Center for PFAS Research Faculty Spotlight: Courtney Carignan

Dr. Courtney Carignan's research helps protect reproductive and child health by investigating exposure to contaminants in food, water, and consumer and personal care products.

Carignan Headshot 2020Dr. Courtney Carignan is an exposure scientist and environmental epidemiologist whose research helps protect reproductive and child health by investigating exposure to contaminants in food, water, and consumer and personal care products. Her expertise includes biomonitoring and health studies for environmental exposures, exposure modeling, mixtures assessment, environmental reproductive epidemiology, community engagement and research translation. She works with many different populations, including occupational, recreational, residential, preconception and birth cohorts.

She has 17 years of experience working in environmental public health and has been working with PFAS-impacted communities for the past seven years. She’s co-author of an influential paper reporting PFAS contamination impacting more than 6 million Americans, and recently published a paper on PFAS exposure through surface water foams.

Currently, she’s helping lead a National Institutes of Health-funded study investigating PFAS immunotoxicity among children impacted by drinking water contamination and is helping develop the PFAS Exchange as an online resource for PFAS-impacted communities. She’s also helping lead a national study funded by the Environmental Protection Agency to better understand exposure via drinking water, diet and the indoor environment, leading the Michigan portion of the study.

Dr. Carignan is an asset to the Center for PFAS Research, as her research program seeks to inform interventions to reduce exposure and improve health outcomes for PFAS-impacted communities in Michigan and throughout the globe. She’s a founding member of the center and serves on the Research and Funding Task Force, as well as the Environmental Health Research and Surveillance Guidance Panel for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. She also serves on the organizing committee for the National PFAS Conference.

Dr. Carignan began her career as an environmental risk assessor and has worked on sites across the Northeast. Experience from that work helps inform her solution-focused research program, as does almost 20 years of engagement with impacted communities, governments and other stakeholders. In addition to her passion for protecting environmental public health, she’s a former gymnast, pole-vaulter, and Division-I athlete who enjoys playing Ultimate, water- and snow-skiing, ice skating, biking, gardening, puzzles and spending time with friends and family.

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