Leading federal scientist to discuss environmental health challenges of the 21st century at RTI International May 24

Lecture focuses on links between environmental threats and disease


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — Environmental threats such as climate change and exposure to pollutants may seem far away, but in fact they present risks to local families and communities.

Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program, will discuss the potential impacts of these and other environmental problems at 3 p.m. May 24 at RTI International in a lecture titled “Environmental Health: Global Is Local.”

A reception will follow the lecture from 4 to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. To attend in person or view the streaming video, please register by 9 a.m. May 22.

Birnbaum is the first toxicologist and the first woman to lead the NIEHS and NTP, which are both based in Research Triangle Park. She oversees federal funding for biomedical research to discover how the environment influences human health and disease.

“Dr. Birnbaum is an internationally renowned toxicologist whose work on endocrine disruptors, pharmacokinetic behavior of environmental chemicals, and linkages between environmental exposures and health effects has impacted practices and health outcomes globally,” said Robert Beach, Ph.D., an RTI Fellow in environmental engineering and economics.

In her 37-year career with the federal government, Birnbaum has won many awards and accolades. She has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and received the North Carolina Award, the state’s highest civilian honor, in 2016. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in microbiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and teaches at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on an adjunct basis.

Birnbaum’s lecture is part of the RTI Fellow Program’s Distinguished Lecture Series, which invites noted experts to  lead discussions that intersect with our mission to improve the human condition by turning knowledge into practice.