Speaker Biographies



Katlyn “Katie” Ayres, BSN, RN, COHN-S
Katie has a BSN degree from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and recently obtained her COHN-S while working in EHS as an Occupational Health Nurse for the Research Division at Seattle Children’s in Seattle, WA. Katie has been in EHS for the past 5 years and is currently working as an Occupational Health and Safety Consultant for the Research Division. Part of Katie’s role includes assigning research specific surveillances, providing occupational health services to researchers, serving as respiratory program liaison for research, training occupational health nurses, providing on-call oversight of exposure management, consultation on safety while working with lab animals, writing exposure control plans, and providing guidance to improving sharps safety. Katie is currently serving on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and is co-leading the incident facilitation team.
Amy J Behrman, MD, FACP, FACOEM
Dr Behrman is a professor of Emergency Medicine and medical director for Occupational Health Services at the University of Pennsylvania. Her practice and academic interests focus on occupational infections, nosocomial infection prevention, vaccine preventable diseases, and adult immunizations. She is responsible for clinical care and surveillance programs for healthcare personnel, research staff, and veterinary staff at a large academic center. She is current chair of the national Medical Center Occupational Health Section of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Marte Brady, ARNP

Marte’ Brady is a mostly retired ARNP from the University of Washington. Starting in 2008 she worked for three departments including the UW Department Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), UW Medicine Travel Clinic, and Primary Care at Hall Health Center. Under EH&S she worked with UW employees including those working in the BSL-3 and Washington National Primate Research Center. She has advanced certification in travel health and worked with UW faculty, staff and students providing pre and post travel consultations. After training her replacement ARNP, Anne Terry, she is working on call for EH&S.


Garry Coulson, PhD, RBP

Garry Coulson is a Registered Biosafety Professional with two decades’ experience in research and regulatory compliance in Academic, Government and Industry sectors. He holds an MS in Clinical Microbiology and a PhD in Infectious Diseases. Most recently, he served as the Biosafety Officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is deeply passionate about public health and translational research that advances knowledge from the bench to the bedside. In his free time, he is an avid reader, fitness enthusiast, and volunteer pack mule for his sons’ regular fishing adventures.

Gary Fujimoto, MD

Gary Fujimoto, MD, is currently an Occupational Medicine consultant in private practice in Los Altos, California, working with a variety of high technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical research groups both nationally and internationally.
Gary was formerly Program Director, Occupational Medicine Department, Health Care Division, Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, and on the Active Medical Staff, Department of Emergency Medicine (Surgery), Stanford University School of Medicine.
Gary was twice honored with an Excellence in teaching award from Stanford University School of Medicine.
He served as the principal medical consultant for biological and chemical exposures at Stanford University for over 20 years, and has served on the Institutional Biosafety Committees for several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Gary also serves on the board of the Griffin Foundation, and has been involved with the occupational health colloquium since its beginning.

Michelle Kom Gochnour, MN, RN, COHN-S

For over 30 years, Michelle Kom Gochnour has focused her career on developing and providing occupational health and safety services in the areas of academia, government, private industry, and the military. This work has involved collaborations with other professionals to improve processes and ensure safe work environments and decrease risk to workers. She earned her master’s degree in nursing with a specialty in occupational and environmental health nursing from the University of Washington. Currently, Michelle holds the position of the Senior Occupational Health and Safety Consultant for Research at Seattle Children’s Hospital where she is part of the Environmental Health and Safety team for four laboratory research buildings, including a BSL3 facility. She serves on several institutional biosafety committees (IBCs), Children’s institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC), and is current president of the Northwest Health, Environmental and Laboratory Professionals (NW HELP) group. Michelle loves a good risk assessment discussion and is driven to constantly seek to decrease risk through occupational health and safety mitigation strategies.

T Warner Hudson, MD, FACOEM, FAAFP

T Warner Hudson MD FACOEM FAAFP is Associate Clinical Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health at UC Irvine.  Prior to this he was Medical Director of Occupational and Employee Health at UCLA for the Health System and campus there.  He has years of experience designing, leading and implementing occupational health strategies and programs for research and animal workers, health care personnel, travel and field work medicine.  He was a voting member of the UCLA IBC for 7 years and has published and presented numerous articles, and sessions on related biosafety issues.  He has been clinically active in this area as well for over 40 years and was President of ACOEM 2011-2012..

Marcia Isakari, MD, MPH, MRO

Dr. Isakari is the Medical Director for the UC San Diego Center of Occupational & Environmental Medicine (COEM). She has extensive clinical and leadership experience directing occupational medicine clinics and delivering clinical services to employers in virtually all industrial sectors, including biotech/life sciences/technology, public entity and healthcare. In particular, for local biotech clients, she has developed customized occupational medicine solutions and provides medical directorship for Salk Institute and La Jolla Institute.  

Dr. Isakari is board-certified in Occupational & Environmental Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine (FACOEM). She is certified as a Medical Review Officer (MROCC) for drug and alcohol testing and Professional Supervisor in hearing conservation (CAOHC). Lastly, she serves on the UC San Diego Institutional Biosafety Committee and is the past chair of the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) Safety Leadership Council


Paul Meechan, PhD, MPH, RBP, CBSP

Paul is currently a biosafety consultant, providing guidance and training to a number academic and government institutions regarding safe containment practices.  He has over 30 years’ experience in the field, including positions at the CDC and Merck and Co., Inc.  He was also the CDC editor for the 6th edition of the NIH/CDC manual Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories. Paul has served as President of ABSA International and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.


Randall Reeves, MD

As of 2022, Dr. Reves has been a Medical Clinical Professor and voluntary faculty member at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and a voluntary member of the Denver Health Medical Staff and TB Clinic. Until 2022 he was a faculty member in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado for 22 years. He currently participates in research on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of tuberculosis, and is a faculty member at the Curry International Tuberculosis Center and National Jewish Health.  His interest in infectious diseases spiked while involved in the smallpox eradication program in Bangladesh as a UTMB medical student in 1975, and his interest in TB was similarly affected by investigation of a school and community outbreak of drug-resistant TB in Mississippi as a CDC EIS officer in 1977-79. For decades, he has been involved in advocacy for TB elimination with the American Thoracic Society, National TB Controllers Association, and Stop TB USA.


Ellyn Segal, PhD

Ellyn Segal started as an infectious disease researcher and ended as a professional in Biosafety & Biosecurity. Not uncommonly she did not know what Biosafety actually did while performing as a researcher and subsequently realized that Biosafety professionals often felt the same (in reverse). Using the experience gained from both sides of the fence Ellyn tries to bridge the gaps and assist the leaps and bounds of research with the support that is vital for its success. 

Ellyn received her Ph.D. in Genetics and did post-docs at UCSF and Stanford University. She continued at Stanford as a Sr. Research Scientist and subsequently as Biosafety & Biosecurity Manager, where she retired in 2023. She continues with a primary interest in the intersection of new technologies and issues with Biosafety.

Mary Ann Sondrini, EdM

Mary Ann Sondrini, EdM, has been the Director of the Eagleson Institute, a nonprofit foundation with a mission to globally promote the principles and practices of health and safety in the life sciences community since its inception in 1989. Her responsibilities include overseeing the development and promotion of all Institute activities, including seminars, conferences, DVDs and global mentoring projects. Being a strong believer in the benefits of interactive learning, all programs implement a variety of instructional strategies to keep the learners engaged.  Mary Ann has a degree in biology from Williams College and a graduate degree in education with a focus in curriculum development from Harvard School of Education. She has taught numerous courses in the development and presentation of training programs. In 1997, she was the recipient of the Everett Hanel, Jr. Presidential Award given by the American Biological Safety Association for her extensive contributions to that organization.

Rebecca Stenberg, MN, RN, COHN-S

Rebecca Stenberg, MN, RN, COHN-S, is the occupational health program manager with Environmental Health & Safety at the University of Washington. Her responsibilities include nurse manager for the employee health center, where the occupational health program services are provided. A few of the occupational health programs for which she has nurse oversight include the BSL3 medical surveillance program, Washington National Research Primate center (WaNPRC), department of comparative medicine, school of dentistry, scientific dive program, school of medicine research labs, and the blood borne pathogens exposure program for health sciences students and employees. Rebecca has worked in the field of occupational health nursing for 37 years with experiences in state government, manufacturing, worker’s compensation case management, and other academic research institutions. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Nursing degrees from the University of Washington.

Anne Terry, ARNP, CTH, CTropMed

Anne Terry is an ARNP at the University of Washington. She has been the manager for the UW Medicine Travel Clinic at Hall Health Center since 2011 and currently provides primary care and travel medicine to UW faculty, staff and students. She recently joined the Employee Health Clinic in the UW Department of Environmental Health and Safety. In this role she works with UW employees in the BSL-3 laboratories and the Washington National Primate Research Center. She recently completed certification from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society to provide medical guidance and screening for scientific divers.   In addition, she has advanced certificates in travel health, infectious disease and tropical medicine. 

Wendy Thanassi, MD

Dr. Wendy Thanassi is board certified in Emergency Medicine having trained at Stanford Medical School and Yale residency programs. She began a career in Occupational Health with the VA Palo Alto, California and over the ensuing decade developed an expertise in tuberculosis testing, speaking and publishing widely nationally and internationally. She became a national consultant for Department of Veterans Affairs, is a Professor at Stanford Medicine, sits on the Advisory Council for the Elimination of TB to the CDC, and is the US Representative to the International Congress on Occupational Health.

Maureen Thompson BSN, RN, COHN-S, RBP

Maureen Thompson BSN, RN, COHN-S, RBP is the Assistant Director of Environmental Health and Safety at Emory University and Environmental Health and Safety Officer (EHSO) at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center (NPRC). Her responsibilities include: guidance and oversight for regulatory compliance, environmental health and safety training, BSL/ABSL-3 containment oversight, safety inspections, hazard identification, hazard monitoring and risk assessments. She is also responsible for the follow-up and investigations related to student, volunteer and employee injuries and exposures as well, as the workers compensation program. Prior to working in research Maureen worked as a Neonatal Nurse at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Early career experiences include work in clinical laboratories and pediatric phlebotomy. Maureen has worked in the field of Environmental Health and Safety for more than 25 years, first as the Safety Officer at Children’s Health Care of Atlanta and then as the EHSO at the Yerkes NPRC. She continues to work with numerous agencies and research facilities to address research related health and safety concerns and development of comprehensive safety programs. She is a voting member of the Emory University Institutional Biosafety and Research Safety Committees and is the EHSO representative on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

James M. Welch

Jim Welch served 19 years as the executive director of the Elizabeth R Griffin Research Foundation, a US-based non-profit organization that works nationally and globally promoting biosafety and biosecurity in fostering global health security. Upon his retirement in 2018, the Foundation was transitioned to the Elizabeth R Griffin Program at the Center of Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical School where he now serves as an Affiliate. He is a member and was the originating chair of the steering group of the Global Health Security Agenda Consortium (GHSAC), was the first NGO member of the Global Health Security Agenda Steering Group and is on the International Working Group on Strengthening the Culture of Biosafety, Biosecurity, and Responsible Conduct in the Life Sciences. He has been associated with the Joint External Evaluation International Alliance (JEE), the OIE Consultation Group on Sustainable Biosafety and Biosecurity, and served for over a decade on the advisory board of the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program at the US National Institutes of Health. He served on the governing councils of the International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA) and ABSA International. He was as a named member of the Law Enforcement and Veterinary International Conference at INTERPOL, an external advisor for the Duke University Infectious Disease Response Training Program, and a member of the Global Health Security Roundtable. He was the 2011 recipient of the John H Richardson Award of ABSA International and is an honorary member of the Association of Primate Veterinarians and the International Biosafety Working Group. He currently is on the advisory board of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council and is the elected president of the Kingsport, Tennessee Board of Education. He has been a key speaker, instructor, moderator and panelist at professional and governmental conferences, seminars, universities and private companies around the world.

Ashley Vaughan, PhD
Ashley has worked with Plasmodium parasites, the causative agents of malaria, since 2007. Ashley’s collaborations with Stefan Kappe and Sebastian Mikolajczak led to the use of human-liver chimeric mice for studying malaria liver stage development. These advances included complete liver stage development and the transition to blood stage parasitemia for the human malarias Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Ashley has also used this mouse model for the creation of experimental Plasmodium falciparum genetic crosses, a significant advance that aids in our understanding of Plasmodium falciparum drug resistance. Ashley continues to be fascinated by basic parasite pre-erythrocytic biology and collaborates with investigators worldwide to move research forward. Outside of the lab, he is a keen hiker, cook, traveler, gardener and scuba diver, pastimes he enjoys with and without his husband, Rafael.