Meet the Grantees

2017 Cohort

Dr. Irina Mordukhovich is an epidemiologist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She received a Ph.D. in epidemiology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on environmental epidemiology, specifically associations between air pollution and metal exposure and cardiovascular, respiratory and cognitive health outcomes. Her proposed pilot study, Investigation of the Chemical Content of Airline Crew Uniforms after Health Complaints, tries to analyze chemical compounds in archived flight attendant uniform samples, which will account for volatility of uniform-associated chemicals, and work factors such as humidity, UV radiation and ozone in the aircraft cabin. The findings will help inform American Airlines flight attendants about the health issues they are experiencing, and may have broader implications for a largely unregulated textile industry.

Jie Yin is a doctoral student at the Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Design from Tongji University. His research interests lie in the cross-disciplinary field of urban planning and public health, including assessing the health impacts of biophilic design and health risk factors shaped by urban planning and policy. Before coming to Harvard, he spent eight years working on eco-city theory and rural sustainable development at Tongji University and Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning & Design Institute. As a certified urban planner in China, Jie has led several award-winning projects on environmental planning, urban/rural design, land-use planning and community design. Jie is an AR/VR enthusiastic and also a member of the Harvard AR/VR Student Alliance. His pilot study, Measuring the Physiological Responses to Virtual Experience of Indoor Chemical Exposure, aims to assess the impact of visual experiences in spaces associated to various indoor chemical exposures on individual’s physiological responses by using virtual reality (VR) and wearable bio-monitoring sensors.

2016 Cohort

Dr. Bernardo Lemos is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Epigenetics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  His research is focused on understanding the mechanism by which environmental exposures give rise to long-term changes in the expression of genes.  These environmental perturbations can reshape biological networks, alter regulatory responses and disease risk, and modulate the emergence of genetic and epigenetic variation.  Genetic and epigenetic controls are crucial in cellular differentiation, immune system development, neurogenesis, and normal cellular function. These controls are labile and disrupted by chemical environmental exposures through an individual’s development and aging. His work has centered on the ribosomal DNA arrays and other repetitive elements of the genome, as well as a variety of environmental stressors of public health relevance. His pilot project funded by the Hoffman Program, Ribosomal DNA copy number: a novel epigenetic modulator and platform for analyses of adaptation and sensitization to repeated chemical exposures., explores the biological role of rDNA copy number and improve methods for rDNA CN determination.

Dr. Christa Watson-Wright is an Assistant Professor in environmental health toxicology at Georgia State University in the School of Public Health. Before obtaining her faculty position, Dr. Christa Watson-Wright was an Alonzo Yerby Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She obtained her doctorate in Energy and Environmental Systems from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina in 2011. In her five years at Harvard, she was dedicated to uncovering the novel toxicities of engineered nanomaterials and chemical inhalation exposures to reduce potential public health hazards. She retains a membership within the Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology (Harvard NanoCenter), which aims to address unique environmental health and safety concerns raised by engineered nanomaterials and nanotechnology applications. Within the NanoCenter, her research focus was on the genotoxicity of metal oxide engineered nanoparticles (ENPs), the development of high throughput/high content screening assays, and nanosafety. Her project within the Hoffman Program on Chemicals & Health, DELTA: Do repeated pulmonary exposures to aerosolized cosmetics alter redox status and lead to sensitization or adaptation?, involves evaluating the effects of inhaled ENPs and nano-enabled products on pulmonary responses to bacterial exposures.

Dr. Damaskini “Dania” Valvi is a research associate in environmental health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The main focus of her research is the impact of environmental chemicals on maternal metabolic health, pregnancy outcomes and newborn’s growth and development through adulthood. She currently works with colleagues and collaborators on data from prospective cohorts of children and adults in the Faroe Islands, the U.S., Spain and other world regions. Her studies aim to shed light on the metabolic health consequences and mechanistic pathways associated with chemicals classified as endocrine disruptors, including perfluoroalkyl substances, organochlorine pesticides, phenols, phthalates, and toxic metals. Her project funded by the Hoffman Program, Elucidating the role of adipocytokines and insulin-like growth factors in the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases linked to early life environmental pollutant exposures, aims to evaluate the associations of both prenatal and postnatal exposures to environmental pollutants with repeated measures of serum adipocytokines and GH/IGF-1 axis factors from birth through early puberty, using data from an existing Faroese birth cohort.

2015 Cohort

Robin DodsonDr. Robin Dodson is a Research Scientist at the Silent Spring Institute, with expertise in exposure assessment and indoor air pollution. She is currently working on developing innovative exposure assessment methods for cohort studies and intervention studies aimed at reducing indoor pollution. She leads the Institute’s consumer product testing research and currently manages an exposure study of consumer product chemicals in low-income housing. Dr. Dodson completed her doctorate in environmental health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  Her dissertation research focused on residential and personal exposures to volatile organic compounds, such as chloroform from heated tap water, benzene from attached garages, and formaldehyde from home furnishings. Prior to her graduate work, Dr. Dodson holds a bachelor’s in environmental studies from Bates College, and an M.S. in environmental science and risk management from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is collaborating with Harvard researchers on the Healthy Green Campus Project (, supported by the Hoffman Pilot Grant.

Eileen McNeely
Dr. Eileen McNeely currently conducts research and teaches in the Environmental Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She has worked as a consultant, researcher, clinician, and educator in the field for over twenty years. She is Co-Director of SHINE at the Center for Health and the Global Environment, where she co-leads the initiative for the sustainability of health and human capital in the workplace. Dr. McNeely is also the principal investigator of a larger study on aviation crew health, and is working with corporate partners of SHINE to develop the Well-Being Index, which measures the well-being and health in worker populations. She received her clinical training as a Nurse Practitioner from the University of Connecticut, and holds a Ph.D. from the Heller School at Brandeis University. She is investigating Airline Crew Health Complaints Before and After New Uniforms under the support of the Hoffman Pilot Grant.

Dr. Ramon Molina is a research scientist in Physiology in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Molina received veterinary medical training in the Philippines, a Diploma in Veterinary Public Health at University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and both a Master of Public Health as well as a Doctor of Science degree from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His area of interest and expertise is pulmonary toxicology and pharmacokinetics of inhaled and ingested particles and other toxins in the environment. With the support of the Hoffman Pilot Grant, Dr. Molina is developing animal models to explore Sensitization or Adaptation Induced by Repeated Pulmonary Exposures to Zinc.

Diddier Prada

Dr. Diddier Prada is currently a research associate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is interested in Environmental Toxicology, Epigenetics, and their relationship with human diseases, especially those age-related. Dr. Prada has been working with air pollution (PM2.5 and black carbon) and Lead (Pb) exposures, evaluating genetic and epigenetic mediators and interactions, especially APOE gene and DNA methylation, and has evaluated its effect on several cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, ophthalmological, endocrine, and cancer-related outcomes. Dr. Prada holds an M.D. from Universidad Industrial de Santander, Colombia, and a Ph.D. from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México. He is studying Breast Milk Exosomes and Mechanisms of Immunotoxicity from Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) under the support of the Hoffman Pilot Grant.

MWeisskopfDr. Marc Weisskopf is an associate professor in environmental and occupational epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research interests, mostly stemming from his background in neurobiology, focus on how environmental factors affect the nervous system, as well as the epidemiology of neurologic disorders. Dr. Weisskopf has been working with large cohorts to explore the health effect of air pollution, particularly regarding cognitive function and psychiatric symptoms, such as autism, ALS, and Parkinson’s Disease. He is also trying to develop new ways of examining impacts on the nervous system. Dr. Weisskopf holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from University of California, San Francisco, and an Sc.D. in Epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. With the support of the Hoffman Pilot Grant, he is looking at The Association Between Maternal Air Pollution Exposure and the Risk of Autism in Israel.