Simona A. Bălan supervises the External Communications and Environmental Justice unit in the Safer Consumer Products Program at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), where she has been leading efforts to regulate the entire class of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in certain consumer products. She also occasionally lectures at the University of California, Berkeley, in the School of Public Health. Before joining DTSC, she was a Senior Scientist at the Green Science Policy Institute, managing international projects on the use of flame retardants and PFASs in consumer products. She holds a PhD in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from UC Berkeley and a BSc in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Jacobs University Bremen, Germany.
Elizabeth Boxer is a PhD student at Duke University in the Integrated Toxicology Environmental Health Program. Prior to joining Duke, she earned her MPH in environmental health sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. She was introduced to PFASs as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at Northeastern University where she helped to create and maintain the first public database of PFAS contamination sites in the U.S. Elizabeth also has experience working as a consultant in the life sciences and transportation industries. Her current research includes studying the reproductive and developmental effects of prenatal PFAS and semi-volatile organic compound (SVOC) exposure.
Marianna Brown-Augustine is a Client Manager at Charles River Laboratories. She works with industrial teams to build pre-clinical research programs using immuno-oncology models for drug development. She received her PhD in molecular toxicology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Thomas A. Bruton is a Senior Hazardous Substances Engineer at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and a former Senior Scientist and Science and Policy Fellow at the Green Science and Policy Institute. He holds a PhD in environmental engineering from UC Berkeley, an MS in civil and environmental engineering from Arizona State University, and a BS in civil engineering from Iowa State University.
Grace Campbell is an MS environmental health sciences student at the University of California, Berkeley. Grace previously earned her BS at UC Berkeley in environmental engineering science, during which she studied the chemical remediation of PFAS in AFFF-contaminated groundwater. After receiving her bachelor’s, Grace worked for the NC State Superfund Research Center supporting PFAS research and science communication. She has worked on the issue of PFAS for nearly 4 years, has a diverse knowledge of PFAS research and science, and cares deeply about working towards eliminating PFAS as a class from the entire life cycle.
Emily Cook is an Environmental Engineer at EKI Environment & Water, Inc. where she works on contaminated groundwater and soil investigation and remediation projects in California. Dr Cook earned her doctorate in environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkeley studying the biotransformation of PFAS precursors with various source zone co-contaminants, activated persulfate chemical oxidation and mineralization of PFAS subclasses in the context of in situ treatment, and the toxicity of PFAS on in situ bioremediation processes. Dr Cook earned her MS in environmental engineering from UC Berkeley and her BS in civil engineering from the University of Kansas.
Erin Creel is currently a Senior Chemical Engineer at a fossil-free hydrogen company. She received a PhD in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, studying surface-plasmon-enhanced electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction. Dr Creel earned her BS in chemistry and mathematics from Sewanee: The University of the South.
Edythe Glazer is an MPH student in the School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She previously received a BS in Public Health from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Edythe has a broad interest in the health implications of climate change. She is currently working as a Research Assistant in the Sustainability and Health Equity Laboratory at UC Berkeley where she is analyzing occupational and environmental exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) among a cohort of female firefighters at the San Francisco Fire Department.
Kelly A. Grant is a Senior Environmental Scientist at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, where she works in the Safer Consumer Products Program (SCP), regulating chemicals in products. Prior to joining DTSC, Kelly served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Policy Fellow in U.S. EPA’s Design for the Environment. She received her PhD in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Washington, Seattle and a BS in molecular cellular and developmental biology from Haverford College in Pennsylvania.
Amanda Guan is an MS student in the Materials Science and Engineering department at the University of California, Berkeley. As an undergraduate student at Berkeley, she investigated safer, biopolymer alternatives to PFAS and polyolefin films in product packaging through the Greener Solutions course. This project ultimately provided the foundation for her research thesis in collaboration with Sway, where she studies and optimizes seaweed-based replacements to oil-based, single-use packaging. Previously, Amanda has also developed high-performance 3D printing resins, qualified polymer systems in aerospace and defense, and led a team to lobby for environmental protection in Washington, DC.
Kimberly G. Hazard is a PhD candidate in the School of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences division, University of California, Berkeley. She is the teaching and outreach program manager for the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry and a co-instructor of the graduate course, Greener Solutions. She holds a MS in environmental health sciences and a BS in society and environment from UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on chemical exposures in early childhood environments and her teaching focuses on chemical hazard assessment.
Christopher Leonetti was a Senior Environmental Scientist at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) from 2018–2023, where he worked in the Safer Consumer Products (SCP) Program. He worked on projects aimed at regulating the entire class of PFASs within various consumer product categories. He holds a PhD in integrated toxicology and environmental health from Duke University and a BS in biology from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.
Aaron Maruzzo is an MPH student in the Environmental Health Science Department at UC Berkeley School of Public Health. He was previously a Water Lab Analyst for the municipal water company in the U.S. territory, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, serving the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. His current research and advocacy focus on PFAS, which have been detected in the water supplies in Guam and Saipan. Incorporating an interdisciplinary approach, his work aims to mitigate toxic exposures and move toward environmental justice through community-based action.
Sumana Raj is currently a Research Associate at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. She received her PhD in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in chemistry from Cornell University.
Hannah Ray, PhD, is the Senior Manager, Programs + Innovation (Materials) at the International Living Future Institute, where she develops and manages the Red List, the Materials Petal of the Living Building Challenge, the Declare program, and the Living Product Challenge. She has professional experience in research and development at an electrochromic glass manufacturer, and advocacy and material health research experience from the Green Science Policy Institute. Hannah received her PhD in materials science from UC Berkeley, and her BA in chemistry from Wesleyan University.
Brittany Stinger is a chemistry PhD candidate in the Jay Groves lab at UC Berkeley with an expected graduation in May 2025. She received her BS in chemistry from Rowan University. Her current research focuses on understanding the role of various proteins involved in the T-cell signaling pathway. Brittany is interested in various aspects of green chemistry, specifically related to the elimination/minimization of waste and the design of safer chemicals.
Jenna Tan received a PhD in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focused on characterizing the crystallization of organic semiconductor molecules for thin-film and semiconductor technologies. She employed her experience in evaluating molecular physicochemical properties toward understanding the function of PFAS in floor polish formulations and developing the technical metrics for assessing PFAS alternatives.
Minerva Teli is an environmental engineering PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley. She has a background in chemistry and materials science, which she uses to develop water treatment and sensing technologies. She applies this same background to her work in finding PFAS alternatives, which began with Berkeley’s Greener Solutions graduate course, followed by her work with the Washington State Department of Ecology. As part of Ecology’s Reducing Toxic Threats team, Minerva contributed to the research and writing of an alternatives assessment that will effectively ban the use of PFAS from food packaging within the Washington State. More broadly, her interests include green chemistry, sustainable technology development, and environmental justice.
McKenna Thompson is an MPH student in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on characterizing and mitigating exposures to air pollutants in heavily burdened communities. She has a background in advocacy, policy analyses and epidemiology. She holds a BS degree in public health from the University of California, San Diego.
Sophia Thompson is an MPH environmental health sciences 2023 graduate from the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on global health and environment. She has a professional background in environmental health and safety at UC Santa Barbara along with an academic background in policy review and analysis.
Tessa Wardle received her MS degree in environmental health sciences from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Her experience lies in assessing the health consequences of toxic chemicals, and she has worked on multiple projects relating to the current crisis of widespread PFAS contamination. In the past, she has worked with organizations advocating for environmental justice, encouraging conservation and smart growth in the Bay Area, reducing farmworker communities’ exposure to pesticides in California, and researching air releases from industrial facilities in the United States.
Yuning Xu is an MPH student in the Environmental Health Sciences Program at the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on industrial hygiene. She has experience of working on a project related to PFAS policy in waste water while applying the p-sufficient approach. Yuning used her background to evaluate the health and environmental endpoints of PFAS and the alternatives under a life cycle analysis framework and researched studies for the technical performance of PFAS alternatives.