Dr. Laura Blaisdell
Dr. Blaisdell is a board-certified pediatrician, child health researcher and advocate. She received a B.A. from Carleton College in Minnesota, an MD/MPH at the University of Minnesota and completed a pediatric residency at Maine Medical Center. She is the incoming President of the Maine AAP and a founding member of Maine Families for Vaccines.
Dr. Blaisdell has published research on vaccine hesitation and decision-making among parents as well as management of infectious disease in camp settings. She was a site director for the National Children’s Study, where she also led studies of new social media strategies for research recruitment. Dr. Blaisdell served as the Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at MMC, as Chief of Pediatrics at InterMed, as well as a Trustee to Mercy Hospital in Portland.
Dr. Blaisdell mentors students and residents and teaches evidence-based medicine in her role of Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine and is an attending physician at Maine Medical Center’s Pediatric Clinic.
Dr. Blaisdell is also has expertise in camp medicine, serving as Medical Director and Camp Co-Owner at Camp Winnebago in Maine. She resides in South Portland and Fayette, Maine where she lives with her two sons and husband.
Dr. Liz Marnik
Elisabeth Adkins Marnik is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology & Biochemistry at Husson University. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Central Connecticut State University (2011). She then did her PhD in Genetics at the Tufts University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in collaboration with The Jackson Laboratory (2016). Her dissertation research focused on using genetics to understand the normal adaptive immune response, and how it is altered in autoimmune disease. She was then awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship from the NIH to fund her postdoctoral research at The MDI Biological Laboratory with Dr. Dustin Updike studying germ granules in C. elegans. In 2017 she was chosen by The Harold Alfond Foundation and The Finance Authority of Maine as an Alfond Leader.
In 2019, she was chosen as an Early Career Leader for the Genetics Society of America (GSA). She is now an advisor for their outreach and communications committee. She has helped author multiple peer-reviewed research papers, as well as articles and resources targeting the general population. Elisabeth is passionate about making science accessible for everyone and that motivates her work with undergraduates at Husson University and her science outreach to the broader community. Her research is now focused on understanding the mechanisms that help maintain germline stem cells and how these can be co-opted in cancer
Caitlin is a writer and fundraiser with deep experience working for nonprofit organizations supporting access to care, education, opportunity, and justice for historically marginalized populations.
When Caitlin’s son caught chicken pox shortly after starting daycare as an infant, she learned how easy it was for other parents to evade the vaccine requirements that keep us all safe. She helped to found Maine Families for Vaccines, an award-winning network of volunteers, nonprofits, healthcare organizations, and experts that helps set the national standard for public health advocacy.
Caitlin is the Communications Director for SAFE Communities Coalition, a 501c4 advocacy organization and political action committee committed to stopping the anti-vaccine political movement by supporting public health policy and pro-science lawmakers in states across the nation. She also serves on the steering committee for the Maine Immunization Coalition. Caitlin is passionate about demystifying science, empowering less likely activists, and promoting good health and hope.