Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society Annual Elections
October 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017.

The 2017 ballot includes:
1. EMGS Vice-President Elect (One candidate will be elected.)

2. EMGS Councilor (Five candidates will be elected.)

3. Two EMGS bylaws amendments (Vote to approve change or not.)

Candidate Biographies and Bylaws Amendments Explanations

Please read about the candidates and proposed bylaws amendments, then select the "vote" button at the bottom of the page to go to the ballot.


Vice President-Elect:
Dr. William Kaufman, UNC
Dr. Errol Zeiger, EZ Consulting

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William Karl Kaufmann was born in Richland, WA and raised both in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC and the far reaches of Idaho Falls, ID. He studied Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University earning his BS in 1973. That year he joined the Lung Cancer Branch of the NCI as a chemist-technician working to isolate DNA replication complexes with David Kaufman.  He entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1975 in the Department of Pathology where he studied liver regeneration and chemical carcinogenesis under David Kaufman and Joe Grisham. After receiving his PhD degree in 1979, he traveled to the Laboratory of Radiobiology and Environmental Health in San Francisco to learn about sunlight-induced DNA damage and repair under James Cleaver.  There he met Robert Painter who taught him about human replicons. In 1982 he returned to UNC-CH as a Research Instructor in Pathology. He remained in Chapel Hill for the rest of his career retiring as Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in 2017.  His research was primarily focused on mechanisms of environmental carcinogenesis and the systems biology of the DNA damage response.  Dr. Kaufmann was Director of the UNC Program in Toxicogenomics from 2000-2006 when he worked with James Swenberg, Charles Perou, David Threadgill and Ivan Rusyn, and Director of a Program Project in environmental melanoma from 2007-2013, when he worked with project directors Marila Cordeiro-Stone, Norman Sharpless and Aziz Sancar. Dr. Kaufmann served on many federal grant review groups and was a member of the Chemical Pathology and Cancer Etiology study sections. Dr. Kaufmann attended his first EMS/EMGS meeting with his wife Jayne Boyer and their 18-month-old daughter Rachel in 1997 and he has been a dues-paying member of the society since 2007.  He has served on the nominations and awards committee's and currently is chair of the finance and resources committee. He served on the council from 2011-2014 and is a member of the editorial board of Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. He currently is an adjunct professor at UNC-CH and Chief Science Officer of Asystbio Laboratories LLC, a biotechnology company that is developing a genetic test for residual leukemia.

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Dr. Errol Zeiger, M.S., Ph.D., J.D., and Fellow ATS, is an independent consultant with clients that have included U.S. and other Government agencies, multi-national organizations, industries, other consulting organizations, and law firms.  He began doing genetic toxicology research at the FDA in 1969, the year the EMS was founded, and joined the EMS that year.  His early research program included mutagenesis in vitro and in vivo using Ames Salmonella strains prior to the development of his test, and various yeast strains.  He was responsible for technical oversight of the first mutagenicity testing contracts awarded by FDA and Salmonella test contracts awarded by the NCI.

He joined NIEHS in 1976 as Head of the Microbial Genetics Group to run an intramural research program on mutagenesis, was responsible for designing and managing the NTP mutagenicity testing program. This NTP genetic toxicity database became the basis for some of the widely used QSAR programs.

At FDA and later at NIEHS, he directed or participated in, validation studies of in vitro and in vivo genetic toxicology tests to determine their inter- and intra-lab reproducibility and their effectiveness in identifying mutagens and carcinogens, in addition to different approaches for identification of mutagens needing metabolism, and to broaden the types of chemicals that could be detected as mutagens.  His laboratory was responsible for training many individuals who came to learn the Ames test procedures.

In 1999 - 2000 he was on a detail as a consultant at the OECD in Paris, France, where he participated in the development of in vitro and in vivo toxicology Test Guidelines and Guidance Documents, and helped direct in vivo validation studies for estrogen and androgen disruption.

He retired from the NIEHS in December 2000 and works as independent consultant, and continues to publish research papers, commentaries, and book chapters.  He has presented short courses in genetic toxicology, the scientific method, and on scientific publication and peer-review.  He was co-recipient of two American Statistical Association best publication awards, the EMS Recognition Award, two EM(G)S Service Awards, and NIH and DHHS awards.  He served two terms as EMS Councilor, was Editor-in-Chief of EMM, as a member of the EMM and Mutation Research Editorial Boards, Chair or co-Chair of numerous committees, and currently chairs the Publication Policy Committee. 



Councilors: (5 will be elected.)
Dr. Brian Chorley, USEPA
Dr. Vasily Dobrovolsky, NCTR
Dr. Bret Freudenthal, Kansas University
Dr. Natalie Gassman, University of South Alabama
Dr. Jackie Goodrich, University of Michigan
Dr. Isabelle Miousse, UAMS
Dr. Caren Weinhouse, Duke University
Dr. John Wills, Health Canada

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Brian N. Chorley, Ph.D. is currently a Research Biologist in the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL) at the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) where he currently studies genetic and epigenetic biomarkers of adverse health outcomes due to chemical exposure. He also leads task groups within the EPA Research Action Plan (RAP) focused on adverse outcome pathway development/application and high-throughput assay design to test for CYP-mediated biotransformation of environmental chemical toxicity. Before joining US EPA, Dr. Chorley conducted research as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in Research Triangle Park, NC under the mentorship of Drs. Douglas Bell and Steven Kleeberger. Dr. Chorley completed his Ph.D. in 2005 from North Carolina State University under the mentorship of Dr. Kenneth Adler where he studied the signaling mechanisms of inflammation and mucin production in airway epithelial cells. Dr. Chorley has been recognized for his work and service, including the AACR Scholar-in-Training award, seventeen Superior Accomplishment 'S' Recognition awards at US EPA, and Postdoctoral Fellow Mentor award from the Society of Toxicology. He has also served on multiple workgroups, committees, and review boards, including being a full review board member of the Department of Veterans Affairs merit grants, co-chair of multiple presentation sessions for both the Society of Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (EMGS), and co-chair of the microRNA Atlas subgroup of the ILSI Health and Environmental Science Institute (HESI) Genomics Committee. In addition, Dr. Chorley is currently President and former councilor on the Boards of Directors of the Genetics and Environmental Mutagenesis Society (GEMS), a North Carolina-based grassroots EMGS association. Dr. Chorley lives in Raleigh, NC with his wife and two sons.

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Dr. Vasily N. Dobrovolsky received MS degree in biotechnology from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (Russia) and PhD degree in molecular biology from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia). His PhD research was focused on tissue specific expression of foreign gene in the mammary gland of transgenic animals. In 1994 he joined the Division of Genetic Toxicology, National Center for Toxicological Research of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (NCTR/FDA; Jefferson, AR) as a postdoctoral fellow in the group led by Bob Heflich. In 1998 he became a staff fellow and, subsequently, a staff scientist (research microbiologist) in the Division of Genetic and Molecular Toxicology (DGMT/NCTR).

As an FDA employee, Dr. Dobrovolsky is involved in developing and validating next generation safety assessments tools and approaches for detecting potential hazards (i.e., mutagens) among the products regulated by the FDA. He developed several in vitro and in vivo models useful for genotoxicity research utilizing various endogenous and transgenic reporter genes. His most recent accomplishment is comprehensive development and characterization of a model for detecting mutation in the endogenous X-linked Pig-a gene, and adopting the model as a regulatory-compliant assay. The Pig-a assay is potentially a flexible tool for assessing safety of pharmaceuticals in preclinical and clinical trials.

Dr. Dobrovolsky is a member of ILSI-HESI Genetic Toxicology Technical Committee (GTTC). During his career, Dr. Dobrovolsky has published more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Over the years he had multiple collaborative projects with scientists from Academia and Industry. Animals and cell lines derived by Dr. Dobrovolsky were distributed to investigators in the U.S., Australia and Europe for use in their independent research; the transgenic animals he has developed have been preserved in the NIH repository, MMRRC.

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Dr. Bret Freudenthal is an Assistant Professor in both the Department of Biochemistry and the Department of Cancer Biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The overarching goal of his research program is to elucidate how environmental hazards that damage the DNA lead to deleterious human health outcomes. He utilizes a reductionist approach consisting of structural biology, biophysical, kinetic, and molecular biology assays to investigate complex biological questions related to DNA damage and repair. By combining this multi-disciplinary approach with both clinical and cellular collaborations he ultimately hopes to beneficially impact the treatment and prevention of DNA damage associated human diseases.

As the 2016 EMGS Young Scientist Award winner, Dr. Freudenthal knows first-hand the exceedingly positive impact the EMGS society has on scientists and within the greater scientific community. With this in mind, he continues to give back to the EMGS society by helping with the organization of meetings and symposiums, mentoring trainees, and promoting the society. He aims to work with the EMGS to foster a supportive, encouraging, and positive scientific research environment for applied researchers, students, and teachers. If elected to EMGS Council, Dr. Freudenthal will actively work to achieve the EMGS mission and goals by advocating for critical scientific research and support; maintaining a diverse membership; supporting responsible social and scientific policies; and cultivating a supportive environment for both current and future members.

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Dr. Gassman is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute. She received her bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and her doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her training in DNA repair and nucleic acid enzymology as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) under the mentorship of Dr. Samuel H. Wilson. Under Dr. Wilson's mentorship, she focused on the application of laser micro-irradiation to the study of protein-protein interactions in base excision repair and on characterizing the modulation of DNA repair induced by co-exposure to the endocrine disrupting chemical, bisphenol A.

Dr. Gassman received a Pathway to Independence award (K99/R00) and started her laboratory in 2015. Her laboratory is focused on utilizing advanced confocal and super-resolution microscopy techniques to examine the modulation of DNA repair by environmental exposures. She has continued to investigate the cellular effects of bisphenol A exposure and co-exposure, while expanding her research interests by developing a new methodology for studying the induction and persistence of DNA adducts within cells.

Dr. Gassman is also a member of the Society of Toxicology and the American Association for Cancer Research. She has been actively involved in EMGS since joining in 2014, she is the co-chair of the DNA Repair Special Interest Group and served as the New Investigator Chair for the 2017 Annual meeting. EMGS is an outstanding society that offers unique opportunities to network with leading researchers across a number of different disciplines, and being a member of this society has only enriched her research experience and career development. She hopes to contribute more to the society and its efforts to help educate and support the next generation of environmental researchers by serving on council.

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Dr. Jaclyn Goodrich is a Research Assistant Professor in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan (UM) School of Public Health. Dr. Goodrich obtained a doctorate in toxicology from the UM. She identified genetic polymorphisms that influence mercury metabolism and toxicity in a sample of dental professionals and characterized their functional effects in vitro for her dissertation research. Dr. Goodrich then completed postdoctoral training in environmental epigenetics and epigenomics under the tutelage of Dr. Dana Dolinoy at the UM. She received the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research Postdoctoral Translational Scholars Program Award to investigate the impact of mercury exposure on the DNA methylome, cardiovascular and metabolic health. Dr. Goodrich served as the epigenetics laboratory lead for the UM Children’s Environmental Health Center. Her role in this center is ongoing and involves investigating the influence of prenatal exposures to environmental chemicals on DNA methylation at birth and in childhood and whether modified DNA methylation patterns are a mechanism linking prenatal conditions to altered growth and development. Overall Dr. Goodrich’s current research program aims to identify epigenetically labile genomic regions that contribute to environmentally-induced disease susceptibility at various life-stages (in utero, early childhood, and adulthood). Dr. Goodrich co-leads the Biological Response Indicators Resource of the Michigan Children’s Health Exposure Analysis Resource (M-CHEAR), one of six NIEHS-funded laboratory hubs selected to offer state-of-the-art laboratory services, including epigenomics and transcriptomics, to children’s epidemiological studies. As an UM Global Health Faculty Associate, Dr. Goodrich is committed to global environmental health and studies the impact of region-specific chemical exposures and nutritional deficiencies in Chile, China, South Africa, and Mexico on gene regulation and disease susceptibility. Dr. Goodrich joined EMGS in 2013 and is currently co-chair of the Epigenetics Special Interest Group.

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Dr. Isabelle Miousse is a postdoctoral fellow in Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She received her Ph.D in Human Genetics from McGill University in Canada. Her work focuses on epigenetic toxicology, and particularly on the regulatory effect of the metabolism of methyl groups. She has been a member of EMGS since 2014 and has attended the last four annual meetings. She co-chaired platform sessions during the past two annual meetings. She served as the New Investigator Co-Chair of the Education, Student and New Investigator Affairs Committee for 2016 and continues to be an active member of the committee. 

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Caren Weinhouse, Ph.D., is currently a Postdoctoral Associate in the Duke Global Health Institute (PI: William Pan), studying population epigenetic responses to environmental mercury exposure in gold mining communities in the Peruvian Amazon. She received her Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences (2015; PI: Dana Dolinoy) and her M.P.H. in Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology (2011; PI: Dana Dolinoy) from University of Michigan. In her dissertation, she reported epigenetic alterations linked to increased risk for liver cancer in isogenic adult mice exposed perinatally to bisphenol A.  She is interested in translating mechanistic toxicology and epigenetics research in animals to global environmental epidemiology settings, with the goal of protecting vulnerable populations in developing countries from unregulated exposures to environmental toxicants. She an active member of the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society and previously served as Epigenetics SIG co-leader for three years.

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John W. Wills completed his undergraduate studies with a First Class degree in genetics from Swansea University College of Medicine, UK. He then stayed on to study for his Ph.D., with doctoral work focusing on the development and optimisation of methods to improve understanding of the cellular delivery, DNA-damaging capacity and physiologic behavior of engineered nanomaterials. During this time, John developed a strong interest in high-content imaging using light microscopy and electron microanalytical techniques. John completed his Ph.D. in November 2014, and moved to Ottawa, Canada to pursue post-doctoral studies as a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Visiting Fellow in the Mechanistic Studies Division at Health Canada. Here, John’s work involved the development of novel benchmark dose algorithms for quantitative interpretation of genetic toxicity dose-response data, as well as the development and validation of physiologically representative 3-D in vitro models for chemical and nanomaterial safety evaluation. In the spring of 2017, John was awarded a University of Cambridge Herchel-Smith Fellowship to develop ‘in situ cytometry’ – a microscopy, image analysis and machine-learning based technology that aims to permit ‘flow cytometry type’ analyses of intact tissue sections. John is currently focussed on demonstrating the capabilities of this approach through its employment to understand the toxicological consequences stemming from the dietary intake of titanium dioxide nanoparticles. He is also investigating the roll of newly-discovered, endogenous gut nanomineral particles in shuttling antigen, promoting oral immuno-tolerance and how possible dysfunction in this pathway might lead to Crohn’s disease. In September 2017, John took up residence at Girton College, University of Cambridge as the Hertha Ayrton Junior Research Fellow.


 

Proposed Bylaws Amendment 1: Remove the text that requires the immediate Past President and the Past Past President to serve on the Nominating Committee.
Rationale: Society tasks can be distributed among more members and the term of service for an EMGS President will be reduced from 5 years to 4 years.

ARTICLE IX – Nominations and Elections
Section 1. Nominating Committee. Annually, the Executive Board or the Council shall, upon the recommendation of the President, appoint a Nominating Committee consisting of not fewer than five members of the Society, at least two of whom shall not be members of the Council. The Past Past-President of the EMGS will serve as the Chair of the Nominating Committee. The Immediate Past-President will serve as the Co-Chair of the Nominating Committee and will become the Chair in the next election cycle. The appointment of the Nominating Committee members and approval of such by the Executive Board will occur within 15 working days from the beginning of the calendar year.

 

Proposed Bylaws Amendment 2: Reduce the number of required Council Meetings at the Annual Meeting.
Rationale: The bylaws change would allow for more flexibility regarding when Council meets, requiring only one Council meeting during the Annual Meeting.
EMGS bylaws dictate that Council meet twice at the Annual Meeting: There are two sections of the bylaws that would require amending. The following excerpts show the changes. The revised language is in blue:

1. ARTICLE IV - Council
Section 4. Meetings of the Council. The Council shall meet at such times and places as may be fixed by the President or by resolution of the Council. At the annual meeting of the society, two meetings shall be held, one preceding and one following the annual business meeting. At least one meeting shall be held at the annual meeting of the society.

2. ARTICLE V - Executive Board
There shall be an Executive Board which shall have and exercise the authority of the Council in the management of the Society between meetings of the Council. The Executive Board shall consist of the President, Vice President, Vice President-Elect, Immediate Past-President, Secretary, Treasurer and two members of the Council. The two Council members shall be nominated by the President and elected for a one-year term by a majority of all members of the Council. The election of the two council representatives to the Executive Board by Council will occur at the second council meeting at the Annual Meeting. A vote that results in a tie will be considered defeated.

 

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