CHE-Alaska Teleconference: Recorded December 14, 2011

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About the call:

Emerging scientific studies suggest environmental chemicals may be contributing factors to the epidemics of diabetes and obesity. Can a fetus’ exposure to toxic chemicals in the womb cause obesity or diabetes at age 5, 15, or 25? Is part of the obesity epidemic in the US linked to chemical exposures that occur in childhood? A growing number of researchers are exploring how chemicals used in plastics, food packaging, pesticides and cosmetics can corrupt normal function of metabolic hormones and trigger dramatic increases in body fat. On this CHE- Alaska call, speakers Bruce Blumberg, PhD, and David O. Carpenter, MD, discussed the cutting-edge science linking chemical exposures to the growing epidemics of diabetes and obesity.

Speakers:

Bruce Blumberg, PhD, professor in the Departments of Developmental and Cell Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering at University of California, Irvine. Bruce Blumberg received his doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1987. His postdoctoral training was in the molecular embryology of vertebrate development at the Department of Biological Chemistry in the UCLA Medical School. Dr. Blumberg’s current research at the Blumberg Laboratory at UC Irvine focuses on the role of nuclear hormone receptors in development, physiology and disease. Particular interests include patterning of the vertebrate nervous system, the differential effects of xenobiotic exposure on laboratory model organisms compared with humans, interactions between xenobiotic metabolism, inflammation, and cancer, and the role of environmental chemicals on the development of obesity and diabetes.

David O. Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at UAlbany’s School of Public Health. Dr. Carpenter previously served as director of the Wadsworth Laboratory of the New York State Department of Health.  He received his doctorate from Harvard Medical School and has hundreds of publications to his credit. Dr. Carpenter’s area of expertise is human health effects of environmental contaminants, including metals and organic compounds.