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The Office of Public Health Practice & Training

Thomas A. Burke

Host of Public Health: On the Inside

Thomas A. Burke is Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Training at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a professor in the School's Department of Health Policy and Management. He has joint appointments in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and the School of Medicine Department of Oncology. He is also co-director of the Johns Hopkins Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute.

His research interests include environmental epidemiology, the evaluation of community exposures to environmental pollutants, the assessment and communication of environmental risks, and the application of epidemiology and health risk assessment to public policy.

He was principal investigator for the Pew Environmental Health Commission aimed at revitalizing the national infrastructure for environmental health. He is particularly interested in health and environment in the cities.

Prior to his appointment at Johns Hopkins, Burke was deputy commissioner of health for the State of New Jersey. He has also served as assistant commissioner for occupational and environmental health at the New Jersey Department of Health, and as director of the Office of Science and Research in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

During his tenure with the State of New Jersey, Burke established a number of exposure research efforts and environmental risk assessment programs at both the Departments of Environmental Protection and Health. He served as the scientific coordinator for many of the State's major investigations, including investigations of toxic contaminants in drinking water, the evaluation of dioxin contamination from industrial sources, and the investigation of chromium exposure in urban areas from industrial waste used as landfill.

Burke is the chair of the Advisory Committee to the National Center for Environmental Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He also serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the EPA Board of Scientific Counselors. An editor of the book, Regulating Risk: The Science and Politics of Risk, he served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Risk Characterization.

He has been a member of the Council of the Society for Risk Analysis and has served on Office of Technology Assessment Advisory Panels on Research on Risk Assessment of Chemical Carcinogens, and Managing Nuclear Materials from Warheads. He was also a member of National Academy of Sciences Committee on Risk Characterization, Panel on Separations Technology and Transmutation Systems, and Committee on Remediation of Buried and Tank Wastes, evaluating nuclear waste management options.

He has served on EPA Science Advisory Board subcommittees, including reviews of the Clean Air Act Residual Risk Report to Congress and the Superfund Hazard Ranking System. He was also a member of the General Accounting Office expert panel to review the Superfund public health assessment process.

Burke received his PhD in epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania, his MPH from the University of Texas, and his BS from Saint Peter's College.