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The Team

When you work with the Cardno ChemRisk nanotechnology team, you will tap into a diverse group of scientists with a unique combination of expertise in occupational, environmental and product risk assessment along with applied research experience involving issues specific to engineered nanomaterials.

Together, we are knowledgeable about a variety of nanomaterials including:

  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Carbon black
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Other metal/metal oxides
  • Silica-based nanomaterials
  • Polymers

Our scientists:

  • Are international authorities in estimating or predicting possible chemical exposures.
  • Have experience in virtually every consumer product and industrial sector.
  • Are respected and sought-after advisors to the private and public sectors.
  • Are passionate about using sound science to make a positive difference.
  • Are flexible working within the context of various risk management strategies.

Our team includes:

Amanda M. Burns, MSPH, Managing Health Scientist

Ms. Burns is trained in toxicology and public health with project experience that includes reconstructing dose and exposure, and assessing the risk to communities and workers from chemicals such as benzene and asbestos. Ms. Burns completed her M.S. in Public Health from the University of North Carolina’s  Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering.

Ms. Burns has experience in assessing the human health and environmental implications related to the use of nanomaterials (e.g., carbon black) in the tire industry. Specific project work includes the identification of key stakeholders potentially impacted by future regulation of nanomaterials. In addition, she has reviewed and summarized literature related to best practices for industry as well as toxicity studies of various nanomaterials, such as carbon black and amorphous silica.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 12:05

Chairperson Amy K. Madl, PhD, DABT, Senior Principal Health Scientist

  • Chairperson Amy K. Madl, PhD, DABT, Senior Principal Health Scientist
  • Dr. Madl is a board-certified toxicologist with expertise in inhalation toxicology, nanotoxicology, bio-interactions of nanomaterial physicochemistry, methods for aerosol and nanomaterial characterization, and nanomaterial exposure/risk assessment strategies.  She is currently a Senior Principal Health Scientist at Cardno ChemRisk, LLC, and a Research Associate with the University of California, Davis, where she earned a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology, an M.S. in Pharmacology and Toxicology, and a BS in Biochemistry.

    Dr. Madl is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the SOT, ACGIH, AIHA, ISES and SRA, and has served as elected Councilor of SOT’s Inhalation and Respiratory Specialty Section and as Chair of AIHA’s Toxicology Committee.  Dr. Madl has focused her academic and consulting career in the field of inhalation toxicology.  She specializes in toxicology, air pollution, quantitative exposure reconstruction and risk assessment of airborne compounds in occupational, residential and consumer product settings.

    Dr. Madl has published over 50 abstracts, book chapters, and peer-reviewed papers on various topics related to occupational and environmental exposure, toxicology and risk.  In addition, she has served as a Principal Investigator for research funded by the University of California Toxic Substances Research & Teaching Program and is currently serving as a Co-Investigator for research grants funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).  In this research, she has focused on the toxicological effects of inhaled engineered nanoparticles (i.e., carbon nanotubes) and the patterns of regional and local cellular injury, particle fate and transport, and expression of markers of oxidative stress in relation to different chemical and size compositions.  These research efforts have involved comparing the relative effects of engineered and incidental nanoparticles (e.g., carbon nanotubes and carbon black) and mineral fibers.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 June 2013 05:14

Heather J. Avens, PhD, Supervising Health Scientist

Dr. Avens is a chemical and biological engineer with expertise in chemical engineering, biochemistry, polymer science, and nanomaterials.  Dr. Avens completed her PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado in Boulder. A focus of her thesis work was to utilize nanomaterials to develop a new biodetection platform, which yielded improved detection sensitivity in antibody microarrays and cellular immunostaining.

During her research, Dr. Avens developed an expertise in multiple nanoscale engineering approaches, including formation and characterization of nanoscale films of desired thicknesses and optical properties, selection of nanoparticles with optimal characteristics for incorporation into particular polymeric matrices, and characterization of nanoparticle interactions with various substances and media, such as fibroblasts and endothelial cells, proteins, aqueous and non-aqueous solutions, polymer networks, and glass and plastic surfaces with a variety of surface chemistries.

Through these investigations, Dr. Avens has gained a strong understanding of how nanoparticle characteristics such as size, material and surface chemistry affect how nanoparticles interact with substances and media with which they come into contact.
Last Updated on Monday, 02 February 2015 13:13

Ken M. Unice, MS, Science Advisor

  • Ken M Unice, MS, Supervising Health Scientist
  • Mr. Unice is an environmental engineer with more than 13 years of experience in computer programming, database development and quantitative human health risk and exposure assessment. He received his MS degree from the University of Arizona Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering.

    Mr. Unice has expertise is in the areas of indoor air modeling, occupational exposure assessment, human health risk assessment, soil and groundwater fate and transport analysis, computer programming and database design and implementation.  He has successfully implemented
    various numerical integration methods, has developed finite-difference computer models in programming languages such as Visual Basic, C++, Fortran and MATLAB, and has performed several probabilistic assessments.

    Mr. Unice is currently managing a project evaluating generic exposure scenarios and potential exposures for a consortium of companies that use dispersions containing nano-sized particles in their manufacturing process.  The project involves the development of a generic exposure scenario tool and a literature review of currently available sampling and modeling methods to characterize inhalation exposures for each life cycle stage.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 09:56

Marisa L. Kreider, PhD, DABT, Senior Managing Health Scientist

Dr. Kreider is a toxicologist with expertise in human and ecological toxicology, regulatory issues, exposure assessment and industrial hygiene, with an emphasis on best practices for risk management, as they relate to nanomaterials in the tire industry.  Dr. Kreider received her PhD from the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology and the Integrated Toxicology Program at Duke University.

During her career at Cardno ChemRisk, Dr. Kreider has worked on numerous projects reviewing and critically evaluating toxicological literature on a variety of chemicals, and consumer and industrial products.  In particular, she has developed a strong background in the toxicology of inhaled particles, including diesel exhaust, silicas and tire wear particles.

Since 2010, Dr. Kreider has managed a large project on nanomaterials in support of an international consortium representing manufacturers of a consumer product.  The goals of this project were to provide support for the continued use of nanostructured materials and the development of new nanomaterials for use in the industry.  The project included a state-of-the-science review of literature as well as the development of an exposure assessment strategy for implementation in manufacturing facilities.  In addition to experience in toxicology, Dr. Kreider also has experience in risk assessment for a variety of chemicals and consumer products, and has particular expertise in dose response assessment.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 September 2015 07:27

Michael Kovochich, PhD, Supervising Health Scientist

Dr. Kovochich’s main areas of training and expertise are in understanding the principles of nano-bio interactions, including nanoparticle toxicology as well as nanoparticle drug delivery systems.  He completed his PhD from the University of California in Los Angeles where he helped develop molecular screening assays for nanoparticle biocompatibility as well as testing for novel nano-delivery systems.

During his time at UCLA, Dr. Kovochich received multiple fellowships from the UC Toxic Substances Research and Teaching Program where he completed work on molecular toxicology with an emphasis on principles of nanotoxicology.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 10:39

Will D. Cyrs, MS, CIH, Senior Health Scientist

Mr. Cyrs is trained in aerosol science and industrial hygiene with expertise in nanomaterial characterization methods, nanoparticle generation for energy applications and airborne nanoparticle sampling methods.  Mr. Cyrs completed his MS in Occupational and Environmental Health from the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health.

Mr. Cyrs has extensive research experience in the development of filter-based exposure assessment methods for nanoparticles, and in the use and quality control management of several instruments that are commonly used to evaluate nanoparticle exposures.  He has used these methods and instruments to measure airborne nanoparticle concentrations in a laboratory environment and in a research and development facility for an energy application.  In addition, Mr. Cyrs has reviewed and summarized scientific literature related to nanoparticle exposure and risk management for an industry association.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 December 2015 08:39