University of Louisville Magazine

FAL 2016

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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F A L L 2 0 1 6 U O F L M A G A Z I N E | 1 7 H A P P E N I N G H E R E Research Research!Louisville keynote highlights environmental health research Substances in the environment interact with genetic factors to affect people's health throughout their lifespan. Understanding these interactions will enhance scientists' ability to help society maintain healthy environments, according to Linda S. Birnbaum, PhD, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, who discussed environmental exposures and the challenges they present to public health in the keynote address for the twenty-fi rst Research!Louisville event in October. Research!Louisville is an annual celebration highlighting health-related research and education at the Louisville Medical Center. This year's event included four days of symposia, speakers and presentations for professional researchers, physicians, nurses, educators, students and the public. The event was sponsored by the University of Louisville, UofL Hospital/KentuckyOne Health, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's Foundation/KentuckyOne Health and Norton Healthcare to promote excellence, generate funding and improve public awareness for health sciences research at the Louisville Medical Center. Other highlights of the event included a presentation by Glenn Flores, MD, of the Medical Research Institute and Mayo Clinic, on ways to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities in pediatrics, and a series of interactive learning experiences for high school students at the Kentucky Science Center in collaboration with Louisville Women in Medicine and Science, the UofL Standardized Patient Program and the Paris Simulation Center. UofL center researching potential harm of e-cigarettes Scientists at the Ameri- can Heart Association Tobacco Research and Addiction Center at the University of Louisville continue to build a body of work in the burgeoning fi eld of research into the potential health hazards of electronic cigarettes. The center was estab- lished in 2013 with a $10.7 million grant from the NIH and FDA and is under the leadership of director Aruni Bhatnagar, PhD. It conducts multidis- ciplinary research to help inform the manufacture, distribution and market- ing of tobacco products as they are regulated by the FDA. In 2014, Bhatnagar chaired a 10-member panel of fellow national experts that developed the American Heart As- sociation's fi rst-ever policy statement on e-cigarettes, citing the scarceness of research that has been conducted on e-cigarette effects on health and the need for rigorous research. Another researcher with the center, Dan- iel Conklin, PhD, is currently investigating links between e-cigarette ingredients and cardiovas- cular conditions. Earlier this year, Conklin was invited by the American Association for the Ad- vancement of Science to present his fi rst fi ndings showing a link between e-cigarette ingredients and atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup in the arteries, at the association's Annual Meeting. The center also is currently conducting a study examining how fl avors added to tobacco products may lead to harmful outcomes with the "Flavor and Addiction to e-Cigarette and To- bacco Toxicity" (FACTT) trial. Principal investiga- tor for the trial is Sanjay Srivastava, PhD, who also has ongoing toxicological studies of tobacco and nicotine to identify which chemicals are harmful and can be regulated. "We are not entirely convinced that e-ciga- rettes are innocuous and contain minimal harm," Bhatnagar said. "People need to know there are many variables about them, and we are trying vigorously to be able to come out with useful information about the long-term toxicity." Aruni Bhatnagar Linda S. Birnbaum, PhD, was the 2016 Research!Louisville keynote speaker.

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