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  • Thursday, October 3, 2013

    • Sierra Club meeting Time: 7:00p - 9:00p Location: Baruch Auditorium - 284 Calhoun Street Details: Dolphins as Sentinels for Human Health

      Dr. Patricia Fair of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Dr. Diane Kamen will speak about the elevated levels of environmental contaminants found in dolphins in Charleston Harbor and the possible implications for human health. Dr. Fair's studies have focused on the toxicological effects of environmental contaminants on health and disease in marine mammals. She initiated the Dolphin Health and Risk Assessment Project (HERA) Project as a multidisciplinary, collaborative effort to assess individual and population health in the two coastal locations, Charleston, SC and the Indian River Lagoon, FL. The Dolphin HERA Project has involved both U.S. and international collaborations with over 40 researchers and institutions resulting in over 70 publications on this project thus far. Dr. Kamen, a rheumatologist at MUSC, is interested in the implications for human health of the elevated levels of contaminants documented by Dr. Fair. Could environmental contaminants found in seafood (such as that which the dolphins eat) trigger human autoimmune diseases like lupus?

      Dr. Patricia Fair is a research scientist at the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Charleston SC Center for Coastal Environmental Biology and Biomolecular Research. She received her B.S. and M.S. from the University of Maryland and Ph.D. from Clemson University. She has been awarded twice the U.S. Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award for outstanding leadership roles and recently NOAA’s distinguished career award. She also holds academic affiliations as Adjunct and Associate Professor at several universities and colleges including the College of Charleston, SC, MUSC, Charleston, SC and Texas Tech University, TX.

      Diane Kamen, MD, MSCR – Dr. Kamen is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina in the Division of Rheumatology. She did her undergraduate work at Northwestern University and then obtained her medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1999. She completed Internal Medicine residency followed by Rheumatology fellowship training at MUSC and joined the Rheumatology faculty there in 2005. Dr. Kamen has a clinical practice seeing patients with rheumatologic conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma and Sjogren’s syndrome. She also teaches medical students and residents as the co-Director of the Rheumatology Curriculum and oversees the clinical research operations as Director of Clinical Research for the Division of Rheumatology. Her ongoing research focuses on the environmental and epigenetic triggers of autoimmune diseases, particularly lupus.


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