Scott S. Auerbach, Ph.D., is a molecular toxicologist in the Molecular Toxicology and Informatics Group within the Biomolecular Screening Branch of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Division. His primary role is the analysis and interpretation of multivariate data sets (i.e., data sets containing data from microarray analysis, RNA sequencing, and high-throughput screening). His specific responsibilities include oversight of the NTP DrugMatrix Database and ToxFX, multivariate data analysis and modeling with the purpose of prioritizing chemicals for targeted toxicological assessment, use of machine learning approaches to develop multivariate data models that diagnose and predict toxicological pathology and disease, application of short-term in vivo transcriptomic studies to allow the identification of genomic benchmark dose values and mechanistic characterization, and pathway- and network-level characterization of toxicity-related omics results with the goal of understanding mechanisms of toxicity. He received a B.S. in biochemistry and molecular biology from The Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Washington.
Charles Bailey, M.D., Ph.D., is a member of the Divisions of Oncology and Hematology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania. As part of the general oncology group, he cares for patients with a variety of tumors. His focus is on leukemia and lymphoma and particularly on acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer. In addition to caring for patients on the inpatient service and in the clinic, Dr. Bailey serves as part of the steering committee for the division’s Leukemia/Lymphoma Group. Dr. Bailey also serves as the lead investigator for the Data Coordinating Center of PEDSnet, a collaboration across pediatric academic centers to provide a standardized model for clinical data that are accessible for observational research and clinical trials as part of the PCORnet national research network (an initiative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute [PCORI]).
Other work includes the development of pediatric quality measures through the use of electronic records and clinical data to improve outcomes for children with complex diseases.
Robert Barouki, M.D., is a biochemist and molecular biologist whose main focus during the past 15 years has been understanding the mechanisms of toxicity of environmental pollutants, such as dioxin. In particular, he has studied the biological consequences following the activation of the dioxin receptor aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). Dr. Barouki initially focused on consequences related to cellular stresses, such as oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress. He subsequently studied the different effects triggered by different ligands of the AhR using, in particular, omics technologies, suggesting that part of the toxicity may be related to the disruption of endogenous functions. Recently, his main focus has been on developmentally relevant cellular effects that are disrupted by the AhR, notably, the epithelial–mesenchymal transition. In addition to cancer development, he is now focusing on the effects of pollutants on adipose tissue functions and on the nervous system in rodents and in Caenorhabditis elegans. His additional projects include clinical studies in obese individuals, as well as studies on the toxicity of drugs and ethanol and the development of relevant biomarkers in humans.
Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., DABT, ATS, is the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP), located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. She oversees a $740 million budget that funds multi-disciplinary biomedical research programs, prevention, and intervention efforts that encompass training, education, technology transfer, and community outreach. In most years, NIEHS supports more than 1,000 research grants. A board-certified toxicologist, Dr. Birnbaum has served as a federal scientist for nearly 35 years. She received a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has held several different positions with both NIEHS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology, a fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences, a Collegium Ramazzini Fellow, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.
Dr. Birnbaum is an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at Duke University. She is a former vice president of the American Aging Association, a former chair of the Division of Toxicology of the American Society of Pharmacology and
Experimental Therapeutics, and a former president of the Society of Toxicology.
Frank Biro, M.D., is the director of research, adolescent, and transition medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati. His work focuses on pubertal maturation; that is, how the timing of puberty is impacted by the physical, chemical, and social environment and how changes associated with puberty impact adolescent and adult morbidity and mortality. Dr. Biro is currently working on several grants funded through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Dr. Biro is the principal investigator of the Cincinnati Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), which is a joint effort of researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati, local breast cancer support and service organizations, and local breast cancer survivors and advocates. The goals of BCERP include researching the impact of environmental factors on puberty through epidemiological studies, researching the relationship between biochemical processes associated with obesity and cancer susceptibility, and researching the relationship between the age of breast development and the onset of menarche, the first menstrual cycle. The Growing Up Female project is a collaborative program in which BCERP research examines the role that genetic-level markers and social, environmental, and lifestyle factors play in the timing of puberty. The researchers are specifically interested in defining how diet and environmental exposures affect when a girl starts puberty, how a girl’s genes and her social environment affect when she starts puberty, and what personal and environmental factors are associated with how a girl matures through puberty.
Bruce Blumberg, Ph.D., is currently a professor of developmental and cell biology, pharmaceutical sciences, and biomedical engineering at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Blumberg received a Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His postdoctoral training was in the molecular embryology of vertebrate development at the School of Medicine at UCLA. He was appointed as a staff scientist at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, and joined the faculty at University of California, Irvine, in 1998.
Jeanne Conry, M.D., Ph.D., is assistant physician-in-chief at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center and associate clinical professor of obstetrics-gynecology (OB-GYN) at the University of California, Davis. She has been practicing OB-GYN at Kaiser Permanente for more than 20 years. Dr. Conry’s professional interests include menopausal health and preconception care. She has brought the value of those interests to her role as assistant physician-in-chief, in which she shaped the Roseville group’s chronic conditions management program to include women’s health needs and preconception care. She was also instrumental in overseeing the development of the Roseville Kaiser Permanente Women and Children’s Center. Dr. Conry served as chair of the California Preconception Care Council from 2006 to 2010 and currently serves on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Select Panel on Preconception, a coalition of government and health care providers that seeks to improve pregnancy outcomes by emphasizing the need for healthy choices across the reproductive life span of women. Dr. Conry earned a medical degree from the University of California, Davis. She also holds a doctor of philosophy in biology from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Barbara E. Corkey, Ph.D., is the Zoltan Kohn Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at the Boston University School of Medicine. She serves as director of American Diabetes Association Inc. and AdipoGenix Inc. and as director of the city-wide National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Boston Obesity/Nutrition Research Center. She serves as director of the Obesity Research Center at the Boston University School of Medicine. She has a long-standing interest in metabolism as it relates to obesity. Her main areas of research are obesity and the biochemistry of insulin in the adipose tissue. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and is frequently an invited speaker at national and international institutions and symposia. She was awarded the BEST award for her groundbreaking work in diabetes, and she is the recipient of an NIH MERIT Award (provides long-term, stable support to investigators whose research competence and productivity are distinctly superior), and the Charles H. Best Lectureship and Award from the University of Toronto. Dr. Corkey received a Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Nikhil V. Dhurandhar, Ph.D., is professor and chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. He is president of The Obesity Society for 2014–2015 and an editor of the International Journal of Obesity. As a physician and nutritional biochemist, he has been involved with obesity treatment and research for more than 20 years. Dr. Dhurandhar coined the term “infectobesity,” that is, obesity of infectious origin. Dr. Dhurandhar and colleagues were the first to identify adipogenic effects of an avian adenovirus (SMAM-1) and a human adenovirus (Ad36) and the first to report on the beneficial effects of Ad36, particularly on glucose metabolism. He believes that simple explanations for causes of obesity are inadequate and novel approaches are required for its effective management. Dr. Dhurandhar has received research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other nonprofit or commercial funding sources; has published more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters; and has served as a mentor or adviser for several students and postdoctoral fellows.
William Dietz, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the Sumner Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. Previously, he held positions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tufts University, and the Floating Hospital of New England Medical Center Hospitals. He is a past president of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity and was a member of the advisory board of the Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism, and Diabetes of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and of the 1995 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. In 1998, Dr. Dietz was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. An author and editor, his books include Clinical Obesity in Adults and Children and Nutrition: What Every Parent Needs to Know. Dr. Dietz earned a B.A. from Wesleyan University, an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Ayca Erkin-Cakmak, M.D., M.P.H., received a medical degree from the Istanbul University Cerrahpasa School of Medicine in Istanbul, Turkey. After graduating from the medical school, she completed a pediatrics residency program at the Istanbul University Medical School Hospital. As a first-year resident, she did a 4-week rotation in the Department of Pediatrics at the Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she
had a chance to observe the differences between the health care systems in Turkey and the United States. That 1-month period convinced her to pursue a career in the United States. After residency, Dr. Erkin-Cakmak worked as a visiting physician and clinical researcher in the Pediatric Endocrinology Division at the Yale-New Haven Hospital. She participated in research projects investigating the effectiveness of different insulin regimens in the management of newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes and contributed to clinical studies evaluating the effect of metformin on menstrual irregularity in diabetic adolescents. Dr. Erkin-Cakmak completed training in public health at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, and specifically studied maternal and child health. She currently works at the University of California, San Francisco, as a clinical research associate with Dr. Robert Lustig in a study investigating the effects of reductions in the amount of sugar in the diet on metabolic health among obese children.
Jerrold (Jerry) Heindel, Ph.D., received a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Michigan and worked in the area of reproductive biology and toxicology while on the faculty at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and the University of Mississippi before coming to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to head its reproductive and developmental toxicology group. Twenty years ago he moved to the Division of Extramural Research and Training at NIEHS, where as a scientific program administrator he is responsible for designing, developing, administering, and assessing the impact of the NIEHS grants programs in endocrine disrupters, the developmental basis of diseases, reproductive toxicology, and obesity and diabetes.
Suzette M. Kimball, Ph.D., is acting director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the scientific agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Dr. Kimball was previously director of the Survey’s Eastern Region. Dr. Kimball provides executive leadership of USGS geologic investigations on the past, present, and future conditions of Earth’s environment, hazards, and resources. Specifically, she is responsible for basic earth science programs, including monitoring of worldwide earthquake hazards, geologic mapping of land and seafloor resources, the study of volcano and landslide hazards, and research and assessments of mineral and energy resources. As director of the Eastern Region of USGS, Dr. Kimball led multidisciplinary science programs in geology,
hydrology, biology, and geography covering the 26 U.S. states east of the Mississippi River, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The USGS Eastern Region includes more than 2,600 employees in about 120 locations. Dr. Kimball received a B.A. in English from the College of William & Mary, an M.S. in geology/geophysics from Ball State University, and a Ph.D. in environmental sciences/coastal and oceanographic processes from the University of Virginia.
Judy S. LaKind, Ph.D., is president of LaKind Associates, LLC, an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Dr. LaKind is a health and environmental scientist with expertise in exposure science, assessment of human health risks, biomonitoring, scientific and technical analysis for regulatory support, and state-of-the-science reviews.
Dr. LaKind has spoken and published extensively on exposure- and risk-related issues, including children’s exposures to environmental chemicals, the implications of uncertainty in the risk assessment process, weighing potential risks and benefits related to chemical use, the presence of environmental chemicals in human milk, and the time dependence and distributional analysis of exposure. Dr. LaKind has evaluated the use of human health risk assessment in the development of water quality criteria and has critically analyzed the environmental fate, behavior, and bioavailability of pollutants in the context of setting regulatory criteria. She has developed risk assessments for a variety of urban industrial sites, military bases, and firing ranges and has utilized state-of-the-science models for estimating blood lead levels in adults and children.
Dr. LaKind has taught graduate-level courses in risk assessment and aquatic chemistry at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health and Environment International and is past associate editor for the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. Dr. LaKind is a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Survey Coordinating Committee for the WHO Global Survey of Human Milk for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), a counselor with the International Society of Exposure Science, and a board member of the National Swimming Pool Foundation. She is a former
member of Maryland’s Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council, the Lead Poisoning Prevention Commission, and the Maryland Pesticide Reporting and Information Workgroup. Dr. LaKind also served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange Exposure and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board Panel on Perchlorate: Approaches for Deriving Maximum Contaminant Level Goals for Drinking Water.
Juliette Legler, Ph.D., is a toxicologist with training in environmental sciences, aquatic ecotoxicology, and molecular biology. She is a professor of toxicology and environmental health and deputy head of the Institute for Environmental Studies’ Department of Chemistry and Biology at the Vrije University (VU) Amsterdam. She teaches toxicology at the B.Sc. and M.Sc. levels at VU and is coordinator of the M.Sc. ecology–environmental chemistry and toxicology specialization. Her research focuses on determination of the molecular mechanisms of toxicity of chemicals and their effects on humans and the environment. She is coordinator of the European Union OBELIX (OBesogenic Endocrine disrupting chemicals: LInking prenatal eXposure to the development of obesity later in life) and NWO-VIDI projects (NWO is a national research organization in the Netherlands; VIDI offers individual grants to researchers), which study possible links between early-life-stage exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and the development of obesity later in life. In addition, she participates on various advisory committees, such as committees of the Dutch Health Council and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Sonya Lunder, M.P.H., is a senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group. Prior to joining the Environmental Working Group in 2002, Ms. Lunder managed a community health intervention at a Superfund site and worked on epidemiology studies at California’s Environmental Health Investigations Branch. Her research at the Environmental Working Group focuses on toxic chemicals in food, water, air, and consumer products. Ms. Lunder holds a master’s of public health in environmental health sciences from the University of California, Berkeley.
John M. Rogers, Ph.D., is the director of the Toxicity Assessment Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Research Triangle Park,
North Carolina. Prior to that he served as chief of the Developmental Biology Branch, and he has been with EPA for 30 years. Dr. Rogers is also a graduate faculty affiliate in the curriculum in toxicology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an adjunct professor at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He received a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Miami and was a National Eye Institute postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Rogers’s research addresses mechanisms of abnormal development, including maternally mediated developmental toxicity, maternal nutrition, and the developmental origins of health and disease. Dr. Rogers is a past president of the Teratology Society, a member of the Society of Toxicology (SOT), a past president of the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity Specialty Section of SOT, and a member of the International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease.
Kristina Rother, M.D., M.H.S., is a clinical investigator in the Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Dr. Rother received an M.D. degree at the University of Freiburg in Germany. She completed a residency in pediatrics at the Mayo Clinic and fellowships in pediatric endocrinology at the Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Children’s Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2008, Dr. Rother earned a master of health sciences degree in clinical research through a collaboration between the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center and Duke University Medical Center. She is the principal investigator on a bench-to-bedside study and has been in her current position since 2000. Dr. Rother’s research has focused on islet cell transplantation, islet cell regeneration, and beta cell preservation in pediatric and adult patients with type 1 diabetes. Most recently, her research interests have included pediatric type 2 diabetes, how bariatric surgery works to resolve type 2 diabetes in adults, and the metabolic effects of artificial sweeteners.
Beverly Rubin, Ph.D., is associate professor of integrative physiology and pathobiology at the Tufts Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. Her research focuses on gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), the primary hypothalamic signal regulating pituitary gonadotropin secretion, and its essential function for reproductive fertility. Patterns of GnRH release are sexually dimorphic, established perinatally, and altered with age. She is interested in further deciphering the exquisitely orchestrated
events involved in the regulation of GnRH secretion required to support reproductive cyclicity and ovulation in female mammals and in delineating age-related changes that contribute to reproductive decline. She is also examining how the development, function, and aging of the reproductive axis are influenced by early exposure to endocrine disrupters and studying how perinatal exposure to endocrine disrupters can exert long-term effects on body weight regulation.
Sheela Sathyanarayana, M.D., M.P.H., is an assistant professor of pediatrics and adjunct assistant professor within the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington and an investigator within the Center for Child Health, Behavior, and Development at the Seattle, Washington, Children’s Research Institute. She is a pediatric environmental health specialist. Her research interests focus on exposures to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, including phthalates and bisphenol A, and their impact on reproductive development. Currently, Dr. Sathyanarayana is the center director and clinical director for The Infant Development and Environment Study (TIDES), which is a multicenter cohort study of phthalate exposures in pregnancy and health outcomes in children. She is currently a co-chair for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee. Dr. Sathyanarayana performs environmental health consults for health care professionals, governmental entities, and individual families related to environmental exposures and children’s health. She also practices general pediatrics at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington.
Kristina Thayer, Ph.D., is director of the National Toxicology Program’s (NTP’s) Office of Health Assessment and Translation (OHAT), located on the campus of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). OHAT conducts evaluations to assess the evidence that environmental chemicals, physical substances, or mixtures (collectively referred to as “substances”) cause adverse health effects and provides opinions on whether these substances may be of concern, given what is known about current human exposure levels. OHAT also organizes workshops, state-of-the-science evaluations, and other analysis activities to address issues of importance in environmental health sciences. Before becoming director of OHAT, she held positions in the NTP Office of Liaison, Policy, and Review, the NIEHS Office of Risk Assessment Research, and the NTP Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human
Reproduction. Prior to joining NTP/NIEHS, she was a senior scientist at the World Wildlife Fund and then at the Environmental Working Group.
Damaskini (Dania) Valvi, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., is a research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Boston, Massachusetts) and the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (Barcelona, Spain). She received a graduate degree in medicine from the University of Crete, Greece, and an M.P.H. and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. Her primary research focus is to study whether exposure to environmentally persistent and nonpersistent pollutants early in life may influence children’s health later in life, with a special interest in studying obesity and diabetes. She is also interested in identifying (1) the sources of environmental pollutant exposures in pregnant women and children; (2) factors, including dietary, genetic, and epigenetic factors, that are modifying the effects of exposures to environmental pollutants on metabolic outcomes; and (3) the mechanisms that underlie the effects of environmental pollutant exposures on weight gain and metabolism in humans.
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