Faculty & Staff

Catherine Karr, MD, PhD, MS

As Director of the NW PEHSU, Dr. Karr sets the direction of the Unit and responds to queries from health care providers, government officials, and families regarding health risks associated with environmental exposures. Dr. Karr is a board certified pediatrician with a doctoral degree in epidemiology and masters degree in environmental health/toxicology. She is an Associate Professor with the University of Washington Department of Pediatrics. She practices primary care pediatrics and does pediatric teaching at  the UW Pediatric Care Center-Roosevelt Clinic. She also provides specialty consultation for pediatric environmental medicine care at this clinic. Her academic appointments are in Pediatrics (primary) and the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Her research focuses on environmental exposures and respiratory health of children including asthma. Dr. Karr is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Executive Council on Environmental Health. She also leads a children’s environmental health research training initiative in Southeast Asia.


Sheela Sathyanarayana, MD, MPH

Sheela Sathyanarayana is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Harborview Medical Center and sees patients at the Harborview Pediatrics Clinic. She completed a fellowship in Pediatric Environmental Health and earned her MPH from the UW School of Public Health. Dr. Sathyanarayana's research focuses on the effects of prenatal and early childhood exposures to environmental chemicals, such as phthalates and bisphenol A. She has a special interest in human risk, public health, and policy. In 2009, she served on the Washington State Governor’s Safe Children’s Products Act Committee. Currently, she serves on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee. Dr. Sathyanarayana responds to PEHSU requests for consultations and presentations. She has worked with the NW PEHSU since 2005.


Nancy Beaudet, MS, CIH

Nancy Beaudet is the exposure scientist for the NW Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit and the UW Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic. She is the PEHSU Program Manager and provides leadership on occupational and pediatric environmental health projects.  She investigates chemical, physical (i.e. noise), and biological (i.e. molds) exposures to ensure physicians have the best exposure information possible for patient care and for responding to inquiries.  Ms. Beaudet conducts detailed patient exposure histories and patient-related work site investigations. She reviews the published literature and communicates with parents, consultants, employers, regulators and others as needed to obtain accurate exposure information.  Ms. Beaudet is a certified industrial hygienist and a graduate of the UW Industrial Hygiene and Safety program. Ms. Beaudet has extensive experience conducting compliance inspections for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. 


Ada Otter, DNP, ARNP, FNP-B

Ada Otter is a doctorally-prepared Family Nurse Practitioner with an interest in environmental health, women’s health, and international health. She completed Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Master of Nursing (MN) degrees at the University of Washington (UW), and holds bachelor’s degrees in nursing and environmental studies. Prior to entering healthcare, she was a government scientist working in ocean mapping; now as a primary care provider she seeks to integrate her past experience in environmental science with her current role in healthcare through the discipline of environmental health.  As part of the NW PEHSU, Dr. Otter responds to pediatric environmental health inquiries from health care providers, families, and the general public. She also responds to outreach requests to provide education and training on pediatric environmental health issues, and participates in projects and committees which promote pediatric environmental health.


Alexandra Perkins, BA

Alexandra Perkins is the Program Coordinator for the Northwest Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit.  After graduating from Harvard in 2010, she worked in the solar energy industry before transitioning to environmental health and pre-medical studies in 2012.