Ellen (Kovner) Silbergeld, daughter of Joseph and Mary (Gion) Kovner, was born in Washington, D.C., on July 29, 1945. In 1969, she married Alan Mark Silbergeld; they have two children: Sophia and Nicholas. Silbergeld has degrees in history from Vassar College (A.B. 1967) and in environmental engineering sciences from Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D. 1972). She has been a professor of Epidemiology and Toxicology at the University of Maryland Medical School in Baltimore, Maryland, an adjunct professor of Health Policy and Environmental Health Sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, an affiliate professor of Environmental Law at the University of Maryland Law School, and a senior toxicologist with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). She is also the author or coauthor of over 200 scientific articles, book chapters, and abstracts, and has served on editorial boards of biomedical journals and more than thirty national and international scientific and expert panels. These have included state and federal government agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Silbergeld has received fellowships from the Fulbright, Kennedy, Rockefeller, Danforth, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundations and was a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" in 1993. Her research interests have focused on mechanisms and epidemiology of lead poisoning and on mechanisms of other environmental toxicants, including dioxin. Areas of research include cardiovascular risks of arsenic, lead, and cadmium; immunotoxicity of mercury compounds; and health and environmental impacts of industrial food animal production. She has also conducted studies that involve mercury in the Amazon; lead, cadmium, and arsenic in Mexico; mining and development in Mongolia; and zoonotic diseases in Thailand and the Netherlands. Silbergeld serves on numerous national and international scientific advisory councils.
From the guide to the Additional papers of Ellen K. Silbergeld, 1982-2001, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)