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operationsamahan:

Operation Samahan Relays for Life in National City this month! Join us as we celebrate the survivors, remember those lost to the disease and honor those who have fought or are fighting cancer, and fight back against a disease that has taken too much.

We welcome you to join us and walk together as a team on August 24th-25th. Contact Fatima Munoz at fmunoz@operationsamahan.org or call (619) 477-4451 ext 614 to join.

ucsdhealthsciences:

Anthophyllite asbestos - U.S. Geological Survey Denver Microbeam Laboratory

Banning asbestos—everywhere

Writing in an editorial in the May issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, Wael K. Al-Delaimy, MD, PhD, a professor of epidemiology and chief of the Division of Global Health in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine, voices support for what he calls a long-overdue appeal by epidemiologists to ban asbestos worldwide.

Calling asbestos use a case of “global environmental injustice on a massive scale,” Al-Delaimy underscores the statement by the Joint Policy Committee (JPC) of the Societies of Epidemiology (SE) calling for the global ban of its use. The JPC-SE position is endorsed by its 10 member organizations, along with numerous major epidemiologic and public health associations.

For decades, asbestos has been known to cause lung cancer and other respiratory and cancerous conditions. According to Al-Delaimy, asbestos exposure was the number one occupational health problem until its use was banned in most of the developed world. However, an estimated 107,000 people still die each year from occupational exposure to asbestos and 125 million people are exposed to it – risking long-term disease.

Although asbestos use has been banned in most high-income countries because of its harmfulness, its use is increasing in middle- and low-income countries. According to the Al-Delaimy, this is because of the effective lobbying of the asbestos industry to prevent policies banning the substance, along with a “profound absence of education and awareness about asbestos’ harm in the countries using it the most.”

Likening it to the public health problem of tobacco use, Al-Delaimy said the asbestos industry hires consultants to promote scientific arguments in its favor, manufacture doubt about its risk and attack those advocates and scientists who speak out against the hazards of asbestos.

“In addition, the asbestos industry has established markets in countries that have inadequate legislation and weak public health programs and environmental organizations, enabling the sale of asbestos products,” Al-Delaimy writes in the editorial, adding that even countries that discourage use of asbestos-containing products often fail to ban exportation of the deadly products, “as if citizens from the less-developed countries are second-class global citizens.”

The personal costs to millions of people who become ill or die from exposure to asbestos products can harm emerging economies, impacting the global economy. More importantly, the practice of higher-income countries and their industries marketing asbestos to poorer, less education countries is unethical, Al-Delaimy said. To remain silent is “unacceptable,” and advocacy by environmental epidemiologists, scientists and public health professionals to ban asbestos is critical to bring legitimacy and accuracy to this important public health issue.

Al-Delaimy’s editorial is published in Volume 121 – Number 5, May 2013 issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

ucsdhealthsciences:

Peter Novick
Novick, Spitzer and Knowlton elected to NAS
 Peter Novick, PhD, was elected yesterday to the National Academy of Sciences, created in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln to provide the federal government with advice on matters related to science, engineering and medicine.
Novick, who came to UC San Diego School of Medicine in 2008 as the George E. Palade Endowed Chair of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, is noted for his groundbreaking work in the field of cell biology. Specifically, Novick has combined research in genetics and cell biology in yeast to investigate the mechanisms that regulate membrane trafficking along the secretory pathway – a series of steps used to move proteins out of a cell.
Membrane traffic is required for many essential functions, and its regulation is directly relevant to a broad range of human diseases including cancer, diabetes and neural degeneration.
Prior to coming to UC San Diego, Novick was a professor in the Department of Cell Biology at the Yale University School of Medicine for more than 20 years. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Joining Novick this year as new NAS members are Nicholas Spitzer, distinguished professor and vice chair of the neurobiology section in the Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego, and Nancy Knowlton, adjunct professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.
Spitzer studies neural plasticity, the ability of the brain to adapt to environmental changes. He is co-director of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind at UCSD and involved in the new BRAIN Initiative.
Knowlton is founding director of the Scripps Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, launched in 2001 to study maritime issues such as pollution, overfishing and climate change. Knowlton is also Sant Chair of Marine Science at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
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ucsdhealthsciences:

Peter Novick

Novick, Spitzer and Knowlton elected to NAS

Peter Novick, PhD, was elected yesterday to the National Academy of Sciences, created in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln to provide the federal government with advice on matters related to science, engineering and medicine.

Novick, who came to UC San Diego School of Medicine in 2008 as the George E. Palade Endowed Chair of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, is noted for his groundbreaking work in the field of cell biology. Specifically, Novick has combined research in genetics and cell biology in yeast to investigate the mechanisms that regulate membrane trafficking along the secretory pathway – a series of steps used to move proteins out of a cell.

Membrane traffic is required for many essential functions, and its regulation is directly relevant to a broad range of human diseases including cancer, diabetes and neural degeneration.

Prior to coming to UC San Diego, Novick was a professor in the Department of Cell Biology at the Yale University School of Medicine for more than 20 years. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Joining Novick this year as new NAS members are Nicholas Spitzer, distinguished professor and vice chair of the neurobiology section in the Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego, and Nancy Knowlton, adjunct professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Spitzer studies neural plasticity, the ability of the brain to adapt to environmental changes. He is co-director of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind at UCSD and involved in the new BRAIN Initiative.

Knowlton is founding director of the Scripps Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, launched in 2001 to study maritime issues such as pollution, overfishing and climate change. Knowlton is also Sant Chair of Marine Science at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

pozmagazine:

Blogging Your HIV

I would have to say one of the greatest tools to help me live with HIV has been the ability to write and share my experience of how it is to live with this disease… by blogging I found a way to express my feelings and create a community of people who could either identify what I was going through or find knowledge of how it was to live with HIV.

Expressing ourselves has many healthy benefits and leads you to a greater place of wellness and acceptance of your HIV status” 

-Aundaray Guess, Poz contributor, on how to start blogging.

UC San Diego Health System Receives National Achievement Award for Cancer Program

ucsdhealthsciences:

American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer Recognizes Quality Care

UC San Diego Health System is a recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer. Seventy-nine cancer care programs—three in California—received this national award based on excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients.

“These 79 cancer programs, surveyed in 2012, currently represent the best of the best—so to speak—when it comes to cancer care,” said Daniel P. McKellar, MD, FACS, chair of the Commission on Cancer. “Each of these facilities is not just meeting nationally recognized standards for the delivery of quality cancer care, they are exceeding them.”

Established in 2004, the honor was awarded to only 19 percent of the cancer care programs surveyed in 2012. The award is designed to recognize quality cancer care and to help patients make an informed decision on where to seek superior treatment.

UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center is recognized as an innovative leader in cancer treatment and research. Home to 413 physicians and scientists, it employs a multidisciplinary team approach to patient care that includes surgical oncology, medical oncology, gynecologic oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology, palliative care, integrative medicine, psychology and nutrition.

“This award distinguishes us as part of an elite group of cancer programs in the United States that are being recognized for providing the highest quality cancer care,” said Jason Sicklick, MD, FACS, surgical oncologist and UC San Diego’s cancer liaison physician to the Commission on Cancer. “It highlights our multidisciplinary approach and allows us to share our best practices with other institutions in order to improve patient care not only in San Diego, but nationwide.”

doctorswithoutborders:

 Photo: Dr. Jill Seaman has spent decades working to bring modern medicine to South Sudan.  © Marco Grob

Risk Takers | National Geographic Feature

Dr. Jill Seman has worked with MSF in the past, bringing the best treatment for Kala Azar in South Sudan. Below is a snippet of her interview with National Geographic on what it means to be a war zone doctor:

Your clinic’s been bombed and burned. But you insist you’re not a risk taker.

I’m not. I’m serious. I have a passion for health care and for Sudan. I can tell you lots of things that have happened that are scary, like a massacre in a town just north of us that killed maybe 200 people in a couple of hours. They just shot at people, at women washing their clothes. But that has nothing to do with why I’m here.

But you are there. And it is risky, no?

The thing is, it’s not that I’m taking risks. Everybody’s taking risks. Life is a risk. Everybody who lives there, they know that life could be gone in an hour. And yet they live. And they are happy. And I get to touch millions of people and hopefully help them. How could I be more lucky?

Summer will be here before you know it. I don’t know about you but I wish I could spend some quality time in Boracay.

cityshare:

Boracay island is the place to be for your next Easter

Every year around this time in the Philippines, a mass exodus of people from Manila happens. Highways are jammed, bus terminals and airports are full and there is only one reason why…Holy Week. For Catholics around the world, it means a time of reflection and prayer as Easter approaches. For Filipinos, there is an added element to it as well; more days off from work.

Filipinos take the chance to travel domestically and as Holy Week usually also signals the beginning of summer, beaches are at capacity. Manila is virtually empty and quiet while the provinces with its stunning beaches play host to city kids looking for a little sun. Boracay is of course the popular choice as its pristine white sand is crowded with people who are looking for a break from the daily grind.

Travelers who are looking for an alternative to Phuket or Bali should definitely check this area out. It has not garnered as much publicity internationally but it steadily gaining more and more popularity with international tourists. It is already a legendary destination for local tourists since it is known for its beautiful scenery and lively nightlife. If you are looking for big crowds, fun nights and a healthy social scene, Boracay during Holy Week is your place. Be warned that hotels will be full so book way in advance. If you want to see it in a less crowded setting, go there during November- December. The size of the crowd is just right; a cool breeze during the evening and New Years there is unbeatable. 

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