National Center for Environmental Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS
Dr. Mortensen serves the Division of Laboratory Sciences as an expert in medical toxicology, primarily focusing on human exposures to environmental chemicals and toxic substances used in chemical terrorism or involved in poisoning outbreaks. A major aspect of her duties involves work on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) highly influential National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. As a pediatrician, she is especially interested in childhood exposures and advises CDC and interagency workgroups on pediatric environmental health issues. She rejoined CDC in 2006, following career excursions into academic medicine, managed care, and pharmaceutical medicine.
After graduating from Emory Medical School, she completed her pediatrics residency at the University of Arizona. Subsequently, she completed a clinical pharmacology fellowship while earning a Master’s degree in pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Arizona. She joined the Epidemiology Intelligence Service at CDC in 1983, and in 1985 moved into the then-new Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, where she assisted with health investigations and provided health consultations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and states. In 1987, she joined the faculty at the Ohio State University College of Medicine in the Departments of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine, and was appointed medical director of the Central Ohio Poison Center. During this time, she was active in research and treatment of childhood lead poisoning, and advised and educated local, state, and national organizations and agencies regarding numerous pediatric environmental health issues. She also provided consulting services to EPA and industry related to environmental exposures to heavy metals. Subsequently, she served as medical director for a managed care organization, overseeing all programs related to accreditation, clinical quality, and physician and hospital contracting. Her recent experience was in the pharmaceutical industry, providing scientific and medical expertise for clinical research projects and leadership of a clinical development program intended to bring a major cardiovascular drug to the over-the-counter market.