Our Team

Catherine Karr, MD, PhD, MS

Professor Catherine Karr.

As Director of the NW PEHSU, Dr. Karr sets the direction of the Unit and responds to queries from health care providers, government officials, and families regarding health risks associated with environmental exposures. Dr. Karr is a board-certified pediatrician with a doctoral degree in epidemiology and a master’s degree in environmental health/toxicology. She is Professor at the University of Washington Department of Pediatrics. She practices primary care pediatrics at the UW Pediatric Care Center-Roosevelt Clinic. She also provides specialty consultation for pediatric environmental medicine care at this clinic. Her academic appointments are in Pediatrics (primary) and the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Her research focuses on environmental exposures such as air pollution and respiratory health of children including asthma. Much of her work is conducted in a community engaged framework and with under-resourced populations. Dr. Karr is a national leader in pediatric environmental health research and research translation and routinely presents on children’s environmental health topics at national and international conferences and at Grand Rounds and other clinician forums. She is the recipient of the 2017 U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.  She has authored papers and book chapters on pediatric respiratory health, including asthma, air pollution, the health of farmworker children, and global children’s environmental health. Click here to view a more detailed profile with a selection of her publications.


Sheela Sathyanarayana, MD, MPH

Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana.

Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana is a Professor of Pediatrics and Adjunct Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington and is NW PEHSU's reproductive environmental health specialist. As a physician-scientist, she practices general pediatrics and conducts research focused on endocrine disrupting chemicals, including phthalates and bisphenol A in pregnancy and early childhood. She serves as the center director for The Infant Development and Environment Study which is a multi-center cohort study of phthalate exposures in pregnancy and health outcomes in children. She leads two other NIH studies on genetic polymorphisms and sex steroid hormone concentrations in relation to environmental exposures and child health outcomes. In this capacity, she has developed extensive expertise in prenatal/child cohort recruitment, retention, and engagement. In 2013, she was named Outstanding New Investigator within the University of Washington Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health. She recently finished serving a 6-year term as chair of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee and now serves on the National Academies of Sciences Committee on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Low Dose Toxicity. She is the co-PI of the ECHO PATHWAYS study at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Research Institute. This study brings together three cohorts at different stages of recruitment/follow-up/analysis. In this manner, it serves as a microcosm for the national ECHO effort to harmonize and prospectively collect data. Dr. Sathyanarayana hopes to be able to represent all the cohorts in order to be able to both capitalize and not overburden studies in order to meet national goals. Click here to view a more detailed profile with a selection of her publications.

MaryKate Cardon, DNP, CPNP-PC

MaryKate Cardon

MaryKate is Co-Director of the NW PEHSU. She completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, with a focus in Pediatric Primary Care, at the University of Washington, and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at Boston College. As a nurse she has worked in a various pediatric healthcare settings, ranging from primary to intensive care, and has been a member of the NW PEHSU health consultant team since 2020. Her work with NW PEHSU includes researching and responding to pediatric environmental health inquiries and finding ways to translate evidence into understandable, actionable material for parents, community members, and healthcare professionals. She also directs various NW PEHSU outreach and education projects. She is passionate about pediatric environmental health, and aims to integrate PEH topics into the curricula of healthcare professional programs in order to increase awareness and improve child health outcomes.


Kristy Lanciotti, MN, RN, CPN

Kristy Lanciotti

Kristy Lanciotti is a registered nurse with particular interests in pediatrics and environmental health. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 2000 from the University of San Francisco, and her Master of Nursing (MN) in 2008 from the University of Washington in Advanced Practice Community Health Systems Nursing (APCHSN). She also holds a master's certificate in Environmental Health Nursing from the University of Washington. Kristy enjoys helping to translate environmental health science into accessible, understandable information that can be used by parents and community members to help inform their decision-making and keep children and families healthy. During her career, she has spent many years providing direct patient care to pediatric patients in acute care settings, and has been a research nurse and study coordinator for pediatric environmental health studies. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is an Assistant Professor in the undergraduate nursing program at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Her work with NW PEHSU includes responding to pediatric environmental health inquiries from healthcare providers, families, and the general public, responding to outreach requests to provide education and training on pediatric environmental health issues, and participating in projects and committees that promote pediatric environmental health.


Margaret Willis, BSN, MPH

Margaret Willis

Margaret Willis is a registered nurse with over 20 years of experience. She earned a Master of Public Health in environmental and occupational health at the University of Washington in 2015. She holds bachelor's degrees in nursing and psychology. She completed a 2-year fellowship with the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Children's Health Protection. Throughout her career, she has worked to promote positive health outcomes. She has contributed to federal and state children's environmental health programs. She has coordinated public health interventions to reduce children's exposures in daycares. She has served as an environmental health resource for families, clinicians, and public health professionals. As part of the NW PEHSU, Margaret responds to environmental health inquiries, coordinates special projects, and collaborates on education and outreach activities.


Maria Tchong-French

Maria Tchong-French is a research scientist with the University of Washington since 2004. She has been involved in exposure assessment in multiple projects ranging from pesticide exposure in agriculture, solvent exposure in automotive shops, and air quality in schools. She feels strongly about improving the safety and health of workers and their families. She is a native Spanish speaker. As part of NW PEHSU, she is involved in program tracking/reporting, as well as providing exposure assessment/industrial hygiene expertise in consultations.