International conference promotes environmental health research exchange
By Sara Mishamandani
NIEHS staff and grantees travelled to Cluj-Napoca, Romania, May 25-29, for the Central and Eastern European Conference on Health and the Environment (CEECHE), to open new lines of communication and address issues related to the environment and human health.
“The meeting was an excellent way to bring together experts on risk assessment, environmental decision-making, remediation technologies, and other environmental health topics, to increase the knowledge transfer between the U.S. and Central and Eastern Europe,” said William Suk, Ph.D., director of the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) and invited speaker. “SRP has been supporting workshops and conferences to enhance collaboration between scientists in the U.S. and Eastern Europe for the last 20 years, with our first meeting in Romania in 1994.”
Addressing broad research questions
The conference brought together a diverse panel of scientists to address emerging issues in environmental health science. They presented advances in environmental sciences, engineering, technology, and health sciences, within broad themes of the environment, environmental health, and military conflicts.
The gathering featured a series of workshops, plenary talks, and poster sessions. Topics included responsible mining, water quality and risk management, soil contamination, advances in human biomarkers, environmental genetics, omics technologies, children’s environmental health, and environmental protection in the face of military conflicts. There was also a career opportunities panel for students.
Superfund scientists lead the way
NIEHS-funded Louisiana State University (LSU) SRP members and NIEHS SRP staff were involved in committees that organized the conference and planned the scientific agenda.
NIEHS SRP staff Suk, Danielle Carlin, Ph.D., and Michelle Heacock, Ph.D., gave presentations related to hazardous substances and human health, toxic metals research, and electronic waste. Scientists from SRP programs at LSU, University of Arizona, University of Kentucky, and Oregon State University also participated in workshops, chaired sessions, and gave presentations.
(Sara Mishamandani is a research and communication specialist for MDB Inc., a contractor for the NIEHS Superfund Research Program and Division of Extramural Research and Training.)