Scientists from the University of Kentucky Superfund Research Center (UK-SRC) are joining the Institute of Environmental Medicine AS CR in co-hosting the 2016 Central and Eastern European Conference on Health and the Environment (CEECHE). Held biennially, this year’s meeting is taking place this week through April 14 at the Hotel Diplomat in Prague, Czech Republic. The UK-SRC is able to co-sponsor the event with financial support provided by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program.
The CEECHE meeting facilitates the exchange of knowledge about new methods for assessing and addressing environmental health risks that are relevant to central and eastern European regions. Attendees will focus on conducting and translating science within an emerging prevention paradigm, determining ways to better define the complex but common links between health and environment, and promoting shared understandings of current research.
Discussion topics include the exposome; epigenetics; environmental disease prevention strategies that include lifestyle factors; new environmental remediation technologies; risk assessment; and policy levers for reducing exposures and improving environmental public health. Scientists will share data and engage broadly with other members of the scientific community, while trainees and early-career scientists will meet established investigators within an international context to exchange ideas and initiate scientific collaborations.
“Reducing exposures and improving environmental health outcomes for those who cannot avoid exposures are important goals worldwide,” said Bernhard Hennig, UK-SRC director. “Bringing together scientists from different nations to share knowledge and strategies for preventing exposures and promoting health is an important way that we can leverage the expertise of many disciplines and backgrounds to improve population health.”
Hennig, a professor of nutrition and toxicology at UK, will serve as Wednesday’s keynote speaker, discussing the public health implications of his research on the relationship between nutritional interventions and environmental pollutant toxicity.
In addition to Hennig, UK faculty presenting their research at the conference include Kelly Pennell of the College of Engineering, Anna Hoover of the College of Public Health, and Andrew Morris of the College of Medicine.
UK-SRC postdoctoral researcher Michael Petriello will present a research poster at the conference, as will UK-SRC graduate students and postdoctoral trainees Jordan Perkins and Angela Gutierrez.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is home to 14 active U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Priorities List Superfund hazardous waste sites and to more than 500 federal and state Superfund sites. By participating in the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences nationwide family of Superfund Research Programs (SRP), UK meets its land-grant institution mandate and continues a strong tradition of cross-disciplinary collaboration.
This grant represents the continuing effort of the university to pursue national prominence in environmental and health research while addressing issues of extreme importance to Kentuckians.
The University of Kentucky Superfund Research Center (UK-SRC) supports both biomedical and environmental science research on reducing the health and environmental impacts related to chlorinated organic compounds found at Superfund sites across the country.
The center's biomedical research focuses on potential roles for nutritional components and lifestyle choices to reduce negative human health effects related to chemical exposures. UK-SRC environmental research examines potential uses of nanotechnology for detecting and remediating such sites.
Together, UK-SRC investigators and trainees translate research findings for and with academic audiences, federal and state policymakers and regulators, and affected communities to contribute to real-world improvements in environmental health.
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