Omenn Lecture in Environmental Health

Duwamish river with Mt. Rainier in the background.

December 9 lecture features Linda Birnbaum, former director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 

Headshot of Linda Birnbaum
Former NIEHS Director Linda Birnbaum

View the Omenn Lecture in Environmental Health featuring Dr. Linda Birnbaum, former director, NIEHS.  

Topic: Dioxins vs. “Forever” Chemicals: The Politicization of Science 
Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021: 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

In person at the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health, Room 155, University of Washington campus. Seating is limited. Or join us via Zoom. Register for in-person or virtual attendance at the link above.

Note: For in-person attendees, face coverings are required indoors regardless of vaccination status. 
UW personnel and students are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The lecture honors Dr. Gilbert S. Omenn, former dean of the UW School of Public Health. It is sponsored by the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences. 

About Linda Birnbaum

Linda S. Birnbaum, PhD, DABT, ATS, is the former Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health, and the National Toxicology Program (NTP). After retirement, she was granted scientist emeritus status and still maintains a laboratory. As a board-certified toxicologist, Birnbaum served as a federal scientist for 40 years. Prior to her appointment as NIEHS and NTP Director in 2009, she spent 19 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where she directed the largest division focusing on environmental health research.

Birnbaum was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health. She was also elected to the Collegium Ramazzini, an independent academy comprised of international experts in the fields of occupational and environmental health. In 2016, Birnbaum was awarded the North Carolina Award in Science. She received an honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Rochester and a Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Illinois. She has also received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Rhode Island; Ben-Gurion University, Israel; and Amity University, India; the Surgeon General's Medallion (2014); and 14 Scientific and Technological Achievement Awards, which reflect the recommendations of EPA's external Science Advisory Board, for specific publications. She has also received numerous awards from professional societies and citizens’ groups.

Birnbaum is an active member of the scientific community. She was vice president of the International Union of Toxicology, the umbrella organization for toxicology societies in more than 50 countries, and former president of the Society of Toxicology, the largest professional organization of toxicologists in the world. She is the author of more than 1,000 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, abstracts and reports.

Birnbaum's own research focuses on the pharmacokinetic behavior of environmental chemicals, mechanisms of action of toxicants including endocrine disruption and linking of real-world exposures to health effects. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Queensland in Australia, the School of Public Health of Yale University, the Gillings School of Global Public Health, the Curriculum in Toxicology, and the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as in the Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program at Duke University, where she is also a Scholar in Residence.

A native of New Jersey, Birnbaum received her MS and PhD in microbiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.