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Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012 (2014)

Chapter: Appendix D: Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff." Institute of Medicine. 2014. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18395.
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Appendix D


Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff

Mary K. Walker, PhD (Chair), is Regents’ Professor of Pharmacology/Toxicology in the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy. Her research focuses on the mechanisms by which various ligands (including dioxin) for the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) induce excessive or insufficient activation and thereby produce subtle changes in gene expression that lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood and on the structural, functional, and molecular changes in adult cardiovascular physiology in a genetic mouse model that lacks the AHR gene. Dr. Walker has written numerous peer-reviewed articles and several book chapters. She is a fellow of the American Heart Association, a member of the Society of Toxicology, a panelist on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board, and a reviewer for several journals and study sections. She served on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Veterans and Agent Orange for Update 2006 and chaired the committee for Update 2010.

Rebecca A. Betensky, PhD, is professor of biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Harvard and a PhD in statistics from Stanford University. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, and the 2005 recipient of American Public Health Association’s Mortimer Spiegelman Award for outstanding contributions to health statistics by a statistician under 40 years old. Her current methodologic interests are in latent-class modeling for genomic data and survival analysis under complex sampling and with auxiliary information. The applications of her epidemiologic analyses have primarily been in neurology and oncology. She served on the Institute of

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff." Institute of Medicine. 2014. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18395.
×

Medicine Committee on Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury.

Michael J. Carvan, III, PhD, MS, is Shaw Associate Professor at the School of Freshwater Sciences and School of Public Health, both of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He earned his MS in biologic oceanography at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in Coral Gables and his PhD in veterinary anatomy and public health with a focus in toxicology from Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in College Station. After obtaining his doctorate, Dr. Carvan held National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences molecular toxicology fellowships at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. His research uses zebrafish as a genetic system for identifying genes that influence susceptibility of response to xenobiotics.

Scott Davis, PhD, MS, is a professor in and chair of the department of epidemiology at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health and a member of the Division of Public Health Sciences of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Dr. Davis is a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and a member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. He received undergraduate training in biology and chemistry at the University of New Mexico, an MS in community health from the University of Rochester, and his PhD in epidemiology from the University of Washington. Early in his career, he participated in epidemiologic investigations at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima. He previously served on the National Research Council’s Committee on Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR VII) and recently completed a 4-year term on the National Cancer Institute’s Board of Scientific Counselors.

Naihua Duan, PhD, MA, is a professor of biostatistics at Columbia University and director of the Division of Biostatistics of the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City. He received a BS in mathematics from National Taiwan University, an MA in mathematical statistics from Columbia University, and a PhD in statistics from Stanford University. His research interests include study design, particularly for investigations that have multilevel data structures. He previously served on the National Academies committees that prepared Human Exposure Assessment to Airborne Pollutants: Advances and Opportunities; Organ Procurement and Transplantation: Assessing Current Policies and the Potential Impact of the DHHS Final Rule; Carbon Monoxide Episodes in Meteorological and Topographical Problem Areas; Assessing the Medical Risks of Human Oocyte Donation for Stem Cell Research; Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Military Personnel, Veterans, and Their Families Phase 2; Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2008; and Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2010.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff." Institute of Medicine. 2014. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18395.
×

Stephanie M. Engel, PhD, MSPH, is an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. She earned her MSPH and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Engel’s research considers the effect of environmental exposures and innate susceptibility factors on adverse pregnancy outcomes and neurodevelopmental impairment in children. She has conducted multiple studies of maternal and child genetic variability in relation to prematurity, growth restriction, pre-eclampsia, and gestational hypertension. Dr. Engel has also conducted studies of prenatal exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and pesticides in relation to neonatal, infant, and child neurodevelopment. She is particularly engaged in efforts to characterize the mechanistic relations between endocrine disrupting exposures and neurodevelopment.

Jennifer R. Grandis, MD, FACS, is professor of otolaryngology and pharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of the Head and Neck Cancer Program of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Consistently funded by grants from the National Institute of Health and the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Grandis’s research laboratory is devoted to the study of autocrine signaling pathways and genetic alterations in squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Dr. Grandis completed medical school, residencies in otolaryngology and surgery, and a fellowship in infectious disease at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She has contributed numerous articles and abstracts to the scientific literature and holds patents for novel concepts pertaining to cancer treatments and diagnostics. She was elected to the IOM, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians. She is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological (Triologic) Society.

Karl Kelsey, MD, MOH, is a professor of epidemiology and pathology and of laboratory medicine at Brown University. He received his MD from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in occupational health from Harvard University. Until 2007, he was on the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. He is interested in the application of laboratory-based biomarkers in chronic-disease epidemiology and tumor biology and in characterizing individual susceptibility to cancer. He is an author of more than 200 publications and has served on the National Academies Committees on Toxicity Testing and Assessment of Environmental Agents; on Copper in Drinking Water; on the Evaluation of the Department of Veterans Affairs Uniform Case Assessment Protocol; to Review the Health Consequences of Service During the Persian Gulf War; to Conduct a Study on Curriculum Development in Environmental Medicine; and on the Health Effects of Mustard Gas and Lewisite. He also served on the IOM Committee on Veterans and Agent Orange for Update 2010.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff." Institute of Medicine. 2014. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18395.
×

Stephen B. Kritchevsky, PhD, MSPH, is a professor of internal medicine and translational science and director of the J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. After receiving both his MSPH and PhD in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he joined the Departments of Biostatistics and of Epidemiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where he founded that school’s Master’s of Clinical Epidemiology Program. Dr. Kritchevsky’s research interests are related to conditions that compromise the health of aging populations, particularly inflammation, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. He has published more than 250 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gerontology of Medical Sciences. He previously served on the IOM Committees on Veterans and Agent Orange for Update 2008 and for Update 2010.

James R. Olson, PhD, MS, is a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences of the University at Buffalo, where he also serves as director of the Environmental Health Sciences Division in the School of Public Health and Health Professions. His research focuses on the toxicity and mechanism of action of dioxin and related chemicals in laboratory animals and humans and on human exposure to, metabolism of, and susceptibility to pesticides and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. Dr. Olson is the author or coauthor of numerous articles. He served on the IOM Committee on Veterans and Agent Orange for Update 2010.

Gail S. Prins, PhD, is the Michael Reese Professor of Urology and Physiology and director of the University Andrology Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her PhD in physiology from the University of Illinois Medical Center and completed a National Institutes of Health fellowship at Northwestern University Medical School. Her primary research interest is in prostate growth and function and how developmental reprogramming by natural and environmental estrogens contributes to carcinogenesis with aging. She has done extensive research in tying bisphenol A exposure early in life to later susceptibility to health issues. In 2011, Dr. Prins received the 2011 Researcher of the Year award from the University of Illinois for this research. She previously served on the External Scientific Review Committee for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and was a member of the Integration Panel for the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program. Dr. Prins is a past president of the American Society of Andrology and currently serves as editor of Endocrinology and associate editor of Andrology.

Helen H. Suh, ScD, is associate professor of health sciences and an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University. She is also a senior fellow at the National Opinion Re-

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff." Institute of Medicine. 2014. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18395.
×

search Center at the University of Chicago and an adjunct senior lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Suh is an expert in air-pollution exposure assessment, measurements, and environmental epidemiology. She has been the principal investigator of numerous exposure and health studies, including those to characterize multipollutant exposures, to examine cardiovascular health effects of air pollution, and to develop GIS-based spatial smoothing models to estimate chronic exposures to particles. She is a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and has been a member of previous National Academies committees, including the Committee to Review the Draft IRIS Assessment on Formaldehyde. Dr. Suh is an associate editor of the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. She has performed advisory work in environmental sciences for numerous international, national, and local organizations. Dr. Suh received a BS in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MS and a ScD in environmental health sciences from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Marc Weisskopf, PhD, ScD, is an associate professor of environmental and occupational epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Weisskopf received his PhD in neuroscience from the University of California, San Francisco, and his ScD in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. His research focuses on how environmental factors affect the nervous system and on the epidemiology of neurologic disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson disease, and autism spectrum disorders. He has served on the IOM committee on the long-term neurologic consequences of traumatic brain injury and the external advisory board for the Department of Defense Millennium Cohort Study, and he assisted the Environmental Protection Agency in the section on adult neurological health effects of the National Assessment of Air Quality Standard for Lead.

Lori A. White, PhD, MS, is associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She received a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Maine, earned a PhD in biochemistry from Dartmouth Medical School, and did postdoctoral work at the University of Wisconsin. She has been active in Gordon Conference programs and was the chairperson for the Mechanisms of Toxicology summer session in 2008. Her research interests include elucidation of dioxin’s carcinogenic activity and use of the zebrafish as a model for investigating the effects of environmental chemicals on development.

Luoping Zhang, PhD, is an adjunct professor of toxicology in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences of the School of Public Health of the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley). She is also an associate director of the Genes and Environment Laboratory and co-leader and co-principal investigator

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff." Institute of Medicine. 2014. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18395.
×

of the UC Berkeley Superfund Basic Research Program. Dr. Zhang received her PhD in biochemistry and toxicology from Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada, in 1993. Her research has focused on investigating biologic consequences and molecular mechanisms of leukemia and lymphoma associated with exposures to toxic chemicals (such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene). Most recently, Dr. Zhang’s group used many high-throughput novel technologies, such as single-cell genetic analysis and array-based omic technologies, including toxicogenomics, proteomics and epigenetics in molecular epidemiology studies, and micro RNA and RNA interference in human cell cultures. A systems biology approach is applied in her population studies. Recently, she has turned her attention to studying chemically induced toxicity in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Dr. Zhang was a member of the IOM Committee on Veterans and Agent Orange for Update 2010.

Staff Biographies

Mary Burr Paxton, PhD, is a Senior Program Officer in the IOM’s Board on the Health of Select Populations. Before joining IOM, she worked as a consultant on the regulation of toxic substances and managed the conduct and analysis of several epidemiologic studies on veterans’ health. She received an MS in biostatistics from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and a doctorate in genetics from the George Washington University. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology. Dr. Paxton has worked on several National Academies reports, including Issues in Risk Assessment; Environmental Neurotoxicology; Gulf War and Health: Insecticides and Solvents; Gulf War and Health: Fuels, Combustion Products, and Propellants; Asbestos: Selected Cancers; Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2004; Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2006; Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2008; and Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2010.

Jennifer A. Cohen, MPH, is a Program Officer in the IOM’s Board on the Health of Select Populations. She received her undergraduate degree and her MPH from the University of Maryland. She has been involved with the IOM committees that produced Organ Procurement and Transplantation; Clearing the Air: Asthma and Indoor Air Exposures; Veterans and Agent Orange: Herbicide/Dioxin Exposure and Type 2 Diabetes; Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2000; Veterans and Agent Orange: Herbicide/Dioxin Exposure and Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in the Children of Vietnam Veterans; Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2004; Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2006; Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2008; and Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2010. She was also rapporteur for the IOM report Challenges and Successes in Reducing Health Disparities.

Tia S. Carter, MS, is a Senior Program Assistant in the IOM’s Board on the Health of Select Populations. She earned her master’s in health care administra-

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff." Institute of Medicine. 2014. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18395.
×

tion from the University of Maryland University College. She received her undergraduate degree in community health from the University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining IOM, she worked at the Greater Washington Urban League in the Division of Aging and Health Services as the health-promotions coordinator, where she was responsible for health-promotion and disease-prevention education services and activities among the elderly. She has been involved with the IOM committees that produced Asbestos: Selected Cancers; Provision of Mental Health Counseling Services under TRICARE; Climate Change, the Indoor Environment, and Health; Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2004; Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2006; Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2008; and Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2010.

Frederick (Rick) Erdtmann, MD, MPH, is Director of the IOM’s Board on the Health of Select Populations. He earned his MD from Temple University School of Medicine, and he holds an MPH from the University of California, Berkeley. He completed a residency program in general preventive medicine at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in 1975 and is board-certified in that specialty. Dr. Erdtmann’s assignments with the Army Medical Department included being chief of preventive-medicine services at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, at Frankfurt Army Medical Center in Germany, and at Madigan Army Medical Center. He also served as division surgeon for the Second Infantry Division in Tongduchon, Korea. He later served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Clinical Operations in the Department of Defense’s TRICARE Region 1 before assuming hospital command at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in March 1998. After that, he was assigned to the Office of the Surgeon General as the Deputy Assistant Surgeon General for Force Development. In 2001, after 30 years of commissioned military service, Dr. Erdtmann joined the National Academies and assumed his present responsibilities.

Norman Grossblatt, ELS(D), is a senior editor at the National Academies. Before joining the National Research Council Division of Medical Sciences in 1963, he worked as an analyst in information storage and retrieval at Documentation Incorporated and as a technical editor at the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Co., Nuclear Power Department, in Washington, DC. He received a BA in English from Haverford College. Mr. Grossblatt is a diplomate editor in the life sciences and was the founding president of the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences. He is a fellow of the American Medical Writers Association and a recipient of its President’s Award; a member of the Council of Science Editors and, since 1997, the manuscript editor of its journal, Science Editor; and a member of the European Association of Science Editors. At the National Academies, he has edited more than 300 reports.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff." Institute of Medicine. 2014. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18395.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff." Institute of Medicine. 2014. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18395.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff." Institute of Medicine. 2014. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18395.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff." Institute of Medicine. 2014. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18395.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff." Institute of Medicine. 2014. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18395.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff." Institute of Medicine. 2014. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18395.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Biographies of Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) and Staff." Institute of Medicine. 2014. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18395.
×
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From 1962 to 1971, the US military sprayed herbicides over Vietnam to strip the thick jungle canopy that could conceal opposition forces, to destroy crops that those forces might depend on, and to clear tall grasses and bushes from the perimeters of US base camps and outlying fire-support bases. Mixtures of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), picloram, and cacodylic acid made up the bulk of the herbicides sprayed. The main chemical mixture sprayed was Agent Orange, a 50:50 mixture of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T. At the time of the spraying, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), the most toxic form of dioxin, was an unintended contaminant generated during the production of 2,4,5-T and so was present in Agent Orange and some other formulations sprayed in Vietnam.

Because of complaints from returning Vietnam veterans about their own health and that of their children combined with emerging toxicologic evidence of adverse effects of phenoxy herbicides and TCDD, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was asked to perform a comprehensive evaluation of scientific and medical information regarding the health effects of exposure to Agent Orange, other herbicides used in Vietnam, and the various components of those herbicides, including TCDD. Updated evaluations are conducted every two years to review newly available literature and draw conclusions from the overall evidence.Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2012 reviews peer-reviewed scientific reports concerning associations between health outcomes and exposure to TCDD and other chemicals in the herbicides used in Vietnam that were published in October 2010--September 2012 and integrates this information with the previously established evidence database. This report considers whether a statistical association with herbicide exposure exists, taking into account the strength of the scientific evidence and the appropriateness of the statistical and epidemiological methods used to detect the association; the increased risk of disease among those exposed to herbicides during service in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era; and whether there exists a plausible biological mechanism or other evidence of a causal relationship between herbicide exposure and the disease.

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