Elaine Z. Francis, PhD '78

Past President, JCLS Alumni Association

Elaine Francis


Sandcastle Toxicology Associates
Ventnor, NJ

Elaine Z. Francis, PhD '78

Past President, JCLS Alumni Association

Elaine Francis, PhD, is an adjunct professor on the faculty of Thomas Jefferson University. She is also President of Sandcastle Toxicology Associates, a consulting company she started upon her retirement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

Dr. Francis was at the USEPA for over 31 years, where she held numerous positions, first as a developmental/ reproductive toxicologist in what is currently the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and then as a risk assessor and research director in the Office of Research and Development. Her last position with the Agency was as Acting Deputy National Program Director for the Chemical Safety and Sustainability Research Program as it was undergoing development.

Prior to that, Dr. Francis served as the National Program Director for the Agency’s Pesticides and Toxics Research Program. She coordinated the development and implementation of multi-million dollar intramural and extramural research programs, working with scientists from across USEPA, other federal agencies, governments of other countries, academia, and the regulated scientific community. The research programs she oversaw included those on endocrine disruptors and the development of testing, risk assessment, and risk management approaches for pesticides and toxic substances.

She spent 1991 as a legislative fellow to then-Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, working on pesticides, lead, and children’s issues.

Dr. Francis received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University in Washington, D.C. She received her doctorate in Anatomy from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, from which she received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001 and is currently the immediate Past-President of their College of Life Sciences (JCLS) Alumni Board.

Dr. Francis is the recipient of numerous awards at USEPA, including one gold, one silver, and thirteen bronze medals and a Distinguished Career Award, granted to a select few each year upon retirement. She has been active in the Teratology Society/Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention for over 40 years and is the Past-President for approximately 700 scientific members whose interests are in understanding the causes of birth defects and other developmentally-mediated disorders and finding ways to prevent them.

Dr. Francis serves on numerous scientific advisory boards including the Health Advisory Board of NSF International, the Forensic Toxicology Advisory Board of Thomas Jefferson University’s JCLS, and the Public Health Committee of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Scientific Advisory Board.