Past Spotlights...


Yuri Bruinen de Bruin, Ph.D.

After co-chairing the ISES2016 meeting together with Lesa Aylward and serving for 9 years for the RIVM, I accepted a short-term new challenge at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre based in Italy. I now work in the area of risk assessment, management, mitigation and prevention of hazardous chemicals at the EU's Major Accident and Hazard Bureau (MAHB). I am involved in capacity building in EU neighbourhood countries, modernizing outreach and information exchange for EU and non-EU countries available for inspectors and safety managers and research and analyses on global chemical incidences. One of my biggest challenges now is how to bridge the field of external safety and chemical accidents (EU Seveso III Directive) to exposure sciences. Please contact me for any inspiring ideas!!!  Further, during the annual meeting of SETAC Europe (the 2017 theme is “Environmental Quality through Transdisciplinary Collaboration”), a special session entitled “Do we have the right tools to identify emerging hazards and risks?” is organised by members from both SETAC and ISES and renowned invited speakers. Chairs for this session are Georg Streck (European Commission), Yuri Bruinen de Bruin (European Commission), Jos Bessems (European Commission) and Joost Bakker (RIVM, Netherlands). Several other sessions are also interesting for bringing together SETAC and ISES members around exposure science and emerging hazards and risks. Last, but not least, I am involved in the setting up and consolidation of the International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) Europe aiming to set up a European Strategy on Exposure Science. 


Rick Peltier, MPH, PhD

Rick Peltier is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Trained as an atmospheric chemist, Rick is interested in identifying the chemical and physical characteristics of particulate matter that are most responsible for disease. The bulk of his work is focused on the understudied regions of the world, including Nepal, Bangladesh, Ghana, and in indigenous communities in North America. His research includes both laboratory-based investigations and extensive field work covering personal and ambient monitoring. Rick is also the deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology; prior to that, he was an Associate Editor for more than 5 years. He has an interest in science communication, and in finding better ways for scientists to deliver their message to the public and to policy makers in more meaningful ways. This includes efforts to better engage journalists, improving pedagogic approaches, and writing for mass media news outlets such as The Conversation. Rick has a growing interest in small do-it-yourself air quality monitoring sensors, especially those that are at the lowest cost possible. He views them as a means to improve our understanding of exposure, especially in resource-poor, and under-served regions, of the world. Rick is a recipient of the Health Effects Institute’s Rosenblith New Investigator Award, and is a 2017 US-UK Fullbright fellow. He is on sabbatical at the University of York, UK for the 2017-18 academic year, where he is working on bringing new data analysis tools to citizen science.


Paloma Beamer, PhD

NIEHS grantee Paloma Beamer, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Arizona (UA) Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, is passionate about building partnerships and trust with the communities in which she works. Her research is helping reveal the importance of culture and behavior in determining exposure risks for specific communities. This knowledge could help inform interventions that reduce, or even eliminate, adverse health effects from environmental exposures experienced in these communities. Dr. Beamer, who began a term as president-elect of the International Society of Exposure Science in January 2018, is now planning a new study that will train community health workers to identify hazardous exposures in workplaces around Tucson, Arizona, and to work with the businesses to reduce those exposures. "Although preventable by definition, occupational disease and injuries are leading causes of death in the U.S.," said Beamer. "Unfortunately, low-income or low-wage minority workers bear most of the burden of occupational disease." Dr. Beamer and her team will focus the study on auto repair shops and beauty salons. These types of workplaces, which have not been well-studied in terms of exposures, will allow the researchers to test their approach in two very different work cultures with different predominant genders. After gathering information about the businesses and exposures, the researchers will work with the businesses owners, trade groups, workers, and the community health workers to design an intervention focused on reducing the sources of dangerous workplace exposures. They will then implement the intervention in a formal clinical trial, evaluate its effectiveness, and identify factors that led the businesses to use exposure control strategies.  View the full article here.


Shahid Parvez, PhD

Dr. Parvez applies exposure and toxicology methods to inform human health risk assessment, focusing on chronic environmental exposures through drinking water and food contaminants. Recent work has focused on the prenatal exposure of drinking water disinfectant byproducts mixtures and pesticides and their association to reproductive and developmental health effects, including pregnancy length, preterm, and low birthweight. Prior to joining the Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health, Dr. Parvez worked at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Cincinnati as an Oak Ridge Postdoctoral Fellow. He earned his PhD in the field of exposure science and toxicology from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay. Dr. Parvez, a member of ISES, was recently highlighted in Science Daily and Genetic Engineering and Biotech News. Link to Science Daily article. Link to Genetic Engineering and Biotech News article.



Sung Roul Kim, PhD

Scientific and technological studies are needed to provide evidence-based information on the association between environmental exposure and health effects. In addition, these studies will contribute to making the world a healthier place to live in. My research interests lie at the interface of exposure sciences, risk assessment, environmental epidemiology and biostatistics. Exposure sciences comprise upstream assessments of sources, contamination, and environmental degradation, as well as downstream assessments, including human health, behavior and biology. In the context of these grand challenges, I am highly interested in the evaluation of human exposure to urban air pollutants and its impact on human health using epidemiologic approaches with combination of traditional and innovative methods.  Although there has been much attention directed toward the health impacts of exposures to air pollutants, there are unfortunately many difficulties associated with collecting high-resolution air pollution data as well as large population-based health data. As the first step, I am establishing an environmental health monitoring platform system to collect data of risk triggers for allergic patients and their health symptoms in South Korea. Such data will be used to develop preventive algorithms including control and alert systems. With on my hands-on experience of analyzing biomarkers in various biospecimen and toxic air pollutants on top of the monitoring platform system, my research interests will be extended to providing evidence-based information that supports communities in remediating environmental risks as a matter of service and as a strategy for implementing research.


Elizabeth (Liz) Boyle, MPH, CIH

Liz is a Program Officer at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, where she works with experts to develop reports and activities that advise the nation on environmental challenges. Liz was the study director on a recently released report by the National Academies Press that reviewed and provided recommendations to improve the Environmental Protection Agency’s research grant program known as Science to Achieve Results. She is currently working in other important environmental health areas, such as how human biological samples stored in research repositories can help answer questions about environmental and occupational health exposures and how disparate data sources can be integrated to inform environmental health decisions. She is a fellow of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health where she is pursuing a doctor of public health in environmental health. Liz has been an active member of ISES for several years she has served on the annual meeting’s Technical Organizing Committee since 2015 where she works to find prizes for the annual meeting and helps with the support committee. Liz is also the chair of the ISES Nominations Committee where she works with her committee to develop a slate of nominees for the yearly election of ISES Officers and Councilors.


Markey Johnson


Dr. Johnson has over 15 years of experience in environmental exposure and epidemiology. Markey earned her PhD at the University of Michigan conducting community based participatory research to examine housing characteristics, social determinants, and environmental health among Arab Americans. As a postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, she designed and conducted participant-based air monitoring, developed land use regression models, and linked air pollution exposure to biomarkers and health. For the past 8 years Dr. Johnson has designed and led studies assessing air pollution exposure and health as a senior researcher in the Air Health Science Division of Health Canada. Her research includes the development of air pollution models integrating land use regression, regulatory monitoring, satellite remote sensing, and chemical transport models – as well as linkage of air pollution and health. Her current interests include critical developmental windows and source-specific exposure and health analyses. Dr. Johnson has been an ISES member for 10 years, currently serves on the ISES Membership and Nominations Committees, and is Co-Chair of the 2018 ISES-ISEE joint meeting in Ottawa.