November 13, 1998

News Briefs

The Vanderbilt Center in Molecular Toxicology, in association with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), is hosting a two-day town meeting titled "Air, Soil, and Water Pollution: Environmental Health Implications."

The event will be held in Rotunda Room 330 of the Social-Religious Building on Peabody Campus at Vanderbilt. It begins at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 17 with opening remarks from Kenneth Olden, Ph.D., director of the NIEHS.

The keynote address will be presented by Mayor Phil Bredesen and Dr. Rick Sinclair, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, at 1:45 p.m. on Nov. 17.

Topics covered during the two-day event will address environmental health and pollution issues in Tennessee, including soil, water and air pollution and waste management.

For more information or to register, call Rocio Harelson at 322-3409.

Diabetes Brief

The Third annual Diabetes Day will be held on Sat., Nov. 14, in 208 Light Hall from 9 a.m. until noon. As part of the day the community is invited to receive free blood sugar, cholesterol, and body composition checks.

Dr. Richard C. Eastman, director of the division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Disease for the National Institutes of Health, will give a special presentation at 9:15 a.m. There will also be a special interactive educational presentation for school-age children during that time.

After Eastman's presentation, investigators and clinicians will lead discussion groups focusing on many different aspects of diabetes.

A reception will follow immediately after the group sessions.

(dubois brief)

Dr. Raymond N. DuBois, Mina Cobb Wallace Professor in Gastroenterology and Cancer Prevention and director of Gastroenterology, has been elected to a two-year term as president of the Gastroenterology Research Group.

The group, founded in 1955, is a national organization of scientists involved in research to better understand the pathogenesis of digestive diseases and cancer of the gastrointestinal tract.

Based in Thorofare, N.J, the group has several thousand members nationwide.

DuBois is the first member of the Vanderbilt faculty to serve as president of the organization.

Award thingy

Madhav Devalaraja, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Ann Richmond, Ph.D., professor of Cell Biology, was recently awarded the Postdoctoral Investigator Award at the International Cytokine Society Annual Conference in Jerusalem.

The award is given for outstanding research from a postdoctoral fellow in honor of the work's creativity and impact.

The work Devalaraja was honored for demonstrated for the first time that naturally occurring human tumor cells have elevated basal I kappa B kinase (IKK) activity. This elevated activity was found to be responsible for increased basal phosphorylation and degradation of I kappa B-alpha molecule and for the increased basal nuclear Nf-kB activity and chemokine transcription in these cells.

"We use human melanoma cells as our model to study," Devalaraja said. "NF-kappa B is a well established pro-growth and anti-death molecule that helps tumor cells escape from a naturally occurring death process. These findings may help us to further understand the cell death escape strategies adapted by tumor cells."