Science and Technology Advisory Board

Canfei Nesharim is committed to educating our members about the latest scientific understanding of environmental concerns, and to suggest actions which are consistent with the best ways to have an impact on the environment from a scientific perspective. The following scientists have volunteered their time to help us. If you would like to be a part of Canfei Nesharim’s Science Advisory Board, please send your CV to Dr. Daniel Weber at

Dr. Daniel Weber, Science and Technology Advisory Board Chair:
Daniel Weber examines the relationship of toxic environmental contaminants to the changes in behavior and neural development in fishes. He has a PhD (Ethology, Physiology) and is associate Scientist and Manager, Neurobehavioral Toxicology Facility of the Children’s Environmental Health Institute and Great Lakes WATER Institute, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Past research has involved studying the effects of lead on social and feeding activities, as well as locomotor behaviors in freshwater species of fish. Current research focuses on the effects of mercury compounds and specific insecticides on the embryonic development of neural paths that either control reflex behavior or learning as models of human environmental health. Additionally, Dr. Weber works with state and federal natural resource managers to evaluate the effect of urban storm water runoff on the reproductive success of native fish species with the goal of developing guidelines for managing urban and urbanizing watersheds.

Dr. Mark Altabet
Dr Altabel is a Professor in the Department of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences of the School for Marine Science and Technology at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Dr. Altabet’s major research interest is understanding the major biogeochemical cycles of ocean systems. While focusing on how nitrogen, a key nutrient in oceans, cycles through the biological and chemical components of the marine environment, Dr. Altabet also analyzes these interactions in terms of global climate change, changes in the atmospheric content of carbon dioxide, and the effects on eutrophication of coastal habitats.

Dr. Steve Brenner:

Dr. Steve Brenner’s research focus is on the modelling of oceanic-atmospheric interactions. Previous to his joint appointment at Bar Ilan University and Israel Oceanographic and Limnologiocal Research, Dr. Brenner has held positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University and Scripps Oceanographic Institute. In an advisory capacity, Dr. Brenner is on the Advisory Committee for Lake Kinneret, the Israel National Committee to Study the Impact of Atmospheric and Climatic changes, as well as various UNESCO working groups. Besides being a highly published scientist, Dr. Brenner is a reviewer for 16 geophysical and oceanographic journals.

Dr. Devra Davis:

Devra Lee Davis, PhD, MPH, director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, is a renowned environmental health expert, professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and visiting professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Policy and Management. Dr. Davis was designated a National Book Award Finalist for her book, “When Smoke Ran Like Water”, part of which centers around a deadly air pollution episode in her hometown of Donora, PA. In addition to her academic appointments, Dr. Davis has held multiple advisory roles in national and international agencies, including the World Health Organization, and has received numerous awards pertaining to her work in environmental health. Dr. Davis holds a BS in physiological psychology and a MA in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed her doctorate in science studies at the University of Chicago followed by a master’s degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins University as a senior National Cancer Institute post-doctoral fellow. She is the author of over 170 scientific publications and the editor of 11 books.

Dr. David Goldblatt:

With advanced degrees from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as well as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Dr. Goldblatt has focused his research interests on energy and transportation issues. Dr. Goldblatt has made innovative contributions to ecological modernization of consumption, sustainable energy consumption, and risk communication. Additionally, he has conducted studies on energy efficiency, designed procedures to promote and market conservation services, and advanced the design and use of energy accounting software and the information/knowledge approach for energy conservation. As a transportation policy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council in the mid-90s, Dr. Goldblatt spearheaded a study on emissions and energy use characteristics of heavy-duty hybrid electric vehicles and provided advocacy and analysis in support of California’s 1998 Zero and Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle sales mandate. Dr. Goldblatt is currently a Risk Policy Fellow in the Science and Policy Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in which capacity he is working at the US Department of Agriculture’s Office of Public Health Science in its Risk Assessment Division.

Dr. Frank Lieberman:
Frank Lieberman is a neurooncologist at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute whose clinical and research activities focus on the treatment of central nervous system tumors and the neurologic complications of cancer. Dr. Lieberman leads a clinical trials program which is attempting to apply the molecular genetic insights of the past decade to develop molecularly targeted drug therapies for patients with malignant gliomas. In collaboration with Drs. Gary Marsh and Nurten Esman, Dr. Lieberman is a member of the team investigating the incidence of malignant brain tumors in a population of jet engine plant workers, the largest occupational exposure study of brain tumors conducted to date. Dr. Lieberman has a longstanding interest in the Torah perspectives on bioethical questions, including the halachic aspects of experimental cancer treatments, and end of life decision making, and is a member of the bioethics committee for the Cancer Center’s affiliated hospital. Dr. Lieberman serves as vice-chair for the Institutional Review Board of the University of Pittsburgh and as a member of the Environmental Committee of the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Mitchell Small:
Dr. Mitchell Small is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, as well as of Engineering and Public Policy, at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Smalls’ research interests include mathematical modeling of environmental quality, human exposures modeling, human risk perception and decision making, indoor air pollution, modeling acid rain and climate change, groundwater and soil pollution monitoring, site remediation, and drinking water quality. In addition to publishing nearly 100 scientific papers, Dr. Small has edited several books on risk analysis and environmental pollution monitoring. Dr. Small has served as a scientific advisor on many professional panels for the US Environmental Protection Agency, US Geological Survey, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Dr. Clifford P Weisel:
Clifford P Weisel, Ph.D. is a professor in the Exposure Science Division of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and holds appointments on the graduate faculty of Rutgers University and the UMDNJ School of Public Health. He is the Deputy Director of the Exposure Science Division of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute and Director of the Doctoral Degree Program in Exposure Assessment offered jointly by UMDNJ and Rutgers University. Dr. Weisel has directed research to understand multi-route exposures, develop and apply biomarkers of exposure and has conducted large exposure field projects. He has examined the relationship among indoor, outdoor and personal exposure to air pollutants; documented the importance of inhalation and dermal exposure to contaminants, such as disinfection by products, in drinking water to their risk in tap water; and the role of on air pollution and on asthma and other respiratory and on cardiovascular diseases. He is current studying exposures within aircraft cabins and is a co-investigator in the National Children Study, a large nationwide study planned for the next twenty years to examine how the environment affects the health of children as they grow to adults. He is the past president of the International Society of Exposure Science and has served on numerous international and national advisory committees, workshops and advisory review panels for EPA, NIEHS, state governmental, environmental group and private industry. He has been an associate editor of the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology since 1995. Dr. Weisel has authored or co-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.