Meet the EHS Staff
Andrea George, PhD, BCEEM, CHMM, PMP
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Environmental Health, Safety and Sustainability
Co-Commander, COVID-19 Public Health Central Command Center
Adjunct Faculty, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dr. George has served as co-incident commander since mid-2020 leading the university’s COVID-19 response managing COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, data management, and compliance for the University. In her role as director of environmental, health, safety, and sustainability, Dr. George advances research-centric safety programs to protect Vanderbilt’s world-class researchers from the hazards they encounter while performing their research as well as innovative and forward-looking sustainability initiatives for the institution. She is also an adjunct faculty member in Vanderbilt’s Civil and Environmental Engineering department. Dr. George was recognized in 2020 with both the Vanderbilt Anchor Down Step Up Excellence Aware and the Service Champion Award.
Dr. George has served the university as the inaugural sustainability director since 2007 as well as in various strategic safety functions since 1997. Prior to joining Vanderbilt as a staff member in 1997, George managed radioactive waste remediation projects for Oak Ridge National Laboratory and for Bechtel National earning the Department of Energy’s Pollution Prevention Award.
She holds Bachelor of Science degrees in physics and mathematics in addition to Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in engineering from Vanderbilt. She is Board Certified by Eminence in Environmental Engineering by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM), a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), has served on numerous national steering committees and advisory councils, and is a frequent invited lecturer and educator on COVID-19 safety, research safety, environmental management, and sustainability.
Robin Trundy, MS, RBP, CBSP
Associate Director, Environmental Health & Safety
Institutional Biological Safety Officer
Robin Trundy joined Vanderbilt in 2010 and served as the Institutional Biosafety Officer and Assistant Director of Vanderbilt Environmental Health & Safety (VEHS) and the Office of Clinical and Research Safety (OCRS) until January of 2020. During that time, she led the Biological and Animal Care Safety section that initially developed and implemented most of the institutional Biosafety Program policies that exist for VU and VUMC. In December 2021, Robin rejoined Vanderbilt University to support the effort of establishing an EHS department that will serve and support Vanderbilt University researchers and their ever-changing and expanding endeavors exclusively. Once again, she will establish and lead a Biosafety Section that will partner with investigators to ensure safe use of biomaterials in research activities.
Prior to joining Vanderbilt in 2010, Robin had led academic research Biosafety Programs at Oregon State University (1996-1997), Michigan State University (1997-2004) and University of Tennessee-Knoxville (2004-2007). She served as the Chemical and Biological Safety Officer for the Battelle Biomedical Research Center from 2007-2010. Robin has a B.S. in Biology from Gannon University (1990), a M.S. in Environmental Health Management from Oregon State University (2000), and she became a Certified Biological Safety Professional in 2003. Robin is a past president of the Southeastern Biological Safety Association (SEBSA) and has served as a mentor under the Department of Defense sponsored Middle Eastern and Northern African (MENA) twinning program.
Kyle Becker, MS
Safety Officer, Biological Safety
Kyle Becker came to Vanderbilt in 2010 as a graduate student where he studied the role of host proteins in response to pulmonary bacterial infections. In 2016, he joined the lab of John Wilson where his research primarily focused on the efficacy of immunomodulatory nanoparticle vaccines in the context of murine tumor and pneumonia models.
Kyle received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and genetics/cell biology/development from the University of Minnesota (with a minor in chemistry) and earned a master’s degree in microbiology and immunology from Vanderbilt University.
Kyle joined the VU EHS—Biosafety Section in March 2022 where he will use his knowledge of Vanderbilt and experience working with bacteria, viruses, and human tissues to support researchers on campus to safely work with biomaterials.
Matt Loch, BS Chemistry
Safety Officer, Biological Safety
Matt joined Vanderbilt in 2014 with the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery (now the Warren Center), working as a Research Assistant for high throughput drug screening and molecular pharmacology under the direction of Dr. Colleen Niswender. He then served as Laboratory Manager for the campus division of the $20 million/year center before joining VU EHS in April 2022.
Matt earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and has over a decade of lab experience working with analytes varying from human lung tissue, immortalized cell lines, mice, and ketchup.
Matt’s diverse experience ranging from bench science to lab management is grounded in his passion for supporting the efforts of researchers and a keen eye for lab safety. Matt brings enthusiasm and practical experience to the safety officer role, helping researchers understand the requirements to operate safely in the lab and his safety team understand the needs of the lab.
Sergey Avanesyan, PhD, CLSO
Laser Safety Officer
Sergey Avanesyan has over ten years of experience supervising multiuser Tunable Ultrafast Laser Facilities, including designing, maintaining, troubleshooting, upgrading a variety of laser and electro/optical systems, and managing resources, inventory and finances of the laboratory. Avanesyan was hired as a Laser Research and Development Engineer at Free Electron Laser Center (FEL) Vanderbilt University in 2005. He contributed to team efforts in generation of tunable monochromatic X-rays using Compton backscattering of terawatt laser pulses (~20J p/p) on the relativistic electron beam. He managed Vanderbilt’s Terawatt Laser System and synchronization of the high-power lasers and electron beams. Starting 2009 Avanesyan was appointed as a Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Vanderbilt University. He supervised different Ultrafast Laser Systems and experiments, consulted in optics and ultrafast lasers and provided technical and laser safety support to postdocs and graduate students. In 2015 Avanesyan was hired to manage Tunable Femtosecond Laser Facility at the Department of Life and Physical Sciences at Fisk University. Avanesyan was responsible for developing, implementing a sustainable and effective laser safety program to maximize the safety of students, researchers, staff, and faculty. Starting July 2020 Avanesyan serves as a Laser Safety Officer at the Sustainability and Environmental Management Office at Vanderbilt University. He was awarded a Master of Science Degree (1982) from Yerevan State University in Laser Physics and Nonlinear Optics and then earned his Doctor of Philosophy Degree (1987) from Moscow State University in Laser Physics.
Steve Gild, MS, CHMM
EMS Coordinator & Senior Safety Officer
Steve Gild was hired as Vanderbilt’s Environmental Management System (EMS) Coordinator in 2007. Vanderbilt’s EMS tracks the institution’s compliance with environmental regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), State of Tennessee, and Metro Nashville. As EMS Coordinator, Gild also provides EHS training using VU’s Oracle system. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, Gild worked on EHS projects for multi-national corporations and manufacturers such as General Electric, NBC/Universal, Johnson Controls, and Carrier Corporation. He has a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Michigan State University (1991), a M.S. in Environmental Science from Tennessee State University (2001) and is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM).