COMMITTEE BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES
Stephen L. Hauser, M.D. (Chair), is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. He is board certified in both internal medicine and neurology. He has been President, American Neurological Association and received the 2008 John Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis Research. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Annals of Neurology and is also an editor of the textbook Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. His research interests are in the areas of multiple sclerosis, neuroimmunology, autoimmunity, and human genetics. Dr. Hauser is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and has served on the IOM Membership Committee and on the Committee on Multiple Sclerosis: Current Status and Strategies for the Future. Dr. Hauser received his M.D. from the Harvard Medical School.
Alvaro Alonso, M.D., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. His research interests are in the areas of epidemiology of cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders, specifically multiple sclerosis and neurodegenerative conditions. Dr. Alonso received a Fulbright Fellowship in 2004 to conduct post-doctoral research at Harvard School of Public Health. He obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.
Robert H. Brown, Jr., M.D., is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine. Previously, he was Director of the Day Neuromuscular Research Laboratory and Professor of Neurology at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Brown’s research is focused on the molecular basis of selected inherited neuromuscular disorders, particularly gene defects in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, one type of muscular dystrophy, hyperkalemic periodic paralysis, hereditary sensory neuropathy type 1, and adrenoleukodystrophy. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Brown received his M.D. from the Harvard Medical School and his D.Phil. from the University of Oxford.
Douglas A. Drossman, M.D., is Co-Director of the UNC Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders, and Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at the UNC School of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. He has a long standing interest in the research and evaluation of difficult to diagnose and treat gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. He began a program of research in functional GI disorders at UNC more than 25 years ago, has received large number of NIH grants in this area, and has published more than 500 books, articles, and abstracts relating to epidemiology, psychosocial and quality of life assessment, design of treatment trials, and outcomes of research in GI disorders. Dr. Drossman received his M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
W. Dana Flanders, M.D., D.Sc., is Professor of Epidemiology in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Dr. Flanders teaches courses on epidemiological methodology and study design and conducts research on health risks in many areas, including those related to exposure to environmental Legionella bacteria, development of Legionella sampling strategies, association of hypersensitivity pneumonitis in metal workers with mycobacteria in metal-working fluids, cancer and genetic epidemiology, and health risks associated with indoor exposure to toxigenic fungi and air pollution. He received his M.D. from the University of Vermont, his D.Sc. degree in Epidemiology and Masters Degree in Public Health from Harvard University, and is board certified in Preventive Medicine.
Matthew C. Keifer, M.D., M.P.H., is Co-Director of the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center and professor in the Occupational Medicine Program at the University of Washington. He practices and teaches occupational and internal medicine at the Harborview Medical Center of the University of Washington, and at the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic. Dr. Keifer is currently the Director of the Fogarty International Scholars program at the University. His research interests focus on the health of agricultural workers, international occupational and environmental health, and the health effects of exposure to occupational pesticides. Dr. Keifer served on the NRC Subcommittee on Methyl Bromide. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Preventive Medicine-Occupational and Environmental Medicine. He received his M.D. from the University of Illinois and his M.P.H. from the University of Washington.
Francine Laden, D.Sc., is the Mark and Catherine Winkler Associate Professor of Environmental Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Dr. Laden’s research focuses on environmental risk factors of chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory disease. She studies the relationship of exposure to organochlorine chemicals with both breast cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She also studies the association of exposure to diesel exhaust and other sources of fine particulate matter with all cause mortality and incidence of and mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory disease and lung cancer. Dr. Laden received her Sc.D. from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Jennifer D. Peck, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Her research focuses on the reproductive health effects of environmental exposures to endocrine active agents. She has also studied exposures to tobacco smoke, nonpersistent compounds such as phthalates, and persistent organic pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated biphenyl ethers and their effects on thyroid function and neurodevelopment in human populations. She received her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Beate R. Ritz, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Vice Chair, Department of Epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health. Her primary research interests are the effects of occupational and environmental toxins such as pesticides, ionizing radiation, and air pollution on chronic diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson’s disease),
cancers, and adverse birth outcomes. Dr. Ritz received her M.D. from the Board of Health in Hamburg, Germany and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Rebecca P. Smith, M.D., is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital and Medical School. She has worked on the development of clinical and research programs for survivors of terrorism, disasters and violence, in the United States and abroad, including India, Sri Lanka, Israel and the Palestinian territories, New Orleans, and the Asian Tsunami). She has done extensive work on monitoring the physical and mental health effects of the World Trade Center disaster. Dr. Smith has also worked in design and analysis of epidemiologic studies and clinical trials of human immunodeficiency virus and the epidemiology of suicide. Dr. Smith attended Brown University Medical School and completed her psychiatric residency and fellowship at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Ezra S. Susser, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Epidemiology, at the Mailman School of Public Health and Professor of Psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. His recent research has been primarily on the epidemiology of mental disorders, and on examining the role of early-life experience in health and disease throughout the life course. He heads the Imprints Center for Genetic and Environmental Lifecourse Studies, which fosters collaborative research and intellectual exchange among investigators studying developmental origins in birth cohorts across the globe. As one example, the findings from a series of studies have suggested that exposure to famine in early gestation is associated with increased schizophrenia among offspring. Dr. Susser is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Epidemiology, and Former Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health (1999-2008). He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.
Christina M. Wolfson, Ph.D., is Director of the Division of Clinical Epidemiology at the McGill University Health Centre and a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Occupational Health and in the Department of Medicine at McGill University. She is an Associate Member in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and the Division of Geriatric Medicine at McGill University. Her research lies in the epidemiology of neurodegenerative disorders, including dementia, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. She is also Co-Principal Investigator on the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, a nationwide 20-year study of 50,000 participants aged 45 to 85. Dr. Wolfson received her Ph.D. in epidemiology and biostatistics from McGill University.