PFAS and Microplastic "Forever Chemicals": A Global Human Health Threat

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Yale Spotlight on Science Series

Bringing discovery from Yale to China, hosted by Yale Center Beijing.

The Yale Spotlight on Science Series feature distinguished scholars from the Yale community who speak on the most cutting-edge topics in science.

Co-hosted by Yale Healthcare Club of China, Yale Club of Beijing, and Yale Center Beijing. Light refreshments are served to facilitate meaningful networking and conversations. 

Event Time

Tuesday, November 21, 2023


6:30 pm-7:00 pm


7:00 pm-8:30 pm



Yale Center Beijing 
36th Floor Tower B of IFC Building 8 Jianguomenwai Avenue Chaoyang District, Beijing (Yong'anli Subway Station, Exit C) 

Registration and Fees

Please click “HERE” further below to register.

Please send an email to if there are any problems. If you encounter any payment issues, please attach a screenshot that identifies the issue.

Ticket:RMB 60 for Yale alumni and participants of past Yale Center Beijing programs; RMB 80 for regular admission.

*The registration fee for the event is non-refundable. Unless due to a force majeure reason, Yale Center Beijing will not refund any part of the registration fee if a participant fails to attend the event.

Walk-ins will not be accepted.

The language of the event will be English.  

Note: Seats are available on a first-come-first-served basis.


The Event

Why should we care about PFAS? PFAS is short for per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances. This class of over 12,000 chemicals has been used in everyday products like waterproof jackets, food packaging, and nonstick pans. The same properties that made them attractive for these uses also make them extremely resistant to environmental degradation processes. This is why they are also called "Forever Chemicals." PFAS are linked to several harmful health impacts and have contaminated drinking water sources worldwide. Studies suggest that PFAS may affect fetal and young children’s development, causing possible growth, learning, or behavioral issues, and they have also been associated with cancer, immune system disorders and fertility problems. Plastics are not as durable, but microplastics can also persist in the environment for decades and represent similar concerns.

We’re excited to welcome Dr. Sten Vermund back to Yale Center Beijing on November 21. A Yale epidemiologist and pediatrician who served as Dean of the Yale School of Public Health (2017-2022), Dr. Vermund will share his expertise on the health effect of PFAS, provide guidance on how to protect yourself and your family, and offer strategies for reducing children's exposure to PFAS.

The Speaker


Sten H. Vermund

Former Dean, Yale School of Public Health

Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public Health

Professor of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Sten Vermund is a pediatrician and infectious disease epidemiologist focused on diseases of low and middle income countries. His work on HIV-HPV interactions among women in Bronx methadone programs motivated a change in the 1993 CDC AIDS case surveillance definition and inspired cervical cancer screening programs launched within HIV/AIDS programs around the world. The thrust of his research has focused on health care access, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights, and prevention of HIV transmission among general and key populations, including mother-to-child. Dr. Vermund has become increasingly engaged in health policy, particularly around sustainability of HIV/AIDS programs and their expansion to non-communicable diseases, coronavirus pandemic response and prevention, and public health workforce development. His recent grants include capacity-building for public health in Chad, molecular epidemiology for HIV in Kazakhstan, and COVID-19 vaccine studies in Dominican Republic and Connecticut. He has worked with schools and arts organizations for COVID-19 risk mitigation and institutional safety.


The Moderator


Selina Zhang '04 MBA

Managing Director, Yale Healthcare Club of China

Deputy General Manager, Zhongke (Beijing) Health Industry Group

Ms. Selina Zhang has nearly 20 years of experience in the medical industry, focusing on investment mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, and commercial due diligence. She has served as a consultant in the healthcare industry group at Bain Capital, as the Director of Mergers and Acquisitions for Asia Pacific Medical Group, and as the partner and head of the healthcare team at Meritco Services. She has been involved in investment and financing for WeDoctor Group and Guoke New Journey Hospital Group, as well as in the selection and negotiation of online and offline medical service projects. She was also previously in charge of the healthcare service business line at Meritco, where she executed about 30 projects dealing with hospital CDDs, hospital strategy, and greenfield hospital planning.

Health & Medicine

Public Event