Molly Kile, Sc.D.

As an environmental epidemiologist, my research focuses on understanding how people are exposed to chemicals from environmental sources and whether those exposures affect human health.

My studies are frequently multidisciplinary collaborations because I am interested in how chemicals interact with host factors (e.g. behavior, diet, microbiota, genetic and epigenetic) to modify susceptibility to disease. This research is important because it provides evidence for primary prevention, which is the essence of public health, as well as human health risk assessments that are the basis for evidence-based environmental policies.

I have considerable experience conducting environmental health studies in communities that are disproportionately impacted by environmental contaminants. Specifically, I have conducted several population based studies in arsenic-affected communities in Bangladesh for the last 11 years to investigate the health effects associated with chronic arsenic exposure. I also lead the Community Engagement Core: Tribal-University Partnership of Oregon State University’s Superfund Basic Research Program which works in collaboration with Native American Tribes in the Pacific Northwest to investigate their environmental health concerns.

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Current students

Sharia Ahmed - Ph.D. student in Public Health

I am passionate about understanding and thereby preventing waterborne diseases.  This interest has taken me from ICDDR,B (a cholera research facility in Bangladesh) to the viral gastroenteritis group at CDC. As part of my PhD in Public Health epidemiology at OSU, I am exploring the relationship between early-life (conception to age 5) arsenic exposure and infectious disease symptoms in early childhood, using casual inference and longitudinal methods.

Faye Andrews - Ph.D. Student in Public Health

With a background in risk assessment, local public health, and immunotoxicological research, I am utilizing my skillset to study environmental epidemiology at OSU. My current focus is on understanding the exposure pathways of environmental contaminants and how those exposures can lead to changes in human health, particularly for children. I plan to research how mixtures of exposures (both chemical and social) might influence the growing immune system of younger populations. I received my BS in Biology from St. Lawrence University and my MPH degree in Environmental Health from Boston University School of Public Health.

Barbara Hudson-Hanley, Ph.D. Student in Public Health

I am interested in relating chemical policy to human diseases and population-level health effects. This focus builds on my professional experience as a Master Technologist at Hewlett-Packard and lead the Global Regulatory Affairs & Chemical Compliance Team. In this role, I have evaluate materials used in printing products and guide printing supply companies on regulatory and chemical compliance matters. I have also been able to incorporate environmental and human health criteria into technical specifications to complement traditional performance, cost, safety and reliability requirements in material selection.

Barrett Welch, MPH Student in Public Health

My focus in graduate school is environmental health and I am interested in studying how environmental exposures occur and later influence human health, particularly in vulnerable populations within developing countries.  I have experience conducting environmental toxicology research within the lab and in the field in Bangladesh. During my time with Dr. Kile I hope to determine the degree to which arsenic exposures in early life cause changes to immunological capacities. Outside of graduate school I enjoy all types of outdoor exercise. I grew up in the Sierra Nevada’s in Reno, Nevada, which helped me to develop a love for skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking, and mountaineering.


Past students

Andres Cardenas, Ph.D. in Public Health

My dissertation research focused on understanding how in utero exposure to common environmental chemicals such as mercury and arsenic alters epigenetic programming in the developing fetus. I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation in 2015. I plan to continue my training in environmental epigenetic epidemiology as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Andrew Willis, MPH in Public Health

I am interested in reducing environmental hazards at work and preventing occupational injuries. To further this interest, my internship was with Life Technologies in Eugene, OR. Life Technology is a global life science company that operate a very well-recognized environmental health and safety program that oversees the welfare of approximately 10,000 people around the world. I graduated in 2012 and now work in the private sector as an environmental health and safety specialist.

Robyn Espy, MPH in Public Health

I am interested in infectious diseases and conducted my internship at the Multnomah County Health Department where I evaluated their Hepatitis B screening program for refugees who have settled in Oregon. I graduated in 2013 and now works as a communicable disease epidemiologist in a public health department in Colorado.