Members and Staff


Director:

 

David O. Carpenter, M.D. - Environmental Health Link
Professor, Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, UA
5 University Place, Room A217, Rensselaer, NY 12144-3456

David O. Carpenter is a public health physician whose research focuses on the study of various environmental causes of human disease, especially the chronic diseases of older age and exposures that result in reductions of cognitive function in both children and adults.    He works closely with the World Health Organization on issues related to children’s environmental health and has a number of international research collaborations.


 Associate Directors:

 

 

Ray Bromley, Ph.D. - Geography Link
Chair, Department of Geography and Planning, College of Arts and Sciences, UA
Earth Sciences 213, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222

Dr. Bromley’s research, teaching and consultancy activities focus on neighborhood and community development, city and regional planning, street and market retailing, micro-enterprise promotion, and the history of ideas in planning, international development, and community development.

  Gary Kleppel, Ph.D. - Ecology Link
Department of Biological Science, College of Arts and Sciences, UA 
Biology 209, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222

Dr. Kleppel studies the ecology of human dominated landscapes. In particular, he is concerned with sustainable agriculture, i.e., the use of land for food and fiber for production in ways that maintain or enhance their ecological functionality.

  Louise-Anne McNutt, Ph.D. - Epidemiology Link
Institute for Health and the Environment, UA
5 University Place, Room A217, Rensselaer, NY 12144

Dr. McNutt works on infectious diseases (HIV, hepatitis, nosocomial infections, STIs). She also works on developing Schools of Public Health internationally, intimate partner violence interventions, and strengthening epidemiologic methods.
 

Robert Nakamura, Ph.D. - Policy Link
Department of Political Science, College of Public Affairs and Policy, UA 
Milne 320, 135 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12203

Dr. Nakamura is currently working on comparing implementation outcomes from three commonly applied approaches to legislative assistance in democratization programs: an institutional capacity building focused on the staff, a party based strategy emphasizing the development of programmatic legislative parties and nurturing ties to constituents, and efforts to deepen civil society involvement in legislative advocacy and program oversight. This work will draw on a comparative case study approach developed for his earlier study of how Superfund’s alternative strategies have functioned in federal regional operations.

 

Lawrence Schell, Ph.D. - Epidemiology Link
Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences, UA
1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222

Dr. Schell's research concerns the interrelationship between biology and culture and focuses on biological responses to contemporary urban environments. The urban environment may be the new frontier for human adaptation because more and more people are living in urban environments and these environments are becoming less and less like the environments of our forebearers, i.e., more challenging. He have been researching this topic by looking at the health of people exposed to different features of the urban environment. He began with a study of how noise, as a type of urban stress, affected human development, both prenatal and post-natal. Dr. Schell has since branched out to consider other pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and lead.

 


 

 

 Project Staff Assistant:

 

Erica DeNicola, M.S.
5 University Place, Room A217, Rensselaer, NY 12144-3456
Phone: (518) 525-2660

Email:
edenicola@albany.edu
Site:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ericadenicola/

 

 

 


Members of Faculty Advisory Committee:

 

 

Joan Newman, Ph.D., Educational Psychology & Methodology, School of Education, UA
Joan is interested in the psychological development of children and adolescents, and factors influencing that development. A particular research focus of Joan's is the role of PCBs and other environmental toxicants on cognitive and behavioral functioning of children and adolescents. Other research concerns the role of parenting on children's outcomes, especially as this varies in different cultures.

 

Mary O'Reilly, Ph.D., Environmental Health Track, School of Public Health, UA 
The balance between resource use (water, energy and materials) and preservation of human health, both occupational and environmental, is critically important for continued prosperity.  I am interested in exploring that balance in areas such as energy (fossil including hydrofracking and renewable sources), industrial processes (infrastructure such as roads, sewage systems and buildings) and governance (regulatory as well as consensus such as ANSI and ISO).  Some specific projects include describing the role of perception in risk assessment, defining baseline water quality before high volume horizontal hydrofracking, evaluating embodied energy and water use in industrial processes, characterizing phytoremediation as a means of groundwater clean-up, reducing respirable crystalline silica exposures worldwide,  and developing controls to reduce musculoskeletal stress in children working in brick factories in south Asia and east Africa. 

 

David C. Spink, Ph.D., Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, UA
Dr. Spink's current research efforts are focused on the role of estrogens and estrogen metabolism in the genesis of breast cancer. He is investigating the effects of exposure to environmental toxicants including polychlorinated dioxins, dibenzofurans and biphenyls on cytochrome P450-catalyzed steroid and xenobiotic metabolism and evaluation of the potential roles of this metabolism in endocrine disruption and carcinogenesis; in vitro metabolic studies employ normal breast epithelial cells and breast tumor cells in culture. Studies involve the development and application of analytical methods for metabolite identification and quantitation by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry.


Institute Members:

 

Arash Alaei, M.D.;
Associate Director, International Academic Program; Clinical Associate Professor, School of Public Health; Associate Director, Global Institute for Health and Human Rights; UA

 

Kamiar Alaei, M.D. Dr.PH, Director, Global Institute for Health and Human Rights;  Rockefeller College, UA
Dr. Alaei's areas of interest include HIV/AIDS, addiction, smoking, and air pollution. He focuses on the intersections between health and international human rights law, while remaining sensitive to the needs and realities of vulnerable target groups.

 

Kathleen Arcaro, Ph.D.; Environmental Sciences Program, University of Massachusetts
Dr. Arcaro’s research program is focused on understanding how environmental exposures and lifestyle choices can affect the development of breast cancer. Additionally, for the last decade Dr. Arcaro has been studying breast milk as a means of understanding how environmental exposures and lifestyle choices can affect the development of breast cancer. She has published numerous scientific articles, and reviews of her research have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Business Week among others. Dr. Arcaro’s research on the epigenetics of cells in breast milk is funded by the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, the Avon Foundation for Women, and the National Institutes of Health. http://www.breastmilkresearch.org/

 

John G. Arnason, Ph.D.; Laboratory of Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry, Wadsworth Center
Dr. Aranson is interested in t
race element and isotopic analysis of biological and environmental samples.

 

Irina Birman, Ph.D.; NYS Dept. of Health, Bureau of Public Water Supply
As a research scientist at the NYS Department of health, Dr. Birman oversees environmental conservation and public health protection programs; conducts independent research and scientific literature reviews; assesses compliance with regulations and participates in enforcement actions that are relevant to public health protection.

 

Michael Bloom, Ph.D.; Environmental Health Sciences; Epidemiology & Biostatistics, UA
Dr. Bloom is an environmental and reproductive epidemiologist whose research focuses on the impacts of environmental risk factors, including metals, metalloids, and persistent and non-persistent organic compounds, on human reproduction, assisted reproduction, birth outcomes, and thyroid function.  He is also interested in the nature of biologic variability and the its impact on the use of biomarkers of exposure for epidemiologic research.

 

Katharine Briar-Lawson, Ph.D.; School of Social Welfare, Rockefeller College, UA
Dr. Briar-Lawson's research addresses two domains: 1) the impacts of unemployment and poverty; and 2) effective child welfare and family support systems, practices and policies.

 

Sheila Bushkin-Bedient, M.D., M.P.H.; New York Alliance Against Chronic Diseases; Medical Society of the State of New York
After many years in general surgery and plastic and reconstructive surgery, in addition to emergency medicine, Dr. Buskin-Bedient became involved in public health and preventive medicine. As a member of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) since 1998, she has served on many committees concerned with public health education and advocacy issues. Her specific areas of interest involve chronic diseases, aging, environmental health, and continuing medical education (CME).

 

Chang-Hwei Chen, Ph.D.; Institute for Health and the Environment, UA 
Dr. Chen is a biophysical chemist and a former professor of Biomedical Sciences at the School of Public Health, University at Albany. Other appointments included research scientist at Wadsworth Center, Visiting professor of chemistry at National Taiwan University and adjunct professor of physics, University at Albany. He is also the author of the book, “Activation and Detoxification Enzymes: Functions and Implications”.

 

Hyunok Choi, Ph.D., M.P.H.; Assistant Professor, Departments of Environmental Health Science, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics, UA
Dr. Choi's primary research interested for the next five-year period is to examine early-life exposure to a number of indoor air pollutants of modern origin and their effects on childhood asthma, allergies and neurocognitive impairments.  Specifically, she hopes to identify early biomarkers of pre-clinical outcomes of asthma, immune dysfunction and symptoms associated with the exposure during the “window of vulnerability”.  Secondarily, She hopes to clarify why the exposure during such “window of vulnerability” health engender multiple co-morbidities.

 

Anthony P. DeCaprio, Ph.D.; Florida International University, Miami, FL
Dr. DeCaprio is an analytical toxicologist who is currently an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and faculty member in the International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI) at Florida International University.  He also directs the IFRI Forensic and Analytical Toxicology Facility and the Forensic Science Certificate Program at FIU.  Dr. DeCaprio’s areas of research include theory and application of biomonitoring and biomarkers in toxicology and methods for MS-based ultra-trace analysis of drugs, environmental pollutants, and their metabolites.

  Beth Feingold, Ph.D.; School of Public Health, UA
Dr. Feingold's research interests are in the use of geospatial methods to understand the link between landscapes and health, with particular interest in issues related to industrial food animal production, climate and health, population-health-environment interactions, land use change, environmental justice, and urban environmental health.
 

 

Richard F. Haase, Ph.D.; Emeritus, Counseling Psychology, UA
Dr. Haase is Professor Emeritus and Research Professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York.  His research, writing, and teaching interests focus on quantitative research methodology, statistics, and data analysis.  In the substantive area of Psychology his expertise is in area of vocational psychology and career development.         

 

Surya Karri, M.D., M.P.H.; Northshore - LIJ; trauma and vascular surgery

 

Haider A. Khwaja, Ph.D.; Wadsworth Center; School of Public Health, UA
Dr. Khwaja's research and teaching interests lie in the field of Environmental Health. Active research programs include:

  • Effects of particulate matter on daily morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases in large cities,
  • Chemical characteristics of fine particles responsible for the observed health effects,
  • Exposure and health impacts related to indoor and outdoor air pollution including studies of indoor allergens, diesel vehicle emissions, volatile organic compounds, PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), and other air toxins, and
  • Water and Human Health issues, such as drinking-water quality and human health risks associated with water contaminants.

 

Kurunthachalam Kannan, Ph.D.; Wadsworth Center; School of Public Health, UA
Dr. Kannan's research interests are in biomonitoring of human exposure to environmental chemicals and the assessment of exposure pathways of environmental organic pollutants to humans.  His research is also focused on the global distribution, dynamics and fate of organic pollutants in the environment and food chain transfer of pollutants.
He is affiliated with universities in Japan, China, Saudi Arabia and have collaborations with researchers from several countries including India, Korea, Kuwait, Vietnam, Brazil, Colombia, etc.

 

Arthur M. Langer, Ph.D.; Earth and Environmental Sciences, Graduate School and University Center, CUNY
Dr. Langer's research interests include the Environmental and health effects of minerals and Geochemistry.

 

Linh Le; N.Y.S. Department of Health

 

Lawrence Lessner, Ph.D.; Institute for Health and the Environment
Dr. Lessner's specialties are in biostatistics and epidemiology.

 

Robert Miller, Jr., Ph.D.; School of Social Welfare, Rockefeller College; Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, UA
Dr. Miller explores the intersection of spirituality, social welfare and public health. He has examined the meaning and utility of spirituality in the lives of African American gay men living with AIDS. He is currently exploring the decision making process of African American Clergy in HIV prevention efforts within their congregations; coping strategies for African American women over 50 living with AIDS; and health promotion and disease prevention collaboration efforts between faith-based institutions and health related community-based organizations. Dr. Miller is an active participant in the US - Africa Partnership for Building Stronger Communities.

 

Albert Millis, Ph.D.; Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, UA
Dr. Millis' research areas of interest include molecular mechanisms of mammalian cell division, RNA-based drug delivery, and RNA-based cell targeting.

 

Gayle Morse, Ph.D.; Psychology, The Sage Colleges, School of Health Sciences
For over a decade Dr. Morse has conducted research examining the effects of Polychlorinated Biphenyls and other toxic chemicals on Mental Health.

 

Ramune Reliene, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor, Dept. of Environmental Health Sciences, University at Albany, SUNY.
Research in Dr. Reliene's lab focuses on cancer chemoprevention with dietary antioxidants and understanding of genotoxicity and cancer risks of engineered nanoparticles used in nanotechnology-enabled consumer products.

 

Ronald Scrudato, Ph.D.; Institute for Health and the Environment, UA

 

Thomas M. Semkow, Ph.D.; Research Scientist, Wadsworth Center; Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, UA
The research of Dr. Semkow and his group focuses on environmental radioactivity, health risks of ionizing radiation, radiological emergency response, radiochemical testing, and ionizing radiation measurements. He is also interested in modeling of environmental and physical processes, statistics, as well as computer communications in the laboratory.

 

Susan D. Shaw, Dr.PH; Director/Founder of the Marine Environmental Research Institute; Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, UA
Dr. Shaw is a globally recognized expert on the health effects of environmental chemical exposure in wildlife and humans, and has published extensively in the areas of environmental and occupational exposure, environmental toxicology and health hazards related to a wide range of pollutants, including flame retardants and their combustion by-products. She has more than 30 years’ experience designing and carrying out studies to assess the impacts of environmental chemical exposure on individuals and populations, including fire fighters.

 

Roger Sokol, Ph.D.; Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, UA

 

Thomas Stewart, Ph.D.; Center for Policy Research, College of Public Affairs and Policy, UA
Dr. Stewart is interested in analyzing expert or professional judgment under conditions of complexity and uncertainty. Why are some judges more accurate than others? How can judgments be improved? He uses Brunswik's lens model framework and the lens model equation to analyze various components of expert skill. He is particularly interested in practical applications of judgment and decision research to public policy issues and to improving professional judgment. Recently, Dr. Stewart has been studying how people learn decision thresholds when they do not get complete feedback.

 

Norman Strominger, Ph.D.; Professor, Center for Neuropharmacology and Neuroscience, Albany Medical College. Adjunct appointment in University at Albany, School of Public Health, Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Strominger is a coauthor of Noback’s Human Nervous System, Seventh Edition, 2012. His main interests include neuroanatomical organization of the central nervous system, mechanisms of nausea and vomiting, auditory system and control of movement.

 

Simona Surdu, M.D., Ph.D., Sc.D., M.S.; Research Associate, Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS), University at Albany. 
Dr. Surdu earned an M.D. degree and later obtained a Sc.D. degree in Occupational Medicine in her home country Romania. She also has M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Epidemiology from the School of Public Health of the University at Albany. Her main research areas include chronic conditions such as cancer, asthma and other respiratory diseases, and hypertension related to environmental and occupational pollutants. She has a particular interest in the international research collaborations on children’s environmental health, and more recently, in the assessment of health workforce supply and distribution in the U.S. to improve the access to care and reduce health disparities.

 

Igor Zurbenko Ph.D.; Epidemiology and
Biostatistics, School of Public Health, UA
Link
Dr.
 Zurbenko received both a Ph.D. in Applied Statistics and a Doctor of Probability and Statistics from Moscow State University,  Russia. Most of his graduate education and research in Russia was completed with the renowned mathematician and statistician, Andrey Kolmogorov.  Afterwards, he spent a year on a multi-purpose oceanographic expedition in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, where he was responsible for data analysis and other areas of scientific investigation. Dr. Zurbenko worked as a post-doctoral fellow with Professor J. Neyman from the University of California at Berkeley, a world-recognized statistician. He presently works at the School of Public Health (SPH), at the University at Albany. Dr. Zurbenko has authored or co-authored over 200 papers and 10 books on theoretical and applied statistics, covering multiple applications including and related to public health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Please send questions or comments to: dcarpenter@albany.edu