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About PRHE Faculty and Staff

UCSF's PRHE: Faculty and Staff

Program Faculty

Linda Giudice, MD, PhD founded PRHE in 2007 and is the Chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. Dr. Giudice is a biochemist, an obstetrician, gynecologist and reproductive endocrinologist whose research has focused on endometrial biology, placental-uterine interactions and environmental impacts on reproductive health. For more information on Dr. Giudice, see her UC profile page.

Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., MPH is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and Philip R Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco and the Director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.  She has done extensive research and policy development on environmental health issues, with a particular emphasis on early-life development.  Her research areas include evaluating prenatal exposures to environmental chemicals and related adverse pregnancy outcomes, and characterizing developmental risks.  She has authored numerous scientific publications and book chapters.  She was previously at the US EPA, where she was a senior scientist and policy advisor in the Office of Policy, and author of numerous government documents.  She is an Associate Editor of Environmental Health Perspectives.

Robert Gould, MD graduated from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and from 1981 until 2012 worked as a Pathologist at Kaiser Hospital in San Jose. In 2012 Bob was appointed as an Associate Adjunct Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the UCSF School of Medicine, to serve as Director of Health Professional Outreach and Education for the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE).  Since 1989, he has been President of the SF-Bay Area Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), and in 2003 was President of National PSR, to serve again in this capacity in 2014. Since 1986, Bob has been a leading member of the Peace Caucus of the American Public Health Association, for which he has been Chairperson for numerous years, and in 2009 APHA awarded Bob the prestigious Sidel-Levy Peace Award. Bob has been recognized as a leading expert on the environmental and public health impacts of nuclear weapons, and has been a contributing author to chapters on health impacts of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism in “War and Public Health” (2008) and “Terrorism and Public Health” (2011) published by Oxford University Press.

Since 1992 has been a leading member of the Environmental Committee of the Santa Clara County chapter of the California Medical Association (CMA), and through this work has authored and submitted numerous environmental health resolutions adopted by CMA as policy. For his work within CMA, he received the Santa Clara County Medical Association’s (SCCMA) "Outstanding Contribution in Community Service" award in 2001, and “Outstanding Contribution to the Medical Society award in 2012. Dr. Gould was also listed as one of Santa Clara County's "Top 400 Physicians" in peer-review surveys published in San Jose Magazine in 2001 through 2007.

Program Staff

Dylan Atchley is a research assistant covering the full spectrum of PRHE's work, splitting time between the PRHE offices and San Francisco General Hospital. Dylan received a B.S. in Biology from Bates College prior to working as a program assistant at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C. Dylan arrived at PRHE after six months in South and Central America where he volunteered on an infectious disease research project in Mexico City and at an urban youth NGO in Valparaiso, Chile.

Mei-Lani Bixby is a research assistant who acts as PRHE’s patient interface at San Francisco General Hospital.  She received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Puget Sound and spent a year as an Americorps Reproductive Health Educator in a free teen clinic in the Bay Area.  Her past research experience on the perceptions and uses of contraceptives in rural Chile led her to look at health through social, emotional, and environmental lenses.  She is excited to be a part of PRHE because it combines her interests in health education, reproductive health, and environmental health.

Cynthia Melgoza Canchola manages PRHE’s research lab at San Francisco General Hospital. She is also a bilingual Spanish and English health educator for the Children's Environmental Health Promotion Program of the San Francisco Department Public Health. Prior to her roles as health educator and research assistant, Cynthia worked to promote safer ergonomic work practices for day laborers; she was involved in the educational campaign to inform the public about lead in Mexican candy; and she conducted a pilot project to promote disinfectants that are safer for asthma in child care settings. Cynthia graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Raza Studies and a BS in Health Science.

Carrie Dickenson, MA is the Research Coordinator at PRHE. She is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of PRHE's research studies at San Francisco General Hospital. She has considerable experience in women's health and has worked both nationally and internationally with clinicians, scientists, and epidemiologists. Carrie has authored articles and chapters related to women's health and the history of medicine.

Jason Harless is the the Program Coordinator/Project Manager for PRHE. He administers the PEEC Children’s Center grant and acts as the Center Quality Assurance Manager (CQAM).  He has helped manage the Reach the Decision Makers fellowship since it began 4 years ago. He manages print media and social media communications for the program.  He is also the liaison to Human Resources, the program Site Captain for PRHE (specific to off-campus locations), and the capital assets manager.  Jason helps plan program events, is the Emergency Planning Officer on the disaster team, and he provides in-house IT support.

Paula Johnson, PhD, MPH is a postdoctoral fellow examining exposure and human health effects from environmental contaminants. Her current focus is developing and proving the methods for the Navigation Guide project, a systematic and transparent approach to evaluating evidence of toxicity and making recommendations about environmental chemicals. Paula joined PRHE in 2012 from the University of Michigan where she completed her doctoral dissertation in environmental health sciences, using and evaluating markers of exposure (house dust, serum, follicular fluid) to commonly used flame retardant chemicals to draw relationships to reproductive health parameters such as hormone levels and pregnancy outcomes. Paula holds a B.S. in biology from the University of Redlands and an MPH in environmental and occupational health from San Diego State University, where she completed a thesis on the fate of selenium contamination from agricultural drainage in remediation wetlands. During her studies she worked on a project for Cal-EPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment quantifying lead exposure in Latino children, and as a management intern for the City of San Diego's Solid Waste Local Enforcement Agency. Previous professional experience includes research and development of carbon monoxide sensors and technical service for lead replacement initiatives in the semiconductor industry.

Montana Murdoch is an Administrative Analyst at PRHE, with fifteen years’ experience at UCSF, most recently as Program Administrator for the UCSF-GIVI Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). She provides a strategic overview of operations, serves as a key point of contact with UCSF financial and administrative resources, and assists the PRHE Director in leading the growth and development of our administrative infrastructure.

Janet Pan, MPH recently completed her Epidemiology/ Biostatistics M.P.H. at UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Her great interest in environmental health and health disparities led her to work at PRHE. Currently she is involved in projects that examine environmental toxicants such as Bisphenol-A, and its effects on perinatal health.

Jackie Schwartz, MPH is a Research Scientist and focuses on PRHE's research activities and communications, authoring PRHE's recent report, Shaping Our Legacy. Prior to joining PRHE, Jackie was a research associate at the Center for Children's Environmental Health Research at U.C. Berkeley, and served as a public health assessor and epidemiologist for the Environmental Health Investigations Branch of the California Department of Health Services. Her research has focused on evaluating the association between environmental exposures and health outcomes in both adults and children, including identifying risk factors for exposure to pesticides and other endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Patrice Sutton, MPH is a Research Scientist and is spearheading PRHE's clinical outreach and translation efforts. Patrice has over 20 years of experience in occupational and environmental health research, industrial hygiene, public health practice, policy development and community-based advocacy. As a contractor to California's state health department from 1987 to 2006, she was responsible for conducting all aspects of research investigations spanning a disparate range of issues, including lead poisoning, tuberculosis, asthma, and pesticide-illness. She has extensive experience collaborating with directly-impacted workplace and community-based populations, labor, and governmental and non-governmental organizations in the development of research strategies and policy recommendations. She also has extensive experience as a volunteer in support of communities and workers impacted by the nuclear weapons production cycle and has published over thirty peer-reviewed scientific articles and government technical reports.

Hanna Vesterinen, PhD came from the UK to join PRHE in March 2013 as a postdoctoral fellow. Hanna did both her undergraduate honors degree (in pharmacology) and PhD at The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where she used systematic review and meta-analysis on the preclinical multiple sclerosis literature to gain insights into potential causes of the persistent failure to translate efficacy from bench to bedside. Hanna helped to develop the methodology for conducting meta-analyses on data from preclinical studies and has conducted a number of published systematic reviews. At PRHE Hanna works on a range of projects including the second case-study for the Navigation Guide methodology and assessing the impact of cumulative maternal exposure to stress and environmental chemicals on prenatal growth.

Monika Walker is an Administrative Assistant at PRHE. She has been with UCSF since 2009. Monika responsibilities at PRHE includes handling primarily administrative duties such as -maintaining Dr. Woodruff's schedule, processing expense claims, arranging travel for PRHE staff, distributing PRHE informational brochures, and any other tasks included for the success of the program.

About PRHE

Click here to learn more about UCSF's Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.


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