Conferences & Events > Total Tox Course > Faculty Bios


Kim Aldy, DO, MBA

Program Manager, Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC)
Staff_Photos/aldy-photo.jpgDr. Aldy initially joined the Toxicology Investigator's Consortium with the American College of Medical Toxicology as the first ToxIC intern, where she led a vaping initiative around the country. In her new position with ToxIC, Dr. Aldy is responsible for the day to day management of the ToxIC program, staff and site coordination, helping with research projects and publications, and acquiring support for ToxIC through grants and related activities.
Dr. Aldy earned her medical degree at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas. During her medical school training, she concurrently applied and enrolled in an MBA program with concentration in Health Management at the University of North Texas which she attained shortly after starting residency. She completed an emergency medicine residency at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She attended her Medical Toxicology Fellowship at University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.
Dr. Aldy has maintained an academic and clinical affiliation as an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology at UT Southwestern in Dallas, Texas. She has a special research interest on the use of bedside ultrasound for the progression of snakebites, and was awarded a research grant in this area from the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology in 2019.

Ann Arens, MD

Doctor, Hennepin Healthcare System, Hennepin County Medical Center
Arens_Pic.jpgDr. Arens is an Emergency Medicine physician at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN as well as an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Minnesota. She is also a practicing medical toxicologist at Hennepin County Medical Center and the Minnesota Poison Control System. Dr. Arens completed her Emergency Medicine training at the Denver Health Residency in Emergency Medicine, and her medical toxicology training at the University of California – San Francisco. She was amongst the first toxicologists to identify and describe counterfeit fentanyl products as a medical toxicology fellow, and has continued to identify outbreaks of new drugs of abuse. She has a broad range of research interests including: the identification of new drugs of abuse including novel opioids contributing to the current opioid epidemic, the use of antidotes, and advanced supportive care of the poisoned patient.

Michelle Burns, MD, MPH

Harvard Medical Toxicology Fellowship Director, MA/RI Poison Center Medical Director, Boston Children's Hospital
Dr. Burns is a staff physician at Boston Children's Hospital within the Division of Emergency Medicine and Program in Medical Toxicology. Her research, teaching, and clinical contributions stem from her training in the fields of General Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology. For the past 20 years, she has served as the Harvard Medical Toxicology Fellowship Director as well as the Medical Director for the Poison Control Center serving Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She is the recipient of numerous teaching awards and enjoys providing both direct patient care and supervising trainees. With a Masters of Public Health degree from Harvard University, Dr. Burns advocates for state-of-the-art treatment for pediatric poisoned patients while contributing to prevention efforts at the community level.

Andrea Carlson, MD

Associate Program Director, Director of Toxicology, Advocate Christ Medical Center Emergency Medicine
Dr. Andrea G. Carlson is an emergency medicine physician in Downers Grove, Illinois, and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital and Advocate Christ Medical Center. She received her medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Shaun Carstairs, MD, FACMT, FACEP

Emergency Physician/Medical Toxicologist, Scripps Healthcare San Diego
Dr. Carstairs earned his undergraduate degree from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA and received his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), the nation's military medical school. He completed a residency in emergency medicine at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego and a fellowship in medical toxicology at the University of California, San Diego. He served more than 25 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, which included a combat deployment to Iraq and shipboard deployment as the leader of a mobile trauma team for the Navy’s Pacific Fleet. He retired from the Navy as a Captain in 2019.
He currently serves as a faculty member in the Department of Emergency Medicine & Division of Medical Toxicology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). In addition to his role at UCSD, he holds an appointment as Professor of Military & Emergency Medicine at USU.

Christina Hantsch, MD, FACEP, FACMT, FAACT

Medical Officer, Division of Pharmacovigilance II, Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, US Food and Drug Administration* 
christina.jpgDr. Hantsch is a graduate of the Honors Program in Medical Education at Northwestern University. She completed an emergency medicine residency, including a year as chief resident, at the Medical College of Wisconsin and then continued her training in a medical toxicology fellowship at Vanderbilt University. After her fellowship, she returned to the Chicago area and started a toxicology program at Loyola University including an inpatient service, clinical and didactic teaching for students, trainees, and health care professionals, and administrative roles. She advanced to Professor of Emergency Medicine, Director of the Division of Toxicology, and Director of Academic Affairs in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Hantsch served for more than 8 years as medical director of the Illinois Poison Center, for 6 years as the chair of the Loyola pharmacy and therapeutics committee, and was the founding program director of the Loyola emergency medicine residency. In 2021, Dr. Hantsch transitioned to a career in the US Food and Drug Administration*.

*In all of her roles with ACMT, Dr. Hantsch works in a personal capacity and does not represent the opinions of the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, nor the Federal Government.

Disclaimer I will state before lecture, panels:

I am speaking in a personal capacity and the content of my lecture/panel activity does not represent the opinions of the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, nor the Federal Government.

Ashley Haynes, MD

Hospitalist, Sound Physicians
Dr. Ashley Haynes completed her medical training at the University of Kansas, followed by a combined emergency-internal medicine training program at East Carolina University. She completed a toxicology fellowship at University of Texas Southwestern in 2016, remaining as faculty for a few years after. She recently relocated and is working as a hospitalist in Wichita, KS. She is also board certified in addiction medicine, and is the medical director for a recovery facility. She hopes to begin seeing toxicology patients as part of a new service line within the next year.

Kelly Johnson Arbor, MD, FACMT, FACEP

Medical Director of Hyperbaric Medicine, Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
2021_08_TTC/KJA_picture_2018.jpg Dr. Kelly K. Johnson-Arbor serves as the medical director of Hyperbaric Medicine in the Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine. An expert in the fields of Emergency Medicine, Medical Toxicology and Hyperbaric Medicine, she is an Associate Faculty member at the MedStar Institute of Quality and Safety and contributing author to the website of the MedStar Institute for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery, Dr. Johnson-Arbor has published and presented on a variety of topics and serves as a reviewer for multiple peer-reviewed journals. She received her medical degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, completed a residency at University of Rochester Medical Center and a fellowship at the University of Connecticut Health Center. She is board certified in Emergency Medicine, Medical Toxicology, and Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine.

Katherine Katzung, MD, FASAM

Vice Chair, Emergency Department, Abbott Northwestern Hospital
Katherine Katzung, MD is an attending physician in the emergency department at Abbott Northwestern, where she serves as vice chair of the department as well as a consultant for the Minnesota Poison Control System and assistant medical director of Mission Detox Center in Plymouth, MN.  She recently received grant funding to initiate a hospital-based toxicology/addiction medicine consult service and an ED-based addiction medicine "bridge" clinic to provide continuity of care for patients on medication assisted therapies while transitioning to community-based management.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, she completed emergency medicine training at Regions Hospital in St. Paul and additional fellowship training in medical toxicology.  She is board certified in emergency medicine, medical toxicology, and addiction medicine.  Her clinical interests surround the intersection of these 3 specialties, with special focus on early ED & hospital-based interventions to evaluate and treat substance use disorder, including initiation of medication assisted therapies.

William "Russ" Kerns, II, MD, FACEP, FACMT

Professor of Emergency Medicine, Director, Division of Medical Toxicology, Carolinas Medical Center
Russ is a Professor of Medical Toxicology and Emergency Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC. His professional goal is to promote the sub-specialty practice of Medical Toxicology through clinical care, research, and education.  Research endeavors have included new antidotes, cardiovascular toxins, decontamination, toxic alcohols, and crotaline snake envenomation. Educational efforts include national and international didactic presentations, journal and textbook contributions, and journal peer review. Professional service to the American College of Medical Toxicology on the Board of Directors, Chair of the Research Committee, and Annual Scientific Meeting Planning Committees have been immensely rewarding experiences.


Consultant, Illinois Poison Center, INSPE Associates

In 1980, Jerrold Leiken received his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School.  He then completed a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine at Northwestern University (1984) followed by a three-year preceptorship/fellowship training in Medical Toxicology at Cook County Hospital and University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Medical Toxicology and Addiction Medicine.

Dr. Leiken served as the Associate Director of the Emergency Department at Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago from 1998-2001.  During this time, he was also the Medical Director of the Rush Poison Control Center and served as Medical Director of the United States Drug Testing Laboratory (from 1991 -1996).  He was also the Medical Director of PROSAR (located in St. Paul, MN); a national call center devoted to industrial exposures and product safety issues, up until December, 2013. He was Director of Medical Toxicology at NorthShore University HealthSystem – OMEGA from 2001-2020. He is a currently Clinical Professor of Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science in North Chicago, Ill.

Dr. Leiken has presented over 200 research abstracts at national meetings (primarily to the North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology) and has published over 200 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals.  He is the co-editor of the Poisoning and Toxicology Handbook (now in its fourth edition), published by CRC Press, and the American Medical Association Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care, and published by Random House (New York).  He is also the co-editor with Dr. Robin McFee for the Toxico-terrorism book (McGraw Hill) and the Handbook of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Agent Exposure (CRC Press) both published in 2007.  He was also the co-editor of the American Medical Association Complete Medical Encyclopedia, also published by Random House in 2003.  He is presently the Editor-in-Chief of the primary care journal, Disease-a-Month, published by Elsevier.  He was a member of the Illinois State Board of Health from 2016 – 2019.

Michael Levine, MD

Associate Professor, Director of Toxicology, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles
Michael Levine, MD is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Following medical school, Dr. Levine completed a residency in emergency medicine at the Brigham and Women's/Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency. Following residency, Dr. Levine completed his toxicology fellowship at the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. He is actively involved in numerous research projects including both bench and clinical aspects related to toxicology. He is a member of the pharmacy and therapeutics committee and the institutional review board, and is chair of the medication safety committee. He is an active member of American College of Emergency Physicians, the American College of Medical Toxicology, and is a member of the Toxicology Investigator's Consortium.

Charles McKay, MD, FACEP, FACMT

Past President, American College of Medical Toxicology; University of Connecticut School of Medicine
McKay-Photo-2017--125.jpgDr. McKay is a medical toxicologist at Hartford Hospital and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. His formal training has been in Pathology, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology. Dr. McKay is the Associate Medical Director of the Connecticut Poison Control Center. He provided toxicology consultation at three hospitals and was also the Medical Director of Occupational Health Services for Hartford Hospital and Connecticut Childrens’ Medical Center before retiring this year. He was the Medical Toxicology Fellowship Director at Hartford Hospital/University of Connecticut School of Medicine for 20 years. He is the Principal Investigator for several laboratory-based clinical studies including population assessments of pChE and AChE. Under contract to DHS, he led the American College of Medical Toxicology’s (ACMT’s) development of a practical toxicology principles course for law enforcement, and participates in ACMT’s contracts and cooperative agreements with the CDC and DHS regarding chemical and environmental exposures. He lectures widely on chemical terrorism and risk communication, including the ACMT Chemical Agents of Opportunity Course, provided to more than 10,000 participants in the last 16 years. He provides medical-legal consultation and education in both civil and criminal matters. He is on the Executive Board of Directors of the American College of Medical Toxicology, currently serving as Immediate Past-President.

Lewis Nelson, MD, FACMT

Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Nelson.jpgDr. Nelson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Chief of Service of the University Hospital Emergency Department, and Director of the Division of Medical Toxicology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, all in Newark, NJ. He is a Past-President of ACMT, the lead editor of Goldfrank’s Toxicologic Emergencies, and a consultant to the NJ Poison Center. His areas of specific interest include the consequences of opioids, multimodal (opioid-sparing) pain management strategies, emerging substances of abuse, addiction medicine, and medication safety.

Travis Olives, MD, MPH, MEd

Emergency Medicine Physician, Hennepin Healthcare; Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Minnesota; Medical Toxicologist, Minnesota Poison Control System
Dr. Olives is trained in emergency medicine, internal medicine, and medical toxicology. He practices emergency medicine with Hennepin HealthCare in the HCMC Emergency Department, and practices medical toxicology at the same hospital. He is associate medical director of the Minnesota Poison Control System and is actively involved in the care of poisoned patients at the bedside.

Renee Petzel Gimbar, PharmD, FAACT

Clinical Associate Professor, UIC College of Pharmacy
2021_08_TTC/R_-Petzel-2014-Gimbar-2014-2-1_thumbnail-157x180.jpgRenee Petzel Gimbar received her PharmD from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy and completed PGY-1 training at UIC and PGY-2 training at Rutgers University. She started emergency medicine pharmacy services at the University of Tennessee Medical Center Knoxville and Loyola University Medical Center. She was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology in 2019. She currently is a clinical associate professor in the department of pharmacy practice at UIC College of Pharmacy, an Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology Clinical Pharmacist at UI Health, and the Residency Program Director for the PGY-2 Emergency Medicine Pharmacy Residency. She has integrated herself in the emergency medicine and medical toxicology services at both Loyola and UIC, active in the acute care of patients, didactic, and beside education of healthcare trainees. Dr. Petzel Gimbar has been involved in multiple research studies and publications related to emergency medicine and toxicology practice, including a current multi-year NIH study addressing emergency department hypertension in underserved patients. She has given invited lectures internationally and nationally on both emergency medicine and medical toxicology topics. At home, she attempts to manage her seven, five, and three year olds without a toxic ingestion. 

J.J. Rasimas MD, PhD, FACLP, FACMT, FACPsych.

Medical Director, C-L Psychiatry Service & Fellowship, Hennepin County Medical Center
Dr. Rasimas has a Jesuit university background in biochemistry, mathematics, and philosophy. He completed the Medical Scientist Training Program at Penn State University, earning a Ph.D. in chemical biology (2002) and M.D. (2003). After Psychiatry residency training at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, he was a clinical fellow at the NIH, training in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, bioethics, and clinical research. J.J. served as a C – L psychiatrist for Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and remains on faculty in Psychiatry and Emergency Medicine for the Penn State College of Medicine, there. He completed the critical care based medical toxicology fellowship at Penn State, obtained board certification in addiction medicine, and then returned to NIMH to join the Undiagnosed Diseases Program and the Intramural Research Program to oversee clinical trials in mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Rasimas has a background in emergency psychiatry, integrating multidisciplinary education into clinical work in toxicology and mental health. J.J. is now the Medical Director of the C – L Psychiatry Service and Fellowship at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he also practices bedside toxicology and clinical ethics. Dr. Rasimas teaches psychoanalytic psychotherapy for the Minnesota Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. He is a Professor at the University of Minnesota, pursuing an academic medical career at the interface of psychosomatic medicine, medical toxicology, bioethics, and psychoanalysis with a primary clinical interest in the phenomenology of suicide.

Evan Schwarz, MD

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Medical Toxicology Fellowship Director and Section Chief, Division of Emergency Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine
Dr. Schwarz attended medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas before completing a residency in Emergency Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Missouri. After residency, he completed a fellowship in Medical Toxicology at the University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine in Dallas, Texas before returning to Missouri where he is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and the Medical Toxicology Section Chief. He is also involved at the medical school as one of 3 Advisory Deans in the Office of Student Affairs and has been on the Board of Directors for the Missouri College of Emergency Physicians since 2012 and is a member of the Board of Directors for ACMT.

Daniel Sessions, MD

Emergency Care Consultants, Minneapolis, MN; Medical Toxicologist, South Texas Poison Center
Daniel_Sessions_1_.jpgDr. Sessions completed medical school at LSU School of Medicine - New Orleans on the Army Health Professions Scholarship. He completed his emergency medicine residency and chief residency at Brooke Army Medical Center. He completed his medical toxicology fellowship at the Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center in Denver, Colorado. He has served as Chief of the Clinical Toxicology service at Brooke Army Medical Center and Associate Program Director of the Emergency Medicine Residency. He has provided toxicology teleconsultation for the Department of Defense ADVISOR program since its inception. He currently serves as a medical toxicologist at the South Texas Poison Center and Minnesota Poison Control System. He currently practices addiction medicine and toxicology with Emergency Care Consultants in Minneapolis, MN. His areas of interest are envenomations, performance-enhancing substances and supplements, and addiction medicine.

Paul W. Wax, MD, FACMT

Executive Director, American College of Medical Toxicology
boardmembers/Paul_Wax_2021.jpgDr. Wax is the Executive Director of the American College of Medical Toxicology. He received his B.A from Dartmouth College, his M.D. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, his Emergency Medicine training at the UCLA Hospitals, and his Medical Toxicology training at Bellevue Medicine Center / New York University. He is Board-certified in both Medical Toxicology and Emergency Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Toxicology. 

Along with his full time position as the Executive Director of ACMT, Dr. Wax is an Adjunct Professor in Emergency Medicine (Medical Toxicology) at UT Southwestern School of Medicine where he has been on faculty since 2006. Previously Dr. Wax had faculty appointments in the Departments of Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine from 1991-2001 and the University of Arizona School of Medicine from 2001-2006. Dr. Wax previously served on the Board of Directors of ACMT from 1998-2008 serving as ACMT President from 2006-2008. From 1997-2006 Dr. Wax also served as one of the American Board of Emergency Medicine’s appointee’s on the Medical Toxicology Subboard. During this time Dr. Wax served as Editor of the Medical Toxicology Board Certification Examination as well as Chairman of the Subboard, and was also the primary author of the 2004 Core Content of Medical Toxicology. 

Dr. Wax who became ACMT’s first Executive Director in 2008 has directed over $10,000,000 in federally funded programs for ACMT, and, as of 2021, is directing ACMT programs funded by NIH, FDA, CDC and SAMHSA. Dr. Wax is the Co-Principal Investigator of ACMT’s Toxicology Investigator Consortium (ToxIC), a 35 site multicenter research program, and is the author of more than 100 peer reviewed publications. In 2019 Dr. Wax was honored with ACMT’s Career Achievement award.


The faculty for this activity has disclosed no financial relationships with commercial interests.