Janet E. Hall, M.D., M.S. is an internationally known clinician and clinical researcher. She received her Masters of Medical Sciences in exercise physiology and her M.D. and Internal Medicine training at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. She completed her training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and rose to the rank of Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She had continuous NIH extramural grant funding until moving to the NIEHS intramural program in 2015. Hall was elected to the Association of American Physicians in recognition of her contributions to both the science and academics of medicine and, as a leader in the field, is a former President of the Endocrine Society.
Francesco DeMayo, Ph.D., is Chief of the Reproductive and Developmental Biology Laboratory, and leads the Pregnancy and Female Reproduction Group. He also holds a secondary appointment in the NIEHS Immunity, Inflammation, and Disease Laboratory.
The Pregnancy and Female Reproduction Group goal is to define the molecular mechanisms regulating normal reproductive tract and pulmonary function. The accomplishment of this will allow a better understanding how these tissues are impacted by the environment. We will be better able to determine how the endocrine disruptors impact the ability of the reproductive tract to initiate and maintain pregnancy. Also we will determine how these factors impact the development of reproductive diseases such as endometriosis and endometrial cancer. We will also be able to determine how environmental insults impact the progression and development of pulmonary diseases such as lung cancer.
Dr. Michael Fessler received his medical degree at Harvard Medical School in 1996, and followed this with internal medicine residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital and pulmonary/critical care medicine training at University of Colorado. While at University of Colorado as a physician scientist, Dr. Fessler developed expertise in research into the human immune system, focusing in particular on macrophages and neutrophils, white blood cells that protect the body from infection, but that can also cause damaging inflammation in the lungs and other organs. In 2006, Dr. Fessler moved to NIEHS to start his own laboratory, which conducts a wide range of basic (cell-based) and clinical (epidemiology, patient-based) studies that aim to identify mechanisms by which the immune system gets activated, and how we may intervene in its activation to treat or prevent lung diseases such as pneumonia, acute lung injury, and asthma. As Acting Chief of the Immunity, Inflammation and Disease Laboratory at the NIEHS, he now oversees a department of research laboratories focused on the study of immune-mediated diseases. In his own work, Dr. Fessler has identified variations in the DNA code that put patients at heightened risk of damaging inflammation, has identified a role for household dust bacteria in driving inflammation in healthy people, has discovered new ways by which high cholesterol causes inflammation, and has also identified new potential drugs for treating immune system overactivation. His ongoing studies on immune cells collected at the NIEHS Clinical Research Unit, made possible by the generous participation of volunteer blood donors, ultimately aspire to advance our understanding and treatment of inflammatory diseases in humans.
Stavros Garantziotis, M.D. is passionate about finding cures for chronic lung disease like asthma, COPD and pulmonary fibrosis. He believes that if we can understand the mechanism of disease development for every individual patient, we can design intelligent and effective treatment with less side effects. Dr. Garantziotis obtained his medical degree at the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Germany. He trained in Internal Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, where he was a faculty member before joining the NIEHS to direct the Clinical Research Unit.
Frederick W. Miller, M.D., Ph.D. oversees researchers in his group as well as others in national and international consortia that evaluate and conduct a wide range of basic and clinical studies on adult and juvenile autoimmune diseases. His interests are broad and he wishes to understand what triggers these diseases and how to best assess, treat, cure and ultimately prevent them. He obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, went on to medical residencies at Emory and Stanford, and then did rheumatology and immunology training at the NIH. His work in the field of autoimmune diseases spans over three decades and involves many aspects of the phenotypes, environmental risk factors, epidemiology, immunology, genetics, pathogenesis, evaluation and treatment of immune-mediated diseases. He has focused much of his work on autoimmune muscle diseases.
Joan P. Packenham, Ph.D., is founder of the NIEHS Women’s Health Awareness, Women’s Wellness Conference and Principal Investigator for the Women’s Environmental Health Across the Lifespan (WEHeAL) Program. She is a passionate and strong advocate for women’s health as it relates to discovering the root causes of environmental health disparities in underserved, understudied and underreported populations. Her goal is to empower women to promote wellness, improving their overall health and resiliency through disease prevention, control, and management. Her program aims to advance environmental public health and health equity by improving women’s access to health care as well as affecting environmental public health quality and policy.
Dr. Packenham graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. from North Carolina Central University, and received a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Medicine, Pathology Department. She completed her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis. Dr. Packenham is currently the Director for the Office of Human Research Compliance, Clinical Research Branch.
Lisa Rider, M.D. is Deputy Chief of the Environmental Autoimmunity Group, and a pediatric rheumatologist with an international reputation for her work on juvenile myositis. She received her B.A. and M.D. from Duke University, completed a pediatrics residency at Seattle Children’s Hospital of University of Washington, and her fellowship in pediatric rheumatology at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Children’s National Medical Center, Washington D.C. and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. She then joined Dr. Frederick Miller’s group in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration and subsequently moved to NIEHS in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Rider’s work has been focused on environmental and genetic risk factors, phenotypes, pathogenesis, outcomes, evaluation, and therapeutic trials in juvenile myositis and other systemic pediatric rheumatic diseases. She has co-led national and international myositis collaborative research groups, and authored from than 170 research publications, reviews, books, and book chapters. She has received several awards of distinction.
Adam Schiffenbauer, M.D. is an Associate Research Physician in the Environmental Autoimmunity Group, and an adult rheumatologist with an expertise in myositis. He received his B.A. from The University of Chicago and his M.D. from Pennsylvania State University. He completed an internal medicine residency at George Washington University, and his fellowship in rheumatology at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. He then joined Dr. Frederick Miller’s group in NIEHS in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Schiffenbauer’s work has been focused on environmental and genetic risk factors, phenotypes, pathogenesis, advanced imaging, evaluation, and therapeutic trials in myositis.
Natalie D. Shaw, M.D., M.M.Sc. received a B.S. from Cornell University, an M.D. from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, and a Masters in Medical Sciences (MMSc) from Harvard Medical School. She completed her pediatrics residency at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, a pediatric endocrinology fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital, and a clinical research fellowship in the Reproductive Endocrine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital.
In 2015, Shaw was one of five junior researchers selected as a Lasker Clinical Research Scholar by the National Institutes of Health. The Lasker program is a joint partnership between the NIH and the Lasker Foundation designed to support a small number of exceptional clinical researchers in the early stages of their careers. Its goal is to promote the development of physician-scientists as they transition to fully independent positions. When Shaw joined NIEHS in September 2015, she became the first Lasker Scholar in the history of the institute.
Skand Shekhar, M.D., D.A.B.I.M., is a clinician investigator in endocrinology and reproduction with a special interest in studying the relationship between metabolism and reproductive disorders. As the deputy leader of the Reproductive Physiology and Pathophysiology group led by Janet E. Hall, M.D., M.S. at NIEHS, Shekhar cares for patients with metabolic and genetic disorders of reproductive function, including idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH), Kallmann syndrome, puberty disorders, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). His research involves studying the interaction between lifestyle, sleep, diet, and the hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal axis in humans. With a keen interest in neuroendocrinology, he studies the interaction between stress (cortisol), thyroid, and reproductive axes. He is developing clinical trials to enhance our understanding of sleep, metabolism, and reproductive endocrinology interplays. Some of his published work in this field has studied rare neoplasms such as Cushing syndrome and Erdheim-Chester disease.
Darryl C. Zeldin, M.D. is a Senior Investigator and the Scientific Director at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health (NIEHS/NIH). He is an internationally recognized expert in environmental causes of asthma. Dr. Zeldin received his medical degree from Indiana University in 1986. He completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Duke University Medical Center in 1989 and a Fellowship in Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine at Vanderbilt University in 1993. He was recruited to the NIH in 1994 and promoted to Senior Investigator with Tenure in 2001. He directs an asthma research program at NIH which involves both basic and clinical studies. Dr. Zeldin is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine, is a Fellow in the American College of Chest Physicians, and is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. He has served on a number of international asthma advisory groups including the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program. Dr. Zeldin has co-authored more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and his work has been cited more than20,000 times. His research has also been featured on NPR, Good Morning America, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, PBS, and other nationally recognized media venues. He is passionate about finding cures for asthma and has led many studies that have identified important environmental triggers for asthma exacerbations.
Last Reviewed: November 28, 2022