Dr. Katherine E. Pelch
Assistant Professor, Biostatistics & Epidemiology
Education & Experience
I received a PhD in Biology from the University of Missouri and completed a postdoctoral fellowship through the Office of Health Assessment and Translation at the National Toxicology Program. Prior to joining the UNTHSC School of Public Health in 2020, I was a Senior Scientist at The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, a science-based, nonprofit research institute with a mission to improve human health by reducing the production and use of chemicals that interfere with healthy hormone function.
Teaching Areas & Public Health Interests:
I currently teach Environmental Determinants of Health and Topics in Global Food Security and Sustainability. My teaching focuses on the many ways in which human health is impacted by external environmental factors. In practice, I am very interested in the intersection of science and policy and I bring my experiences from working with NGOs, state agencies, and pollution-impacted communities to the classroom to ensure that students understand the reach, limitations, and implications of existing policies on human health.
Professional Activities & Awards:
I am a member of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) and have served on the organizing committee for workgroups dedicated to mentoring trainee scientists and presenting monthly webinar series. In 2018 I was voted by my peers to serve as Co-Chair for the Gordon Research Seminar on Environmental Endocrine Disruptors.
My research focuses on the intersection of science and policy. I enjoy using systematic review methodology to create tools and resources that can be used by the public, other scientists, and decision makers to make informed policy decisions based on the best available science. Most recently I have worked to evaluate the ground and drinking water standards set by state and federal regulatory agencies for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Prior to this, my research focused on the health impacts of exposure to bisphenols, which are chemicals found in many consumer products including plastics and food and beverage cans. I am particularly interested in how chemicals found in everyday consumer products can disrupt the body’s normal hormonal signaling and in exposures that occur during vulnerable periods of life that have the potential to cause long-lasting heatlh impacts. My goal is to create a safer, healthier environment for everyone.