Environmental Mutagenesis & Genomics Society
54th Annual Meeting
September 9-13, 2023

EMGS in the Windy City: Billowing the Sails of DNA Science

EMGS 2023
September 9-13, 2023

Palmer House Hilton
17 East Monroe Street
Chicago, IL, USA

EMGS President:
Francesco Marchetti, PhD

Program Chair:
Jeffrey Craig Bemis, PhD

New Investigator Co-Chair:
Isabelle R. Miousse, PhD

2023 EMGS Sponsors

Become a Sponsor  

Diamond Level:
Morningside Foundation
TwinStrand Biosciences 

Platinum Level:
Escher Fund for Autism 

Silver Level:
Bristol-Myers Squibb
National Toxicology Program
Merck & Co., Inc.
US-FDA R13 Grant No. 5R13FD006702-05

Bronze Level:
Litron Laboratories
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, Inc.

Supporter Level:
Health and Environmental Sciences Institute

Contributor Level:
Charles River Labratories
Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis
Genetic Toxicology Association
Gilead Sciences

2023 EMGS Exhibitors

Become an Exhibitor  

Xenometrix AG/Aniara Diagnostica
TwinStrand Biosciences

Keynote Speakers

Below is a list of confirmed keynote speakers (and topics), which will be held at the 54th Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, September 9-13, 2023.


7:30PM - 9:00PM | Keynote Speaker: Gail S. Prins

Environmental toxicants that increase prostate carcinogenic potential: chemical-specific mechanisms and future directions

Gail S. Prins, PhD, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL, USA

Gail S. Prins, PhD is the Michael Reese Professor of Urology and Physiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Co‐Director of the Chicago Center for Health and Environment (CACHET, an NIEHS P30 Core Center) in the UIC School of Public Health.  She is the Director of the University Andrology Laboratory at UIC and has been active in translational and clinical male reproductive research and activities for >35 years. Her basic research focuses on estrogen actions in the prostate gland including the influence of early life exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals and toxins on adult prostate cancer risk. Her work established that early life exposures to natural estrogens or EDCs (bisphenol A, arsenic, PFAS) permanently reprogram the prostate and increase its susceptibility to cancer with aging.  She has over 200 publications and currently is Principal Investigator on 2 NIH grants and a DoD award. She is a Past‐President of the Society for Basic Urologic Research, and the American Society of Andrology and currently serves as an Associate Editor of Endocrinology.  


8:30AM - 9:30AM | Keynote Speaker: Mariana G. Figueiro   

The Relationship Between Light and Cancer: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Mariana Figuero, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY

Mariana G. Figueiro is the Director of the Light and Health Research Center at Mount Sinai and Professor in the Department of Population Health Science and Policy at the Icahn School of Medicine. She is well known for her research on the effects of light on human health, sustainability, circadian photobiology, and lighting for older adults. She holds a bachelor's in architectural engineering from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and a master's in lighting and a doctorate in multidisciplinary science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her master's and Ph.D. dissertation research focused on the human circadian response to light.

In addition to performing basic research investigating the impact of light on physiology, Dr. Figueiro conducts field studies examining the impact of circadian-effective lighting in office spaces and works in nursing homes and assisted living facilities to use light to improve sleep, mood, and behavior in Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment patients. Most recently, she has been working with Mount Sinai physicians to improve the lives of those undergoing cancer treatments and who are suffering from Parkinson’s disease and other neurological diseases. She is also field-testing novel lighting systems to reduce falls.

Dr. Figueiro is a Fellow of the Illuminating Engineering Society (FIES) and the author of more than 140 scientific articles in her field of research. She has brought attention to the significance of light and health as a topic of public interest through her TEDMED talk (https://www.tedmed.com/speakers/show?id=309733).


8:30AM to 9:30AM | Keynote Speaker: Hans Clevers

Organoids model human disease

Hans Clevers, MD, PhD, MsC, Roche, Basel, CH

Hans Clevers is a Dutch molecular geneticist, cell biologist and stem cell researcher. Hans is currently the Head of pharma Research and Early Development (pRED), and a member of the Corporate Executive Committee of F. Hoffmann-La Roche based in Basel, Switzerland. Previously, Hans headed a research group at the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research and at the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology and Oncode where he has remained as an advisor and guest scientist or visiting researcher. He is also a Professor in Molecular Genetics at the University of Utrecht. Hans was group leader at the Hubrecht Institute from 2002 until March 2022. Han’s research group has spun out a non-profit clinical research organization (CRO), HUB Organoids, where Hans was scientific advisor from 2013-2020. Hans also served at a number of scientific organizations, including on the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research, and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna and the Francis Crick Institute in London. He is currently on many Prize Juries (e.g. Francqui Prize, Brussels; Breakthrough Prize, San Francisco) and also the advisory board of various scientific journals, including The EMBO Journal, Disease Models & Mechanisms, Cell, Stem Cell Reports, Cell Stem Cell, and EMBO Molecular Medicine. From 2014 to 2022, he was also on the editorial committee of the Annual Review of Cancer Biology. Hans has published over 740, highly cited, peer-reviewed papers. Outside of academia, Hans was also a scientific advisor to numerous biotechnology companies and co-founded California-based Surrozen in 2016 and Shanghai-based D1 Medical Technology in 2019.

3:30PM to 4:30PM | Hollaender Award Lecture: Rosalie Elespuru

Rosalie Elespuru, PhDDiscovery Life Science, LLC, Huntsville, AL, USA

Dr. Rosalie Elespuru of Discovery Life Science, LLC is the recipient of the 2023 Alexander Hollaender Award. The Alexander Hollaender Award recognizes outstanding contributions in the application of the principles and techniques of environmental mutagenesis to the protection of human health.

Dr. Elespuru's contributions include countless high-quality genotoxicity assessments at FDA to assess the cancer risk of drugs and medical devices in the last 25 years, many key contributions to the field of applied genetic toxicology, and her leadership in the genetic toxicology community which started early on in her career and continues to this day. In addition to her scientific research accomplishments, her regulatory contributions to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and her participation in the activities of genetic toxicology consortia (HESI, OECD, IWGT), Dr. Elespuru  has a long history of service to the EMGS, including a stint as President. 


8:30AM to 9:30AM | Keynote Speaker: Ivan Rusyn

“Precision Environmental Health” vs “Divide Arbitrarily by Ten”: Can Genetics be Great Again?

Ivan Rusyn, MD, PhD, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

Ivan Rusyn is University Professor in the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station. He is also Chair of the Interdisciplinary Faculty of Toxicology, Director of an NIEHS T32 training program in “Regulatory Science in Environmental Health and Toxicology,” and Director of the Superfund Research Center. His studies on health effects of chemical agents resulted in over 310 peer-reviewed publications which were cited over 30,000 times (h-index=82). He has served on and chaired several US National Academies committees, World Health Organization/International Agency for Research on Cancer monograph working groups. He is serving on the advisory board for Texas Department of Public Health, and on the Research Committee of the Health Effects Institute. He served on the Board of Environmental Studies and Toxicology for the National Academies, Board of the Scientific Councilors of the United States National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. He also served on and chaired a large number of committees for the National Academies and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Dr. Rusyn received a doctor of medicine degree from Ukrainian State Medical University in Kyiv and a Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf. Dr. Rusyn’s laboratory is funded by grants and cooperative research agreements from the National Institutes of Health and US Environmental Protection Agency, institutional funding from Texas A&M University, the industry, and other sources.

3:30PM to 4:30PM | EMGS Award Lecture: Sankar Mitra

Sankar Mitra, PhDHouston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX, USA

Dr. Sankar Mitra of Houston Methodist Research Institute is the recipient of the 2023 EMGS Award. The EMGS award recognizes outstanding research contributions in the areas of environmental mutagenesis and genomics.

Throughout his 5+ decades of conducting basic research, Dr. Mitra has been at the forefront of many emerging areas in the field by both discovering and characterizing the enzymes and complex pathways, which guide the processing of modified base adducts. Dr. Mitra has not only made many seminal discoveries but has also led to the development of the conceptual, theoretical, and experimental frameworks of repair of varieties of endogenous DNA damage in cells. In addition to his significant research accomplishments, Dr. Mitra has also enhanced the field that is encompassed by EMGS through his training of many scientists and his assistance in the launching of their careers.


Pini Picture8:30AM to 9:30AM | Young Scientist Award Lecture: Bambarendage Pinithi (Pini) Upekka Perera

Sex-specific mechanisms of piRNA regulation in the adult mouse brain following perinatal lead (Pb) exposure

Bambarendage Pinithi (Pini) Upekka Perera, PhDUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Dr. Pini Perera is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She uses mouse exposure models and molecular biology techniques to understand how early life exposures to environmental contaminants such as lead impact the epigenome and specifically piRNAs.