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March 18, 2010
By Claudene Wharton
Researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno; the University of California, San Francisco; and the University of Arizona will meet via videoconference 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., March 25 to discuss various aspects of their research surrounding the 1997 – 2004 Fallon leukemia cluster involving 17 children. The host site for the videoconferenced symposium will be the University of Nevada, Reno, in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, Room 110.
The research projects were supported through almost $700,000 in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency secured by U.S. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada for the Fallon families whose loved ones were affected by the cluster.
The purpose of the symposium is to allow the individual research groups to update one another and affected family members of the cluster on their work, progress and potential findings. Although research-oriented, the symposium is open to the public.
The first half of the symposium will consist of the public presentations by the researchers, followed by questions and discussion. After lunch, the researchers will stay to discuss plans to publish their findings in a peer-reviewed journal, special report or publication, and recommended next steps.
Mark Walker, the project’s principal investigator, will preside over the meeting. He is associate professor of natural resources and environmental science, as well as Cooperative Extension state water specialist, at the University of Nevada, Reno.
“This will conclude the period of the research funded by this grant to study the 1997 – 2004 leukemia cluster in Churchill County,” he explained. “This was an important undertaking, and we appreciate the support of Senator Reid and all of those involved in the project.”
Presenters at this final symposium will include: Joseph L. Wiemels, Ph.D., associate professor of cancer epidemiology, University of California, San Francisco; Chris A. Pritsos, Ph.D., professor of nutrition, University of Nevada, Reno; and Mark Witten, Ph.D., research professor, University of Arizona.
Besides the host site at the University of Nevada, Reno, interested parties may attend the meeting by videoconference at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office, 111 Sheckler Road in Fallon. Those who plan to attend in Fallon are asked to RSVP to (775) 423-5121. There will also be videoconference sites in San Francisco and Tucson, from which some of the researchers will be presenting. There may be limited space available at these two sites. Interested parties should contact Walker, (775) 784-1938, for more information.