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EPA Research

EPA’s Title 42 Researchers

Title 42 is a special federal hiring authority. It gives EPA the ability to directly recruit world-renowned scientists and engineers in academia, private industry, and other government agencies. With these scientific leaders in-house, EPA is pioneering solutions to the nation’s most pressing environmental and human health challenges. 

Title 42 employees are leading EPA’s efforts to:

  • Protect people from impacts of wildfire smoke, and air pollution.
  • Meet new requirements under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.
  • Respond to local emergency events related to water safety including the increasing occurrence of lead in drinking water and harmful algal blooms in water supplies and recreational waters.

Meet some of the Title 42 scientists doing important research at EPA. On this page:

The following links exit the site Exit

Air Research

Dr. Wayne Cascio
Wildfire smoke doesn’t just result in increased asthma attacks and breathing issues—it can also increase the risk for heart attack and stroke. We know this thanks to Dr. Wayne Cascio, who brings a cardiologist’s perspective to EPA's research programs. Dr. Cascio leads studies on the how exposures to wildfire smoke and other forms of air pollution impact public health. Dr. Cascio explains his work in our video This EPA heart doctor may have just saved your life. Spacer to widen table cell

Chemical Research

Dr. Katie Paul-Friedman
Dr. Katie Paul-Friedman is one of the few scientists in the field of computational toxicology capable of advancing EPA’s ability to understand chemical risks and meet its mandates to protect the public from health risks associated with chemicals in the environment. Dr. Paul-Friedman leads a core part of EPA's effort to quickly and accurately screen chemicals for risk to human health when there is limited information about a chemical. Dr. Paul-Friedman explains her work in our video Patience is not a virtue when determining chemical risks. Just ask this EPA scientist. Spacer to widen table cell
Dr. Cavin Ward-Caviness
Why does one person get sick from exposure to a chemical in their environment while others do not? EPA’s Dr. Cavin Ward-Caviness is among the first to combine an expertise in cutting-edge microbiology with more traditional toxicology techniques to reduce chronic diseases. He is unlocking the underlying role that genetics play in the development of adverse health impacts from environmental exposures, helping to identify the most vulnerable populations. Dr. Ward-Caviness explains his work in our video Why does someone get sick from exposure to a chemical in their environment?
Dr. Josh Harrill
This EPA toxicologist, and former on-the-ground emergency toxicologist, is perfectly suited to give EPA, states, emergency responders and local communities exactly what they need to make better decisions about chemicals in their environments. Dr. Josh Harrill runs the cutting-edge EPA chemical screening laboratory that is responsible for screening thousands of chemicals for prioritization under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, chemicals found at Superfund sites, and chemicals accidentally spilled near communities. His screening processes give us fast, accurate information about chemicals we otherwise know very little about, so we can make timely decisions that protect the public and the environment. Dr. Harrill explains his work in our video Why this emergency responder is running EPA’s chemical screening lab.
Dr. Tony Williams
Dr. Tony Williams is the computational chemist developing models to understand toxicity of chemicals AND building the database that brings together data for over 760,000 chemical substances in an easily accessible, usable, 100% transparent database.The future of predicting chemical toxicity is coming, and it’s in large part to the vision of Tony Williams. Dr. Williams explains his work in our video This EPA scientist makes it possible for companies to predict the safety of a chemical BEFORE they use it.
Dr. Kris Thayer
Dr. Kris Thayer is cutting the time it takes EPA to do its rigorous, systematic chemical risk assessments in half! As director of EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Program, she is taking the international “gold standard” of chemical risk assessment to the next level-- leveraging the latest technology and increasing transparency at every step, to ensure that the public has the best assessments science has to give. Dr. Thayer explains her work in our video Do the words “systematic” and “transparent” get you excited? They should!
Dr. Richard Judson
EPA’s Dr. Richard Judson is an international leader in the modeling and database development necessary to evaluate and assess chemical risk. Through his work at EPA he is literally writing the book, or rather the computer models, to predict chemical safety quickly and accurately by combining all we know about a chemical through traditional methods with new information being developed in EPA laboratories and across the world. Dr. Judson explains his work in our video Richard Judson is Writing the Book on New Chemical Safety Testing.

Water Research

Dr. Jay Garland
Researcher Dr. Jay Garland embraced a simple philosophy during his many years working for NASA: “there is no waste in space.” He is leading innovative efforts to develop wastewater recovery systems from waste water, storm water, and even condensation from air conditioning systems to ensure long-term water supplies. He and his team are informing investments in water infrastructure and finding safe, efficient ways to tap new sources of water and, it’s exactly what states, utilities and communities across the country are asking for as they prepare for the future. Dr. Garland explains his work in our video This scientist left Mars to work at the EPA. Spacer to widen table cell
Dr. Simoni Triantafyllidou
Dr. Triantafyllidou is leading the scientific effort to protect children from lead in our water. She’s also been the environmental engineer on the forefront of understanding issues of lead leeching into our aging water systems for years. She’s on the job to figure out how to protect our kids from lead in water and utilities across the country come to her for help. Dr. Triantafyllidou explains her work in our video A Lifelong Pursuit to Get the Lead Out.