Members and Staff




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

Phone: 518-525-2660
Email: [email protected]

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.



Beth J. Feingold, PhD, MPH, MESc.
Assistant Professor, Environmental Health Sciences
School of Public Health
5 University Place, Room GEC145, Rensselaer, NY 12144

Phone: 518-402-0391
Email: [email protected]

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. She has major research studies ongoing in South America, especially in Peru.

Associate Directors

  Louise-Anne McNutt, Ph.D.
Institute for Health and the Environment, UAlbany
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.

Lawrence Schell   Lawrence Schell, Ph.D.
Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences, UAlbany
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.


Michael L. Weitzman, MD

Professor of Pediatrics and Environmental Medicine

Dr. Weitzman's career has centered around the social and environmental determinants of child health, with a special focus on the interface of pediatrics, mental health and public health. I studied health administration at the Maxwell School and then health services research at the Harvard School of Public Health. I have been the Director of Maternal and Child Health for the City of Boston and have been a faculty member of the Harvard School of Public Health, the Boston University Schools of Medicine and School of Public Health, the University of Rochester and the New York University School of Medicine and the New York University Global Institute of Public Health, achieving the rank of tenured Professor at Boston University, the University of Rochester and New York University Schools of Medicine. 

Members of Faculty Advisory Committee


Mary O'Reilly, Ph.D., CIH, CPE, Environmental Health Science, 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 and communication, integrating worker health and safety into life-cycle and carbon footprint calculations, defining baseline water quality before high volume horizontal hydrofracking, exploring alternative remediation approaches and empowering underserved worker populations through building informed networks and community/consumer awareness.




David C. Spink, Ph.D. Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health
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



Temilayo E. Adeyeye, Ph.D.
Dr. Adeyeye’s research interests include climate-health surveillance, air pollution, traffic exposure, exploring the effects of extreme heat exposure on human health, spatial and temporal linkage of environment, hazard, and exposure data, and development of mitigation tools to address extreme weather events.


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.


Thoin F. Begum, Ph.D., M.S.

Post doctoral fellow, Center for Asian Health in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University

Begum’s research focuses on the health effects of environmental chemical exposure in humans. She has published articles on the reproductive outcomes associated with phthalate exposure. Her current research is examining the effects of polychlorinated biphenyls and disability among the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne.


Delisha Bella, Ph.D.

Institute of Health and the Environment

Dr. Bella’s research interest includes health disparities and environmental justice, specifically exposure to environmental toxicants and how they affect human health in minority communities. She is a huge advocate for health and education equity and is passionate on expanding STEM education in minority communities. 




Katharine Briar-Lawson, Ph.D.
School of Social Welfare, Rockefeller College, University at Albany

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 biophysicist 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 books, “Activation and Detoxification Enzymes: Functions and Implications” and "Xenobiotic Metabolic Enzymes: Bioactivation and Antioxidant Defense".

Andre Costa  

Andre Costa, MA

Andre Dias is a Brazilian PhD Fulbright Scholar with research focused on utilizing community engagement to prevent environmental crimes. He holds a Master Degree in Administration with focus on project management, and a graduate degree in Public Security and Human Rights. During his 16 years of experience as a Federal Police Officer in Brazil he has worked with crimes against nature, drug repression and migration, and was also head of the Project Management Office, the Internal Control Office and deputy chief of the Standardization and Normalization Office.


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.


Judith Enck

Judith Enck served as Region 2 administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency from 2009 - 2017. Prior to that she served as Deputy Secretary for the Environment for the Governor of NY, and an Environmental Advisor to the State Attorney General. A graduate of St. Rose, she has served as Executive Director of Environmental Advocates and a staff person for the NY Public Interest Research Group.


Jeffrey L Goldhagen M.D., M.P.H. 

Dr. Goldhagen is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine who has long worked through the International Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health to promote knowledge and education on issues related to children’s health, which is a major goal of the World Health Organization.  Dr. Goldhagen will promote these activities through our WHO Collaborating Centre, especially in Latin America but also in other parts of the world.


Kristen Hessler, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Philosophy

Dr. Hessler's research focuses on political philosophy (especially issues in global justice, human rights, and international law) and bioethics (with a focus on environmental and agricultural issues). She has published articles on human rights law, international justice, and ethical issues concerning biotechnology in agriculture. She teaches courses in ethics, applied ethics, political philosophy, and feminist philosophy. She is the director of the interdisciplinary minor in bioethics.


Mike Hill, Ph.D.

Mike Hill is Professor of English at the University at Albany, State University of New York.  He writes and teaches regularly on literature and the philosophy of science, the history of knowledge, and environmental humanities.  His books are:  On Posthuman War: Computation and Military Violence (Minnesota:  2022); The Other Adam Smith (Stanford:  2015) (co-authored with Warren Montag); After Whiteness: Unmaking an American Majority (NYU: 2004); Masses, Classes, and the Public Sphere (Verso: 2000) (contributing ed.); and Whiteness:  A Critical Reader (NYU: 1997); (contrib. ed.).  He’s currently working on the issue of climate change and political violence, as well as a book on the historical relation between science and the realist novel.




Haider A. Khwaja, Ph.D.
Wadsworth Center; School of Public Health
University at Albany
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.




David A. Lawrence, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, SUNY University at Albany, Research Scientist, Division of Infectious Diseases, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH)

Dr. Lawrence’s research interests have focused on environmental (biological, chemical, physical and psychological) stressors on immunity, which includes psychoneuroimmunological  and cell stress research, and inter-organ influences on host defenses against pathogens, cancers as well as promotion of autoimmune diseases. His studies have included the role of heavy metals skewing T cell differentiation, glutathione and cellular thiols affecting mouse and human leukocytes, and modulators of immune responses in arthritis and systemic lupus as well as autism. 

Lawrence Lessner, Ph.D.  

Lawrence Lessner, Ph.D. 

Institute for Health and the Environment
Dr. Lessner's specialties are in biostatistics and epidemiology.


Dr. Rui Li



Rui Li, Ph.D. 

Dr. Rui Li’s main research interests include geographic information science with a special focus on geovisualization. As a geographer, he considers the importance of spatial scale in understanding events at a finer level in space. He uses geospatial technologies to investigate the disparities of health patterns across space due to spatial and socioeconomic factors. In the recent pandemic, he and colleagues investigate the roles of public transit network, housing characteristics, human mobility, and social economic status that shape the disparities among New York City neighborhoods. Another research interest of Dr. Rui Li is the design of visualization on mobile or web platforms for promoting public awareness of a certain events or issues.    


Shao Lin, MD., Ph.D.

Dr. Lin has over 25 years of experience on various environmental health research, such as air pollution, traffic exposure, residential proximity to airport, hazardous waste sites, and industrial facilities, heavy metals exposure through fish consumption on children’s health, such as adverse birth outcomes and childhood asthma. In the recent 10 years, Dr. Lin has focused on the research of climate change and extreme weather on human health outcomes, disaster epidemiology (WTC 9/11 disaster, Hurricane Sandy, Power outage), and school environmental factors on children’s health, attendance and performance.




Pamela Miller MSPH.

Pamela Miller serves as Executive Director of Alaska Community Action on Toxics, an environmental health research and advocacy organization. With a master’s degree in environmental science and a bachelor’s degree in biology, she has thirty years of experience in research, policy, advocacy, and training programs focused on environmental health, justice, and marine ecology. Since 2005 Miller has served as Principal Investigator for community-based research projects supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) with Indigenous communities. Miller is known for her work toward achieving state, national, and international chemicals policy reform to protect environmental and human health in the Arctic. She was selected as a Fellow for the Reach the Decision Makers program from the University of California San Francisco, Reproductive Health and Environment Program (2011) and as a Mentor (2013-2016). In 2012, she received the Meritorious Community Service Award from the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska. Alaska Conservation Foundation awarded Miller the Olaus Murie Award in recognition of her “long-term outstanding professional contributions to the conservation movement in Alaska.” In 2016, she was elected to serve as the co-chair of the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN), a global network of more than 500 environmental health and justice organizations working for a toxics-free future. She also serves on the board of directors for the Groundswell Fund (2013-present).


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.


Azad Mohammed, MD MS DrPH

Dr. Azad’s has a clinical background in Rheumatology. His research interests are in Chemical exposures that affect the neuromuscular and musculoskeletal systems, in addition to the assessment and health hazards related. He has M.S. and DrPH degrees in Environmental Health from the School of Public Health of the University at Albany. His main research areas include chronic conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis and other autoimmune diseases.




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.


Omosehin Moyebi, Ph.D., MPH

Dr. Moyebi’s research interests focus on the concentration levels of size-segregated particulate matter (sub-micron, fine, coarse, and total suspended particles) and particulate matter constituents (black carbon, metals, ionic species, and gaseous pollutants) in urban centers of developed and developing countries. Investigating the effects of fine particulate matter on cardiovascular health, and the chemical characterization of particulate matter composition associated with cardiovascular diseases.



William Pan, Ph.D.

Bill Pan is the Elizabeth Brooks Reid and Whitlaw Reid Associate Professor Global Environmental Health at Duke University, and with Prof. Beth Feingold has extensive research in South America. He received his MPH from Emory and his DrPH from the University of North Carolina.


Feng (Johnson) Qian, Ph.D.

Dr. Qian is a real-world outcomes researcher with clinical background in cardiac surgery and MBA degree from Columbia Business School. He is passionate about enabling Big Data (including environmental data), AI, healthcare innovations and advanced analytics to improve population health and happiness. He has 15 years of experience leading funded health services research, medical technology assessment studies, and health disparities research. He serves on the NYS Cardiovascular Advisory Committee Executive Committee and is the Chair of Faculty Council of School of Public Health, University at Albany-SUNY.



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.


Xiaobo Romeiko



Xiaobo Xue Romeiko, Ph.D., M.S.

Associate Professor, Environmental Health Sciences, University at Albany

Dr. Romeiko’s research interests center on sustainable solutions capable of simultaneously conserving natural resources and minimizing negative environmental health damages. Her team develops innovative life cycle and risk assessment models to evaluate resource consumption and climate resiliency of water & waste infrastructure, to analyze environmental health impacts of food and energy supply chains, and to advance quantitative environmental sustainability analyses approaches.



Thomas M. Semkow, Ph.D.   

Research Scientist, Wadsworth Center; Associate 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.


Norman L Strominger




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.

Senior 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.





Kai Zhang, Ph.D.

Dr. Zhang’s research explores emerging topics in urban environmental pollution at the interface among climate change, extreme weather events, air pollution and health.  His perspective is to apply multidisciplinary approaches to address complex environmental health problems.  His expertise includes exposome, air quality, environmental and occupational epidemiology, risk assessment, GIS, environmental statistics and data science. His previous work includes developing the first exposure model to estimate long-term exposures to PM10-2.5 species in the U.S.; developing a comprehensive framework to characterize exposures and risks due to traffic congestion; developing novel methods to characterize climate-related exposures and quantifying the health effects attributable to extreme weather (e.g., heat, cold, flooding, and hurricane).
Currently, Dr. Zhang research interests focus on: 1) exploring the human health effects associated with more frequent extreme weather events that are predicted to occur with a warming climate; 2) characterizing the sources and human health impacts of air pollution with a focus on the role of air pollution on chronic diseases development; 3) investigating the role of built and social environment in the development of chronic diseases; 4) investigating urban compact development (smart growth), transportation, environmental pollution, and sustainability; and 5) applying GIS and data science approaches in epidemiological and intervention studies.


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. For more details see Kolmogorov-Zurbenko Filters, Wikipedia.             

Student Members 





Tamba S. Lebbie, MPH, MSc. 

Ph.D. Candidate, Environmental Health Sciences, University at Albany 

My research focuses on the effects of environmental pollutants on human health and the environment. My research interests include health effects of ultrafine particles, how used electrical and electronic equipments or e-waste impact human health, particularly the health of children.


Najm Alsadat Madani, MSc., Ph.D.

Research Scientist in the New York State Department of Health

Najm got her bachelor's degree in Industrial engineering (Industrial Safety) and her master's degree in Environmental Management (Health Safety Environment) from Iran. She got her Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences of University at Albany.
She is interested in researching the adverse effects of environmental contaminants on human health. Her Ph.D. thesis research examines the adverse effects of VOCs on human health. 


Steven Ogden, M.A.

Steven’s doctoral research is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the sciences and humanities. As such, it is an examination of hybridized “creative-scientific” genres, and the ways in which their “metamorphic” texts afford the reading public a more-meaningful and intimate understanding of current ecological and environmental precarities. Through description and metaphor, technical writing and narrative, cause-and-effect and characterization, Steven’s dissertation project bridges the rationalisms of scientific research/reporting with the semantic innovations of the humanities, reconceptualizing (through new transdisciplinary imaginings) issues of environmental health, such as persistent organic pollutants, endocrine disrupting chemicals, effluence and micro-waste, deforestation, species loss, nuclear waste storage, and global warming. Utilizing creative-scientific authors like Rachel Carson, Theo Colborn, C.D. Wright, Michel Serres, and many others, Steven’s work explores not only the hybrid representations of these global and deep-time disturbances, but provides a necessary story and agency—a subjectivity—to both the human and non-human populations being affected by their “slow violence.”


Nozomi Sasaki, Ph.D., MPH

Ph.D., Environmental Health Sciences, University at Albany

Nozomi’s research focuses on the effects of environmental exposures to metals and organic compounds on cognitive functions. She conducts data analyses to understand associations of environmental exposures and health outcomes by using the statistical language of R and SAS, and geographic information systems of GIS and QGIS. Her current research assesses cognitive declines with environmental toxic metals and PCBs exposures.     


Lijo Varghese, M.S.

Lijo's doctoral research is examining how 1,4-dioxane behaves in surface water compared to groundwater, in the Twin Lakes Preserve in Wantagh, NY. The research filled gaps in knowledge about this carcinogenic chemical and answered questions on the potential of the existing Northrop Grumman Bethpage Groundwater Plume to contaminate surface water features on its path to the Great South Bay. Current water policies pertaining to the use, control, and remediation of 1,4-dioxane were examined, and policy recommendations were made based on new and preexisting data.

Please send your questions or comments to: [email protected]