Jonathan M. Samet - (Chair)
Jonathan M. Samet is a pulmonary physician and epidemiologist and is currently Dean of the Colorado School of Public Health. Dr. Samet’s research has focused on the health risks posed by inhaled pollutants and tobacco. Previously, he was the Distinguished Professor and Flora L. Thornton Chair for the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Dr. Samet received the 2004 Prince Mahidol Award for Global Health awarded by the King of Thailand, the Edward Livingston Trudeau Medal from the American Thoracic Society/American Lung Association, the Luther Terry Award for Distinguished Career from the American Cancer Society, and the Fries Prize for Health. He has served on numerous committees concerned with public health and the environment: the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board; committees of the National Academies, including chairing the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation VI Committee, the Committee on Incorporating 21st Century Science in Risk-Based Evaluations, the Committee on Research Priorities for Airborne Particulate Matter, the Committee to Review EPA’s Draft Integrated Risk Information System Assessment of Formaldehyde, the Committee to Review the IRIS Process, and the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, among others; and the National Cancer Advisory Board. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Samet received his MD from the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry and his master’s degree in epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Georges C. Benjamin
Georges C. Benjamin is executive director for the American Public Health Association, the nation’s oldest and largest organization of public health professionals. He is also a former secretary of health for the state of Maryland. He is board-certified in internal medicine, a Master of the American College of Physicians, a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a fellow emeritus of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He serves on several nonprofit boards such as Research!America, the Truth Foundation and, the Reagan-Udall Foundation. He is also a member of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, a council that advises the President on how best to assure the security of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Dr. Benjamin is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine.
Seema S. Lakdawala
Seema Lakdawala is an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Lakdawala started an independent laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2015 studying influenza virus transmission, pathogenesis, and assembly. The Lakdawala Lab has published multiple papers on the persistence of influenza viruses in aerosols and droplets and demonstrated that viruses are stable for long periods of time in small aerosols and droplets in the presence of respiratory mucus. Their research has been featured in the popular press on NPR, Gizmodo, and This Week in Virology. In addition, Dr. Lakdawala co-authored an article on non-pharmaceutical strategies to limit influenza virus transmission that was published in the Washington Post in 2018. Dr. Lakdawala recently co-authored a Perspective in Science on the animal models under development to study COVID-19 pathogenesis and SARS-CoV-2 transmission. In 2009, she began a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Subbarao at the NIH to study airborne transmission of emerging influenza viruses. During this time she made important discoveries regarding the presence of influenza viruses in aerosols of varying sizes, and the defined the soft palate as an important site for viral adaptation and transmission. Dr. Lakdawala received her PhD in Molecular Biology and Virology from the University of California, San Diego Stalk Institute.
John-Martin J. Lowe
John-Martin Lowe is the executive director of training and education for the Global Center for Health Security, assistant vice chancellor for health security training and education, and director of research for the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. At the University of Nebraska Medical Center, he leads research and training initiatives to advance environmental risk assessment, infection control and has an adjunct appointment at Indiana University. As a virologist and environmental exposure scientist, Dr. Lowe has worked extensively throughout the U.S., Africa, Asia and Europe as an educator, researcher, and in health emergency risk management related to infectious disease, infection control and emergency response. As a clinical scientist and environmental scientist, his expertise focuses on risk, specifically identification, characterization, and management of risk for patient- community- and industry-centered environments, particularly related to emerging infectious diseases. Dr. Lowe also has extensive experience in emerging pathogens and health security. He is currently co-PI for the U.S. National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center, established an international network for emerging infectious diseases, and is lead investigator for a multi-country bio-surveillance network in Africa and has experience in a broad range of health security topics from surveillance, public health response and clinical response to health emergencies. Dr. Lowe led successful COVID-19 efforts in 2020 at the National Quarantine Unit and Nebraska Biocontainment Unit to provide monitoring and care for repatriated U.S. citizens exposed to and infected with SARS Coronavirus 2. He also led early and continued efforts to characterize the transmission dynamics of SARS Coronavirus 2 which were presented to in a joint meeting hosted by the Academy of Medicine and American Public Health Association on April 15, 2020. Professor Lowe has co-authored numerous book chapters and scientific papers on control and response to emerging pathogens. He also provided technical consultation and participated in infection prevention and control as well as industrial hygiene in over 23 countries to a variety of industry sectors including healthcare, food production, hospitality, finance, and insurance for issues related to emerging pathogens including Ebola virus disease and COVID-19. Dr. Lowe received his PhD in Medical Science from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Linsey C. Marr
Linsey Marr is the Charles P. Lunsford Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. Her research group applies interdisciplinary approaches to study pollutants in indoor and outdoor air. She is especially interested in emerging or non-traditional aerosols such as engineered nanomaterials and viral pathogens and how they can be physically and chemically transformed in the environment. Marr is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award and an NIH New Innovator award. In 2018, she was named a fellow of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate. She is an associate editor of Microbiome and also serves on the editorial advisory boards of Environmental Science & Technology Letters, Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, and Aerosol Science & Technology. She is a member of the National Academies’ Board on Environmental Science and Toxicology and recently served on the committee on Grand Challenges in Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century. Marr received a BS in Engineering Science from Harvard College and a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and completed her post-doctoral training in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.