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EPA Scientist Assumes Leading Role in Toxicology Communication


Dr. Linda Birnbaum, division director of EPA’s Experimental Toxicology Division (ETD), was recently elected president for the International Union of Toxicology (IUTOX). IUTOX is a worldwide scientific organization that serves as “the voice of toxicology,” promoting the field and international cooperation. Founded in 1980 in Brussels, IUTOX now has 51 affiliated societies on all six continents and 20,000 members. IUTOX works closely with the WHO’s International Program of Chemical Safety in training toxicologists and establishing capability in toxicology in developing countries.

Birnbaum has worked at EPA’s Office of Research and Development since 1989 as director of the Experimental Toxicology Division in the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, located at Research Triangle Park, N.C. She oversees research to determine the health effects of environmental pollutants that may affect the pulmonary, cardiovascular and immune systems. A past president of the Society of Toxicology (SOT), Birnbaum recently received SOT’s Public Communicator of the Year award.

“Dr. Birnbaum has proven to be an excellent communicator at EPA, giving many media interviews, meeting presentations and talks,” said George Gray, assistant administrator for the Office of Research and Development. “She is a great believer in the importance of communicating scientific results in terms everyone can understand. Her presentation skills have greatly enhanced EPA’s scientific reputation. For IUTOX, the organization that serves as the ’voice of toxicology,’ she is a perfect choice.”

Prior to joining EPA, Birnbaum was a scientist at the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program, also in Research Triangle Park, between 1979-89. She is an adjunct professor in the School of Public Health and Curriculum in Toxicology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University’s Integrated Toxicology Program. Birnbaum has published more than 270 peer-reviewed articles and numerous book chapters.


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