Committee Membership Information


Dr. Joseph H. Graziano - (Chair)
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Joseph H. Graziano is professor of environmental health sciences and pharmacology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. His research career has been devoted to understanding the consequences of exposure to metals, both on the molecular and population levels. Dr. Graziano?s past research was devoted to lead poisoning, which has contributed to understanding of the adverse effects of lead exposure on childhood development. His laboratory developed the oral drug that is now widely used around the world to treat childhood lead poisoning. More recently, his research is aimed at understanding the consequences of arsenic exposure on the US and Bangladeshi populations, and on devising strategies to reduce toxicity and provide arsenic-free drinking water. Dr. Graziano received his PhD from Rutgers University. He is a member of the NRC Committee on Potential Health Risks from Recurrent Lead Exposure to DoD Firing Range Personnel and a past member of the Committee on the Superfund Site Assessment and Remediation in the Coeur d?Alene River Basin.


Dr. Margaret R. Karagas
Dartmouth College

Margaret R. Karagas is professor and section head of biostatistics and epidemiology in the Department of Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She also holds appointments as co-director of epidemiology and chemoprevention at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and as director of the research design, epidemiology, biostatistics, and ethics component for the Dartmouth SYNERGY. She is currently director of the formative Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center at Dartmouth. She conducts epidemiologic studies of human malignancies, in particular non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancer, bladder cancer, and large bowl neoplasms. Recent work has focused on multiple routes of exposure to arsenic and risks of cancer, maternal and infant infection, and other birth and childhood outcomes. Collaborative efforts entail the design and application of novel biomarkers. Dr. Karagas received her PhD from the University of Washington. She was a member of the EFSA Working Group on Arsenic for the Scientific Opinion on Arsenic in Food and the NRC Committee on the Analysis of Cancer Risks in Populations Near Nuclear Facilities.


Dr. Rebecca C. Fry
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Rebecca C. Fry is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina School of Global Public Health. She uses environmental toxicogenomics, toxico-epigenomics, and systems biology approaches to understand the mechanisms of arsenic-induced carcinogenesis. A broad goal is to identify the genes and their encoded proteins that protect (or sensitize) humans to arsenic-induced disease. State-of-the-art technologies are used, including next generation sequencing to understand genome-wide consequences of arsenic exposure. Her lab studies arsenic-exposed populations with varied disease outcomes to identify signaling pathways that are differentially modulated in response to exposure. A major goal of the research is to identify mechanisms of prevention of arsenic-induced disease. Dr. Fry received her MS and PhD in biology from Tulane University.


Dr. Hugh A. Barton
Pfizer Inc.

Hugh A. Barton is an associate research fellow with Pfizer, Inc., working on mechanistic modeling for pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. He is a member of the global Translational Research Leadership Team providing scientific and managerial oversight for application of modeling and biomarkers in drug discovery. He specializes in the use of physiologically based pharmacokinetic and mechanistic pharmacodynamic modeling to address low dose, interspecies, and inter-route extrapolations in estimating risks. He was a toxicologist at consulting companies and at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before joining Pfizer. Dr. Barton received his PhD in toxicology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Dr. Aaron Barchowsky
University of Pittsburgh

Aaron Barchowsky is professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests are in investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cardiovascular and lung diseases caused by environmental exposures to metals and chronic changes in redox status. In vivo and cell-cultured-based studies focus on the molecular pathology and etiology of vascular disease caused by chronic exposure to low levels of arsenic in drinking water. The cell signaling pathways that mediate arsenic stimulated pathogenic changes in endothelial cells and perivascular progenitor cells are being investigated. Dr. Barchowsky is an active member of the Society of Toxicology, recently serving as president of the Metals Specialty Section and chair of the Education Committee. He received his PhD in pharmacology from Duke University.


Dr. Robert O. Wright
Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Robert O. Wright is professor of pediatrics and preventive medicine and director of the Division of Environmental Health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. His research interests are in effect modifiers of metal toxicity, including gene-environment interactions in neurodevelopment and fetal growth. The role of epigenetic biomarkers in reproductive health is a particular interest. Before joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Wright was associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, associate professor of environmental health at the Harvard School of Public Health, and an attending physician at Children?s Hospital in Boston. Dr. Wright received his MD from the University of Michigan and his MPH in epidemiology and biostatistics from the Harvard School of Public Health.


Dr. Chris Gennings
Virginia Commonwealth University

Chris Gennings is professor of biostatistics at the Virginia Commonwealth University and director of the research incubator for the Center for Clinical and Translational Research. Her research interests include nonlinear regression modeling, categorical data analysis, analysis of complex mixtures, and statistical issues in mixture toxicology. She has a research project on empirical approaches for evaluating sufficiently similar complex mixtures and is the director of a training grant focused on the integration of mixture toxicology, toxicogenomics, and statistics. Dr. Gennings received her PhD in biostatistics from the Virginia Commonwealth University. She was a member of the NRC Committee on the Health Risks of Phthalates.


Dr. Yvonne P. Dragan
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

Yvonne P. Dragan is associate director of Safety Assessment in the United States and head of molecular and investigative toxicology at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. Before joining AstraZeneca, she worked at the National Center for Toxicological Research of the Food and Drug Administration, where she was program director of the Hepatic Toxicology Center and director of the Division of Systems Toxicology. Dr. Dragan also held positions at Ohio State University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where her research was focused on chemical carcinogenesis. She has been active in the Society of Toxicology, serving as an elected member of the Executive Council, a former president of the Carcinogenesis Specialty Section, and currently as a member of the elected council the Carcinogenesis Specialty Section. She received her PhD in pharmacology and toxicology from the Medical College of Virginia.


Dr. Gary P. Carlson
Purdue University [Retired]

Gary P. Carlson is professor emeritus of health sciences at Purdue University. His research interests have focused on the relationship between the metabolism of chemicals and their toxic actions, including an interest in both activation and detoxification pathways in the liver and other target organs. These studies have involved using a variety of techniques ranging from in vitro assays to animal bioassays to examine the biochemical mechanisms by which chemical agents exert their toxic and carcinogenic actions. Dr. Carlson received his PhD in pharmacology from the University of Chicago. He is a National Associate of the National Academies, having served on many NRC committees, most recently as a member of the Committee on Tetrachloroethylene and as current chair of the Committee on Toxicology.


Dr. Marie E. Vahter
Karolinska Institutet

Marie E. Vahter is professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and is head of the institute?s Unit of Metals and Health. Her research interests are in the human health effects and associated mechanisms of arsenic, cadmium, and lead, and in factors that influence susceptibility to these metals, such as metabolism, genetic predisposition, and nutrition. Recent work focuses on early-life metals exposure. She has also been involved in health risk assessments for a variety of metals throughout her career. Dr. Vahter received her PhD in toxicology from the Karolinska Institute. She was a member of the two NRC Committees on Arsenic in Drinking Water.


Dr. Gary L. Ginsberg
Connecticut Department of Public Health

Gary L. Ginsberg is a senior toxicologist at the Connecticut Department of Public Health within the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Assessment. He is involved with the use of toxicology and risk-assessment principles to evaluate human exposure to chemicals in air, water, soil, food, and the workplace. He has published in the areas of toxicology, carcinogenesis, physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modeling, interindividual variability, and children?s risk assessment. He also holds an adjunct faculty position at the Yale School of Medicine and is an assistant clinical professor that the University of Connecticut school of Medicine. Dr. Ginsberg received his PhD in toxicology from the University of Connecticut. He was a member of the NRC Committee on Improving Risk Analysis Approaches Used by the Environmental Protection Agency.


Dr. Habibul Ahsan
The University of Chicago

Habibul Ahsan is Louis Block Professor of Health Studies (Epidemiology), Medicine (Genetic Medicine), and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago. He also holds appointments as director of the Center for Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, and associate director for population research at the university?s Comprehensive Cancer Center. He studies the inter-relationships between environmental and genomic factors in cancer and other diseases. He has published extensively on the molecular epidemiology and prevention of health effects of arsenic exposure, and also on the molecular and genetic epidemiology of breast and other cancers. Dr. Ahsan received his MD from Dhaka University and his MMedSc in epidemiology from the University of Western Australia.


Dr. Mary E. Davis
West Virginia University Health Sciences Center

Mary E. Davis is a professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology of the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center. Her research interests are in the toxicology of environmental and occupational pollutants, including water-disinfection byproducts, halogenated solvents, and arsenic. She is particularly interested in mechanisms of toxicity in the liver, kidneys, and vascular system. Dr. Davis was treasurer of the Society of Toxicology and is a former president of the society?s Allegheny-Erie Regional Chapter. She received her PhD in pharmacology from Michigan State University. She was a member of the National Research Council Committee on Assessing Human Health Risks of Trichloroethylene and the Committee on Tetrachloroethylene, and currently serves on the Committee on Toxicology.


Dr. I. Glenn Sipes
University of Arizona

I. Glenn Sipes is professor emeritus in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, where he was head of the department for almost 30 years. He was founding director of the university?s Center for Toxicology and the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center. His research interests are in the mechanism of tissue injury by drugs or other xenobiotics, mechanisms by which one chemical modulates the toxicity of another, and mechanisms of carcinogenesis. Dr. Sipes is a former president of the Society of Toxicology, the International Union of Toxicology, and the Academy of Toxicological Sciences. He received his PhD in pharmacology from the University of Pittsburgh.


Dr. John S. MacDonald,
Chrysalis Pharma Consulting, LLC

James S. MacDonald is founder and president of Chrysalis Pharma Consulting, a firm focused on bringing new molecular entities from the lead optimization stage through to proof-of-concept in patients. Over a period of 31 years before founding the company, he held several leadership positions at Merck and Schering-Plough, retiring as executive vice president of preclinical development. In this role, he oversaw the company?s Departments of Drug Safety and Drug Metabolism/Pharmacokinetics and led efforts to bring new molecular entities forward from discovery into clinical trials. Dr. MacDonald is also an adjunct professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. His research interests lie in assessing strategies for identifying potential human cancer hazards and in using mode of action data in assessing human relevance. Dr. MacDonald received his PhD in toxicology from the University of Cincinnati, and is a diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology.


Dr. Ana Navas-Acien
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Ana Navas-Acien is associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is a physician-epidemiologist with a specialty in preventive medicine and public health. Her research interests are in the cardiovascular effects and diabetes related to chronic exposure to arsenic in drinking water and food. She is currently the principal investigator of a large prospective cohort study of arsenic exposure and metabolism in Native American communities. Other research areas include the cardiometabolic and renal effects of cadmium and lead, and characterizing secondhand smoke exposure in indoor public places. Dr. Navas-Acien received her MD from the University of Granada School of Medicine in Spain, her MPH from the National School of Health in Madrid, and her PhD in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She was a member of the NRC Committee on Science for EPA?s Future, and currently serves on the Committee on Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions.


Dr. Sandra J.S. Baird
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Sandra J.S. Baird is a human health toxicologist with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Office of Research and Standards. She supports the air toxics and drinking-water programs through the development of toxicity values, evaluation of the implications of new toxicologic information and guidance, evaluation of site-specific toxicity and exposure assessment issues, and development of guidance in support of risk-based decision-making. Her research interests include combining quantitative methods and toxicologic data to characterize uncertainty and improve understanding in the process of extrapolating human health risks from animal bioassay data. Dr. Baird received her MS and PhD in toxicology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She was a member of the Committee to Review the Draft IRIS Assessment of Formaldehyde.