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Candidates Interview for NIEHS Toxicology Liaison

By Robin Arnette
July 2010

Linda Youngman, Ph.D.
Youngman's talk focused on the different experiences she has had as a toxicologist. She told the audience, "I've had a very varied career that hopefully brings a lot of skills to the table." (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Christopher Weis, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.
Weis described a number of projects he has been involved in that involved toxicological testing. One of the most memorable was the 2001 anthrax scare at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

William Schrader, Ph.D.
NIEHS Deputy Scientific Director William Schrader, Ph.D., attended both of the talks by candidates for the liaison position. He was one several people in the Institute who have followed the selection process closely. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

The search for the new toxicology liaison recently culminated with two of the candidates giving talks at NIEHS. During their visit, both scientists met with several staff members and toured the Institute. The position is based at the NIEHS office in Bethesda, Md.

Because toxicological studies are vital to understanding how the environment influences the development and progression of human disease, the person who serves as the NIEHS toxicology liaison will play an important role. The toxicology liaison will provide a valuable link between NIEHS and other federal research and regulatory programs, industries, labor, and a wide variety of constituency and advocacy groups. 

The finalists

  • Linda Youngman, Ph.D., presented "Human Clinical Trials and Animal Research - Applied Toxicology" on June 15. Youngman is a scientist/investigator in the Office of Research Integrity at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  • Christopher Weis, Ph.D., D.A.B.T. presented "Applied Environmental Science: From Laboratories to Trenches" on June 25. Weis is a senior toxicologist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Enforcement Investigations Center.

The toxicology liaison will serve as a senior advisor to NIEHS/NTP Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., and will also represent the Institute on national and international committees, subcommittees, task forces, and ad hoc working groups. Birnbaum said, "I'm looking forward to working with the new liaison. The post will further the NIEHS mission."

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