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Advisory Board

  • Dr. Balbus serves as Health and Human Services principal to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, for which he also co-chairs the Interagency Cross-Cutting Group on Climate Change and Human Health. Dr. Balbus' background combines training and experience in clinical medicine with expertise in epidemiology, toxicology, and risk sciences.

  • Dr. Michelle Bell is the Mary E. Pinchot Professor of Environmental Health at the Yale University School of the Environment, with secondary appointments at the Yale School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences Division and the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science, Environmental Engineering Program. Her research investigates how human health is affected by atmospheric systems, including air pollution and weather. Other research interests include the health impacts of climate change and environmental justice. Much of this work is based in epidemiology, biostatistics, and environmental engineering. The research is designed to be policy-relevant and contribute to well-informed decision-making to better protect human health and benefit society. She is the recipient of the Prince Albert II de Monaco / Institut Pasteur Award, the Rosenblith New Investigator Award, and the NIH Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) Award. Dr. Bell holds degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S. in Environmental Engineering), Stanford University (M.S. in Environmental Engineering), University of Edinburgh (M.Sc. in Philosophy), and Johns Hopkins University (M.S.E. in Environmental Management and Economics and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering). She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

  • Jazmín is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. Her research interests include natural disasters and extreme weather events, and their impact on maternal and child health. With an interest in inclusive resilient adaptation measures to urban heat, she is passionate about community-based interventions and the integration of inclusive language in reproductive health. Jazmín graduated from the University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus with an MPH in Environmental Health.

  • As the first director of the new Office of Climate Planning, Dr. French advises the Commissioner of DEEP on mitigation, adaptation and resilience plans across all divisions of the agency. Her first charge is to administer the Governor’s Council on Climate Change. Previously, Dr. French served as the Director of Resilience for the CT Department of Housing, and as the Director of Community Engagement for the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) from 2014-2018. Dr. French also spent a year in Congress as a Congressional Science Fellow in the Office of US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), serving as a policy advisor to the Senator in the areas of energy, environment, and agriculture.

  • Dr. Frumkin was head of the Our Plant, Our Health initiative at the Wellcome Trust in London, Dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health, Director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Professor and Chair of Environmental and Occupational Health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. Dr. Frumkin has served on the boards of the Bullitt Foundation, the Children and Nature Network, the Seattle Parks Foundation, the American Public Health Association, and the Washington Global Health Alliance, among others.

  • Attorney Geballe is an Assistant Professor of Public Health Practice at the Yale School of Public Health (teaching Public Health Law, Health Disparities, and the Health Policy Practicum) and a Clinical Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School (co-teaching the Legislative Advocacy Clinic). She also is the Distinguished Senior Fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children, a state research and advocacy organization she co-founded in 1995 and led as President until 2008. A graduate of Yale Law School (1976) and the Yale School of Public Health (1995), she practiced civil rights law with the ACLU for more than a decade, representing, among others, Connecticut's foster children in successful systemic reform litigation against the state child welfare department, inmates with HIV/AIDS in litigation against the state department of correction, and school children with HIV/AIDS who were being excluded from the New Haven Public Schools. Her publications include Geballe, Gruendel & Andiman, Forgotten Children of the AIDS Epidemic (Yale University Press, 1995). She has consulted internationally on public health and AIDS law in China and South Africa, and has served on many state commissions and task forces on topics ranging from Connecticut's property tax cap to child and adult mental health services in Connecticut. Most recently, she co-founded and serves on the Board of Directors of a non-profit that provides professional reporting about Connecticut government, policy and politics -

  • Dr. Mitchell has worked as Director of the Hartford Health Department, and with environmental justice communities to prevent and reduce environmentally-related disease and change policies that are detrimental to environmental health. Dr. Mitchell co-chairs the NMA’s Commission on Environmental Health. He is also Director of State Affairs for the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health. He chairs the Equity and Environmental Justice Subcommittee on Climate Adaptation on the CT Governor’s Council on Climate Change.

  • Michael Pascucilla was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer/Director of Health for the East Shore District Health Department (ESDHD) in 2010, which serves the Towns of Branford, East Haven and North Branford, Connecticut.  Prior to ESDHD, he served as the Assistant Director of Health for the City of Hartford, Department of Health & Human Services, and past positions include the University of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Health & Safety, Yale University, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health and several local public health districts.

    Michael holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Health/Nutrition from Southern Connecticut State University and a Master's Degree in Public Health from the University of Connecticut, Community Medicine & Health Care. Mr. Pascucilla is a Nationally Certified Environmental Health Specialist/Registered Sanitarian and has over 29 years’ experience as a public health official in local, state and federal government. He is very active in the public health field and is a Site Visitor for the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), currently seats as a Board of Director/Past President for the Connecticut Associations of Directors of Health (CADH) and is a Board of Director for the Connecticut Public Health Association. Mr. Pascucilla is also the past President of the Connecticut Environmental Health Association (CEHA) and served within the leadership of this organization for over seven years, where he continues to be an active member. 

    Michael holds several National and Connecticut State public health certifications and over the course of his career, he has been very engaged as a public health official in governmental and academic settings. His experience includes hands-on participated in several national/federal grant-funded initiatives, including a practicum at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Yale University. His experience also includes health prevention education and promotion among diverse community populations, staff supervision, administrative/budget/grant management, population health policy, workforce development, code enforcement, volunteer/ committee, food/water safety, indoor air quality and communicable disease prevention/education.

    Michael also is an Part-time Professor at Southern Connecticut State University in the Department of Public Health located in New Haven, Connecticut. He has combined his passion for this professional field of public health and higher education, as local health departments strive to hire and find well-qualified, public health college educated employees. He is actively mentoring/working to improve public health training/hands-on courses to assist college students in their career preparation.  To that end, his organization also regularly promotes the public health field at public events/venues, public schools and colleges, and host high school and college students with internships to attract young adults into the next generation of the public health workforce.

    Michaels focused areas of public health research are climate change and food allergies. In 2016, he was the recipient of the National Environmental Health Association's Professional Sabbatical Award, where he conducted research in the United Kingdom on food allergies. Michael also researched, designed and secured grant funding to build the world's first solar electric pump-out vessel which serves the east shores of Connecticut's Long Island Sound.  

    With respect to his experience outside his positions as a public health official and an educator, he is committed to this professional field by improving the quality of his local environment and is very engaged his hometown community. Michael resides in the Town of Guilford, Connecticut with his wife and two sons, and their family enjoys boating, fishing/shellfishing, swimming and the many other recreational activities that Long Island Sound offers.

  • Ms. Patel drives strategic development to bridge the gap between public health programs and sound policies. As Director of the Center for Climate, Health and Equity she works to inspire action and advance policy that addresses climate change at the nexus of health equity. As Deputy Director for the Center for Public Health Policy, Ms. Patel leads the organization’s most notable environmental health programs, including water safety and security, children’s environmental health, tribal public and environmental health, environmental health messaging, transportation and health, and healthy community design. She applies her role in both Centers to champion diversity and advance health equity and environmental justice while promoting public health solutions.

  • Virginia Pitzer, joined the Yale School of Public Health as an assistant professor in 2012. She earned her Sc.D. in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2007, and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Princeton (Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) and a postdoctoral fellow in the Research and Policy for Infectious Disease Dynamics (RAPIDD) program at the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health prior to coming to Yale.

    Pitzer’s work focuses on mathematical modeling of the transmission dynamics of imperfectly immunizing infections and how interventions such as vaccination, improved treatment of cases, and improvements in sanitation affect disease transmission at the population level. Her primary research is in rotavirus, (one of the leading causes of severe diarrhea in children in developed and developing countries) for which two new vaccines have been recently introduced. She is also interested in the spatiotemporal dynamics of respiratory syncytial virus and evaluating control options for typhoid fever. Her paper Demographic Variability, Vaccination, and the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Rotavirus Epidemics appeared in Science magazine in 2009.

  • Ms. Shepard has a long history of organizing and engaging Northern Manhattan residents in community-based planning and campaigns to address environmental protection and environmental health policy locally and nationally. She has successfully combined grassroots organizing, environmental advocacy, and environmental health community-based participatory research to become a national leader in advancing environmental policy and the perspective of environmental justice in urban communities — to ensure that the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment extends to all.

  • Vasilis Vasiliou, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. He received his BSc in Chemistry (1983) and PhD in Biochemical Pharmacology (1988) from the University of Ioannina, Greece. He then trained in gene-environment interactions, molecular toxicology and pharmacogenetics at the Department of Environmental Health in the College of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati (1991-1995). In 1996, he joined the faculty of the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy where he rose through the ranks to become Professor and Director of the Toxicology Graduate Program. Since 2008, he was also Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. In July 2014, he joined the faculty of Yale University in his new position.

    Professor Vasiliou has established an internationally-recognized research program that has been continuously funded by NEI/NIH and NIAAA/NIH since 1997, and recently NIEHS. His research interests include the etiology and molecular mechanisms of environmentally-induced human disease, such as liver disease, obesity & diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. His research focuses on the means by which the exposome (total exposures throughout life), metabolism (specifically aldehyde dehydrogenases and cytochrome P-450s) and antioxidants (glutathione and catalase) contribute to human health and disease. His laboratory utilizes state-of-the-art integrated system approaches that include metabolomics, lipidomics, exposomics, tissue imaging mass spectrometry, deep-learning, as well as human cohorts and genetically-engineered mouse models in order to elucidate mechanisms, and to discover biomarkers and novel interventions for human disease. 

    In addition to his funded NIH-research portfolio, Dr. Vasiliou is the director of the NIAAA-funded R24-Resource Center for Mouse Models and Metabolomics Tools to Investigate Alcohol Metabolism and Tissue Injury.

    Dr. Vasiliou has published over 200 papers and edited three books on Alcohol and Cancer. Dr. Vasiliou is the editor of Human Genomics and serves on the editorial boards of several toxicology and visual sciences journals.

    Professor Vasiliou is committed to training the next generation of scientists. At the University of Colorado he was the Director of the Environmental and Molecular Toxicology Graduate Program for 15 years.  At Yale he leads an NIAAA-funded T32 Translational Alcohol Research Program (TARP) Training Program for post-doctoral fellows, and an NIHES -funded R25 Summer Research Experience in Environmental Health (SREEH) Training Program that introduce undergraduate students in Connecticut (CT) to Environmental Health Research. Dr. Vasiliou has trained mentored and advised more than 60 trainees ranging from MPH and PhD students to postdoctoral fellows and junior faculties.

  • Dr. Watts is a medical doctor, having worked in a number of settings in Western Australia, with training in population health and public policy and over a decade of experience in health and climate change. He works to engage the health profession on the links between climate change and public health, having founded both the Global Climate and Health Alliance and the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change. He has led the Lancet Countdown’s work since it was first established in 2012. With his expertise lying at the nexus of science and policy, Dr. Watts has worked in global public health with the World Health Organization, Royal Medical Colleges, and the United Kingdom National Health Service Sustainable Development Unit.

  • Dr. Wilson is an environmental health scientist who works in community-university partnerships, crowd science, and citizen science on environmental health and justice issues. He is director of the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health (CEEJH) lab which provides technical assistance, consultation, and research support to communities with environmental justice and health issues in Maryland, the Washington, DC region, and across the country. He is a PI on a project to build geospatial tools for environmental justice, park equity, and climate equity; a PI of a project to provide outreach on environmental public health issues in the state of Maryland; Co-I on a project to assess environmental justice issues associated with stormwater management in the Washington, DC region; and a Co-I on a project to assess impacts of disasters and flooding risk on susceptible populations in environmental justice communities.  He is currently a member of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), on the board of the Citizen Science Association, and Editor in Chief of Environmental Justice.