Intertwined

OFFICERS

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Caitlin Murphy, PhD    President

Caitlin Murphy is the Sr. Dr. Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology at Inotiv. Caitlin has experience as a Study Director in developmental and reproductive toxicology specializing in rodent and rabbit reproductive toxicology including fertility (male and female), endocrine screening, and multigenerational studies. Dr. Murphy received her doctorate degree in reproductive biology from the University of Wyoming in 2011 with an emphasis on toxicology. She has previously served as the councilor and chair of the Society of Toxicology Postdoctoral Assembly Board, is currently an elected committee member of the American College of Toxicology Education Committee and currently serves as president for Mid-Atlantic Reproductive and Teratology Association. She is also a member of the Society of Toxicology, American College of Toxicology, and the Birth Defects Research and Prevention. Dr. Murphy has over 20 publications/presentations in scientific journals and/or conferences.

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Maia L. Green, PhD    Past President

Maia L. Green, Ph.D. is a Director, Toxicology at Hurley Consulting Associates Ltd in Summit, NJ where she provides strategic insight through scientific and regulatory review of nonclinical programs. Previously (2018-2022) she was a Toxicologist at ExxonMobil (EM) Biomedical Sciences Inc., where she supported EM businesses to help them make informed decisions related to human health and the environment. From (2009-2018), she was a Study Director at Merck and Co. Inc., in Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology (DART) safety assessment and was the Investigational DART Lead where she provided continued pipeline support to de-risk early-stage drugs for possible teratogenicity, and assisted to develop and refine the use of alternative animal models for research. She earned her B.S. degree in Genetic Engineering and Chemistry from Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA in 2002, a M.S. in Developmental Biology and Teratology from Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA in 2005 and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Louisville, Louisville, KY in 2009. At the University of Louisville, she worked in the Birth Defects Center in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Craniofacial Biology, where she received a National Institute of Environmental Health Science Fellowship training grant, to complete research focused on fetal alcohol syndrome and the effects of mitochondrial dysfunction on the developing embryo. She is a member of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention, and Health & Environmental Sciences Institute (ILSE/HESI-DART). She was President (2021) of the Middle Atlantic Reproductive and Teratology Association, was Secretary of the NJ chapter for the Black Employee Success Team for ExxonMobil, participated on The Toxicology Forum, European Center for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC) committees and was designated as an expert representative on endocrine disruption at the European Commission for the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC).

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Pallavi Bhuyan McElroy, PhD    VP Elect

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.

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Kristin Bircsak, PhD    Treasurer

Kristin Bircsak, PhD is a Principal Scientist at Mimetas in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In 2016, she received her Ph.D. in Toxicology from Rutgers University following which she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in the laboratory of Dr. George Gerton. In her training, Kristin utilized various model systems to characterize the negative impact of drugs and environmental chemicals on reproduction and development. In her role at Mimetas, Kristin drives the development of innovative 3D in vitro organotypic models and assays to aid in the accurate prediction of safe and effective therapies.

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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. 

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Curtis Grace, PhD    Councilor

Curtis Grace, PhD is an Associate Principal Scientist in Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology (DART) within Nonclinical Drug Safety at Merck in West Point, PA. Dr. Grace oversees regulatory studies on new pharmaceutical drug candidates and is an experienced Study Director with expertise in neurobehavioral toxicology assessments to support pre- and postnatal development and juvenile studies. Previously, he was a DART Study Director at Covance Laboratories, Inc. (2012-2018).  Dr. Grace received his BS in Biology from the University of Cincinnati (2002) and his Ph.D. in Molecular and Developmental Biology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation (2010), where he studied the effects of developmental exposure to drugs of abuse on long-term learning and memory in rats. He also trained as a post-doctoral Biologist at the US EPA Toxicity Assessment Division (2010-2012). In addition to serving as MARTA councilor, Dr. Grace is an active member of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention and currently serves on the Membership Committee and is involved in several Health & Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) DART working groups.

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Bethany R. Hannas, PhD    Councilor

Bethany R. Hannas, Ph.D is a Director, Toxicology at Eli Lilly and Co.  In this role, she serves as a DART subject matter expert, providing internal consulting for toxicology projects across various modalities.  She also serves as a toxicology project leader within drug development teams.  Previously, she was a toxicologist in DART at Corteva Agriscience during 2018-2021 and a Lead Scientist for DART at the Dow Chemical Company during 2013-2018.  She received her B.S. in Environmental Science and Biology from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY in 2003 and her Ph.D. in Toxicology from North Carolina State University in 2009.  Dr. Hannas completed her postdoctoral trainee at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC, in the Reproductive Toxicology Branch during 2009-2013.  She is currently a member of the HESI DART Committee, BDRP, and SOT.  Dr. Hannas has served on the SOT RDTSS presidential chain and as New Career Councilor, as well as the SOT Nominating Committee, Mixtures Specialty Section and BDRP Membership Committee.  She is currently serving on the SOT Education Committee and BDRP Awards Committee and as a Councilor for MARTA.

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Angela R. Stermer, PhD    Councilor

Angela Stermer, PhD is currently an Associate Principal Scientist in Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology (DART) at Merck & Co in West Point, PA. Prior to her work at Merck she received her PhD form the Univeristy of Texas at Austin (2016), and was a post-doctoral researcher at Brown University (2016-2019). Both of these academic pursuits focused on male reproductive toxicity; determining immune cell responses to toxicity within the testis, and evaluating changes in sperm RNAs as novel biomarkers of testicular toxicity. As a scientist at Merck she primarily acts as a study director on DART toxicology studies, but also as a subject matter expert on reproductive findings across drug candidate programs, and is working towards historical data integration and mining for in vitro DART test systems. She is currently a member of a testicular toxicity specialty group within the IQ consortium’s DruSafe community, and a working group for alternatives to non-human primate DART studies the HESI DART community.

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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).