Meet the 2018 Fellows

Meet the 2018 Science Communication Fellows

Peter Byrley, PhD. Postdoctoral Researcher, Chemistry, Contracted with US EPA

Peter Byrley specializes in nanomaterials anPByrleyd emerging technologies. A contract postdoctoral researcher with the Environmental Protection Agency, he focuses on how nanomaterials can replace older materials in a safe and sustainable way while providing benefits inherent to their unique properties. Dr. Byrley holds a Ph.D. in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Riverside (UCR) where he focused on the creation of flexible electronics at the nanoscale using sustainable processes. Dr. Byrley is also passionate about educating people on how new technologies could impact their everyday lives. While at UCR, he won the statewide Grad Slam competition for his talk, “Renewable Nanopower: The New Age of Earth Abundant Electronics” and served as a University of California Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellow.

Raquel Chamorro-Garcia, PhD Researcher, University of California Irvine, Dept. of Developmental and Cell Biology

Raquel Garcia squareRaquel has always been interested in understanding how the environment contributes to increased human susceptibility to disease. For the last eight years, she has been working in Dr. Blumberg’s Lab at the University of California, Irvine, on deciphering the mechanisms by which exposure to certain environmental pollutants during pregnancy contributes to increased predisposition to obesity – not only in the immediate generation but also in subsequent generations that were not directly exposed to the pollutants. She hopes her research can help the scientific community better understand environmental factors contributing to increasing rates of obesity worldwide and reduce the risk of developing obesity-related diseases such as type-2 diabetes. Dr. Charmorro-Garcia obtained her PhD at the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid in Spain.

Cynthia Curl, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Community and Environmental Health, Boise State University

Cynthia Curl, Community and Environmental Health, Studio PortraitCynthia Curl studies the intersection between agriculture and health with a primary focus on understanding human exposure to pesticides. Dr. Curl founded and directs Boise State’s Agricultural Health Lab where she is currently conducting a randomized intervention to assess the effect of an organic diet on pesticide exposure during pregnancy. She is also investigating potential exposures to inorganic bromide from consumption of crops grown in fields previously fumigated with methyl bromide. Additionally, Dr. Curl teaches epidemiology and Co-Directs the Center for Excellence in Environmental Health & Safety at Boise State. She earned her PhD from the University of Washington and is the recipient of many awards including recently being named one of 20 Pioneers Under 40 in Environmental Public Health by the Collaborative on Health & Environment.

Shelley Ehrlich, MD, ScD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Environmental Health, Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

ehrlich-shelley squareShelley Ehrlich is a physician by background with residency training in Obstetrics and gynecology. She also received doctoral and postdoctoral training in environmental and perinatal epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health and Massachusetts General Hospital. She was recruited as an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics and Environmental Health at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in September 2012. Her research focuses on environmental exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals and their association with reproductive and perinatal health outcomes, environmental epigenetics and fetal programming.

Meghan E. Rebuli, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Toxicology and the Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma, and Lung Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

meradfor_1.jpgMeghan E. Rebuli, PhD is a postdoctoral research associate in the Curriculum in Toxicology and the Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma, and Lung Biology, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  She is deeply curious about environmental influences on the human innate immune system and is investigating the potential for chemicals in the environment to alter the endocrine and immune systems, disrupting the balance between the two systems, and altering their function. She is currently studying the effects of air pollutants, such as wood smoke, and inhaled tobacco products, like cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Recently, she demonstrated that exposure to e-cigarettes suppresses immune gene expression in the airway even more than cigarette smoke. She has begun to demonstrate that male and female immune systems differ and thus their response to environmental toxicants may occur in opposite directions. Dr. Rebuli earned her bachelor and doctoral degrees from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC where she studied the neurodevelopmental and behavioral impacts of Bisphenol A (BPA), an environmental endocrine disruptor present in a variety of consumer products. Dr. Rebuli’s research has resulted in multiple publications in high-impact scientific journals and a variety of honors and awards.

Christian Schäfer, PhD, Lecturer and Research Scientist, Department of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts Boston

schaefer headshotChristian Schäfer is a chemist passionate about introducing students to organic and green chemistry. As a research scientist and lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, he is exploring the development of greener transformations for organic chemistry. His current research focus is on methods for catalytic hydrogenation in water. He studied chemistry at the Technical University Darmstadt and University Bordeaux 1, obtained his PhD from the University of Strasbourg and did post-doctoral work at U. Mass. Boston.

Fenna C. M. Sillé, Ph.D., M.S., Assistant Professor in Environmental Health & Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

fenna square

Dr. Fenna Sillé is an immunologist with a passion for environmental health. As an assistant professor in Environmental Health & Engineering at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, she is researching how early-life exposures change the immune system and increase the risk of respiratory infections and lung cancer later in life. Her lab currently focuses on the effect of arsenic exposure on tuberculosis, influenza and vaccine efficacy – issues that affect millions of people worldwide. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Dr. Sillé was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California Berkeley and did her PhD work at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. She has won numerous awards, including the prestigious K99/R00 Career Development Grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Miranda Jones Spratlen, MHS, PhD ,Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

MSpratlen photo2Miranda Spratlen is currently a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Columbia University where she is utilizing two contemporaneous birth cohorts based in New York City to investigate health outcomes resulting from prenatal exposures to the World Trade Center disaster. This work conflates her passion for working with vulnerable populations and evaluating health effects of environmental exposures. Dr. Spratlen conducted her doctoral work at Johns Hopkins University where she focused on another vulnerable population, American Indians. Her doctoral dissertation explored the intricate relationships between arsenic exposure and arsenic metabolism, one carbon metabolism and diabetes related outcomes in this population. Leading up to her doctoral degree, Miranda worked for several years outside academia including in the Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology and Prevention Department at Northwell Health System and at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

Genoa Warner, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Comparative Biosciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Warner_Genoa smallGenoa Warner is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Endocrine, Developmental, and Reproductive Toxicology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a passionate environmental health scientist with expertise in the areas of endocrine disruption, female reproduction, toxicology, sustainability, and green chemistry. A chemist by training, Genoa received her BS from Yale University where she did green chemistry research. She earned her PhD from Carnegie Mellon University under the guidance of Professor Terry Collins on the removal of micropollutants from water via oxidative catalysis. During her graduate work, Genoa fell in love with the field of endocrine disruption research and for her postdoc made the jump to Professor Jodi Flaws’ lab at Illinois to study the impact of everyday chemicals on female reproduction. Her current research focuses on the metabolism of an environmentally relevant phthalate mixture in ovarian tissue.

Michael Wentzel, PhD, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Augsburg UniversityMichael-T.-Wentzel-photo square

Dr. Wentzel is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Augsburg University. His research interests span green chemistry including catalysis, flow chemistry, and sustainable polymer synthesis. Trained as a synthetic organic chemist using transition metals to develop new catalytic reaction methods, he is passionate about teaching and mentoring in the classroom, laboratory, and in research settings.