UB to hold public workshop Sept. 26 on effects of air contaminants on health

Lina Mu is co-convener of a workshop that will look at research on air pollution and the accompanying health related issues.

Community invited to discussion of pollution research with noted scientists

Release Date: September 17, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP), will present a day-long public workshop that aims to increase awareness of air pollution-related research from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 26, in room 5019, Clinical and Translational Center, 875 Ellicott St., Buffalo.

The event is free, but pre-registration is required at http://ubapw.eventbrite.com.

The workshop will feature more than a dozen presenters from several fields, including several national figures in the field of public health. Their research examines the relationship between exposure to environmental contaminants (including ambient pollution and that provoked by hydrofracking) and asthma, allergies, conjunctivitis, complications of pregnancy and childbirth, breast cancer, cardiovascular diseases, genetic alterations and other health problems.

They also will discuss current research into the mediation of related health issues.

Workshop conveners are Lina Mu, MD, PhD, associate professor, SPHHP Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, and James Olson, PhD, UB Distinguished Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.  

In addition to familiarizing the public with research in this field, Mu says, the workshop aims to build connections among scientists in different disciplines, promote communication between scientists and communities and generate ideas for possible collaborations in future multidisciplinary research.

UB supporters include the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, School of Public Health and Health Professions, Office of Global Health Initiatives, the Civic Engagement and Public Policy Research Initiative and the RENEW  (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water) Institute.

Workshop speakers will include 10 noted UB epidemiologists, geographers, nurses, engineers, chemists and others involved in air pollution research. They will be joined by experts from Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the University at Rochester and the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York.

Featured speakers and panelists will be:

  • David O. Carpenter, MD, director, Institute for Health and the Environment, and professor of environmental health sciences, University at Albany School of Public Health.
  • David Christiani, MD, professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Elkan Blout Professor of Environmental Genetics, Harvard School of Public Health, where he directs the Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology program.
  • David Diaz-Sanchez, PhD, chief, Clinical Research Branch of the Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ORD). A former associate professor of medicine at UCLA, he is the EPA ORD representative for the Intergovernmental Climate Change and Human Health Group.
  • Pauline Mendola, PhD, investigator for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Epidemiology Branch. She served as chief of the Infant, Child and Women’s Health Statistics Branch, National Center for Health Statistics, and headed the Epidemiology and Biomarkers Branch of EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory.
  • Gregory Wellenius, ScD, associate professor of epidemiology, Brown University School of Public Health and associate director of its Center for Environmental Health and Technology. He co-authored the EPA’s 2009 Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter and now focuses on the effects of multiple outdoor air pollutants on the risk of stroke.

Opening remarks will be presented by SPHHP Interim Dean Jean Wactawski-Wende, followed by presentations by UB researchers Mu and Olson; Matthew Bonner, PhD, associate professor, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health; and Pavani Ram, MD, associate professor, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health.

Also, Joseph Gardella Jr., PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and John and Frances Larkin Professor, Department of Chemistry; Eun-Hye Yoo, PhD, associate professor, Department of Geography; Deborah Chung, PhD, Niagara Mohawk Chair Professor of Materials Research, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; John Atkinson, PhD, assistant professor, UB Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering; and Jessica Castner, PhD, RN, assistant professor, School of Nursing.

From outside UB, presenters include David Q. Rich, ScD, associate professor, University of Rochester; Erin Heaney, director, Clean Air Coalition of Western New York; and Mark Travers, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Health Behavior and Aerosol Pollution Exposure Research Laboratory, Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

 

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