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Faculty and Staff

Faculty & Staff

Dr. Maureen Lichtveld

Maureen Lichtveld, MD, MPH
Research Professor, Environmental Health Sciences
Director, Center for Gulf Coast Environmental Health Research, Leadership & Strategic Initiatives

Maureen Lichtveld has a 30 year track record in environmental public health with  research interests in environmentally-induced disease and special emphasis on health disparities; community-based participatory research; disaster preparedness, environmental health policy; and public health systems. Dr. Lichtveld has served as an expert consultant to the Institute of Medicine for many years on contemporary public health issues ranging from the adverse health consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to public health systems, and disaster preparedness. Dr. Lichtveld brings together a cadre of regional research expertise to advance innovative, community-centered, transdisciplinary research. 

Emily Harville Emily Harville, PhD
Associate Professor, Epidemiology

Emily Harville has experience in the intersection of birth outcomes, stress, and mental health, with disaster. After Hurricane Katrina, she was the Principal Investigator of a prospective cohort study of Katrina's effects on postpartum mental health, and co-investigator of studies of pregnancy outcomes, as well as models of prenatal care and their effect on mental and physical health of women in the aftermath.   She also studies preconception influences on pregnancy outcomes, for instance, the effects of childhood trauma or life course cardiovascular disease on birth outcomes.  Dr. Harville's research interests focus on stress measurement, lifetime adversity, and biomarkers in pregnant women, and how they combine to affect birth outcomes.

Charles Miller Charles Miller, PhD
Professor, Environmental Health Sciences

Charles Miller received his bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He worked there as a research associate in the pharmacology and biochemistry departments, as well as at the cancer center. He has studied anti-malarial drug toxicity with Roy Mundy, chemical carcinogenesis with Awni Sarrif, colon cancer biology with Michael Brattain, and the immunology of natural killer cells with Toru Abo and Charles Balch. He joined Max Costa's laboratory and studied carcinogenic mechanisms of nickel and chromium compounds and earned a PhD in environmental oncology from the Sackler School of Basic Medical Sciences of New York University. During this time, he was the recipient of a fellowship from Shell Oil Company. His post-doctoral research was conducted in David Kowalski's laboratory at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. There he described several new DNA replication origins in yeast.  He is currently a Professor in the Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences investigating how dioxins, PCBs, PAHs, and other toxic chemicals act through receptor signaling networks, and how Hsp90 and its co-chaperone proteins modulate toxic responses. 

Hannah Covert

Hannah Covert, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, Environmental Health Sciences
Associate Director, Center for Gulf Coast Environmental Health Research, Leadership & Strategic Initiatives

Hannah manages the center’s research portfolio, liaises with external advisory boards, coordinates working relationships with external constituencies, and provides oversight for the Center’s programs. She also writes and coordinates proposal submissions and provides financial oversight of extramural funding. Hannah has worked in the field of higher education administration for 20 years.  Prior to working at Tulane, she served as Executive Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida (UF). She has expertise in resource management, program development and management, evaluation, personnel, communications, and international education.  She has served as a Co-PI on ten grants.  Hannah received her PhD in higher education administration from UF.  She has an MA in Latin American Studies with a specialization in cultural anthropology from UF and a BA in Spanish from Middlebury College. Her research interests include qualitative methods of inquiry, evaluation, international education, and intercultural competence.


Lisa Paterson, MS
Senior Grants Administrator

Lisa provides fiscal management, reporting and logistical support to the Center and its research objectives. Lisa holds a BS in Environmental Management Systems and a Masters in International Development and has 7 years of Grant Management and Administration experience. Prior to working for the Center, Lisa was a Rural Development Manager for the East Midlands Development Agency. In this position, she appraised, managed, and inspected EU-funded rural development projects in the East Midlands, UK. Additionally, Lisa was part of a team that developed an ecological cooperative brand in the Netherlands. She also developed and ran an internship program at an educational permaculture farm in Costa Rica. Her research interests include sustainable food production and distribution systems, urban agriculture, the links between health and food security and access, as well as innovative solutions to food security that reduce environmental impacts of the food industry. Lisa is currently a voting member of the New Orleans Food and Policy Advisory Committee.

  Sherry Heller, PhD
Director, Tulane Building Early Relationships Support & Services

Sherry received a master's degree and doctoral degree in applied developmental psychology from the University of New Orleans. She is currently an Associate Professor at Tulane University School of Medicine and the Tulane Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. As a graduate student, Sherry trained and worked in the field of Infant Mental Health through the Tulane/JPHSA Infant Team under the supervision of Julie Larrieu and Charles Zeanah. The Infant Team works with all children under 60 months of age who enter foster care in Jefferson Parish, as well as their parents and foster parents. Once completing her degree, Dr. Heller became the director of the Infant Team's Foster Care Team, which was responsible for administering developmental and social-emotional screening instruments for all children involved with the Infant Team and supporting and educating foster parents. She performed numerous child care observations and implemented interventions with child care center staff when necessary to meet the needs of foster children. In 2000, she was one of 19 infant mental health consultants selected nationally to participate in the Zero to Three and Early Head Start initiative. This initiative allowed her to serve as an infant mental health consultant to a Baton Rouge Early Head Start program serving adolescent mothers. In 2005, as an extension of her work started under this competitive national initiative coordinated by Zero to Three and then a research grant funded by ACF, Sherry was able to continue to consult with this program as it expanded to serve families displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Since December 2007, she has served as the research director for the QS ECMHC program. In addition, she has been responsible for providing reflective supervision to one-third of the mental health consultants funded on the QS ECHMC project. She recently co-edited a book with Linda Gilkerson of the Erikson Institute in Chicago on providing reflective supervision to professionals in the field of early childhood intervention. In 2011, Sherry was selected as to be a fellow in Zero To Three's Leadership Development Institute. She has long-standing clinical and research interests in the effects of maltreatment on child development, the development of attachment and attachment disturbances in very young children, child care, the effects of violence on child development, perinatal loss and reflective supervision.