jacobi Medical Center, Bronx, NY.
Dr. Hammond is Professor and former Chair of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research has focused on assessment of exposure for environmental and occupational epidemiologic studies, including studies of the health effects of air pollution, diesel exhaust, secondhand smoke, semiconductor wafer production, and automobile manufacturing. Occupational studies in progress include the Bay Area Solvent Study, which is examining the relationship between solvent exposure and neurologic and reproductive effects in automotive mechanics, and a study of cardiovascular effects of work in aluminum production. A combination of her chemistry, industrial hygiene and epidemiology background enable her to develop innovative techniques to measure airborne contaminants and evaluate exposures. Currently she heads the exposure assessment team for the Fresno Asthmatic Children’s Environment Study (FACES) and the Children’s Health and Air Pollution Study in the San Joaquin Valley (CHAPS- SJV).
Kim Harley, Ph.D. is an Associate Adjunct Professor of Maternal and Child Health at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist whose research focuses on the association between endocrine disrupting chemicals and child development, including neurodevelopment, obesity, and onset of puberty. Her work has focused on the reproductive and developmental effects of Bisphenol A, PBDEs, DDT, and organophosphate pesticides. Dr. Harley has spent several years investigating the effects of environmental chemical exposures to mothers and children living in a migrant farm worker community. She is an Associate Director of the CHAMACOS Study, a longitudinal cohort study of Latina mothers and children living in the agricultural Salinas Valley, California. Children in the CHAMACOS study have been followed from before birth until 12 years of age to determine the impact of environmental exposures on their growth, neurodevelopment, and health. Dr. Harley is the principal investigator of grant to examine the role of early life BPA exposure on children's health and development in this cohort.
Edward D. Levin, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center. He directs Project 2 of the Duke University NICHES Children’s Environmental Health Center, Mechanisms of Neurobehavioral Dysfunction from Developmental Nicotine & Tobacco. He also directs the Neural and Behavioral Assessment and Training Cores of the Duke University Superfund Basic Research Program. Dr. Levin earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology in 1984 at the University of Wisconsin. He was an NIH-sponsored Post-doctoral fellow in Psychopharmacology at UCLA and a visiting scientist at Uppsala University in Sweden. Since 1989 he has conducted research and taught at Duke University. Dr. Levin’s research interests concern the neurobehavioral pharmacology and toxicology with a focus on the roles nicotinic receptor systems in drug abuse, cognitive function and developmental neurobehavioral toxicology in rats, mice and zebrafish. His research is directed not only at determining the functional nature and persistence of impairment, but also the mechanisms of dysfunction and the therapeutic treatments to counteract the damage.
Dr. Andy Liu is a Professor of Pediatric Allergy & Immunology at National Jewish Health and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. His clinical and laboratory research program investigates the environmental determinants of airways inflammation and disease in children. His work targets asthma severity and exacerbations, with a longstanding interest in early intervention for disease modification and prevention. His research is supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He leads a project in the Denver-based NIH NIEHS/EPA STAR program-sponsored Children’s Environmental Health Center (CEHC) in Environmental Determinants of Respiratory Disease in Children, and specifically investigating bacterial endotoxin exposure and asthma in children. He is also the Principal Investigator for the Denver site of the NIH NIAID-sponsored Inner City Asthma Consortium. U.S. inner-city children experience a disproportionate burden of difficult, problematic asthma with poor control, severe exacerbations, and associated risk for morbidity and mortality. Andy has a particular interest in interventions to improve asthma outcomes for these vulnerable children.
Jennifer Lowry attended medical school at the University of South Dakota School of Medicine. She completed a Pediatric Residency and Clinical Pharmacology/Medical Toxicology Fellowship at the Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO. She is board certified in Pediatrics and Medical Toxicology. She spent 5 years as the Medical Director to the Kansas Poison Control Center. She is the Chief for the Section of Clinical Toxicology at Children’s Mercy Hospital and an Associate Professor in Pediatrics at the University of Missouri. She is the Director for the Mid-America Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit for EPA Region 7 and a medical toxicology liaison to the Region 7 Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. She is a current member of the Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Executive Committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Environmental Health.
The broad goal of Dr. Marsit’s research program is to investigate gene environment interactions and their individual and combined impact on human disease, with a particular focus on the impact of the environment on epigenetic regulation of the genome. The laboratory studies alterations to epigenetic marks, which may be responsible, in a significant part, for cancer, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and common and rare diseases of childhood including behavioral disorders. This work is accomplished by taking a novel interdisciplinary approach to understanding the pathogenesis of human disease, utilizing the power of epidemiology and population-based research to study the effects of the environment on multiple facets of epigenetic regulation while examining mechanistic questions in controlled in-vitro experiments. The focus of Dr. Marsit’s research has been on two distinct, yet highly related biologic processes, that of environmental carcinogenesis and that of human development. In those settings, his laboratory examines DNA methylation and miRNA expression as key epigenetic mechanisms of interest. This research aims to provide a sound scientific basis for this emerging paradigm that is taking shape on the heels of the realization that there are fetal origins to many adult diseases.
This research aims to provide a sound molecular basis for the emerging paradigm that there are fetal origins to much of adult health and disease. Dr. Marsit's laboratory utilizes modern molecular biology and genetics applied in the setting of epidemiologic studies to study the effects of the environment on multiple facets of epigenetic regulation, and thereby is creating a novel interdisciplinary approach to understanding the pathogenesis of human disease. Paramount to meeting these objectives is creating a collaborative and multidisciplinary team of clinicians, epidemiologists, biologists, and statisticians who, by working together, are committed to combining efforts to reach these goals.
Rob McConnell is Professor of Preventive Medicine and Director of the EPA- and NIEHS-supported Children's Environmental Health Center at USC. His research interests include effects of air pollution on the development and exacerbation of asthma, and he is the principal investigator of a large prospective cohort study in the USC Children's Health Study to investigate these relationships. His work examining the associations between ozone and fresh traffic emissions with the development of asthma has contributed to the current policy debate on regulation of these exposures. Dr. McConnell is also interested in the effects of psychosocial stress and other social characteristics on asthma and on the application of new biomarkers of exposure to air pollutants in population based studies.
Catherine Metayer is a physician trained in France. She was an intern in departments of pediatrics and oncology where she developed an interest in cancer research. She received her PhD in Epidemiology at Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, and focused her post-doctoral research on occupational exposures related to hematopoietic cancers in adults. She was a Visiting Scientist at the Division of Epidemiology & Genetics at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, expanding her research on secondary cancers following treatment for a primary cancer, and environmental risk factors of lung cancer in China. She is currently Professor at the UC Berkeley, School of Public Health, examining environmental and genetic factors of leukemia and other cancers in children and adolescents. She is the Director of the Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment (CIRCLE) and the Chair of the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium (CLIC).
Dr. Miller is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care Medicine and Allergy and Immunology. She has appointments in 3 departments in 2 Columbia schools and is the Director of the Allergy and Immunology Fellowship program and Director of Adult Allergy. She was named as top pulmonologist in the 2011 US News and World Report report and is a Fellow at the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. Her clinical office specializes in the treatment of asthma and allergies at the John Edsall-John Wood Asthma Center.
In addition, Dr. Miller is the Co-Deputy Director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH), and Associate Director and Lead Physician Scientist for the Disease Investigation through Specialized Clinically-Oriented Ventures in Environment Research (DISCOVER). Her research concentrates on the mechanisms for the onset of asthma. One large research focus involves establishing and studying a birth cohort from Northern Manhattan (www.CCCEH.org), determining the importance of environmental allergens, traffic-related pollutants, and phthalate exposure to the onset of allergies, asthma, and Th2 immune responses. A major emphasis is on the role of prenatal and early postnatal exposure on later pediatric and adolescent asthma risk. Additional areas of research include identifying novel genetic by environment interactions important to the onset of asthma. She also has established several mouse models examining the importance of prenatal and postnatal environmental exposures on asthma risk. More recent initiatives have been to build a program in environmental epigenetics and asthma by studying DNA methylation in cell, mouse and human systems. Recent work on antigen-specific immune responses to influenza vaccine in utero was cited by the journals Nature and Science on their websites.
Marie Lynn Miranda, Ph.D., is Professor and Samuel A. Graham Dean in the School of Natural Resources and Environment and Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan. In addition to her administrative leadership responsibilities, Dr. Miranda directs the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), which is a research, education, and outreach program committed to fostering environments where all people can prosper. CEHI emphasizes the environmental health sciences and social justice components of risks borne by children in the United States and internationally. CEHI runs geospatial training programs both at the University of Michigan and nationally. CEHI is also leading a significant effort in developing geospatial informatics to support health care delivery and improvements in population health. Dr. Miranda maintains a deep and abiding personal and professional interest in social and environmental justice.
Dr. Murphy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, at Duke University Medical Center where her laboratory is focused on the developmental origins of disease as well as on the epigenetics and novel therapeutic approaches in gynecologic malignancies. She leads the Duke Epigenetics Research Laboratory and is Director of the NICHES Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center, Co-Director of the Duke Epigenetics and Epigenomics Program and Co-Principal Investigator leading the molecular biology efforts of the Duke-based Newborn Epigenetics STudy, or NEST. NEST is a longitudinal birth cohort study from which new insights have come regarding the in utero environment's effects on the epigenetic regulatory regions of imprinted genes. Her long-term research goals are to identify and utilize epigenetic changes that occur as a result of early life exposures to improve diagnostics and to develop new intervention and prevention strategies based on these findings.
Dr. Kari Nadeau is Associate Professor of Pediatrics—Immunology and Allergy, and Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Stanford University School of Medicine. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Haverford College, an M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School and her Ph.D. from Harvard University in Biochemistry. The goal of the research in Dr. Nadeau's laboratory at Stanford is to investigate the role of ambient air exposure on the developing immune system in children, with a focus on understanding the interaction between environment and the immune system by studying detailed mechanistic studies in T cells. Dr. Nadeau has a broad background in immunology, with specific training and expertise in key research areas on T cells. She is working with Drs. Katharine Hammond and Ira Tager at the University of California, Berkeley, to link mechanistic immunology studies with epidemiological outcomes of ambient air pollution exposure. Dr. Nadeau has published more than 71 peer-reviewed papers, many of which focus on T cells and health outcomes.
Elizabeth Noth is a research scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health in the Environmental Health Sciences Division. Dr. Noth evaluates both environmental and occupational exposures to harmful air pollutants. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from University of California, Berkeley in Conservation and Resource Studies, and her Master of Public Health at Boston University. Dr. Noth’s research in environmental air pollution has focused on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposures and other traffic-related exposures in children, particularly in California’s San Joaquin Valley. She is interested in the spatial distribution of airborne contaminants and the use of spatial analysis to look at neighborhood-level indicators of high exposures, including built environment, land use, and transit patterns. Over the past decade, Dr.Noth has been a member of the exposure assessment team for multiple studies that have been concerned with the health and exposures of children in the San Joaquin Valley, including the Fresno Asthmatic Children’s Environment Study (FACES) and the Children’s Health and Air Pollution Study in the San Joaquin Valley (CHAPS- SJV).
Jerome A. Paulson, MD, FAAP, Director is Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences and Professor of Environmental & Occupational Health at the GW School of Public Health & Health Services. He is the Medical Director for National & Global Affairs of the Children’s Health Advocacy Institute at the Children’s National Medical Center.
Dr. Paulson serves as chairperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health and serves on the Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee for the US Environmental Protection Agency. In October 2004 he was a Dozor Visiting Professor at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel. He lectured there and throughout Israel on children’s environmental health. He was a recipient of a Soros Advocacy Fellowship for Physicians from the Open Society Institute and worked with the Children’s Environmental Health Network, and has also served as a special assistant to the director of the National Center on Environmental Health of the CDC working on children’s environmental health issues. He is the editor of the October, 2001 and the February and April 2007 editions of Pediatric Clinics of North America on children’s environmental health. He has served on numerous boards and committees related to children’s environmental health.
Dr. Perera is a Professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where she serves as Director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health. Dr. Perera is internationally recognized for pioneering the field of molecular epidemiology, utilizing biomarkers to understand links between environmental exposures and disease. Currently, she and her colleagues are applying advanced molecular and imaging techniques within longitudinal cohort studies of pregnant women and their children, with the goal of identifying preventable risk factors for developmental disorders, asthma, obesity and cancer in childhood. Her areas of specialization include prevention of environmental risks to children, molecular epidemiology, disease prevention, environment-susceptibility interactions, and risk assessment. She is the author of more than 300 publications, including 260 peer reviewed articles, and has received numerous honors, including First Irving J. Selikoff Cancer Research Award, The Ramazzini Institute (1995); The Century Club Award Newsweek (1997); First Children’s Environmental Health Award, The Pew Center for Children’s Health and the Environment (1999); Distinguished Lecturer, Occupational and Environmental Cancer, National Cancer Institute (2002); Doctoris Honoris Causa, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland (2004); Children’s Environmental Health Excellence Award, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2005); and the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) Award (2008).
Dr. Pessah obtained his B.S. in Biological Sciences from Cornell University (1977) and his Ph.D. in Toxicology from the University of Maryland in 1984. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California (UC) at Berkeley from 1984 to 1987, during which time he discovered a family of calcium channels termed ryanodine receptors. Since then, his research and academic interests have spanned the broad area of molecular and cellular mechanisms by which these channels regulate Ca2+ signaling in muscle, neurons and immune cells. He studies the organization and function of the macromolecular complexes regulating ryanodine-sensitive Ca2+ channels and how environmental chemicals, including PCBs, PBDEs, reactive quinone metabolites, pesticides and heavy metals influence developmental toxicity through these complexes. Members of his laboratory have been studying gene-environment interactions influencing susceptibility that are relevant to autism and related disorders using mice possessing missense mutations known to contribute susceptibility to human disease. He directs the UC Davis Center for Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention. The Center is an NIEHS/US EPA funded multidisciplinary program aimed at understanding how environmental factors influence autism risk and severity. He is Professor of Toxicology and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biosciences. In addition, he is Associate Editor of NeuroToxicology, and a Board Reviewer for Environmental Health Perspectives, Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Neurotoxicology and Teratology.
Dr. Quirós-Alcalá is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research explores the effects of environmental contaminants on women’s and children’s health and evaluates factors related to exposures in susceptible populations. Her current research focuses on bisphenol A exposure in Latino mothers and children, and studying the effects of current-use pesticides on brain and nervous system development in children.
Dr. Rand is Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Departments of Medicine, in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, with joint appointments in Psychiatry and Public Health. She is an internationally recognized expert in the area of adherence with chronic therapies, with additional research expertise in health disparities, asthma self-management interventions and psychosocial factors associated with pediatric and adult disease self-management. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and her Master's and Doctoral degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is the Director of the Johns Hopkins Adherence Research Center, a core facility that utilizes state-of-the-art measurement strategies for the assessment and promotion of pediatric and adult adherence with therapy in both NIH and industry-sponsored studies. Dr. Rand has served as a national leader in the area of pediatric and adult behavioral research for over 20 years and is the past chair of the Behavioral Sciences Assembly of the American Thoracic Society.
Urvashi Rangan, PhD, is an environmental health scientist and toxicologist. She leads Consumer Reports’ Consumer Safety and Sustainability Group and serves as the Executive Director of its Food Safety and Sustainability Center. Dr. Rangan oversees all of Consumer Reports' safety testing projects, risk assessments, and serves as the lead spokesperson on these issues, translating complex scientific concepts into actionable consumer advice and policy recommendations. She has expertise in food safety issues, food labeling, risk assessment and sustainable production practices. In addition to appearing frequently in major news outlets, she also testifies to government bodies, has given lectures at various universities and conferences and has directly challenged critics of a sustainable food system.
Dr. Stephen Rappaport is a Professor of Environmental Health in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Berkeley Center for Exposure Biology, a multidisciplinary program to develop a new generation of biomarkers and biosensors for environmental epidemiology. He is a pioneer in the emerging field of "Exposure Biology" and a prominent advocate of the concept of the "Exposome" for environmental health. Much of his current research involves the development and application of blood protein adducts as biomarkers of exposure to toxic chemicals arising from inhalation, ingestion and endogenous processes. He also has used environmental measurements and biomarkers to elucidate the human metabolism of several toxic chemicals, notably benzene, and to quantify interindividual variability in biomarker levels due to genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors.
Doctor Reyes serves as Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Community and Children Environmental Health. She is the chief strategist for public policy, program design, and development for the Healthy Homes, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, Lead Based Paint Hazard Control, Occupational Health, Indoor Air Quality, Medical Waste and Infection Control programs, Radiation Compliance, Smoking and Cigarette Vending Ordinance compliance and Emergency Medical Services and Ambulance Permitting. She serves as an Assistant Professor for Baylor College of Medicine.
A noted national expert on healthy homes, asthma and lead poisoning prevention and systems design, Dr. Reyes serves as an Advisor to government agencies, non-for profit organizations, the Advisory Committee for Children Health Environmental Protection Advisory Committee for the Environmental Protection Agency (CHPAC) and past member of the Childhood Lead Poisoning and Prevention (ACLPPP) for the Health and Human Services Secretary among others. She is renowned for her abilities to mentor other cities and state agencies on how to blend complimentary lead hazard reduction, healthy homes, unintentional injuries, and health programs to maximize outcomes. She concentrates her efforts on innovative programs to increase the stock of affordable, healthy and environmentally safe housing, and on building capacity to incorporate sound environmental health standards
Dr. Sandy is Chief of the Reproductive and Cancer Hazard Assessment Branch in the California Environmental Protection Agency’s (Cal/EPA) Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). Dr. Sandy’s Branch conducts scientific evaluations of the risks of cancer and reproductive hazards from exposure to chemicals present in environmental media, food, fuels and consumer products, and works collaboratively with California’s Department of Public Health and Department of Toxic Substances Control to implement California’s biomonitoring program.
Dr. Sandy’s current research interests include children’s environmental health, and in particular, cancer risk associated with early life exposure to carcinogens; mechanisms of carcinogenesis; and gene-environment interactions. Prior to joining OEHHA, she conducted research investigating biochemical and genetic susceptibility factors in Parkinson’s disease, and biochemical and molecular mechanisms of toxicity and carcinogenicity. She has served on several scientific committees for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Toxicology Program, and the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Sandy has a Ph.D. and an M.P.H. in Environmental Health Sciences, with an emphasis in Toxicology, from the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health.
Dr. Susan Schantz is Professor of Environmental Toxicology in the Department of Comparative Biosciences at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. She has chaired the Interdisciplinary Environmental Toxicology Program since 1996, and she directs the Children’s Environmental Health Research Center funded jointly by NIEHS and the USEPA and an Environmental Toxicology Training Grant funded by NIEHS. She is associate director of a Botanical Research Center funded by NCCAM, ODS and NCI. Her research focuses on understanding the nervous system effects of several widespread environmental contaminants including PCBs, PBDEs, phthalates and bisphenol A, and includes epidemiological studies of exposed human populations as well as laboratory studies in animal models. Recently, with funding from NIA and NCCAM, she has initiated another line of research investigating the impact of estrogens including soy isoflavones and other botanical estrogens on cognitive function during aging.
Ms. Shepard is co-founder and executive director of WE ACT For Environmental Justice (WE ACT), based in West Harlem, NY, which has a 26-year history of engaging Northern Manhattan residents in community-based planning and campaigns to affect environmental protection and environmental health policy locally and nationally. WE ACT’s work has provided a clear road map of how a community-based organization can positively impact local, state and national policymaking on environmental justice, public health and equity issues.
WE ACT’s advocacy and research contributed to the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) retrofitting its entire diesel bus fleet. WE ACT hosts the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change, a national coalition of 40 organizations representing 16 states that have convened to develop a unified voice and position on climate change policies; and WE ACT coordinates the NYS Transportation Equity Alliance, a statewide coalition of 100 groups working to ensure equitable transportation policy locally and nationally. WE ACT’s 1st campaign achieved the retrofit of the North River Sewage Treatment Plant and a lawsuit settlement of a $1.1 million environmental benefits fund. A ten-year campaign, spurred by a community-based planning process, has resulted in the construction of the Harlem Piers at 125th Street on the Hudson River, which opened in 2010.
Heather Stapleton, PhD, is the Dan and Bunny Gabel Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Environmental Management at Duke University. Dr. Stapleton's research focuses on understanding the fate and transformation of organic contaminants in aquatic systems and in indoor environments. Her main focus has been on the bioaccumulation and biotransformation of brominated flame retardants, and specifically polybrominated diphenyl ethers,(PBDEs). Her current research projects explore the routes of human exposure to flame retardant chemicals and examine the way these compounds are photodegraded and metabolized using mass spectrometry to identify breakdown products/metabolites. She uses both in vivo techniques with fish, and in vitro techniques with cell cultures to examine metabolism of this varied class of chemicals. Also of interest to Dr. Stapleton is the study of the fate of PBDEs in the environment which may lead to bioaccumulation in aquatic systems and examining their bioavailability under different environmental conditions.
Dr. Beti Thompson is a Full Member in the Division of Public Health Sciences, and an Associate Program Head in the Cancer Prevention Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, as well as a Professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health. Dr. Thompson has a national and international reputation in community research, tobacco research, and health disparities research. In recent years, Dr. Thompson’s research portfolio has focused on work with populations affected by health disparities. She currently has three large NIH grants that focus on the Hispanics in the Lower Yakima Valley of Washington State. Her work there includes a Community Networks Program Center, a diabetes community-based participatory research grant, and a pesticide exposure grant. Her other work includes a Center grant with NCI‘s Center for Population Health and Health Disparities, which focuses on breast cancer research among Latinas. In addition, she leads the Health Disparities Research Center at Fred Hutchinson.
Dr. Van de Water joined the faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of California, Davis, in 1999. In 2000, she also joined the faculty of the newly formed UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute when she began her research on the immunobiology of autism.
Dr. Van de Water's laboratory pursues research programs pertaining to autoimmune and clinical immune-based disorders, including the biological aspects of ASD. The application of Dr. Van de Water's immunopathology background has been instrumental in the dissection of the immune anomalies noted in some individuals with autism, and in the differentiation of various autism behavioral phenotypes at a biological level. Dr. Van de Water is currently the Director of the NIEHS-funded Center for Children's Environmental Health at UC Davis, investigating potential environmental risk factors contributing to the incidence and severity of childhood autism.
Dr. Joseph Wiemels is a professor of epidemiology at University of California, San Francisco. After completing his undergraduate degree in biology at Kenyon College, Ohio, he served in the Peace Corps teaching science subjects in the South Pacific. Dr. Wiemels received a Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences/Toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley, with minors in epidemiology and nucleic acid chemistry, in 1997. Dr. Wiemels joined a large pediatric leukemia epidemiology study as a postdoc in London, UK, before returning to California and taking up a position at UCSF in 2000.
Dr. Wiemels is committed to studying the epidemiology of childhood cancers with a focus on biology and natural history of the diseases. He has worked on tracing back the genetic and epigenetic origins of cancer, particularly childhood leukemia, and exploring the relationship of the host immune system and cancer in an epidemiologic fashion. His goal is to understand the biological mediators between genetic and environmental risk factors and disease, and how the immune system can detect and interact with cancers. Current projects include a genome wide association study of childhood leukemia and proposed GWAS in pediatric glioma, a large scale environmental risk factor and neonatal DNA methylation study, investigations into the role of autoantibodies in brain and other cancers, and the mechanisms behind allergies and Varicella virus-associations in brain cancers. Continued progress on all fronts will only be made through a combination of the best biology and epidemiology, and the shared worldwide resources and collaboration between investigators with disparate fields of interest.
Dr. Wright is a pulmonary physician and the Vice Chair of Clinical Translational Research in the Department of Pediatrics at Kravis Children’s Hospital, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. She is a developmental epidemiologist with transdisciplinary training in medicine, environmental health, multi-level modeling and stress mechanisms. Dr. Wright has an overarching interest in explaining health disparities across the lifecourse and her research has primarily focused on early life (prenatal and early childhood) predictors of developmental diseases including asthma, obesity, neurobehavioral development, and lung growth and development. A particular focus is on the implementation of studies considering the role of both social (e.g., individual- and community-level psychosocial stress and other socioeconomic risk factors) and physical (e.g., air pollution, chemicals, dietary factors, allergens) environmental factors in explaining health disparities among lower-SES urban populations. Dr. Wright is the PI and Director of the Asthma Coalition on Community, Environment, and Social Stress (ACCESS) project as well as the Programming of Intergenerational Stress Mechanisms (PRISM) study funded by the National Institutes of Health at Harvard Medical School and is a member of the adjunct faculty at Harvard.
Dr. Tracey Woodruff is Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and Philip R Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco and the Director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment. She has conducted extensive research and policy development on environmental health issues, with an emphasis on early-life development. Her research areas include evaluating prenatal exposures to environmental chemicals and related adverse pregnancy outcomes, and characterizing developmental risks. She has authored numerous scientific publications and book chapters, and has been widely quoted in the media. She is an Associate Editor of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. She worked previously at the US EPA, where she was a senior scientist and policy advisor in the Office of Policy. She was appointed by the governor of California in 2012 to the Science Advisory Board of the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee.
Dr. Yang has a broad background in genomics, genetics, and bioinformatics. She currently shares a laboratory with David A. Schwartz, MD. The focus of the research in the Schwartz/Yang laboratory is on genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that are contributing to the development of allergic airway disease, pulmonary fibrosis, and innate immune responsiveness. Human and animal models are used to pursue these studies. The research in these areas has the potential to develop biomarkers for early identification of susceptible individuals, lead to novel concepts about the prevention and pathogenesis of these diseases, and to transform therapy in pulmonary fibrosis, microbial infections, sepsis, and asthma.