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Dr. Erin Haynes

Dr. Erin Haynes is the Kurt W. Deuschle Professor in Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health and Chair of the Departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health at the University of Kentucky, College of Public Health.  She is also deputy director of the UK Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences (CARES).  She has been working with communities to understand their environmental exposures through research and translation for nearly two decades. Her current research, funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences focuses on the impact of environmental neurotoxicant exposure in rural adolescents, and development and validation of a real-time lab-on-a-chip sensor for blood metals detection. Haynes is particularly interested in working with community members to address environmental health issues and developing citizen science tools to enable environmental health research. She currently serves on the NIH/NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences study section, and is the senior associate editor of the Journal of Appalachian Health.

Mr. Liam O’Fallon

Since Mr. O’Fallon joined the Division of Extramural Research and Training in 1999, he has been actively involved in research programs at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences that support community participation in research. O’Fallon leads the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health program at NIEHS, which fosters interactions among projects from different NIEHS-funded programs with a focus on community engagement and a commitment to public health action. He directs the Community Engagement Cores that are a part of the network of Environmental Health Science Core Centers across the country. Most recently, he has become the lead for the Research to Action program, which supports projects using community-engaged research methods to investigate the potential health risks of environmental exposures of concern to a community and to seamlessly translate research findings into public health action. O’Fallon is particularly interested in communication research in the context of environmental public health and health disparities. Before coming to NIEHS, Mr. O’Fallon worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in the Office of International and Refugee Health where he coordinated an interagency, binational working group addressing environmental health issues along the U.S.-Mexico Border. Mr. O’Fallon received his Master’s degree in Latin American Studies, specializing in medical anthropology and international health, from Tulane University in 1997.

Dr. Aubrey K. Miller

Dr. Aubrey K. Miller, MD, MPH, retired Captain USPHS, is board certified in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.  He is currently the Senior Medical Advisor to the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), where he oversees legislative, policy, strategic planning, and coordination of environmental health issues and activities among U.S. federal agencies, congress, academia, and other stakeholders.

His experiences include numerous public health investigations and research studies involving a wide range of occupational and environmental health issues.  He has contributed to the leadership and management of numerous disaster responses including the Libby, Montana, Public Health Emergency involving widespread asbestos contamination, major hurricanes, the H1N1 influenza, Ebola, and Zika outbreaks, the World Trade Center and anthrax attacks, and the Gulf Oil Spill.  He currently leads the NIH Disaster Research Response (DR2) Program which focuses on improving national and international disaster research capabilities through enhancing policies, infrastructure, training, and integration of stakeholders, especially academia and impacted communities.  He received a BS in biology, BA in political science, and MPH in environmental and occupational health at the University of Illinois, and his MD at Rush Medical College.  His 28-year career includes service as a CDC Epidemiology Intelligence Service (EIS) officer and senior medical officer positions with CDC/NIOSH, the HHS Office of the Secretary, EPA, and FDA.

Xiaoming Shi

Professor and Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health (NIEH), Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC)

National institute of Environmental Health, China CDC

Presentation: Environment and COVID-19: Scientific Evidence and China’s Action

Xiaoming Shi is an epidemiologist and public health expert in China. He obtained a PhD degree in epidemiology from Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) in 2005. Currently, he is Professor and Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health (NIEH), China CDC that is responsible for investigating, monitoring and evaluating health effects of environmental exposures, conducting technical guidance of environmental health protection nationally. His major research interests include environmental hazards and health effects, healthy aging, and the control and prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). He has received a number of grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), and international agencies and organizations to conduct these researches. He has also contributed to establish the national human bio-monitoring program of China, and representatively assessed the internal exposure levels of environmental chemicals in Chinese population for the first time. Meanwhile, Prof. Shi is leading a large-scale project systematically assessing the acute health risks of air pollution in China. He and his research group established a cohort study on sub-clinical outcomes of polluted air in China (SCOPA-China Cohort) and a well-designed panel study on biomarkers of air pollutants exposure in the Chinese aged 60-69 (China BAPE). He has extensive experiences working with numerous NCDs and aging studies in Chinese populations. He has authored or co-authored over 230 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and books. Since the year of 2020, Prof. Shi has led Technical Workgroup on Health Protection for Key Places, Units and Populations, which is affiliated with the China CDC COVID-19 Emergency Response Mechanism.



Antonia Calafat

Chief, Organic Analytical Toxicology Branch, Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health


Dr. Antonia Calafat is the Chief of the Organic Analytical Toxicology Branch, Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. She leads CDC’s biomonitoring programs for assessing human exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); polybrominated diphenyl ethers; polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, furans, and biphenyls; pesticides; flame retardants; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; and chemicals added to consumer and personal-care products such as phthalates and phenols. Dr. Calafat 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 important contributions to biomonitoring science, including CDC’s National Reports on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. She received the 2019 Excellence in Exposure Science Award granted by the International Society of Exposure Science in recognition of her scientific contributions, service and leadership to the field. Dr. Calafat earned her PhD in Chemistry in 1989 from the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the Department of Chemistry of Emory University where she completed her postdoctoral training. She joined CDC in 1996.



mark! Lopez

Community Organizer & Special Projects Coordinator

East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice

mark! Lopez (He/Him/His) comes from a family with a long history of activism. He was raised in the Madres del Este de Los Angeles Santa Isabel (Mothers of East LA Santa Isabel – MELASI), an organization co-founded by his grandparents, Juana Beatriz Gutierrez and Ricardo Gutierrez. This set his trajectory as a community activist. He engaged in a wide array of student activism at UC Santa Cruz where he earned his B.A. in Environmental Studies, and taught university courses at UC Santa Cruz, Cal State Northridge, and UCLA Extension. mark! earned his M.A. from the Chicanx Studies Department at Cal State Northridge, where he completed his Masters thesis titled “The Fire: Decolonizing ‘Environmental Justice’.” mark! joined East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice as a member three years before joining the staff. After serving as Lead Organizer for East Yard Communities and Co-Director with EYCEJ Co-Founder Angelo Logan, mark! served as the Executive Director for over 6 years. He served briefly as a Co-Director along with Laura Cortez and Taylor Thomas, the current Co-Executive Directors, and then transitioned into the Eastside Community Organizer & Special Projects Coordinator roles. He organizes in the area where he was born, raised and continues to live. mark! is the 2017 North American Recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize.



Tom de Groeve

Deputy Head of the Disaster Risk Management Unit at the European Commission Joint Research Centre

European Commission Joint Research Centre

Tom De Groeve, Ph. D., is Deputy Head of the Disaster Risk Management Unit at the European Commission Joint Research Centre. He does research in risk management, disaster monitoring and emergency management systems in support of EU and global policy related to disaster risk management and climate change adaptation. Tom’s research in remote sensing, geomatics led to various early warning and disaster management systems at UN level, such as the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS), the INFORM Global Risk for humanitarian crises and disasters, and the Global Conflict Risk Index. In the context of the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism, his work in crisis technology contributed to the design of the European Emergency Response Coordination Centre. Tom was at the origin of the Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre, recently adopted as the science pillar in the Union Civil Protection Mechanism. Since 2017, Tom is Deputy Head of the Disaster Risk Management Unit. In 2019, Tom lead JRC’s transversal initiative on climate change adaptation and in 2020, Tom co-chaired the COVID-19 Task Force of the JRC. Tom received his Ph.D. in Geomatics from Laval University in Quebec City, Canada, in 1999 on the topic of spatial uncertainty in map making.



Peggy Shepard

Executive Director

WE ACT for Environmental Justice

Peggy Shepard is co-founder and executive director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice which has a base building office in Northern Manhattan neighborhoods and a federal policy office in Washington DC. In 1988, she began a long history of movement building. — organizing and engaging Northern Manhattan residents and environmental justice groups across the country in community-based planning and campaigns to address environmental protection and environmental health policy locally and nationally. A graduate of Howard University, her work has received broad recognition: the Jane Jacobs Medal from the Rockefeller Foundation for Lifetime Achievement, the 10th Annual Heinz Award For the Environment, the Rachel Carson Award from Audubon, the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, the Carver Award from American Public Health Association, and Honorary Doctorates from Smith College and Lawrence University.



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