2020 Birnbaum Research Symposium
Monday, April 6, 2020
Rodbell Auditorium, NIEHS
March 9, 2020 - In support of the Office of Personnel Management guidance to strengthen efforts to protect the federal workforce and to ensure continuity of operations, NIH is urging that all large meetings and symposia that are scheduled to be held at NIH facilities or organized by NIH, over the next 30 days either be postponed, or cancelled.
Therefore, NIH's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has POSTPONED the 2020 Birnbaum Research Symposium. We will keep you apprised of a new date as soon as we are able to reschedule.
Symposium Speaker Biographies
Yolanda Anderson, Ph.D.; North Carolina Central University
Yolanda Anderson is the interim provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Formerly, she was the associate vice chancellor for faculty development/resources in the Office of the Provost and the vice chancellor for academic affairs, which she served in an interim role for the position from 2015 until her permanent appointment in 2016. Anderson joined NCCU as an associate professor in 1996 and was promoted to full professor in 2010. She has also served as interim dean of the former College of Science and Technology (CST), assistant dean for student services, interim associate dean, chair of the Department of Environmental, Earth and Geospatial Sciences in CST, and director of the Environmental Science Program in the former College of Arts and Sciences.
Before joining the faculty of NCCU, Anderson was a special assistant to the associate director for health at the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and she earned an M.S. from Harvard University School of Public Health and a Ph.D. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
John Balbus, M.D.; NIEHS Senior Advisor for Public Health
John Balbus serves as a senior advisor to the director on public health issues and as NIEHS liaison to its external constituencies, stakeholders, and advocacy groups. He also leads NIEHS efforts on climate change and human health. In this capacity, he serves as the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services (HHS) principal to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, for which he also co-chairs the Interagency Cross-Cutting Group on Climate Change and Human Health. Dr. Balbus' background combines training and experience in clinical medicine with expertise in epidemiology, toxicology, and risk sciences. He has authored studies and lectures on global climate change and health, transportation-related air pollution, the toxic effects of chemicals, and regulatory approaches to protecting susceptible subpopulations.
Before joining NIEHS, Dr. Balbus was chief health scientist for the non-governmental organization Environmental Defense Fund. He served on the faculty of George Washington University, where he was founding director of the Center for Risk Science and Public Health, founding co-director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's Health and the Environment, and acting chairman of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. He maintains an adjunct faculty appointment at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Dr. Balbus received his A.B. degree in biochemistry from Harvard University, his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and his M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. In addition to current membership in the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research and Medicine, Dr. Balbus has also served as a member of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board, the National Research Council's Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, and the EPA Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee. He is a member of the American College of Physicians, the American Public Health Association, and the Society of Toxicology.
Paloma Beamer, Ph.D.; University of Arizona
Paloma Beamer is an associate professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. She holds joint appointments as an associate professor of chemical and environmental engineering and as a research scientist in the Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center and is affiliate faculty with American Indian Studies and Mexican American Studies. She is an environmental engineer by training and earned her B.S. from the University of California Berkeley and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. Her research focuses on understanding how individuals are exposed to environmental contaminants and the health risks of these exposures, with a special focus on vulnerable populations, including children, low-wage immigrant workers, Native Americans, and those in the U.S.-Mexico border region. The ultimate goal of her work is to develop more effective interventions and policies for prevention of avoidable cases of certain diseases, such as asthma.
Phil Brown, Ph.D.; Northeastern University
Phil Brown is a University Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Health Science at Northeastern University, where he directs the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute and its PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoralkyl Substances) Project Lab, which has grants from the National Science Foundation to study social policy and activism concerning PFAS and grants from NIEHS to study children’s immune responses to PFAS and community response to contamination, and to develop a nationwide report-back and information exchange. He directs the NIEHS T-32 training program, “Transdisciplinary Training at the Intersection of Environmental Health and Social Science,” heads the Community Outreach and Translation Core of Northeastern’s Children’s Environmental Health Center (Center for Research on Early Childhood Exposure and Development in Puerto Rico; CRECE) and both the Research Translation Core and Community Engagement Core of Northeastern’s Superfund Research Program (Puerto Rico Testsite to Explore Contamination Threats; PROTECT). He is a past member of NIEHS Council. His books include No Safe Place: Toxic Waste, Leukemia, and Community Action; Toxic Exposures: Contested Illnesses and the Environmental Health Movement; and Contested Illnesses: Citizens, Science, and Health Social Movements.
Tom Burke, Ph.D.; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Thomas Burke is the Jacob I. and Irene B. Fabrikant Professor and Chair in Health Risk and Society at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management. He holds joint appointments in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and the School of Medicine’s Department of Oncology. He is also director of the Johns Hopkins Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute. Dr. Burke was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development. From January 2015 until January 2017, Dr. Burke was the EPA Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator for Research and Development. His research interests include environmental epidemiology and surveillance, population exposures to environmental pollutants, risk assessment and communication, and application of epidemiology and health risk assessment to public policy. Before joining the university faculty, Dr. Burke was deputy commissioner of health for New Jersey and director of science and research for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. He was chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Improving Risk Analysis that produced the report Science and Decisions, and currently serves as chair of the Environmental Health Matters Initiative of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Dr. Burke received his B.S. from St. Peter's College, his M.P.H. from the University of Texas, and his Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Michael DeVito, Ph.D.; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Michael DeVito is the director of the Chemical Characterization and Exposure Division in the Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure, in the Office of Research and Development of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The division performs research to develop and advance analytical chemistry, computational chemistry, and cheminformatic approaches that are critical to the rapid characterization of the presence, structural characteristics, and properties of chemicals that underlie chemical exposure, environmental fate, toxicokinetics, and toxicity. Before that, Dr. DeVito was chief of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Laboratory at NIEHS, where he led an investigative toxicology group that supported the NTP. From 1995 to 2009, Dr. DeVito was a principal investigator and chief (2002-2009) of the Pharmacokinetics Branch of the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL) at the EPA. Dr. DeVito’s research has focused on the toxicity of persistent organic pollutants, thyroid hormone disruptors, and pyrethroid pesticides. In addition, he has developed quantitative models to understand the exposure, dose, and toxicity continuum for individual environmental chemicals, as well as for cumulative risk assessments. Recently, Dr. DeVito has begun incorporating transcriptomics and targeted and untargeted metabolomics into these efforts. Dr. DeVito’s training includes a B.A. in chemistry from Drew University, an M.S. and Ph.D. in toxicology from the Joint Program in Toxicology at Rutgers University, and a postdoctoral fellowship at EPA’s NHEERL.
Brenda Eskenazi, Ph.D.; University of California, Berkeley
Brenda Eskenazi directs the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH; cerch.org) at the University of California at Berkeley. She is the Jennifer and Brian Maxwell Professor Emeritus of Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology. Dr. Eskenazi is a neuropsychologist and epidemiologist whose long-standing research interest has been the effects of toxicants on human reproduction (both male and female) and child development. Dr. Eskenazi has published widely, is on the scientific advisory boards of nonprofit organizations, and has advised the World Health Organization and researchers worldwide on children’s environmental health issues. Dr. Eskenazi has initiated numerous long-term studies in environmental epidemiology funded by NIEHS, including the CHAMACOS (Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas) study, which investigates the exposure pathways and health effects of pesticide and other exposures in farmworkers and their children residing in the Salinas Valley in California; the VHEMBE (Venda Health Examination of Mothers, Babies and their Environment) study of indoor residual spraying pesticides and child health in Limpopo South Africa; and the Seveso Women’s Health Study of the health of women and their children exposed to high levels of dioxin as a result of an explosion in 1976. She was a member of the National Advisory Environmental Health Science Council and has sat on the Board of Children, Youth, and Families for the National Academy of Science. Dr. Eskenazi was awarded the prestigious John R. Goldsmith award for lifetime achievement in environmental epidemiology. Because of her growing concern on how our carbon footprint will affect children’s health, she has pledged to reduce her airplane travel and has elected to conduct this talk by webinar.
Bill Farland, Ph.D.; Emeritus Professor, Colorado State University
William Farland is an independent consultant on environmental health, an emeritus professor in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and formerly the senior advisor to the executive vice president, Colorado State University (CSU). He also held faculty positions in the CSU Center for Environmental Medicine and the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Colorado School of Public Health. Dr. Farland served as vice president for research at CSU from October 2006 to September 2013. Dr. Farland holds a Ph.D. (1976) from University of California, Los Angeles, in cell biology and biochemistry.In 2006, Dr. Farland was appointed deputy assistant administrator for science in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD). He has served as the acting deputy assistant Administrator since 2001. In 2003, Dr. Farland was also appointed chief scientist in the Office of the Agency Science Advisor. He served as the EPA's acting science advisor throughout 2005. Before that, he was the director of the ORD's National Center for Environmental Assessment. His work at the EPA began in 1979.
Dr. Farland's 27-year federal career was characterized by a commitment to the development of national and international approaches to the testing and assessment of the fate and effects of environmental agents. Dr. Farland has continually served on a number of executive-level committees and advisory boards within the federal government. In 2005-2006, he chaired the Executive Committee of the NTP. He was also a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health; a public member of the American Chemistry Council's Strategic Science Team for its Long-Range Research Initiative, and a member of the Programme Advisory Committee for the World Health Organization (WHO) International Programme on Chemical Safety. Dr. Farland served as chair of an external advisory group for NIEHS regarding the future of the Superfund Basic Research Program. In 2013, Dr. Farland was appointed to the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology (BEST) of National Research Council (NRC) and took over as chair of the Board in September 2015. From 2010 to 2015, he chaired a standing committee of the NRC on Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions. He was also a member of an NRC committee to Develop a Research Strategy for Environmental, Health, and Safety Aspects of Engineered Nanomaterials. In 2002, Dr. Farland was recognized by the Society for Risk Analysis with the Outstanding Risk Practitioner Award, and in 2005, he was appointed as a fellow of the Society. In 2006, he received a Presidential Rank Award for his service as a federal senior executive. In 2007, he was elected as a fellow, Academy of Toxicological Sciences. Dr. Farland serves on the editorial boards of Toxicological Sciences and Current Opinion in Toxicology and continues to teach, publish, and serve as a reviewer in environmental toxicology and risk assessment.
Bernie Goldstein, M.D.; Emeritus Professor and Dean, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Goldstein is a physician and toxicologist who is emeritus dean and emeritus professor of environmental and occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. He was the founding director of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute at Rutgers University and the initial head of its NIEHS Center of Excellence. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, for which he has chaired over a dozen committees, and of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He served as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator for Research and Development, 1983-1985. He has also served on or chaired committees related to environmental health for the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environmental Program. He is active on shale gas issues, in the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in European Union/U.S. environmental policy differences, and on challenges related to the interface between environmental health science and public policy.
Philippe Grandjean, M.D., Ph.D.; Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
Philippe Grandjean is an adjunct professor of environmental health at Harvard University and professor and chair of environmental medicine at the University of Southern Denmark. His main field of interest is environmental epidemiology, especially regarding developmental exposures to chemicals. In 2002, Dr. Grandjean became founding editor in chief of the open-access journal Environmental Health. Among several awards for his research, he has received the Mercury Madness Award for excellence in science in the public interest from eight U.S. environmental organizations. He has also received the Bernardino Ramazzini Award and the John R. Goldsmith Award. Since 2013, he has been a member of European Environment Agency’s scientific committee.
Jane Hoppin, Sc.D.; North Carolina State University
Jane Hoppin is an environmental epidemiologist with interests in understanding the health effects in toxicant-exposed communities. In Costa Rica, her work focuses on evaluating the health effects of pesticide exposures to women and children living in the banana-growing region. Recently, her work has focused on emerging water contaminants, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). She is principal investigator of the GenX Exposure study, which was designed to characterize exposure to PFAS chemicals among people in Wilmington and Fayetteville, North Carolina. This project includes extensive community engagement throughout the Cape Fear region of North Carolina. She is currently a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at North Carolina State University and deputy director of the North Carolina State Center for Human Health and the Environment (NIEHS P30). She is a co-investigator on the newly funded Center for Environmental and Human Health Effects of PFAS, Superfund Research Center at North Carolina State University. She was recently elected fellow in the Collegium Ramazzini. She has authored over 225 peer-reviewed publications. She received her B.S. in environmental toxicology at the University of California, Davis, and her S.M. in environmental health and her Sc.D. in environmental health and epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Erin Pias Hines, Ph.D.; United States Environmental Protection Agency
Erin Pias Hines is a biologist and board certified toxicologist (DABT) at the US EPA in the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology Branch of ORD with a demonstrated history of working in the Federal Government (US EPA, NASA), Academia (UNC, LSUHSC) and GLP industry (Chrisope). Erin received her Ph.D. in Physiology from LSU Health Science Center Shreveport and was a postdoctoral fellow at UNC and the EPA. As a Prinicpial Investigator at the US EPA, Erin currently studies reproductive and developmental outcomes after exposure to environemental chemicals. She has experience in developmental and reproductive toxicology work or DART with laboratory animals, epidemiologic studies, as well as in support of US EPA Clean Air and Clean Water policy decisions. She has eleven years of experience generating the Integrated Science Assessment documents in support of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards as mandated by the Clean Air Act. She has sixteen years of expertise working with perfluorinated chemicals including lab animals and epidemiologic work biomonitoring breastfeeding women as well as generation of 70 ppt US EPA Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS. Internationally recognized as joint WHO/FAO expert and Society of Toxicology Global Tox Scholar; she is current NCSOT president and former chair of SOT Committee on Diversity Initiatives. She has a history of collaborative work across multiple federal agencies (CDC, NIH, NIEHS). Recognized for excellence at all levels of career from high school National Science Foundation Young Scholar to College Presidential Scholarship Awardee and All-Conference Athlete, to postdoctoral International Dermatology Meeting Awardee, to six time US EPA Honor Awardee (Silver, Bronze) and 4 time US EPA STAA Awardee. Erin has co-authored nearly 50 peer reviewed publications including highly influential US Government reports like the Office of Water Lifetime Provisional health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS in Drinking water.
Paige Lawrence, Ph.D.; University of Rochester
Paige Lawrence is the Wright Family Research Professor and Chair of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, where she is also a professor of microbiology and immunology and director of the Rochester Environmental Health Science Center.
She earned a B.A. degree in both biology and chemistry from Skidmore College and a Ph.D. in biochemistry, molecular, and cell biology, with a minor in immunology from Cornell University. She then received specialized training in immunology and toxicology during a postdoctoral fellowship at Oregon State University, where she was privileged to join Dr. Nancy Kerkvliet’s lab. It was during her fellowship that she received her first NIEHS grant, and she has maintained support from NIEHS throughout her career. After her postdoctoral fellowship, she joined the faculty at Washington State University. In 2006, after promotion to associate professor and receiving tenure, she was recruited to the University of Rochester.
Research in her lab is centered on uncovering how signals from the environment influence the development and function of the immune system. The immune system is our ultimate defense against infection and cancer. Yet, many diseases occur because the immune system responds when, where, or how it should not. One aspect of the work in her lab is defining how molecules that bind to the aryl hydrocarbon receptor shape immunity to infectious agents, including influenza viruses. She is also studying how environmental exposures, particularly to endocrine active chemicals, affect the development of allergic and autoimmune diseases. Her research team has broken new ground with studies delineating how exposures that occur in the womb and shortly after birth shape the way the immune system functions later in life. This has led to new discoveries about how environmental signals influence the immune system via changes in transcriptional and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms and affect stem cell fate and function.
Dr. Lawrence’s multidisciplinary expertise is highly sought after. For example, she was appointed to a team assembled by the U.S. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies to evaluate the weight of evidence regarding adverse events of eight different vaccines, which culminated in a report of about 160 vaccine-adverse event relationships. She is currently serving on the Environmental Health Sciences Review Committee of NIEHS and was previously a standing member of the Innate Immunity and Inflammation National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study Section. She has also served on numerous other review committees for the NIH, as well as European agencies. She is an associate editor for Toxicological Sciences and is on the editorial boards of scientific journals that span the fields of toxicology, immunology, lung pathophysiology, and development. She has been active in the Society of Toxicology, holding both elected and appointed positions. In 2019, she became a fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences, and in 2017 she was elected as a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Scientists (AAAS). AAAS fellows are selected by the Council of AAAS in recognition of distinctive and meaningful impact of their contributions to science. In addition to leading a very successful research program, she is well known for her unwavering commitment to education and mentoring. She has received three mentoring awards and serves regularly on national committees that focus on education, career development, and mentoring.
David Michaels, Ph.D.; George Washington University
David Michaels is an epidemiologist and professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health of George Washington University. Appointed by President Obama in 2009 to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, he served until 2017, the longest serving assistant secretary in the agency’s history. From 1998 to 2001, Dr. Michaels was Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environment, Safety and Health, charged with protecting the workers, community residents, and environment in and around the nation’s nuclear weapons facilities. In that position, he was the chief architect of the historic initiative to compensate nuclear weapons workers who were sickened by exposure to radiation, beryllium, and other toxic exposures.
Much of Dr. Michaels' work has focused on protecting the integrity of the science underpinning public health and environmental protections. He is the author of Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health and The Triumph of Doubt: Dark Money and the Science of Deception (Oxford University Press, 2020), as well as articles in Science, JAMA, and numerous other journals. Dr. Michaels is currently a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Toxicology Program (NTP). He served as chair of the NTP’s Executive Committee 2011-2017.
Karen Miller; Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition
Karen Miller is the founder and president of Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition (HBCAC), based in Huntington, New York, established in 1992. Miller is a cancer survivor, and for over 25 years, she has been a dedicated public health advocate focused on environmental triggers to breast cancer and has received numerous awards, proclamations, and special recognitions. In 2000, HBCAC initiated the “Prevention Is The Cure” campaign, focusing on prevention and environmental links to disease. HBCAC secured legislation to ban the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles and sippy cups in New York State, and secured the first ban in the nation on thermal cash receipts containing BPA in Suffolk County.
Miller is a board member of the Children’s Environmental Health Center, Mount Sinai and is a founding member of the NY State Breast Cancer Network. Currently, Karen’s organization, HBCAC, is a chosen partner with Michigan State University on the five-year program — Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Program, which studies environmental exposures on mammary development and breast cancer risk, a NIEHS and the National Cancer Institute Project.
Marian Pavuk, M.D., Ph.D.; CDC/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Marian Pavuk is a senior epidemiologist at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. He served as the principal investigator on the Anniston Follow up Study and coordinated activities of the Anniston PCB Health Consortium on the first Anniston study.
The focus of his research has been on chronic health outcomes linked to exposure to dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) with emphasis on cardiometabolic outcomes, diabetes, and thyroid disease.
David Szabo, Ph.D.; PPG Industries
David Szabo, Ph.D., DABT is an experienced Toxicologist with many years of experience in both industry and government sectors. He is currently a Manager of Corporate Toxicology at PPG Industries supporting Product Stewardship and Global Sustainability of coatings and specialty consumer products. He has prior regulatory experience, which was gained at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), after receiving a Ph.D. in Toxicology from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2011 and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2005. His professional interests include developing next-generation of human health risk assessment methods for the protection of public health, application of predictive computational models for occupational exposure and food contact materials, and toxicokinetics of persistent organic pollutants. He has co-authored several publications and book chapters with a recent focus on cross-industry and government working groups generating in silico frameworks for regulatory acceptance. He is actively involved in several leadership positions in local and national scientific societies and serves as incoming president of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) Computational Toxicology Specialty Section (CTSS). He is a member of the SOT Communication and Collaboration Group, a member of the board of Directors of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT), and he has been instrumental in shaping the Product Stewardship Society (PSS) accreditation criteria. As Dr. Birnbaum's last PhD student mentored at her EPA laboratory while she was serving as the Director of the NIEHS, he has had the honor of receiving her guidance resulting from her long and successful career. As a mentor, life-long collaborator, and friend, she continues to leave a lasting impression on the importance of scientific inclusion and balanced communication. It is actually her kindness that he remembers and is most grateful for, which has helped him to exercise positive engagement with those around him both inside and outside of work.
Martin van den Berg, Ph.D.; Emeritus Professor, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Martin van den Berg is an emeritus professor in toxicology, former deputy director of the Institute of Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS; formerly RITOX) of the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands and former head of the Toxicology and Pharmacology Division of IRAS. He is also appointed as an honorary professor in environmental toxicology at the University of Queensland (Brisbane) and a visiting professor at the Royal Chulabhorn Research Institute and Graduate School in Bangkok. In autumn 2006, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Umea, Sweden for his research on mixture toxicity of dioxin-like compounds. From 2010 to 2012, he was president of the Dutch Society of Toxicology.
He is a graduate of the University of Amsterdam (1986) with an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in environmental and toxicological chemistry. Dr. van den Berg's areas of research includes toxicokinetics; metabolism and reproductive and interactive effects of halogenated polyaromatics; interactions of xenobiotics and phytochemicals on steroid hormone synthesis; metabolism and its relation with hormone-dependent tumors; and development of in vitro assays to detect endocrine disruptors. These studies are done with mammals, birds, and fish, as well as in in vitro systems. The results of his scientific work and that of his research group have been published in approximately 375+ scientific articles, short papers, and conference proceedings. Dr. Van den Berg is a European registered toxicologist.
Dr. van den Berg is connected to several national and international organizations that are involved with the toxicological risk assessment of environmental and food contaminants, as well as pesticides. He was a member of the Health Council of The Netherlands and chaired and served on several of its (permanent) committees until 2015. He was also director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Research on Environmental Health Risk Assessment, which was based at IRAS (Utrecht University) until 2015. During the last five years, he has been acting as an advisor and meeting chair on many WHO, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, European Union and U.S. committees that are dealing with the (environmental) health effects of dioxins, PCBs, and endocrine disruptors or the use of bioassays for rapid screening techniques.
Dr. van den Berg is member of the Society of Toxicology (U.S.) and Dutch Society of Toxicology. For the Dutch Society of Toxicology, he has been a member of the registration committee for toxicologists for seven years, and in 2010 he was elected president of the society. In the past, he has also been editor of Chemosphere of the Environmental Toxicology and Risk Assessment Section and has been a member of the editorial boards or Toxicological Sciences and Environmental and Toxicological Chemistry. He is a member of the faculty of 1000 Biology and is a reviewer and appointed faculty member of the section Toxicology of the faculty of Pharmacology and Drug Discovery. In 2016, he was appointed as co-editor in chief of Current Opinion in Toxicology (Elsevier), and since January 2019, he has been co-editor in chief of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. He is also an associate editor of Environmental Health Perspectives and editorial board member of Toxicology Letters, as well as of Toxicology Reports and Current Research in Toxicology. From 2004 to 2007 he served as the only European member of the program committee of the Society of Toxicology in the U.S. In 2008, he was appointed to the Committee of an Appeal from the Board of Authorisation of Plant Protection Products and Biocidal Products. In 2016, he won the Media Award from the University of Utrecht for his regular performances on various tv and radio programs, as well as quotes in newspapers.
Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D.; University of California, San Francisco
Tracey Woodruff is the Alison S. Carlson Endowed Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment. She is a recognized expert on environmental pollution exposures and impacts on health, with a focus on pregnancy, infancy, and childhood, and her innovations in translating and communicating scientific findings for clinical and policy audiences. She has authored numerous scientific publications and book chapters, and has been quoted widely in the press, including USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The New York Times. Before joining UCSF, Dr. Woodruff was a senior scientist and policy advisor for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Policy. She is an associate editor of Environmental Health Perspectives. She was appointed by the governor of California in 2012 to the Science Advisory Board of the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant (DART) Identification Committee.
Rick Woychik, Ph.D.; Acting Director NIEHS
Richard Woychik became the Acting Director of NIEHS, one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) on October 4, 2019. In these roles, Dr. Woychik oversees federal funding for biomedical research to discover how the environment influences human health and disease. Woychik and NIEHS/NTP staff receive input from several advisory boards and councils to accomplish this significant task.
Before becoming acting director and since 2011, Woychik served as deputy director of NIEHS. In this role, he assisted the former NIEHS director, Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., in the formulation and implementation of plans and policies necessary to carry out NIEHS missions and the administrative management of NIEHS.
As a mammalian geneticist, Woychik has had a number of noteworthy accomplishments. His laboratory was the first to clone and characterize the gene called agouti, which provided molecular insights into obesity and the satiety response in the brain. In addition, his laboratory was the first to identify a gene mutation associated with polycystic kidney disease, which provided insights into the molecular biology of this important human disease. Also, his laboratory was the first to determine that a member of the protocadherin family was associated with hearing loss in a mouse model, which ultimately paved the way to better understanding the molecular basis of Usher syndrome type 1F in humans. Recently, his research program has been focused on investigating the molecular mechanisms associated with how environmental agents influence the epigenetic control of gene expression.
Woychik previously served as president and CEO of Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, and also as the director of the laboratory’s National Cancer Institute designated cancer center. Before leading Jackson Laboratory, Woychik’s professional history also included positions in both academia and industry: chief scientific officer for Lynx Therapeutics, Hayward, California; head of the Parke-Davis Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Alameda, California; professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Genetics and Pharmacology at the Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio; and senior research scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Woychik completed his B.S. and M.S. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology at Case Western Reserve University in 1984. He received his postdoctoral training in the Laboratory of Philip Leder at Harvard Medical School with fellowship support from the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund and from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.