• Press Release

February 12, 2024

Chemical Insights Research Institute Scientist Honored for Technical Innovation and STEM Education

Dr. Christa Wright


ATLANTA (Feb. 12, 2024) – Dr. Christa Wright of Chemical Insights Research Institute (CIRI) of UL Research Institutes, will receive the Outstanding Technical Contribution in Industry Award at the 2024 Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) STEM Conference on Feb. 17, 2024, in Baltimore, Md.

Dr. Wright is the Director of the Center for Toxicology and Human Health at CIRI. She earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Systems and Environmental Toxicology and a Masters in Cancer Biology from North Carolina A&T State University. After graduate school, Dr. Wright completed a postdoctoral training fellowship at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and completed postdoctoral research at MIT.

Dr. Wright’s achievements in STEM stood out among the hundreds of nominations that were evaluated by the BEYA Selection Panel and aligned with this year’s conference theme “Becoming Everything You Are." Dr. Wright developed and led a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences funded STEM summer program, called EMPOWER from 2018-2021 during her tenure at Georgia State University. The EMPOWER program engages underserved students and teachers in environmental health research, providing hands-on training and awareness of environmental hazards and associated health risks. Dr. Wright continues to support the EMPOWER program as the advisory board chair along with providing cutting-edge research activities and as a guest speaker.

Alongside her research pursuits in emerging health science, Dr. Wright is dedicated to mentoring budding scientists, developing research training opportunities for graduate, undergraduate, and high school students, and increasing science teaching capacity in high schools.

“Christa is extremely passionate about STEM education and research,” said Dr. Marilyn Black, vice president and senior technical advisor for CIRI. “Her pioneering research on the toxicology of chemical exposure and her passion for mentoring and establishing training programs for metro-Atlanta high schools will lead to a new generation of research scientists dedicated to improving human health.”

The BEYA Conference provides attendees opportunities to learn, share ideas, network, celebrate excellence, and showcase STEM career opportunities. The awards are sponsored by the Career Communications Group's US Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine, The Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Lockheed Martin, Google, Actalent, and RTX and recognize excellence in STEM education and experience.

About Chemical Insights Research Institute

Chemical Insights Research Institute (CIRI) of UL Research Institutes is a nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, publication, education, and communication on environmental exposures resulting from technologies and practices, their impact on human health, and processes for reducing health risks. CIRI provides actionable data and resources to help manufacturers, educators, healthcare providers, and consumers make informed environmental health decisions and risk reduction strategies for the protection of human health.

For more information, please visit www.chemicalinsights.org.

About UL Research Institutes

UL Research Institutes is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to advancing public safety through scientific discovery. Since 1894, our research has advanced our mission toward a safer, more secure, and sustainable future. Focused on global risks from fire mitigation and air quality to safe energy storage and digital privacy, we conduct rigorous independent research, analyze safety data and partner with experts to uncover and act on existing and emerging risks to human safety.

Discover more at UL.org.


Bert Kelly
Chemical Insights Research Institute
UL Research Institutes