By Ashtyn Nichols
Nicolas Lopez Galvez
Dr. Nicolas Lopez-Galvez is an Assistant Professor at San Diego State University School of Public Health in the Division of Environmental Health. He brings over a decade of experience evaluating environmental exposures to carcinogens such as pesticides and tobacco-related pollutants among underserved populations, including low-wage immigrant workers, farm workers, children, and those who live near the USA-Mexico border.
He utilizes innovative and non-invasive exposure assessment tools in field studies to monitor carcinogens in occupational and community-based settings to better understand their effects on human health. His experience as a first-generation Latino immigrant in the United States has influenced his commitment to addressing environmental justice issues and health disparities in minority populations. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his Dual Master of Public Health in Environmental Health and Master of Arts in Latin American Studies at SDSU. Dr. Lopez-Galvez obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona with a focus in Environmental and Occupational Health.
Dr. Elana Elkin joins the Division of Environmental Health at San Diego State University School of Public Health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health where she worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Departments of Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences.
Elkin is a toxicologist specializing in reproductive and placental toxicology. Her research seeks to understand how exposures to environmental and occupational pollutants during pregnancy contribute to an elevated risk of developing adverse birth outcomes. Dr. Elkin studies how exposure to pollutants disrupts normal physiological processes in the placenta during pregnancy. She currently employs both traditional laboratory-based techniques and ‘omics’ approaches to investigate placental toxicity using in vitro and in vivo models. Other areas of interest include the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) paradigm, endocrine disruptors, male reproductive toxicology, and developmental toxicology.
Elana has received many awards for her work. This includes the Edward W. Carney Award and the Post-Doc award from the Society of Toxicology, as well as several awards from the Superfund Research Program.
Dr. Miguel Zavala is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at San Diego State University Imperial Valley campus. He received his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.Sc. from the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Baja California, Mexico.
Zavala has extensive experience in addressing environmental and public health research questions relevant to underrepresented communities in the US-Mexico border region. His research topics include air quality modeling, low-cost community air sensors, emissions inventory development, source apportionment, air toxics monitoring, characterizing personal exposure and health disparities within local communities, and assessing the pollution impacts of various areas including US-Mexico Ports of Entry.
He has experience engaging and interacting with members from under-represented communities and low-income participants for developing and implementing public outreach activities. His expertise includes the application of air quality models for understanding the physical and chemical processes that drive air pollution and the estimation of air quality and public health impacts. He also has expertise in the development and evaluation of criteria, air toxics, greenhouse gasses emissions, inventories of urban areas, the development of novel measurement and analytical techniques to evaluate the impacts of short-lived climate pollutants from key emission sources, evaluation of air quality management programs, and analysis of meteorological processes that control air pollution.