Ovnair Sepai

Head of General Toxicology Group
Toxicology Department, Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards- Chilton
Public Health England
E-mail: ovnair.sepai@phe.gov.uk

Fields of interest:

analytical chemistry, chemical exposure assessment, critical assessment of toxicological data, human biomonitoring implementation in population studies (epidemiology)

Short bio-sketch:

Ovnair Sepai is the UK Human health representative for the OECD Test Guideline Programme. Her research interests are in human exposure and chemical risk assessment, which supports her advisory role within PHE and UK government. Ovnair have a proven record in administration and international project management. Her interest in the Global Campaign for Education was kindled during her work in Ethiopia, as a volunteer with VSO.

Ovnair leads a group of 11 toxicologists: the group provides expert advice to the Department of Health and other Government Departments and Agencies as well as PHE and other health professionals on the human health effects of exposure to environmental chemicals. This includes review of available data, assessment of evidence and identification of knowledge gaps. The group also provides the secretariat to the Chief Medical Officers Expert committees – Committee on Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COC) and its sister committees on mutatgenicity (COM) and Toxicity (COT) jointly with FSA. We advise the Department for Business Innovation and Skill (BIS) on human health aspects of chemicals in cosmetics, consumer products and articles, advise the Department of Health on human health aspects of pesticides and biocides. These responsibilities give a strategic link to government policy makers. Thus our main focus is in regulatory toxicology and interests in translational research for health protection.

Represent HPA on a Pan-European initiative to develop a standardised approach to human Biomonitoring across the EU.

Teaching commitments: Imperial College MSc in Public Health, Birmingham University MSc in Environmental Health and the PHE Course Essential of Toxicology for Health Protection at Kings College London.

Other Professional Responsibilities

UK Human Health Representative on the OECD Test Guideline Programme (from April 2012).
Assessor for PHE on the Committee on Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COM)
Member of Defra’s Hazardous Substances Advisory Committee (HSAC)
Member of the Steering Group for Intergovernmental Group on Health Risks from Chemicals (IGHRC)
Member of the Liaison Group for PHE for SAHSU (Small Area Health Statistics Unit) part of the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health.
Advisor to WHO on human Biomonitoring through the WHO CC for Chemical Incident Management in Cardiff.

Link to the profile in Research Gate