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Nicole Botteri Principato, PhD   President

Dr. Principato is an Associate Director of Preclinical Development at Organon where she works as a project toxicologist and currently supports a preclinical asset in development for the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Prior to this role, she worked as a study director and monitor in the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology Groups at both Syngenta and Bristol Myers Squibb.


Dr. Principato received a doctorate in reproductive biology from the University of Florida in 2014 and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Toxicity Assessment Division in the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory at the US Environmental Protection Agency from 2015-2019. She has been a member of Birth Defects Research and Prevention since 2019, and currently serves as the Chair of the Student Affairs Committee and is a member of the Communication Coordination Committee and 2023 BDRP Program Committee. Dr. Principato has also been a member of MARTA since 2019 and the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology specialty section of SOT since 2017. She is currently participating on a HESI DART working group, the DARTable Genome.

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Pallavi Bhuyan McElroy, PhD    Past President

Pallavi Bhuyan McElroy, PhD is currently a Senior Scientist within Global Toxicology, Preclinical Sciences and Translational Safety (PSTS) at Janssen R&D. In this role, she serves as the Study Toxicologist for assigned studies (General Toxicology and Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology) for various modalities which includes design of in vivo toxicology studies, integrated scientific data interpretation and report generation, engagement in multi-disciplinary teams to provide scientific and technical expertise, and participation on issue-resolution teams through active engagement in scientific discussions. She is also a part of the Global DART-Pediatric team within PSTS, involved in discussions related to DART and juvenile tox strategies and designs for various projects.  Pallavi received her PhD in Toxicology from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in 2016.  Following her PhD, she worked as a DART Study Director at Charles River Ashland. She has been an active member of SOT since 2012, of BDRP where she served as a member of the Education Committee from 2018-2021, and currently is a member of the Membership and 2021-2022 Program Committee, and is currently serving as the VP of the Middle Atlantic Reproduction and Teratology Association.


Curtis Grace, PhD     President Elect

Curtis Grace, PhD is a Principal Scientist in Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology (DART), Nonclinical Drug Safety at Merck in West Point, PA. Dr. Grace works as a Study Director and Monitor  supporting multiple preclinical programs and modalities and has expertise in neurobehavioral toxicology assessments. Previously, he worked as a Study Director in the DART group at Covance Laboratories, Inc. Dr. Grace received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Developmental Biology from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation in 2010, where he focused on long-term neurobehavioral effects of developmental exposure to drugs of abuse. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the US EPA Toxicity Assessment Division from 2010-2012. Dr. Grace has over 20 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and is an active member the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention (BDRP) and MARTA. He has previously served on the BDRP Membership Committee and as MARTA councilor, and currently serves on the BDRP Student Affairs Committee and is involved in the Health & Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) DART preweaning developmental endpoints and dystocia working groups. 

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Johnathan Furr     Treasurer

Johnathan (John) Furr has over 20 years of experience as a researcher and Study Director in Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology. Prior to joining Inotiv as a Senior Toxicologist (DART), he was Senior Scientist and Study Director at Southern Research for 5 years, and a Biologist at the US Environmental Protection Agency for 17 years. John’s primary area of expertise is male reproductive endocrinology, and the development, design, and implementation of non-clinical in vivo assays to assess chemical toxicity to the male reproductive tract. In addition, John has vast experience in the data interpretation of DART multigenerational and prenatal development studies.


John has served as Principal Investigator on DART programs and has co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications and abstract presentations in the field of Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology.


Lei Wang, PhD    Secretary

Lei Wang earned her MS and PhD degrees in Reproductive Physiology from West Virginia University Morgantown, West Virginia in 2009 and 2014, respectively. Subsequently in 2015, Dr. Wang joined the Pathology department at University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC), Kansas City, Kansas as a postdoctoral fellow, where she worked on epigenetic regulation of trophoblast stem cell differentiation in human placenta and testicular tumor tissues. Dr. Wang’s early career and interest in animal sciences and reproductive physiology started in China where she obtained her BS in Animal Sciences at China Agricultural University, Beijing. Dr. Wang has authored over 20 of scientific papers published in national and international peer-reviewed journals and/or conference abstracts.

In 2016, Dr. Wang joined Charles River Laboratories, Ashland Ohio, where she has been engaged fulltime as a toxicologist and serves as the single point of control (Study Director) for developmental, reproductive, and juvenile toxicity studies for a variety of clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and chemical industries. She is responsible for the study design, planning, conduct, toxicity date interpretation and reporting of each study, according to FDA, ICH, OECD, and EPA OPPTS guidelines.  Dr. Wang is an active member of Teratology Society and Society for the Study of Reproduction.  Some of her work will be presented in the form of posters and abstracts in the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Teratology Society. 


Thea Golden, PharmD, PhD    Councilor

Thea Golden is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.  She received her Doctorate of Pharmacy (2011) and PhD in Toxicology (2016) from Rutgers University.  As a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Rebecca Simmons, her research focuses on fetal development and pregnancy complications.  She is particularly interested in the effect of environmental chemicals on placenta function and fetal development.  She joined MARTA as a Councilor in 2021.

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Lauren Walker, PhD    Councilor

Lauren Walker, PhD is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Rutgers University where she studies how environmental chemicals negatively affect the ability of type of immune cells to defend the placenta from infections. She received her doctorate in Environmental Toxicology from the University of California, Riverside in 2019. Outside of MARTA, Dr. Walker is the Vice-Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), Postdoctoral Representative of the Women in Toxicology Special Interest Group for the Society of Toxicology, and is an Early Career Representative of the Student Affairs Committee for the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention (BDRP).


Rashin Ghaffari, Ph.D       Councilor

Rashin Ghaffari is a Senior Research Scientist at Corteva Agriscience. She serves as a Study Director in Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology (DART) and provide internal consulting for endocrine related mechanistic studies both in vitro and in vivo. Prior to her current role, she received her postdoctoral training at Corteva Agriscience (2020-2021), investigating the effects of chemical induced maternal hypothyroidism on fetal and offspring development. She received her PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Texas at Austin (2019) focusing on male reproductive toxicology and oncofertility.  She is an active member of the HESI DART community where she currently serves as co-chair for dystocia project and is on MicroCT working group. She’s been a member of Society of Toxicology, Birth Defects Research and Prevention (BDRP), and recently joined MARTA as a councilor.

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Jessica Miller    Councilor

Jessica Miller, PhD is a Developmental and Reproductive Toxicologist and Study Director at Inotiv, Inc. She specializes in rodent and rabbit developmental and reproductive toxicology including fertility (male and female), prenatal and postnatal development, juvenile, and multigenerational studies. Prior to her current role at Inotiv, Dr. Miller received her doctorate degree in Biomedical and Molecular sciences from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada where her research focused on reproductive immunology and infertility. She is currently an active member of the American College of Toxicology (ACT), Society of Toxicology (SOT), and Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention (formerly the Teratology Society) and has published 24 peer-reviewed publications/abstracts in scientific journals. Most recently, she published a review in Trends and Molecular Medicine discussing emerging research avenues in the immunology of the female reproductive tract.

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