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Cancer and toxin epidemiologist to give public lecture

Submitted by Marmian Grimes
Phone: 907-474-7902

08/28/08

Photo caption below.
Photo courtesy Center for Alaska Native Health Research
Devra Lee Davis
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Devra Lee Davis, a University of Pittsburgh epidemiology professor and author, will speak about what she calls the nation's misguided war on cancer Thursday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. in Schaible Auditorium at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Davis' lecture, "The Secret History of the War on Cancer," is free and open to the public. It will also be webcast at http://canhr.uaf.edu.

The topic is also the name of her latest book, in which Davis says leaders of industries have been directing the official cancer war by 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.

"I believe if we had acted on what has long been known about the industrial and environmental causes of cancer when this war first began, at least a million and half lives could have been spared"" she writes in the preface to "The Secret History of the War on Cancer."

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.

"The Secret History of the War on Cancer," published in 2007, 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; Alaska EPSCoR and Tanana Chiefs Conference 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