EOHSI Happenings

Sixth Annual Women in Science Symposium

The Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute hosted the Sixth Annual Women in Science Symposium on Friday, November 12, 2004. The half-day symposium, which was followed by a student poster session, was extremely well attended.

This Year’s Honoree
Margaret R. Becklake, M.D.

Dr. Becklake is an Emeritus Professor at McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada, and holds appointments in the Departments of Medicine, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health. She graduated in medicine from the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg). After completing specialty training at the British Postgraduate Medical School, London, she returned to Johannesburg to a faculty position at her alma mater and as Pulmonary Physiologist to the Miners’ Medical Bureau. In 1957 she joined the Cardio-respiratory Division, Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University, and in 1967 was recruited by the Chair of the then Department of Epidemiology and Health, Dr. J.C. McDonald, to develop a lung function laboratory in support of his research program into the health of Québec asbestos miners and millers. She was Director of the Summer Program in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from 1968 to 2003. Her research interests include the host, environmental and occupational determinants of childhood and adult airway disease. She has collaborated in international research in Kenya and South Africa, and in courses on respiratory disease given by the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease in Africa, and jointly with the American Thoracic Society in Central and South America. Her awards include a Career Investigator Award, Medical Research Council, Canada (1968-1993), the Distinguished Achievement and World Lung Health Awards of the American Thoracic Society, Fellowship of the Royal Society (Canada), and honorary degrees from her alma mater and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

Margaret Becklake, M.D., receiving the 2005
Women in Science Award from Carmen Ambar Twillie, J.D., Dean of Douglass College, and Deborah Cory-Slechta, Ph.D., Director of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute.
Honoree Margaret Becklake, M.D., presenting her acceptance
address "Sex and Gender Differences in Human
Biology Across the Human Life: Standardize or Stratify?
A Chest Physician's Point of View"

This Year’s Keynote Speaker
Meryl H. Karol, Ph.D.

Dr. Meryl Karol is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health, at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Karol received a B.S. in Microbiology from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Immunochemistry from Columbia University. Dr. Karol has specialized in the study of mechanisms of chemical allergy and asthma. Dr. Karol has been active in several scientific and professional societies. She was the first female President of the Society of Toxicology (1994-1995), was a Director of the International Union of Toxicology (IUTOX) (1995-1998), and its Secretary-General (1998-2004). She is a Fellow and Member of the Board of Directors of the American Toxicology Society. Dr. Karol serves on the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and chairs the Subcommittee on Pharmaceutical Toxicology of the Advisory Committee for Pharmaceutical Science for the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation Research. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Rachel Carson Award, Women in Science Award, the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Health, and the Frank R. Blood Award. Dr. Karol’s studies on chemical allergens and pulmonary toxicants have been supported by the NIEHS, NIOSH, USDA, Bayer, USA and the International Isocyanate Institute.


Keynote Speaker, Meryl Karol, Ph.D.,
presenting "Disease and the Ticking Immune
Clock" at the symposium.

Two additional scientific presentations were given by Dona Schneider, Ph.D., Professor, Rutgers University and EOHSI, and Howard Kipen, M.D., M.P.H., Professor and Division Director, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and EOHSI.

Dona Schneider, Ph.D., presenting "Community-Based Asthma Interventions in New Jersey" at the symposium.



Howard Kipen, M.D., presenting "Health Effects of Diesel Exhaust" at the symposium..

The concept of an annual symposium dedicated to women in science is based on the recognition that despite of the many women who have made significant contributions to science, there is a sense that many young women feel alienated from science and would appreciate the demonstration that women work actively and productively in leadership positions in the sciences. This program is devoted to a demonstration of the many accompishments of the women in science by offering a scientific symposium featuring women scientists and by highlighting the career of a distinguished woman scientist. The symposium is co-sponsored by the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institutel Douglass Project for RUtgers Women in Math, Science and Engineering.

Meryl Karol, Ph.D., receiving a special "Keynote Speaker" award from Deborah Cory-Slechta, Ph.D


From left to right: Carmen Ambar Twillie, J.D., Dona Schneider, Ph.D.,
Meryl Karol, Ph.D., Deborah Cory-Slechta, Ph.D., and Margaret Becklake, M.D.

Our sincere thanks to the Women in Science Committee Members: Chair, Deborah Cory-Slechta, EOHSI; Betty Davis, EOHSI; Nancy Fiedler, EOHSI; Marion Gordon, EOHSI; Jacqueline Heads, Douglass College; Kenneth Reughl, EOHSI; Patricia Sonsalla, EOHSI; Patricia T. Sparrell, ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences; Mona Thiruchelvam, EOHSI; Maria Trabaris, Rutgers University; and Daniel Wartenberg, EOHSI.