|Phase I Leadership team|
Dr. Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson: UNC, Department of
Dr. Ivan Rusyn: UNC, Department of Environmental Sciences
Dr. Melinda Moore: RAND, Co-Principal Investigator
Dr. Andy Olshan: UNC, Department of Epidemiology, Principal
Dr. Tar-Ching Aw: UAE University, Department of Community
Dr. Barry Popkin: UNC, Department of Nutrition, Principal
Dr. Zeinab Farah: Project coordinator, UNC
Chris Davidson: Project Manager, UNC
Dr. Jacqueline A. MacDonald is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She conducts interdisciplinary research on the quantification of risks due to environmental contamination and on the quantitative comparison policy options for controlling environmental risks. Dr. MacDonald is interested in research on topics at the interface between environmental science and public policy. Her work focuses on the mathematical quantification of the probability of harm occurring due to environmental contamination and on quantitative comparisons of policy options for environmental risk reduction. She specializes in constructing mathematical models that represent the sources of environmental contamination, how people become exposed to those contaminants, and the types of human health impacts that result from the contamination. Her past work experience includes a position as a senior engineer at The RAND Corp, a nonprofit public policy research organization. She also previously was associate director of the Water Science and Technology Board, a unit of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, a nonprofit organization that advises Congress and the federal government on science policy matters. She has given briefings on these and other topics to a variety of federal officials, members of Congress and their staffs, and institutional advisory boards. Dr. MacDonald earned a double Ph.D. degree from the Department of Engineering and Public Policy and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Previously, she earned an M.S. degree from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1990 and a B.A. in mathematics from Bryn Mawr College in 1986.
Ivan Rusyn is Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at UNC. Dr. Rusyn received his M.D. (with honors) from Ukrainian State Medical University in Kiev in 1994, and his Ph.D. in Toxicology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2000. He trained at the University of Dusseldorf in Germany (1995-1996), UNC-Chapel Hill (2000-2001), and MIT (2001-2002). He has over 10 years of experience in studies on health effects of environmental agents that resulted in 65 peer-reviewed publications. He has been a recipient of a number of awards that include: Young Investigator Award, Oxygen Society (1998, 1999, and 2001); Young Investigator Award, Society for Free Radical Research International (2000), AACR - Bristol Myers Squibb Oncology Young Investigator Scholar Award (2000), Carl C. Smith Mechanisms Specialty Section Award, Society of Toxicology (2000); and Visiting Professor of Surgery, Yamanashi Medical University, Japan (2000). He has just been awarded the Achievement Award by the Society of Toxicology, the largest professional society of environmental health scientists in the world. He is an Associate Professor and Director of the Laboratory of Environmental Genomics in the Department of Environmental Sciences & Engineering and Associate Director of the Curriculum in Toxicology at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is also a member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility, Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, and the Carolina Center for Genome Sciences at UNC. Dr. Rusyn served on a number of working groups convened by the National Research Council and the WHO. Dr. Rusyn's laboratory has an active research portfolio funded by the National Institutes of Health and the US EPA with a focus on the mechanisms of action of environmental toxicants and the genetic determinants of the susceptibility to toxicant-induced injury.
Melinda Moore is a public health physician who joined RAND as a Senior Natural Scientist in 2005. Prior to that, she served as a medical epidemiologist and senior policy expert at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for 25 years, including executive positions with the National Center for Environmental Health (within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, 1997-2000) and the HHS Secretary's Office of Global Health Affairs (2000-2005), where her portfolio included global environmental health among other key issues. Her principal career focus has been in the area of global health. At RAND, her research has focused on infectious disease surveillance, public health and pandemic influenza preparedness, and military health. Her professional experience in the Middle East dates back to 1975 (on a team to establish comprehensive medical training in Saudi Arabia) and 1983 (development of Kuwait's national diarrheal disease control plan) and continues in an ongoing project to work with Palestine, Jordan and Israel on country and regional pandemic preparedness exercises. Dr. Moore earned her medical and public health degrees from Harvard University and is board certified in pediatrics and preventive medicine. She is a retired Commissioned Officer (Captain, O6) of the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Moore brings strong national, bilateral and multilateral research and practical government policy experience to this project.
Dr. Andrew Olshan, is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Olshan is also a research professor in the School of Medicine's department of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery and program leader for cancer epidemiology in the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is Director of the Cancer Epidemiology Training Grant. Dr. Olshan's cancer research involves studies of the molecular epidemiology of cancers of the head and neck and evaluation of risk factors for childhood cancer. Dr. Olshan recently conducted a national study of Wilms tumor, a kidney tumor that occurs in young children. The study examined an array of parental environmental, lifestyle, and medical history factors as potential risk factors. Dr. Olshan's cancer studies focus on gene-environment interaction involving variation in genes involved in the metabolism of tobacco and alcohol and repair of DNA damage. The studies have also included investigation of alterations of tumor suppressor genes and human papillomavirus. Related projects have examined environmental, clinical, and genetic predictors of survival among head and neck cancer patients. Dr. Olshan has initiated a North Carolina study of gene-environment interaction in head and neck cancer. This large, population-based study will enroll over 1,300 patients with head and neck cancer and over 1,700 persons without cancer. In addition, the study evaluates disparities in access to health care and the occurrence and treatment of head and neck cancer among different ethnic groups.
Professor Tar-Ching Aw is Chair of the Department of Community Medicine at the UAE University in Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi Emirate. Prior to this appointment, he was at the University of Kent in Canterbury where he was Professor of Occupational Medicine and head of division since 2002. Prior to that he was senior lecturer at the Institute of Occupational Health in Birmingham, UK. He also spent 4 years at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Cincinnati. Professor Aw has served as WHO consultant in occupational health for Kuwait, ILO consultant in Geneva, and consultant to the Malaysian Ministry of Health for a World Bank-funded project on occupational health. He was elected Board member of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) for two terms of office, and was formerly Chief Examiner and elected board member of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Royal College of Physicians (London). He retains a visiting professorship at Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent. The areas of his research interests include health hazards in the health- care industry, occupational exposure to metals, and training and education in occupational health. Professor Aw has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, agency reports, and book chapters. He has co-authored three textbooks on occupational health, and is now working on the 10th edition of Hunter's Diseases of Occupations.
Dr. Barry M. Popkin, the Carla Steel Chamblee Distinguished Professor of Global Nutrition, has a Ph.D. in economics and is Professor of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where he directs the UNC-CH's Interdisciplinary Center for Obesity. Dr. Popkin has an active U.S. research program in understanding dietary behavior with a focus on eating patterns, trends, and sociodemographic determinants; the nutrition transition and the rapid changes in obesity; dynamic changes in diet, physical activity and inactivity; body composition changes (and the factors responsible for these changes); consequences of these changes; and program and policy options for managing change. He is not only actively involved in research in the United States, but is also active in a number of other NIH-funded studies of countries around the world including detailed longitudinal studies that he directs in China and Russia and related work in Brazil and several other countries. His US work includes a series of NIH grants to study how socioeconomic change linked with shifts in the built environment affect diet, activity and obesity in the ADD Health and a second 20-year long longitudinal study-CARDIA. Dr. Popkin serves on several scientific advisory organizations and is Chair, the Nutrition Transition Committee for the International Union for the Nutritional Sciences. He has published more than 250 journal articles, book chapters, and books.
Dr. Zeinab Farah has over 20 years experience with the Ministry of Health in the UAE. Prior to her work in the Ministry, she earned a degree in microbiology from University of East Anglia, UK, as well as a PhD from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, UK. Her PhD research focused on "Diarrheal Diseases on Pre-School Children in the UAE". At the Ministry of Health, Dr. Farah gained considerable laboratory-orientated experience in the microbiology department, eventually culminating in leadership of the virology and immunology department of Abu Dhabi's largest government hospital at that time. Dr. Farah's primary work interests are AIDS and hepatitis research.
Chris Davidson is the project manager for the UAE National Environmental Health Project at UNC. He puts his engineering and teaching background to work for optimizing the flow, storage, and presentation of information for the project. Davidson holds a master's degree in agricultural and biological engineering and a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from the University of Florida. Related work includes analyzing air quality and agricultural data in the UAE, establishing and maintaining electronic document repositories, and minimizing barriers to understanding scientific data for faculty and graduate students involved in this interdepartmental project.
|Last updated January 04, 2011|