ISCHE 2022 Retreat

Conference Title:

“Translation and Communication to Protect Children from Toxic Chemicals”

Monday, June 13th

4:15 PM – Attendees meet at Espresso Haus at Bergen Flesland Airport International Arrivals Terminal.

4:30 PM: Bus departs for the ferry

6:30 PM: Arrival at Hardingasete

7:30 PM: Dinner and Welcome

Tuesday, June 14th

9:00 – 10:15 AM: State of Children’s Environmental Health in Europe

  • Philippe Grandjean, University of Southern Denmark – “Identifying a critical effect of PFAS exposure in children”
  • Merete Eggesbø“Perinatal and peri-pubertal exposure to PFOA and cholesterol levels in adolescence-a prospective birth cohort study”
  • Kam Sripada, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) – “Refugee camp built where bullets flew: Risks for children living near ammunition pollution on Greek island Lesvos”
  • Anteneh Desalegn, PhD Student, NIPH“Early-Life Exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Multi-Pollutant Analysis of Developmental Neurotoxicity in Infants and Zebrafish”

10:15 – 10:35 AM: Break 

10:35 AM – 12:00 PM: How to best protect Children’s Health Pt. 1 – Regulators Needs vs. Research Evidence Base

Moderator: Wendy Heiger-Bernays


Abstracts (2)

  • Tom Webster, BU SPH: “PFAS sum vs some? Science and Policy of Regulating PFAS Mixtures in Water”
  • Emily Hammel, PhD Student, BU SPH: “At the Intersection of science and policy: what is a PFAS?”

12:00 – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 – 2:00 PM: Break

2:00 – 4:00 PM: How to best protect children’s health Pt. 2 – The role of NGOs

Moderator: Sheela Sathyanarayana

Description: This session will include presentations from NGOs on initiatives on children’s environmental health. Discussion will focus on how researchers can partner with NGOs to further protect children from harmful environmental exposures.


  • Christos Symeonides, Minderoo Foundation
  • Nse Obot Witherspoon, Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN)
  • Gina Ciganik, Healthy Buildings Network

4:00 – 4:20 PM: Break

4:20 – 5:00 PM: Social Media Presentation


  • Rivka Green: Partnership between Little Things Matter-ISCHE

5:00 – 6:00 PM: Down time

6:00 – 7:00 PM: Dinner

7:00 – 8:00 PM: ISCHE Career Development Gathering

Moderators: Cecelia Alcala, Youssef Oulhote, Carly Hyland

Description: Young investigators, please join us to discuss ISCHE's new career development program, which will be launching shortly after the retreat. We will use this time to present the current proposal for the program and solicit feedback to make sure that it is designed to meet your needs.

Wednesday, June 15th

8:30-10:00 AM: P-values: Will we miss them when they’re gone?

Description – Speakers will discuss perspectives on statistical guidelines and complex exposures, such as exposome data or analysis of mixtures. NEJM statistical guidelines (N Engl J Med 2019; 381:285-286DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe1906559)

Co-chairs: Walter Rogan, Jenn Ames


  • Christine Loftus, University of Washington
  • Youssef Oulhote, UMass Amherst
  • Roz Wright, Mt Sinai School of Medicine
  • Juan Pablo Lopez Cervantes, PhD Student, University of Bergen

10:00 - 10:20 AM: Break

10:20 – 12:00 PM: Global Perspectives on Career Development

Description: This session will include presentations highlighting the career development paths and from ISCHE investigators working outside of the U.S. Presentations will highlight three main perspectives: pursuing training abroad, forging international collaborations, and seeking domestic research opportunities, followed by a group discussion.

Moderators: Marcela Tamayo-Ortiz, Kam Sripada

  • Training Abroad – Battsetseg Ulziikhuu, PhD Student, Simon Fraser University
  • Forging International Collaborations – Mara Tellez Rojo, INSP Mexico
  • Domestic Research Opportunities – Nosiku Munyinda, University of Zambia

12:00 – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 – 1:30 PM:  Break

1:30 – 3:00 PM: Fluoride exposure & children’s health: Research to Action

Session Planners: Christine Till

Moderator: Philippe Grandjean


  • Paulina Farias, INSP Mexico – “Waterborne arsenic and fluoride exposure in Mexico: risk assessment and epidemiological research on their health effects”
  • Gina Castiblanco, PhD Student, Indiana University – “Prenatal fluoride exposure assessment: what do we know and where are we heading?”
  • John Krzeczkowski, Postdoc, York University – “Prenatal fluoride exposure and offspring autonomic nervous system function at 6 months of age”
  • Meaghan Hall, PhD Student, York University – “Maternal fluoride exposure and offspring IQ: The potential mediating role of maternal hypothyroidism in pregnancy”

3:00 – 3:20 PM: Break

3:20 – 5:00 PM: Climate Action & ISCHE

Moderators: Kam Sripada & Brenda Eskenazi

Description – Climate Action Committee will report out findings from survey on attitudes towards climate and carbon footprint. The session will be a working session to address climate action items and sustainability as an organization and discuss future meeting formats.

Abstracts (2):

  • Marya Zlatnik, UC San Francisco – “Synergies between women’s and children’s health in the climate and environmental health spaces”
  • Carl Baum, Yale School of Medicine – “Reduce your carbon footprint”

5:00 – 6:00 PM: Down time

6:00 – 7:00 PM: Dinner

7:00 – 9:00 PM: Social Event

Thursday, June 16th

8:30 – 9:15 AM: Early Career Investigators Session I.

Description: Students and early career investigators will present their current work and have opportunities to solicit feedback. We will also discuss potential opportunities for collaborative research.

Moderators: Carly Hyland, Rob McConnell, Cecilia Alcala, Youssef Oulhote

Abstracts (3):

  • Rivka Green, PhD Student, York University – “What do the parents think and know? Results from a large international study on knowledge of and preferences towards toxic chemicals and children's brain development”
  • Ama Twumwaa Acheampong – “Heavy Metal Exposure of Children from ages 5-15years in an Industrial City, Ghana”
  • Rafael Buralli – Topic TBD

9:15 – 9:35 AM: Break

9:35 – 10:20 AM: ISCHE Toolkit: Building capacity for scientific advocacy and research translation among ISCHE members: a demonstration of the ISCHE Toolkit Library

Description: The ISCHE toolkit, including the Toolkit Library, is an evolving project that intends to leverage the diverse expertise across ISCHE’s membership, promote mentorship in research translation, and enhance the benefits of being an ISCHE member. In this session, we will demonstrate the Toolkit Library website ( and refine, through group discussion, our roadmap for expanding the resources in the toolkit. 

       Speakers: Jenn Ames and Walter Rogan

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Creating Inclusive Environments and Human Connection

Moderators: Sheela Sathyanarayana, Nse Obot Witherspoon

Description:  This session will focus on sharing personal stories of adversity or struggle within children’s environmental health in an effort to develop and foster inclusive environments and more human connection in our everyday work. Moderators and participants will share personal stories, and we will brainstorm as a group how to address and prevent in the future. The goal is to develop a community that can support one another to improve CEH in the future.  

12:00 – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 – 1:30 PM: Break

1:30 – 2:45 PM: Early Career Investigators Session II.

Moderators: Carly Hyland, Rob McConnell, Cecilia Alcala, Youssef Oulhote

Description: Short presentations by early career researchers followed by a group discussion on the goals set forth by younger members for the ISCHE Career Development Program.

1:30 – 2:15 PM: Abstracts (3)

  • Carly Goodman, PhD Student, York University – “Prenatal PFAS Exposure and IQ in Preschool-Aged Canadian Children: The MIREC Cohort”
  • Sietske Berghuis, Postdoc, University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands – “Prenatal environmental exposure to persistent organic pollutants and indices of overweight and cardiovascular risk in Dutch adolescents”
  • Drew Day, Postdoc, Seattle Children's Research Institute- “Differences in Silicone Wristband Exposure Profiles by COVID School Restrictions in Washington State Children”

2:15 – 2:40 PM: Career Development Program Report Back

2:40 – 3:00 PM: Break

3:00 – 5:00 PM: History of ISCHE and future directions

            Moderators: Wendy Heiger-Bernays, ISCHE President & Christine Till, ISCHE VP

Description: This session will begin with a summary of the outputs from the executive council strategic planning meeting, focusing on goals for ISCHE as an organization. Members will participate in breakout sessions to discuss action items to achieve these goals. There will also be updates from the ISCHE committee chairs, highlighting opportunities for members to get involved with ongoing ISCHE initiatives.

5:00 – 6:00 PM: Down time

6:00 – 7:00 PM: Dinner


Moderator: Neil Leifer

Recipient and presentation by: Dr. Philippe Grandjean, University of Southern Denmark

Friday, June 17th

8:30 – 9:30 AM: Wrap Up and Reflection

10:00 AM – Departure to Bergen/Field Trip

Busses depart for Bergen Airport (2hr Drive) or to the Folgefonna Glacier (return to Bergen Airport around 6pm)