CTEH Spotlight: Angela Perez, Ph.D. (Part II)

We recently welcomed Dr. Angie Perez to CTEH as a senior toxicologist in our Portland office. This week, we’re continuing our conversation with Dr. Perez about her expertise in chemical exposures and medical marijuana and her more than 30 articles and abstracts. Read more of our Q & A below:

You’ve done field research in soils and waters, as well as bulk and leachability testing on consumer products. What sparked your interest in these topics?
My interest stemmed from my mentor, Dr. Kim Anderson, who served as my Ph.D. advisor. I began working for Dr. Anderson as an undergraduate student and later transitioned into her lab after I was awarded a four-year NIEHS training grant to complete my Ph.D. Dr. Anderson was always supportive of her students expanding the breadth of their experiences. While in her lab, I was able to assist with projects involving sampling and analysis in the Portland Harbor superfund site; extraction of analysis of PAHs from biological samples; analysis of mercury in cattails used by native populations in Oregon; analysis of pesticide metabolites on fruits; and analysis of pesticides in vegetables used in baby food production.

You are an expert in marijuana toxicology. Do you specialize in certain areas of this field (e.g., risk exposure)? 
The field of marijuana toxicology is truly the “wild west” in its current state. There are many questions regarding impairment; health effects from contaminants found in marijuana products and among workers who handle those products on a daily basis; and liability surrounding product packaging and production. As a toxicologist, my interest and specialization is in risk assessment, particularly in relation to contaminants in marijuana products and in biological markers to determine the level of impairment. Along with my colleagues at CTEH, I am currently preparing a publication on modeling of marijuana metabolism with a focus on how biological markers can be used to determine time of last intake.  

Are you involved with any professional or community organizations?
For the past 15 years, I’ve been involved with the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC). I’ve held board positions in the Northern California regional SETAC chapter and am the current president of the Pacific Northwest SETAC regional chapter. My husband and I are also very honored to be licensed foster parents in California, and we are in the process of becoming licensed in the state of Oregon.

Have more questions for Dr. Perez? Contact her at aperez@cteh.com or connect with her on LinkedIn.