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Cancer and toxin epidemiologist to give public lecture

Submitted by Diana Campbell
Phone: 907-474-5221

08/21/08

Photo caption below.
Photo courtesy of Center for Alaska Native Health Research
Devra Lee Davis
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Devra Lee Davis, a University of Pittsburg epidemiology professor and author, will speak about the effects of toxins on cancer Thursday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. in Schaible Auditorium at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Davis' lecture, "Causes and Prevention of Cancer: How Decisions Today Shape the Health of Future Generations," is free and open to the public. It will also be webcast at http://canhr.uaf.edu.

Davis has been a groundbreaker in her field, criticizing major companies and industries for lobbying and manipulating scientists and the government regarding what she calls the real health hazards of toxic chemicals.

She advocates for changing the way public health looks at cancer prevention by including toxin awareness.

"When it comes to environmental health, we are expected to wait until after the fact--until there are dead bodies or ill people to count--before taking action to prevent those and other harms from happening," she writes in the preface of her book "When Smoke Ran Like Water."

Most recently, Davis was in the news for being a driving force behind the memo Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, the director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, sent to staff cautioning them to limit cell phone usage because the link to cancer is unclear. As a result, she was a guest on Larry King Live and The Early Show on CBS. Davis' 2007 book, "The Secret History of the War on Cancer," is used at major schools of public health, including Harvard, Emory and Tulane universities. "When Smoke Ran Like Water," published in 2002, is a National Book Award finalist also is used at universities.

Davis is the director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh, the world's first research institute dedicated to studying cancers caused by environmental pollution. She is also an epidemiology professor at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health.

The Center for Alaska Native Health Research at the UAF Institute for Arctic Biology, University Advancement, Alaska INBRE, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and Alaska EPSCoR are sponsoring her trip.

Davis will also give public lectures in Nome and in Anchorage at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The Anchorage-based Alaska Community Action on Toxics will be her host for this part of her Alaska journey.

CONTACT: Diana Campbell, CANHR communication specialist, 907-474-5221 or fndlc2@uaf.edu. Courtney McCrimmon, communication manager, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 412-647-3555.

ON THE WEB:
University of Pittsburg Center for Environmental Oncology: http://www.environmentaloncology.org/
Devra Lee Davis Charitable Foundation: http://www.devradavis.org
CANHR: http://canhr.uaf.edu

DC/8-20-08/020-09

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