The PFAS Project Lab

Studying Social, Scientific, and Political Factors of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

2019 PFAS Conference Speaker Biographies

For the agenda and general information on the conference, please visit the following webpage: Click Here.

Phil Brown

Greetings and Overview

Director, Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute, Northeastern University

Phil Brown is University Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Health Science at Northeastern University, where he directs the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute and its PFAS Project lab ( , which has grants from NSF to study social policy and activism concerning PFAS, and 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 an 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).


Laurel Schaider

Greetings and Overview, Session 4: AFFF Impacted Communities, Workshop, Session 9: New Insights into Exposure Sources. Workshop

Silent Spring Institute

Dr. Laurel Schaider is a Research Scientist at Silent Spring Institute, where she leads the Institute’s water quality research on PFASs and other contaminants of emerging concern. Her research focuses on PFASs in drinking water and consumer products, including fast food packaging, septic systems as sources of unregulated drinking water contaminants, and disparities in drinking water quality in relation to socioeconomic status of communities across the U.S. She is the lead investigator of PFAS-REACH (Research, Education, and Action for Community Health), a new study evaluating PFAS immunotoxicity in children and addressing the needs of communities affected by PFAS water contamination, and she co-leads the STEEP Superfund Research Program’s Community Engagement Core. She is a technical advisor to ATSDR’s Community Assistance Panel at the Pease Tradeport in Portsmouth, NH. Before joining Silent Spring, she was a research associate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Schaider earned her master’s and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering Science from MIT.

Arlene Blum

Greetings and Overview, Session 1: Social and Scientific Dicovery

Executive Director, Green Science Policy Institute, Research Associate in Chemistry, UC Berkeley Institute

Arlene Blum PhD, biophysical chemist, author, and mountaineer is a Research Associate in Chemistry at UC Berkeley and executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute. The Institute brings government, industry, scientists and citizens groups together to support chemical policies to protect human health and the global environment. The Institute’s scientific research and policy work has contributed to limiting the use of “Six Classes” of harmful chemicals including PFAS and flame retardants in products world-wide. Arlene Blum led the first American—and all-women’s—ascent of Annapurna I, one of the world’s most difficult mountains. She lives in Berkeley California Office Telephone: 510 898 1704 or 510 898 1739 Mobile: 510 919-6363

Rainer Lohmann

Greetings and Overview, Session 9: New Insights into Exposure Sources, Session 10: New Insights into risks to human health

URI Professor of Oceanography & Director, URI STEEP Center

Rainer Lohmann is the Director of the University of Rhode Island Superfund Research Center which focuses on Sources, Transport, Exposure and Effects of PFAS. His SRP project is Developing Passive Samplers for the Detection and Bioaccumulation of PFASs in Water and Porewater. His group conducts research into the sources, transport, and bioaccumulation of anthropogenic pollutants often relying on the use of passive samplers. Other than PFASs, his research covers dioxins, PCBs, legacy pesticides and emerging contaminants. Rainer initiated a global effort to monitor organic contaminants in the waters of the world, termed AQUA-GAPS, which started field trials in 2016. He serves as Editor for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. He is on the Editorial Boards for Environmental Science and Technology, Environmental Pollution and Environmental Science and Technology Letters. He was trained in Chemical Engineering at the Ecole Européenne des Hautes Etudes des Industries Chimiques de Strasbourg (France) and got his Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Lancaster University (UK). Rainer lives in beautiful Narragansett, Rhode Island.


Shaina Kasper

Greetings and Overview, Workshop, Conference Consensus Statement Workshop, Session 12: Waste Exposures

VT/NH State Director at Toxics Action Center, facilitator of the National PFAS Contamination Coalition

Shaina Kasper is the Vermont and New Hampshire State Director of Toxics Action Center, a New England-wide non-profit based in Boston that organizes with communities on the frontlines of local environmental and health threats. At Toxics Action Center, she helps local community groups to clean up hazardous waste sites and promote clean water, safe energy, and zero waste; she also facilitates the National PFAS Contamination Coalition. Shaina’s organizing experience includes fossil fuel divestment, housing and economic justice, good governance, anti-water privatization, and the JOIN for Justice Jewish organizing fellowship. Shaina lives in Montpelier, Vermont.


Joanne Stanton


Co-Founder Buxmont Coalition for Safer Water

Joanne is a community and political activist for children’s environmental health issues and is the co-founder of Buxmont Coalition for Safer Water. Joanne grew up in Warminster, Pennsylvania near the Warminster Naval Air Base and Willow Grove Naval Air Station; both National Priority List Superfund sites. Following her son’s cancerous brain tumor diagnosis, she became involved in community and political activism surrounding children’s environmental health issues and has co-authored a current events book on the topic that was published by Morgan James in 2018. The book is titled: Behind Closed Doors: The Practices Harming our Children’s Health and What We Can Do About it, an expose about the declining health of an entire generation of American children caused by weak chemical laws and poor industry practices, providing steps that can be taken to help parents reverse that trend. Additionally, she has more than 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry as a senior medical and scientific communications writer. In June 2018, Stanton was invited to present her book’s research, as well as related environmental health topics, at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee and was inducted into Temple University’s Gallery of Success. Stanton continues to speak and advocate for stricter chemical laws, industry and political reform, and enforceable drinking water standards for PFAS.


Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., A.T.S.


Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program

Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., is director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health, and the National Toxicology Program (NTP). A board-certified toxicologist, Birnbaum has served as a federal scientist for nearly 40 years. Prior to her appointment as NIEHS and NTP Director in 2009, she spent 19 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where she directed the largest division focusing on environmental health research. Birnbaum is an active member of the scientific community, and the author of more than 1000 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and reports. Birnbaum’s own research focuses on the pharmacokinetic behavior of environmental chemicals, mechanisms of action of toxicants including endocrine disruption, and linking of real-world exposures to health effects.

Andrea Amico

Congressional Panel, Session 8: Medical Monitoring and Working with Health Professionals, Workshop

Testing for Pease

Andrea Amico is a co-founder of the Testing for Pease community action group. She started advocating for more answers and action for the Pease community impacted by PFAS water contamination at the former Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, NH in 2014 after learning her husband and two small children were impacted by highly contaminated drinking water. She is passionate about raising awareness of PFAS water contamination, providing education to impacted communities, lowering standards for PFAS in drinking water, and collaborating with others from all aspects of PFAS (communities, physicians, legislators, researchers, government agencies, etc) to achieve a common goal of reducing PFAS exposure through drinking water and everyday products.

Chris Pappas

Congressional Panel

Congressman, US House of Reps

Chris Pappas, a lifelong resident of Manchester, New Hampshire, the 4th-generation co-owner of his family restaurant business, and the first LGBTQ member of Congress from New Hampshire is serving in his first term in the 116th Congress. He has been an early leader this session on PFAS contamination. In January, he joined a bipartisan PFAS Task Force made up of lawmakers around the country committed to addressing this issue and keeping our communities safe. He has already convened three listening sessions to hear from community leaders and residents on the Seacoast and in Merrimack and surrounding communities who have been instrumental in bringing this issue to national prominence and to the attention of the EPA.He has taken a series of steps to address this issue, leading bipartisan legislation in the House to create a PFAS registry for military service members and veterans seeking information, resources, and updates to address health concerns. Congressman Pappas also joined a group of legislators to introduce the VET PFAS Act to require the VA to provide benefits to veterans and their families who have been exposed to PFAS contaminants at military installations. The Congressman also cosponsored legislation requiring the EPA to designate PFAS as a hazardous substance as well as a bill that would create robust funding for PFAS remediation on military bases. He knows that there is much more to be done to keep our communities healthy and safe from PFAS contamination, and he has expressed a commitment to working across the aisle with this bipartisan PFAS Task Force to get it done.

Senator Maggie Hassan

Congressional Panel

United States Senator

Senator Maggie Hassan was elected to the United States Senate in 2016, after serving two terms as New Hampshire’s governor, becoming the second woman in American history to be elected both Governor and United States Senator, along with fellow New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen. Prior to that, Senator Hassan served for 6 years in the New Hampshire State Senate, where she was elected by her colleagues to serve as President Pro Tempore and Majority Leader. Senator Hassan has long fought to ensure that all Granite Staters and Americans have access to clean drinking water and cosponsored legislation to require the EPA to develop a Maximum Contaminant Level for PFOA and PFOS. Last year, Senator Hassan participated in the first-ever Senate hearing on contamination of PFAS in drinking water, and joined in introducing bipartisan legislation, the PFAS Accountability Act, that holds federal agencies accountable for addressing contamination from PFAS at military bases across the country. Additionally, Senator Hassan joined the rest of the New Hampshire Delegation in calling on the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to focus research efforts on the potential connection between PFAS exposure and pediatric cancer. Senator Hassan also supported Senator Shaheen in establishing the first-ever nationwide health study on the impacts of PFAS in drinking water, as well as securing funding for the study in the government funding bill that was signed into law in March 2018. Recently, Senator Hassan cosponsored bipartisan legislation to better identify contamination from PFAS in drinking water and in the environment by developing advanced technologies to detect PFAS and allow for nationwide sampling of these chemicals in the environment. Senator Hassan earned her B.A. from Brown University and her J.D. from the Northeastern School of Law. She and her husband Tom, live in Newfields and are the proud parents of two children, Ben and Meg.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen

Congressional Panel

Office of U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen

Senator Jeanne Shaheen is the first woman in U.S. history to be elected both a Governor and a United States Senator. She has served in the United States Senate since 2009 and is a member of the Senate Committees on Armed Services, Foreign Relations, Appropriations, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. She served as Governor of New Hampshire from 1997 to 2003. Between her time as Governor and election to the U.S. Senate, Senator Shaheen served as the Director of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government. Senator Shaheen has worked closely with New Hampshire communities impacted by PFAS contamination and has helped lead the way in Congress to find solutions. Senator Shaheen worked to secure funding for ATSDR’s Proof-of-Concept Study at Pease which is expected to begin later this year. She has also been a leading co-sponsor of several bills including the PFAS Registry Act, Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act, and the PFAS Action Act.


Michael Hickey

Session 1: Social and Scientific Discovery

Hoosick Falls Resident

Discovered PFOA contamination in Hoosick Falls after his father passed away from kidney cancer.

Sharon Lerner

Session 1: Social and Scientific Dicovery, Workshop

Investigative Reporter, The Intercept and Type Investigations

Sharon Lerner covers health and the environment for The Intercept and is a reporting fellow at the Type Investigations. Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, The Nation, and the Washington Post, among other publications, and has received awards from the Society for Environmental Journalists, the American Public Health Association, the Park Center for Independent Media, the Women and Politics Institute, and the Newswoman’s Club of New York. Her series, The Teflon Toxin, was a finalist for a National Magazine Award.

Courtney Carignan

Session 2: PFOA and PFOS Manufacturing Sites, Workshop

Assistant Professor, Michigan State University

Dr. Carignan is an environmental exposure scientist and epidemiologist whose research helps protect reproductive and child health by investigating exposure to contaminants in consumer products, drinking water and food. She works with PFAS exposed communities in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Michigan.

David Bond

Session 2: PFOA and PFOS Manufacturing Sites

Faculty Member, Bennington College

David Bond teaches anthropology and environmental studies at Bennington College. His work turns critical attention to the proliferating problems of fossil fuels and how we might envision ways of living beyond them. Drawing from research on leaky refineries in the Caribbean, efforts to rein in the BP oil spill, corporate social responsibility in the tar sands of Alberta, and community advocacy along extractive frontiers in northern Alaska, Bond’s work has appeared in Cultural Anthropology, American Ethnologist, and Comparative Studies in Society and History. Since 2015, Bond has helped facilitate an ongoing community based research project on PFAS contamination in Hoosick Falls, Petersburgh, and Bennington. This project leverages the scientific resources of colleges and universities to produce relevant information for community concerns about PFAS contamination. At Bennington College, Bond helps direct the Center for the Advancement of Public Action (CAPA) and was a co-founder of the Bennington Prison Education Initiative (PEI).

Robert Delany

Session 2: PFOA and PFOS Manufacturing Sites

Defense and State Memorandum of Agreement Coordinator

Robert Delaney co-authored the 2012 internal MDEQ (now EGLE) report titled Michigan’s Contamination Induced Human Health Crisis, Addressing Michigan’s Future by Facing the Challenge of the Evolving Nature of Environmental Contamination. The report was a warning to the MDEQ leadership of the widespread contamination of the environment by perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and the dangers of human exposure to PFAS and other widespread contaminants in the environment. In the report, Mr. Delaney predicted the widespread contamination of Michigan’s drinking water and surface waters that are now being documented. He also laid out a road map for addressing the PFAS contamination crisis. Mr. Delaney has over 34 years of experience with the Department. He has provided regulatory oversight on the Department of Defense environmental restoration efforts at former and active bases in Michigan. He serves as the Defense and State Memorandum of Agreement Coordinator for the State of Michigan. Since 2010 he has served on numerous state and national technical work groups studying and providing guidance on PFAS contamination.


Tobyn McNaughton

Session 2: PFOA and PFOS Manufacturing Sites

Affected Belmont Resident

Tobyn McNaughton lives in Belmont Michigan. She has a husband and was married in 2014. She has a son was born in 2016 and two dogs. They had purchased a home in 2012 and lived there pretty happily until 2017 when it was brought to their attention by a lawyer group that their well may be contaminated with a chemical commonly known as Scotchgard. From there it snowballed into a slew of problems from a shoe company dumping into their groundwater from a dump that is about a mile and a half away from them. She decided to start looking into the problem further and trying to find ways to combat this issue on a local, state, and federal level with the help of her truly amazing neighbors. She is a teacher in a Reggio Emilia School and has used her Early Childhood expertise to try and understand how this could affect children. Above all, she is a mom to Jack and has a goal of people making dramatic changes when it comes to PFAS because of him and all children.

Sandy Wynn-Stelt        

Session 2: PFOA and PFOS Manufacturing Sites

Affected Resident-Belmont, MI

Sandy Wynn-Stelt is a psychologist in Belmont Michigan. She and her husband, Joel moved into their Belmont home in 1992, in what they thought was the perfect location. They did not know that the Christmas tree farm directly across the street was actually a dump site which Wolverine World Wide had previously used to dispose their tannery waste. Since learning this, she and her neighbors have become determined to push for change on a local, state and federal level.

Jennifer Carney

Session 2: PFOA and PFOS Manufacturing Sites

Belmont, MI Resident

Jenny, a wife and mother of two, has lived in her current home in Belmont Michigan since January 2011. Jenny speaks out about PFAS to inform others about contamination, letting people know that it can turn up in unexpected places like what happened to her home’s drinking water from her well. Making people aware of this class of chemicals may help with slowing down exposure rates. Around 2016, Jenny’s health declined. After experiencing medical affects which could not be explained, only to overcome them after drinking clean water motivates her to have health affects studied for the variety of PFAS chains.

Brenda Hampton

Session 2: PFOA and PFOS Manufacturing Sites

Administrator, Concerned Citizens WMEL Water Authority Grassroots

Brenda Hampton is the Administrator of Concerned Citizens of WMEL Water Authority Grassroots, a Lawrence County based non profit that promotes Clean and Safe Water for the residents of Morgan and Lawrence county that has been affected by the contamination of PFOA and PFOS in their drinking water. She also supplies the communities with bottle water, food and clothing. Particular the elderly, infants, and expecting mothers who is most affected by these industrial toxins.


Alissa Cordner

Session 3: First Responders and PFAS, Workshop

Associate Professor, Whitman College

Alissa Cordner is Associate Professor of Sociology at Whitman College. Her research focuses on environmental sociology, the sociology of risk and disasters, environmental health and justice, and public engagement in science and policy making. She is the author of “Toxic Safety: Flame Retardants, Chemical Controversies, and Environmental Health” (Columbia University Press). She has also co-authored multiple journal publications on PFAS science, regulation, and advocacy issues.

Miriam Calkins

Session 3: First responders and PFAS

Research Industrial Hygienist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Dr. Miriam Calkins is a Research Industrial Hygienist with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and a co-director for the Exposure Assessment Core team in the Fire Fighter Cancer Cohort Study (FFCCS). She completed her doctorate in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, as well as her masters in Exposure Science, at the University of Washington in Seattle. Currently, Dr. Calkins’ research focuses on occupational heat exposure, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and comprehensive exposure assessments for firefighters during fire response, training, and investigations. Additional research interests include heat stress and traumatic injury in construction and agricultural occupations as well as optimization of monitoring strategies for application to research and practice.

Graham Peaslee

Session 3: First Responders and PFAS

Professor, University of Notre Dame

Dr. Graham Peaslee is a professor of Physics at the University of Notre Dame. He has developed a total fluorine analysis method called Particle-Induced Gamma-ray Emission (PIGE) spectroscopy for use on environmental samples to screen for the presence of PFAS. He has been using this method to identify sources of PFAS and to track the fate and transport of these chemicals in the environment. He also uses nuclear techniques to detect halogenated flame retardants and heavy metals in the environment.


Brian L. Grubb

Session 3: First Responders and PFAS

President International Association Fire Fighters Local F88, USAF Federal Firefighter/Paramedic

Brian Grubb is the President of IAFF Local F88 representing the Professional Firefighters of Wright Patterson AFB FD. HE is a prior military Firefighter for the Air Force and current Civilian Firefighter/Paramedic for the Department of Defense for 22 years. As an elected Union Official for 15 years fighting for Fire Fighter safety, PFOS concerns have taken the frontline since a 2015 incident that permanently injured a Firefighter involving AFFF.

Krystle Mitchell

Session 3: First Responders and PFAS

Senior Scientific and Environmental Officer

Krystle Mitchell is the Senior Scientific and Environmental Officer for the Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) in South Australia where she has worked for the last 13 years. She is the leading scientific specialist on all scientific aspects of hazardous chemicals and the environment, with the primary role being to provide relevant, up to date, expert advice, information and knowledge on hazardous chemicals, the environment and scientific matters relevant to the MFS, other government agencies, industry and the community.

Rob Bilott

Session 3: First Responders and PFAS

Partner, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Robert A. Bilott is a partner in the Cincinnati, Ohio, and Northern Kentucky offices at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP where he has practiced since 1990. During those 28 years, Rob initiated and led the nation’s first PFAS exposure and damages cases, including successful class action and mass tort litigation for tens of thousands of people with PFAS-contaminated drinking water, leading to the recovery of benefits in excess of $1 billion on behalf of those exposed, and has helped regulatory authorities across the globe understand and assess PFAS risks and threats to human health and the environment. In 2017, Rob was awarded the international Right Livelihood Award, also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” for his almost two decades of work on PFAS issues.


Kyle Bagenstose

Session 4: AFFF Impacted Communities, Workshop

Environmental Reporter, Bucks County Courier Times

Kyle Bagenstose is an environmental and investigative reporter with the Bucks County Courier Times newspaper in suburban Philadelphia. Since 2016, he has covered significant PFAS contamination at a trio of area military bases and investigated the national actions and policies of the Department of Defense. His coverage won 2nd place for in-depth reporting from the Society of Environmental Journalists in 2017, as well as numerous state-level investigative and public service journalism awards.

Chris Higgins

Session 4: AFFF-Impacted Communities, Workshop

Professor, Colorado School of Mines

Christopher P. Higgins is an environmental chemist at the Colorado School of Mines (Mines). Dr. Higgins’ received his A.B. in Chemistry from Harvard University, and graduate degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. He joined faculty at the Mines in 2009, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014 and Professor in 2019. His research focuses on the movement of contaminants in the environment. In particular, he studies chemical fate and transport in natural and engineered systems as well as bioaccumulation in plants and animals, with a focus on poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Dr. Higgins has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed publications to date, and he has been an invited speaker at many national and international conferences. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) and Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP). He is a recipient of the 2019 Huber Prize for his research contributions related to the fate and transport of organic contaminants by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Patrick Breysse PhD, CIH

Session 4: AFFF-Impacted Communities, Workshop

Director of the National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry

Patrick Breysse, PhD, CIH, joined CDC in December 2014 as the Director of NCEH/ATSDR. Dr. Breysse leads CDC’s efforts to investigate the relationship between environmental factors and health. He came to CDC from the Johns Hopkins University where his research focused on the evaluation and control of chemical, biological, and physical factors that can affect health, with a particular concentration on risk and exposure assessment. Under Dr. Breysse’s leadership, the agency has prioritized work on exposure to lead, safe drinking water, initiated new ATSDR actions to address exposure to hazardous chemicals, and has played a critical role in CDC’s emergency preparedness and response to natural disasters and chemical exposures. Dr. Breysse received his PhD in Environmental Health Engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1985 and completed postdoctoral training at the British Institute for Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Maureen Sullivan

Session 4: AFFF-Impacted Communities, Workshop

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment,Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Sustainment)

Ms. Sullivan is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Sustainment). Her responsibilities include DoD’s policies and programs related to cleanup of contaminated sites, compliance with environmental laws, fire and emergency services, strategic sustainability planning and addressing emerging contaminants such as PFAS. The DoD environmental research programs working on AFFF replacement and PFAS remediation report to her. She has a 39 year career at DoD, including time in Ohio and Germany with the Defense Logistics Agency; she now lives in Virginia.

Mark A. Favors, RN

Session 4: AFFF Impacted Communities

Director of Political Outreach, Fountain Valley Clean Water Coalition

Born & raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado where the U.S. Air Force admitted dumping into the local drinking water for decades; PFAS-laced fire fighting foam from nearby Peterson AFB

Alayna Davis

Session 5: Political and Economic Context of PFAS]

Testing for Pease, Co-Founder

Alayna Davis is a co-founder of the community group Testing for Pease based out of Portsmouth, NH. She has a passion for educating others about the personal impacts of exposure to environmental toxins, so she was seriously concerned when she learned about the PFAS contamination at the Pease International Tradeport. Her family has been personally impacted by the drinking water contamination at Pease, so she has spent the last several years advocating for her family and educating the exposed community by helping to bring attention to the PFAS issue at the local and federal level. Alayna is committed to promoting more research and education on the health impacts of PFAS in order to regulate and eliminate PFAS exposures. Believing that community engagement can make significant change, she continues to advocate so exposed communities are able to make the most informed decisions for their families.

Rebecca Altman, PhD

Session 5: Political and Economic Context of PFAS

Writer | Environmental Sociologist

Rebecca Altman is a Providence-based writer. Her work explores the history of industrial chemistry and plastics, and their complex environmental legacies. Recent essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Aeon Magazine, Topic, Orion Magazine and Terrain. She is represented by Katie Grimm of Don Congdon Associates and is at work on a manuscript— an intimate history of plastics. Rebecca holds a PhD in environmental sociology from Brown University, where she trained with Drs. Phil Brown, Rachel Morello-Frosch and Julia Brody (Silent Spring Institute). Since 2010, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Science and Environmental Health Network, a national think-tank, through which she continues to work with communities facing chronic contamination and for the rights of future generations to inherit a livable planet. Rebecca has taught at Tufts University and speaks on topics ranging from creative nonfiction to persistent pollutants and plastics. Read her work or watch her 2018 TEDxSanFranisco talk via

Email: or follow her on Twitter @rebecca_altman

Ken Cook

Session 5: Political and Economic Context of PFAS

President and Co-Founder, Environmental Working Group

Ken Cook, president and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group, is widely recognized as one of the environmental community’s most prominent and influential critics of industrial agriculture, U.S. food and farm policy and the nation’s broken approach to protecting families and children from toxic substances. Under Cook’s leadership, EWG has pioneered the use of digital technologies to empower American families with easy-to-use, data-driven tools to help reduce their exposure to potentially harmful ingredients in foods, drinking water, cosmetics and other household products. Capitol Hill’s closely read newspaper, The Hill, regularly lists Cook in its annual roster of Washington’s top lobbyists. In 2013 it said Cook’s “influence spans the country” and called EWG “the tip of the green movement’s spear when it comes to agriculture and food policy.” He is married to Deb Callahan and lives in northern California with their young son, Callahan.

Genna Reed

Session 5: Political and Economic Context of PFAS

Lead Science and Policy Analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, Center for Science and Democracy

Genna Reed is a lead science and policy analyst in the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit organization that puts science into action for a healthy environment and safer world. In her role, she researches political and corporate influences on science-informed decision making—working to inform the public about issues where science is stifled or obscured, and to ensure that federal, state, and local policies are based on rigorous, independent science. She led a 2018 UCS analysis of military sites with PFAS contamination and continues to investigate and push back against misinformation from the chemical industry and attempts to undermine the way that science should be informing PFAS safeguards. Before joining UCS, Ms. Reed was a researcher focusing on corporate interference in the food system at the public interest nonprofit organization Food & Water Watch. Ms. Reed also served as a National Network for Environmental Management Studies fellow for the Environmental Protection Agency. Ms. Reed earned an M.A. in environmental policy design and a B.A. in biology and psychology from Lehigh University.


Laura Rabinow

Session 5: Political and Economic Context of PFAS

PhD Candidate, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institue

Laura Rabinow is a doctoral candidate in Science & Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her research focuses on the intersection of science and policy related to the absence of standards for emerging contaminants in drinking water through a case study of PFOA contamination in Hoosick Falls, New York. Her interest in this case partly draws on her own situatedness as someone who grew up and lives in nearby Troy, New York. In addition, Rabinow’s research draws on a professional background in environmental policy in New York State. Her professional background includes work as: the Environmental Conservation Policy Analyst for the New York State Senate Democratic Conference; the Graduate Fellow for the ranking State Senator on Environmental Conservation; and the Graduate Science/Policy Intern for the New York City Watershed Inspector General in the New York State Office of the Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau.

Andrew B.  Lindstrom

Session 6: Manufacturing Sites Beyond PFOA / PFOS, workshop

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Andrew B. Lindstrom has a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina’s School of Public Health and has been working for the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) for the past 28 years. He is currently conducting method development research for the Exposure Methods and Measurements Division where his areas of expertise include measurement of trace level contaminants in environmental and biological matrices and human exposure assessment.

Detlef Knappe

Session 6: Manufacturing Sites beyond PFOA / PFOS

Professor, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, NC State University

Detlef Knappe is the S. James Ellen Distinguished Professor of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at NC State University, where he is also a member of the NIEHS-funded Center for Human Health and the Environment. After receiving his PhD in Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he joined the faculty at NC State, where he has taught and conducted research for the last 23 years. His research focuses on drinking water quality and treatment. In 2017, Detlef was selected to serve on the North Carolina Secretaries’ Science Advisory Board that was convened by the NC Departments of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services. He also serves as Trustee for the Water Science and Research Division of the American Water Works Association.

Emily Donovan

Session 6: Manufacturing Sites beyond PFOA / PFOS

Co-Founder, Clean Cape Fear

Emily Donovan is co-founder of Clean Cape Fear, a grassroots alliance of community leaders, educators, professionals, and citizen advocates working together to restore and protect drinking water quality in Southeastern NC. Clean Cape Fear formed in 2017 after learning DuPont/Chemours contaminated the Cape Fear River basin —the main source of drinking water for a quarter of a million residents. Clean Cape Fear works to spotlight deficiencies in governmental regulations that adversely impact our right to clean water, as well as hold our elected officials accountable for their roles in protecting the public from PFAS pollution.Emily is a part time Youth Director at Little Chapel on the Boardwalk in Wrightsville Beach. She lives in Brunswick County with her husband, David, and boy/girl twins.  She’s been a resident of Brunswick County since 2009.

Amy Risen

Session 6: Manufacturing Sites beyond PFOA / PFOS

Toxicologist at the NC Division of Waste Management

Amy Risen is a toxicologist for the North Carolina Division of Waste Management (DWM). At the DWM, she reviews sites with PFAS contamination in order to assess exposure pathways and health risks, and communicate concerns and mitigation options. PFAS are emerging contaminants, so both the science and regulatory approaches are constantly evolving. In June 2017, North Carolina state agencies began investigating a PFAS chemical known as GenX. A legal agreement was reached in February 2019 for the reduction of contamination and protection of public health. Dr. Risen has contributed to several parts of this work including facilitating the use of evolving science in an investigation, training staff, and fostering collaboration.

Laura Facciolo

Session 6: Manufacturing Sites beyond PFOA / PFOS

Scientific Counselor – Mamme No PFAS – Italy

Laura Facciolo is Scientific Counselor of “Mamme No PFAS” (No PFASs MUMs), a group of citizens living in the so called “Red Zone” of Veneto – Italy where, at the beginning of 2017, the population (350.000 inhabitants) suddenly discovered to have high level of PFASs in their blood due to the a huge contamination caused by the wastewater of a PFASs manufacturer. The group immediately started to raise awareness about this problem among the population, organizing meetings and local conferences; promoting discussions with Institutions at Regional, National and International level; evaluating solutions to be implemented in order to solve current situation and prevent future re-occurrence of similar environmental disasters. Laura has a degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and lives in Montagnana (Padua) – Italy.

Lauren Richter

Session 7: Regulatory Landscape

Research Fellow, Silent Spring Institute, SSEHRI Northeastern University

Dr. Richter has expertise in environmental sociology, social movements, and inequality. Her research examines scientific controversies surrounding per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). She recently published the article, “Non-Stick Science: Sixty Years of Research and (In)action on Fluorinated Chemicals,” in the journal Social Studies of Science, with Dr. Phil Brown and Dr. Alissa Cordner. She is collaborating with Silent Spring’s Dr. Laurel Schaider on PFAS drinking water monitoring, report back, and community engagement in contaminated communities on Cape Cod and near the Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire.

Mae Wu

Session 7: Regulatory Landscape

Senior Director, Health and Food, Natural Resources Defense Council

Mae Wu is the Senior Director of Health and Food at the NRDC in Washington, D.C. She joined NRDC in 2006 as an attorney and uses a combination of litigation, lobbying, and public engagement to remove toxic chemicals from consumer products, ensure better regulation of pesticides, curb the use of antibiotics in livestock, and protect drinking water quality. She has co-authored several reports, including ones on the popular pesticide atrazine, pharmaceutical contamination of drinking water, and pesticides regulatory loopholes. Mae served as a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on revising the Total Coliform Rule, the EPA Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee, and the EPA National Drinking Water Advisory Council. Mae works very closely with the scientists in the NRDC Health program to advocate for health-protective regulations consistent with our environmental statutes.Mae received her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Rice University, her law degree from Duke University School of Law, and her Master’s degree in environmental policy from the University of Cambridge (UK).

Sarah Doll

Session 7: Regulatory Landscape

Safer States National Director

Sarah Doll is the National Director for Safer States, a highly successful strategic campaign that utilizes collective state and local action to secure policy protections and create pressure for market transformation to reduce the threat of harmful chemicals in our daily lives. She has over twenty years of experience managing successful environmental health campaigns. Recently, Sarah has been coordinating strategies between diverse partners at the state, local, national, market and international levels to curtail the use of PFAS chemicals. Prior to Safer States, Sarah worked for the Oregon Environmental Council, the City of Portland, and on Capitol Hill.


Gloria Post

Dr. Gloria Post has been a Research Scientist in the NJDEP Division of Science and Research since 1986. Her responsibilities include human health risk assessment and toxicology support for NJDEP programs. Dr. Post is a board-certified toxicologist and has served on several EPA Science Advisory Board panels.  Since 2006, she has been a member of the NJ Drinking Water Quality Institute, an advisory body that recommends drinking water standards to NJDEP.  Dr. Post is the first author of the chapter on “Health and Aesthetic Effects of Drinking Water Contaminants” in the AWWA Handbook of Water Quality & Treatment. She and her colleagues have focused on the evaluation of PFAS in drinking water for over 13 years, and she is the first author of four publications on this topic.  Their work is the basis for the NJ MCL for PFNA that was adopted in 2018 – the first MCL for any PFAS in the U.S. – and for the MCLs for PFOA and PFOS proposed by NJDEP in April 2019. She is also the lead writer for the Human Health Effects section of the forthcoming ITRC PFAS Technical and Regulatory Document. Dr. Post earned an A.B. in Biochemical Sciences from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Thomas Jefferson University.

Anthony M. Spaniola

Tony Spaniola is a Michigan attorney, PFAS policy advocate and impacted citizen.  Tony developed extensive expertise on PFAS issues after learning that his family’s Oscoda, Michigan cottage is located in the “zone of concern” for PFAS contamination from the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base.  Tony is a founding member of the Need Our Water (NOW) community action group in Oscoda.  Partnering with state and national advocacy groups, he has become a leading spokesperson on PFAS issues, and he has provided policy advice to Michigan’s current governor, attorney general, and certain members of Michigan’s congressional and state legislative delegations.  As a former news reporter, Tony has worked with state and national media to bring PFAS issues into focus.  He recently published a brief history of the PFAS crisis in Michigan, entitled “PFAS and the Au Sable:  Missed Opportunities and Looming Challenges.”  Tony previously worked on legislative issues in connection with Michigan’s PBB contamination crisis, in which he initiated legislation (enacted as Public Act 82 of 1984) creating the Michigan Cancer Registry.  He also previously served as a Special Assistant to the Michigan Attorney General, a legal work group advisor to the Governor’s Commission on Mental Health, and a panelist at the Leadership Institute at Harvard College.

Cheryl Osimo

Session 8: Medical monitoring and working with health professionals

Executive Director of MBCC and Cape Cod Coordinator for Silent Spring Institute

Cheryl Osimo has been a devoted breast cancer activist and advocate since 1991 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 41. She joined the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) because of the organization’s commitment to telling the truth about breast cancer, and serves as the Executive Director. Ms. Osimo is one of the founders of Silent Spring Institute, an independent environmental research institution founded by the MBCC, and is also the Cape Cod Coordinator for the Institute. She has been a catalyst in raising public awareness of the possible environmental links to breast cancer on Cape Cod and a strong advocate for the Cape Cod Breast Cancer and the Environment Study. Her commitment to this study is a result of her belief that the findings will benefit women not only on the Cape, but worldwide. Ms. Osimo’s community outreach to Cape residents has been honored by a number of civic and community groups and institutions, including Boston University, the Massachusetts Federation of Business and Professional Women, the National Women’s Health Network, and the State Senate of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She has received the Arthur H. Wilde Award for Distinguished Service to Community, an Official Citation in Recognition for being named Woman of the Year and for Commitment to Women’s Health, and the Community Service Award–Local Community. In 2009 she was appointed to a two-year term on the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, an independent state agency to advance women’s equality statewide. In addition, Osimo was selected to participate as a presenter and mentor for first-time advocate reviewers participating in the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Boston University. In 2018 Ms. Osimo became a team member of The STEEP (Sources, Transport, Exposure and Effects of PFASs) Superfund Research Center. Her role is to identify opportunities to engage with Cape Cod residents, policymakers, and media, as well as, organize events to share key study findings such as SSI’s annual research update in Barnstable. She is also a community outreach coordinator for PFAS-REACH (Research, Education, and Action for Community Health).


Julia Brody

Session 8: Medical Monitoring and Working with Health Professionals

Silent Spring Institute

Dr. Julia Brody is the Executive Director of Silent Spring Institute, a scientific research group founded by the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition to study the links between environmental chemicals and women’s health. In the late 1990s, Silent Spring conducted the first comprehensive testing for endocrine disrupting chemicals in homes. Participants began asking Outreach Coordinator Cheryl Osimo about their own results, and, in response, Julia began studying the most meaningful ways to tell people about their own exposures, including when the health effects are unclear. With support from the National Institutes of Health, she developed DERBI – the Digital Exposure Report-Back Interface – to make personalized results reports practical for studies of any size.

Laura Anderko

Session 8: Medical Monitoring and Working with Health Professionals

Professor, Endowed Chair, Director of Region 3 PEHSU, Georgetown University

Dr. Laura Anderko PhD RN, professor at Georgetown University’s School of Nursing & Health Studies holds the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Endowed Chair in Values Based Health Care. She is Director of the Region 3 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, The Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment serving PA, VA, WV, DE, MD, and DC. A scholar and educator in the fields of public health and environmental health, she has studied and published on the health impacts of environmental exposures through epidemiological and community-based methods of inquiry. The Mid-Atlantic Center has worked closely with federal agencies, communities, and health professionals around PFAS exposures, health effects, and ways to reduce exposures. She has served on a wide range of boards and committees including several federal advisory committees: EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee, the Drinking Water Advisory Committee, and the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. She co-chairs the American Public Health Association’s National Environmental Health Partnership Council. In 2013 she was recognized by the Obama White House as a Champion of Change for her advocacy efforts in Climate Change and Public Health.

Alan Ducatman MD

Session 8: Medical Monitoring and Working with Health Professionals

Professor Emeritus, West Virginia University

Alan Ducatman is a clinical environmental health consultant, beginning with his Navy career and continuing at MIT and then West Virginia University, where he is professor emeritus. Dr. Ducatman graduated from Wayne State School of Medicine and has recently returned to Michigan. He is a Mayo Clinic-trained internist and occupational physician. His public service has included chairmanship of the external science advising committee to the environmental health branches of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ATSDR and NCEH). He has more than 100 peer publications and continues to publish concerning health implications of PFAS contamination.

Ben Gerhardstein


Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

Ben Gerhardstein is an Environmental Health Scientist with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s (ATSDR’s) Region 9 office, in San Francisco, California. At ATSDR he helps protect communities from exposure to hazardous substances. He’s investigated a range of environmental exposure concerns in diverse communities in Arizona and California. He also leads a new ATSDR community stress and resilience initiative. Ben joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ATSDR as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2008. He worked previously at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC. Ben received a B.A. in sociology from Brown University and an M.P.H. in environmental health from Emory University.


Mark F. Miller, Ph.D


Chief of Staff, National Institute of Environmental Health Science

CDR Mark Miller, Ph.D., of the U.S. Public Health Service, serves as Chief of Staff at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a branch of the National Institutes of Health. As part of NIEHS’s senior leadership team he provides scientific direction and strategic planning for a wide range of programs, including research into endocrine-disrupting chemicals, developmental origins of health and disease and persistent organic pollutants. CDR Miller serves as a subject matter expert on PFAS and coordinates many of the NIEHS Federal, state, local, and international activities.

Laurene Allen


MSW, Director of Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water, community membership liaison for the National PFAS Contamination Coalition

Laurene Allen is a co-founder of the Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water Community action group and a founding member of the National PFAS Contamination Coalition. She started advocating for the needs of residents in Merrimack, NH after learning in 2016 that her family and communities in the Merrimack area were impacted by PFAS contamination attributed to the Saint Gobain high performance textile manufacturing process. In addition to community engagement, education and advocacy efforts, Laurene has focused on raising awareness of community health impacts of ongoing PFAS contamination. As an active national coalition member, she has also been involved in shaping a collaborative platform with goals that are shared by each PFAS contaminated community regardless of source. Laurene strongly believes that PFAS impacted community members are their own experts and by directly partnering with science and environmental health experts to quantify health data where there is known exposure, the outcomes of such collaborations will be indisputable.

(603) 494-8395,

Sylvia Broude


Executive Director, Toxics Action Center

Sylvia Broude is Executive Director of Toxics Action Center. Over the past decade, she has played a critical role in grassroots, community-led efforts to transition away from coal-fired power plants in New England, expand clean energy for all, halt polluting incinerators and landfills, and build support for zero waste and the closed loop economy. Sylvia serves on the Board of All In Energy and Advisory Boards to the Clean Water Network and New England Consortium. She’s on the City of Boston’s Zero Waste Advisory Committee, a co-founder of the Zero Waste Boston coalition working for worker justice and the green economy in Boston, and is a senior fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program. She was the 2018 recipient of The John Merck Fund’s Sparkplug Award, the Frank Hatch Award for Enlightened Public Service. Sylvia lives in Dorchester, a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.


Michelle Dalton


Testing for Pease

Michelle Dalton is a co-founder of the community action group Testing for Pease. Michelle and her partners organized the group to give the Pease community a voice. Their mission is to be a reliable resource for education and communication while advocating for a long-term health plan on behalf of those affected by the water contamination at the former Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Michelle’s family has been directly impacted by the PFAS contamination and she is deeply committed to this cause.

Gina McCarthy


C-CHANGE, Harvard Chan School of Public Health

Gina McCarthy is Professor of the Practice of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Director of the Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment. In this capacity, she leads the development of the School’s strategy in climate science, health, and sustainability; strengthens the climate science and health curriculum; and liaises with climate science leaders across the University. McCarthy has been a leading advocate for common sense strategies to protect public health and the environment for more than 30 years. She served under President Barack Obama as the 13th Administrator of the EPA from 2013–2017. Her tenure as EPA Administrator heralded a paradigm shift in national environmental policy, expressly linking it with global public health. She led EPA initiatives that cut air pollution, protected water resources, reduced greenhouse gases, and strengthened chemical safety to better protect more Americans, especially the most vulnerable, from negative health impacts. McCarthy signed the Clean Power Plan, which set the first-ever national standards for reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants, underscoring the country’s commitment to domestic climate action and spurring international efforts that helped secure the Paris Climate Agreement. McCarthy also worked with the United Nations and the World Health Organization on a variety of efforts and represented the U.S. on global initiatives to reduce high-risk sources of pollution.

Elsie Sunderland

Session 9: New Insights into Exposure Sources

Professor, Harvard University

Dr. Elsie Sunderland is the Gordon McKay Professor of Environmental Chemistry in the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science. She holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Environmental Health in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Sunderland’s research group studies the biogeochemistry of global contaminants. Her work aims to better understand how global contaminants are distributed in the environment and how global climate change and industrial development will affect future health risks. Dr. Sunderland leads Project 1 of the URI-Harvard Superfund Research Center on PFASs (STEEP). As part of STEEP, Dr. Sunderland’s group is developing statistical methods for better identifying sources of PFAS contamination in drinking water and fish and how geochemical factors affect the transport of PFASs away from contaminated sites.

Andrea K Tokranov

Session 9: New Insights into Exposure Sources, Workshop

Hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey

Andrea Tokranov is a hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is currently working on PFAS-related research. She received her PhD in 2019 from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where her research focused on the fate and transport of PFAS in groundwater and surface waters. Andrea collaborated with USGS colleagues throughout her PhD and was a USGS Pathways intern between 2017 and 2019. Prior to starting her PhD, Andrea worked at the environmental consulting firm Anchor QEA between 2012 and 2013. Andrea received her Master of Science from the Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2015 and her Bachelor of Science from Brown University in 2012., (508)-490-5017

Amila De Silva

Session 9: New Insights into Exposure Sources

Research Scientist, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Amila De Silva is a research scientist in the Canadian government at Environment and Climate Change Canada. Here she leads a research program on organic environmental contaminants in aquatic ecosystems, in particular the Great Lakes and Arctic regions. She has expertise in fate, transport and bioaccumulation of a diverse range of priority organic contaminants, including as a long term PFAS researcher. Amila has a PhD in environmental chemistry from the University of Toronto. When she started her studies there on PFAS in 2002, there were a total of 8 publications in the scientific literature on environmental research of PFAS. Those intense years of participating in a highly scrutinized, often controversial, and emerging area of research with numerous stakeholders, contributed to her practice of ethical, defensible scientific research. Her findings on PFAS in the environment have been used to develop federal and international PFAS policy.

Carla Ng

Session 9: New Insights into Exposure Sources, Workshop

Assistant Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh. Secondary Appointment, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Graduate School of Public Health

Dr. Carla Ng is an expert in modeling the biological fate of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances. She has developed toxicokinetic models for PFAS in a number of organisms, and her group at the University of Pittsburgh is currently focused on computational methods for predicting PFAS interactions with biological receptors. She recently received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to support her ongoing research and education efforts. She is a member of the Global PFAS Science Panel.  Twitter: @Ng_lab

Angela Slitt

Session 10: New Insights into risks to human health

Professor, College of Pharmacy, University of Rhode Island

Angela Slitt is a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island. Angela earned a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Connecticut completed an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She has twenty years’ experience as a toxicologist, specializing in mechanisms of liver injury. Her research program also includes the study of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and metabolic disorders, hepatic transport processes, and toxicant excretion, and evaluation of plant and food-derived polyphenolic compounds for anti-inflammatory activity. Her work has been published in journals, such as Diabetes, Antioxidants and Redox Signaling, Free Radicals Biology and Medicine, and PLOS One. She currently holds NIH and USDA awards to study aspects of metabolic disease. Dr. Slitt is a passionate educator who is involved in toxicology teaching at the undergraduate level and has opened her laboratory at URI to allow successful summer research experiences for high school, undergraduate, and high school teachers. She is excited to be part of the URI-Harvard STEEP Superfund team

Suzanne E. Fenton, PhD

Session 10: New Insights into risks to human health

National Toxicology Program Laboratory, DNTP, NIEHS

Dr. Suzanne “Sue” Fenton earned her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of WI-Madison in the Endocrinology/Reproductive Physiology Program, working in the areas of artificial insemination and mammary gland biology. Following her postdoctoral fellowship at the UNC-Chapel Hill Lineberger Cancer Center, she ran a research laboratory at the US EPA’s Reproductive Toxicology Division for 11 years before she joined the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Oct 2009. She is currently the Group Leader for Reproductive Endocrinology in the National Toxicology Program Laboratory. Her laboratory has published numerous manuscripts identifying and discovering mechanisms regulating PFAS-induced health effects in mice. She has received several NIH and EPA-based science awards for her work on perfluorinated chemicals, and numerous other environmental chemicals affecting the developing and lactating breast.


Philippe Grandjean

Session 10: New Insights into risks to human health. Session 11: Linking science to regulation and community health

Adjunct Professor, Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health

Professor Grandjean is a physician and environmental epidemiologist, who studies the effects of environmental chemicals on human health, especially during early development. His studies of Faroese children have shown that PFAS exposure negatively affects immune system functions so that vaccinations become less efficient in generating antibody protection. He is also professor and chair of environmental medicine at the University of Southern Denmark. His research is supported by public funds, mainly the National Institutes of Health, and he serves as co-director of the STEEP Superfund Center. He has served as medical expert in legal cases on behalf of the State of Minnesota and PFAS-exposed communities. He is a member of the conference planning committee.


Amalie Timmermann

Session 10: New Insights into risks to human health

Assistant professor at University of Southern Denmark

Amalie Timmermann is an environmental scientist focusing on effects of environmental toxicants on maternal and child health. Her academic training is in public health science, including epidemiology, and she has a PhD in environmental medicine. As part of her research, Amalie has examined associations between PFASs and metabolic disease, impaired immune function in children, and women’s reduced ability to breastfeed using data from Danish, West African, and Faroese cohorts.

Qi Sun

Session 10: New Insights into risks to human health

Associate Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Qi Sun is Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is also a faculty member at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sun’s research mainly focuses on understanding prospective associations between environmental pollutants, including PFASs, and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and excess weight gain in observational study and clinical trial settings. His research is among the first that demonstrated a positive, prospective association for PFASs with diabetes risk, as well as an association between PFAS levels at baseline and faster weight regain in a weight-loss trial.

Antonia Calafat

Session 11: Linking Science to Regulation and Community Health

Branch Chief at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Antonia Calafat is the Chief of the Organic Analytical Toxicology Branch at the Division of Laboratory Sciences of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. She leads CDC’s biomonitoring programs for assessing human exposure to PFAS and other persistent organic pollutants such as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, furans, and biphenyls; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; flame retardants; pesticides; and chemicals added to consumer and personal-care products such as phthalates and phenols (e.g., bisphenol A, triclosan, parabens). Work conducted in her laboratory shows widespread detection of PFAS in the blood of U.S. residents. She has developed and maintained extensive collaborative research with leading scientists in the fields of exposure science, epidemiology, toxicology, and health assessment. Her research has made relevant contributions to CDC’s biomonitoring program, including CDC’s National Reports on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals.


Jamie DeWitt

Session 11: Linking science to Regulation and Community Health

Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University

Jamie DeWitt’s laboratory research program explores relationships between biological organisms and their responses after exposure to environmental contaminants with a specific focus on the immune system. A particular focus of the research program is on emerging aquatic contaminants, especially per- and polyflouroalkyl substances (PFAS). Dr. DeWitt PFAS work has focused on their ability to disrupt immune function in experimental models. She has served as an external reviewer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency health effects assessment of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), the U.S. National Toxicology Program’s immune effects assessment of PFOA and PFOS, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry toxicological profile for PFASs, and was a member of the International Agency for Research on Cancer working group for the assessment of the carcinogenicity of PFOA. Her laboratory is currently assessing the immunotoxicity of emerging PFAS that have been designed to replace those that have been phased out of production and that are of concern in North Carolina.

Gary Ginsberg

Session 11: Linking Science to regulation and community health

NYS Dept of Health

Dr. Ginsberg is a toxicologist and Director of the NYS DOH Center for Environmental Health. He has evaluated PFAS drinking water guidelines for the State of NY and evaluates PFAS exposure pathways, health risks and biomonitoring projects across NYS. Dr. Ginsberg serves on the University of Rhode Island Superfund Center’s PFAS grant External Advisory Committee.

Tony Fletcher

Session 11: Linking Science to Regulation and Community Health

Associate Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dr Tony Fletcher is an environmental epidemiologist employed at both the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards in Public Health England. He was one of the C8 Science Panel, involved in the major PFAS research programme in Ohio and West Virginia. Currently he is active in several research projects on the health impacts of PFAS contaminated community water supplies in Sweden and in Italy, and contributing to the EFSA reviews and establishment of guidance values for PFAS.


Xenia Trier

Session 11: Linking science to regulation and community health

Dr., Expert on chemicals, environment and human health, European Environment Agency

Xenia Trier has worked at the EEA since 2016, linking science to policy and in collaboration with the EU agencies ECHA and EFSA, to provide evidence-based advice on the risk governance of chemicals to EU policy makers. Current topics range from emerging risks and their detection, very persistent chemicals (including PFAS), mixtures, grouping, human biomonitoring, indicators and to innovation in chemicals and products that are safe-and-circular-by-design – with the aim to support a transition to a circular and non-toxic economy. Prior her work at the EEA, she worked 20 years as a researcher and advisor to the Danish Food and Environment Authorities, the Nordic Council of Ministers and EU on analysis and risk assessment of chemicals in food contact materials. Her experience on PFAS includes their uses, characteristics, toxicities and analyses in air, water, materials, food and blood, part of which was done during her PhD studies on PFAS in food contact materials (2007-2011). Subsequently she led four PFAS enforcement campaigns in Denmark and Norway, and supported the Danish Food Authorities in the development of a recommendation for a Total organic fluorine limit in food paper packaging, to achieve cleaner materials. The work included support to businesses in setting procurement criteria for PFAS-free materials. Over the years, Xenia Trier has developed a wide network of scientists, agencies, policy makers, NGOs and business, which supports the sharing of knowledge of PFAS. Xenia lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Patrick MacRoy

Session 12: Waste Exposures

Deputy Director, Environmental Health Strategy Center

Patrick MacRoy is the Deputy Director of the Portland, Maine based Environmental Health Strategy Center, an organization devoted to protecting the public health by fighting for safe food and drinking water, toxic-free products, and good green manufacturing jobs. He oversees the Strategy Center’s diverse programs working to advance legislation and to use consumer power to demand companies take action to address dangerous chemicals, including PFAS. Prior to joining the Strategy Center, Patrick held senior leadership roles in both government and nonprofit organizations. He is trained in environmental policy and epidemiology, and outside of work, he is an avid long-distance motorcyclist and aspiring snowmobiler.

Johnsie R. Lang

Session 12: Waste Exposures


Dr. Johnsie Ray Lang is a post doctoral researcher at the EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory. Johnsie’s current and past research areas include solid waste, PFASs, and harmful algal blooms. Johnsie’s previous publications demonstrate a national estimate for PFAS release from US municipal landfills to wastewater treatment plants and PFAS release with time from carpet and clothing in model anaerobic laboratory scale landfill reactors. Johnsie holds a PhD and MS in Engineering from NCSU.


Mindi Messmer

Session 12: Waste Exposures

New Hampshire Safe Water Alliance

Mindi Messmer, Former NH House Representative and former CD-1 Congressional Candidate. Mindi has been an environmental consultant for 30 years and a small business owner for 20. She earned her B.S. in Geology at Syracuse University and completed an M.S program in Earth Science at UNH and an M.S. degree in clinical and translational research from Georgetown University. Mindi was elected to the New Hampshire State House of Representatives in 2016 after exposing a pediatric cancer cluster and went on to pass important legislation to protect drinking water from arsenic and PFAS and prevent cancer. Mindi is a member of the Pease Restoration Advisory Board and the NH Legislative Commission to investigate the Seacoast Pediatric Cancer Cluster. She recently received the Elsie Hillman national speaker award from Less Cancer on the Hill. Mindi is a founding member of New Hampshire Safe Water Alliance and a consultant to Union of Concerned Scientists.


Kay L. Fritz

Session 12: Waste Exposures

Michigan Department of Agriculture

Kay Louderback Fritz is a public servant and scientist. She is currently in her seventh year serving as the Toxicologist for the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development. Prior to that she served as a Toxicologist for the Hazardous Waste Section of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for eight years. Kay earned a Master’s Degree from Mankato State University (now Minnesota State University, Mankato) in Toxicological Biology and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Biochemical Nutrition. She is a charter member of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) and serves as a member in the Animal Health and Food Safety MPART Workgroup and the Biosolids MPART Workgroup. Originally from Marion, Ohio, Kay and her family have lived in Michigan for fifteen years.


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