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EHSRC Leadership Members

Leadership

Center Director: Peter S. Thorne, PhD

Dr. Thorne is Professor of Toxicology in the College of Public Health and holds a secondary appointment as Professor of Environmental Health in the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa. Within the EHSRC, he also serves as Director of the Pulmonary Toxicology Facility and Director of the Nanotoxicology thematic area. In addition to his activities as EHSRC Director, he is the lead investigator of several NIH grants and the Head of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health in the College of Public Health.

Dr. Thorne’s leadership philosophy embraces inclusion and transparency. He relies upon both the Internal Advisory Committee (IAC) and Executive Committee for guidance on issues regarding Center mission and focus, career development, membership, recruitment, and budgetary issues. As Center Director, Dr. Thorne has authority over issues of Center staffing, budget, and utilization of facility core space, equipment and resources.

Deputy Director: Hans-Joachim Lehmler, MS, PhD

Dr. Lehmler is Research Associate Professor in the College of Public Health and serves as the EHSRC Deputy Director and acts on behalf of the Center in Dr. Thorne’s absence. Dr. Lehmler is an integral part of the Center and an experienced scientist and highly qualified research grant administrator. In addition to being the EHSRC’s Deputy Director, Dr. Lehmler is a member of the leadership team of the Environmental Modeling and Exposure Assessment Facility (EMEAF). In addition, Dr. Lehmler leads a joint seminar series that regularly brings together faculty, staff and students of the EHSRC, the Iowa Superfund Research Program and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Human Toxicology. As an extension of this enrichment activity, Dr. Lehmler has taken over the leadership of the Center’s Career Development activity.

Associate Director: Joel N. Kline, MD, MS

Dr. Kline is Professor of Medicine and Occupational and Environmental Health and serves as Associate Director as part of the leadership team for the EHSRC. As a clinician-scientist, Dr. Kline provides a translational perspective on the Center’s direction and goals. He is fully qualified to lead the EHSRC should Dr. Thorne and Dr. Lehmler be unavailable. In addition, he serves as as Director of the Integrative Health Sciences Facility and Director of the Inflammation and Innate Immunity Research Core.  In addition to the EHSRC, Dr. Kline directs the Clinical Research Unit of the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (funded by our CTSA); in this role, he oversees the patient-centered resources of the CRU, including its core labs.

Internal Advisory Committee


Alejandro Comellas, MD

Dr. Comellas is Assistant Professor of Medicine and serves as Director of the Integrative Health Sciences Facility with interests in the thematic area of Inflammation and Innate Immunity.  Dr. Comellas reviews protocols and applications, participates in clinical protocols, and carries out bronchoscopies and cardiopulmonary exercise tests for EHSRC protocols.

Jonathan A. Doorn, PhD

Dr. Doorn is Associate Professor of Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry and serves as Co-Leader of the Oxidative Stress and Metabolism thematic area. Dr. Doorns' work involves examining the role of reactive intermediates in toxicity and disease. Specifically, his mechanistic, hypothesis-driven research focuses on the potential role of protein modification by a reactive metabolite of dopamine metabolism in neurotoxicity and neurodegenerative disease, i.e. Parkinson's disease

R. William Field, PhD

Dr. Field is Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health and serves as the Leader of the Environmental Disease and Population Health thematic area and as Exposure Assessment Specialist for the Environmental Modeling and Exposure Assessment Facility.  Dr. Field is an international expert on radon health effects and retrospective radon exposure reconstruction. He is also a co-investigator on both the DOE (former nuclear workers) and DOD (munitions workers) studies in Burlington, Iowa.

Eric A. Hoffman, PhD

Dr. Hoffman is Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Engineering and serves as Associate Director of Imaging to the Integrative Health Sciences Facility, as well as a member of the Environmental Lung Disease Research Core.  He is Director of the Iowa Comprehensive Lung Imaging Center (I-CLIC) and is internationally recognized for his leadership and expertise in thoracic imaging and image analysis.

Paul B. McCray, MD

Dr. McCray is Professor of Pediatrics and serves as the Leader of the Inflammation and Innate Immunity thematic area.  Dr. McCray has a long-standing interest in the pathogenesis and treatment of cystic fibrosis. His laboratory has two main areas of investigation: 1) pulmonary host defense, and 2) gene transfer for the treatment of inherited diseases.

Patrick T. O’Shaughnessy, PhD

Dr. O’Shaughnessy is Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health and serves as the Director of the Environmental Modeling and Exposure Assessment Facility and as Exposure Generation Specialist for the Pulmonary Toxicology Facility.  In addition, he is a member of the Integrative Health Sciences Facility, and contributes to the thematic areas of Nanotoxicology and Environmental Disease and Population Health.  Since 1997, Dr. O’Shaughnessy has led the development of inhalation exposure systems for the EHSRC.  He works closely with Dr. Thorne in setting up and testing systems for inhalation exposures. He also serves the Pulmonary Toxicology Facility with biostatistical expertise.

Edith Parker, MPH, DrPH

Dr. Parker is Professor and Head of Community and Behavioral Health and serves as the Director of the Community Outreach and Engagement Core.  She has expertise in the design of community health promotion interventions that address major social determinants of health and health disparities, particularly those that use a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach. Her research has combined a knowledge and interest in CBPR with an interest in the intersection of environmental health and health behavior and health education. 

Thomas M. Peters, PhD

Dr. Peters is Associate Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health and serves as Director of the Pilot Grant Program and as Aerosol Measurement Specialist to both the Pulmonary Toxicology Facility and the Environmental Modeling and Exposure Assessment Facility.  In addition, he is a member of the Environmental Lung Disease Research Core and the Nanotoxicology Research Core.  He is an expert in aerosol physics and particle sampling and characterization. He develops exposure generation and characterization systems, focusing on the study of nanomaterials. His expertise in the development and use of instruments, such as impactors, nephelometers, particle counters, scanning mobility particle sizers, and condensation particle counters, is applied to characterize the concentration and size distribution of aerosols in Pulmonary Toxicology Facility research studies.

Diane Rohlman, PhD

Dr. Rohlman is Associate Professor in Occupational and Environmental Health and serves as a co-leader to the thematic area of Environmental Disease and Population Health. Her research activities have focused on the design, development, and validation of computerized test methods to assess neurotoxic effects and neurological disorders in humans exposed to chemical and physical agents. Current projects involve the use of neurobehavioral methods to examine pesticide exposure in children whose parents apply pesticides, working children in Lebanon, young children in the Philippines exposed to pesticides and Egyptian cotton workers.

Aliasger Salem, PhD

Dr. Salem is Professor in the College of Pharmacy and serves as a co-leader in the thematic area of Nanotoxicology. His research expertise is primarily focused on self-assembling systems, the rational design of novel drug and gene delivery systems and on the development of vaccines that stimulate potent antigen-specific immune responses. Dr Salem's laboratory applies microfabrication techniques to develop novel drug and gene delivery devices and to optimize control over polymer-cell interactions. The group is currently exploring the synergistic application of polymer particle technology, CpG oligonucleotides, adenoviruses and heat shock protein therapy for generating sustained stronger immune responses against tumors.

Jerrold P. Weiss, MD

Dr. Weiss is Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology and serves as co-leader in the thematic area of Inflammation and Innate Immunity. His research interests include 1) the molecular basis of microbial recognition by specific human innate defense proteins; 2) how this recognition is linked to specific cellular outcomes (e.g. activation (or de-activation) of host cells, elimination of viable microbes and their remnants); and 3) how the mobilization and function of these host proteins are regulated to permit an appropriate evolution of host responses to infection. In addition, his lab makes use of the experimental setting of bacterial attack by defined host defense proteins to study the molecular bases of bacterial stress responses to sub-lethal injury and, in particular, repair of membrane damage.