The organising committee is happy to introduce our keynote speakers. The full programme will be available in the spring.
Prof. em. Boyd Haley, USA
Boyd Haley is prof. em. of medicinal chemistry. He received his doctorate at Washington State University and performed postdoctoral studies at Yale University Medical School. He has been a professor and Chairman of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky since 1996. Central themes in his research have been Alzheimer’s disease, mercury toxicity and protein-nucleotide interactions in the regulation of enzymatic activity in celluler energy production. Prof. Haley has together with a team developed a N,N’bis-(2-mercaptoethyl) isophthalamide (NBMI), a lipophilic chelating agent which specifically binds mercury. It is currently being studied in Phase II clinical trials.
Dr Swaran SJ Flora, India
Dr. S.J.S. Flora, Scientist ‘G’ (Associate Director) Head, Division of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Regulatory Toxicology at Defense Research and Development Establishment, Gwalior, got his Ph.D. in 1985 and was a post doctoral research associate at Utah State University, USA. His most highlighted contribution has been the development of a new drug for therapy of chronic arsenic poisoning which was approved by Drug Controller General of India and has finished Phase I human clinical trials. He has published more than 275 research papers, 75 Review article/chapters in international books, 3 patents and more than 10,000 citations in international literature. He has published three books including the prestigious “Handbook of Arsenic Toxicology”.
Dr Eleonore Blaurock-Busch, Germany
Eleonore Blaurock-Busch, PhD, is the research director of Micro Trace Minerals Analytical Laboratory in Germany and Trace Mineral International Laboratory of Boulder, Colorado. She specialises in metal toxicology and human nutrition. She is a founding member and co-chairman of the International Association of Trace Element Research and Cancer and is a scientific advisor to the German Medical Association for Clinical Metal Toxicology. Dr Blaurock-Busch is also a member of the European Academy for Environmental Medicine and the British Society for Ecological Medicine. She has specialised in testing and has published several studies on the toxic burden in metal toxicology, including epidemiological studies that evaluated the toxic burden of people of India, Egypt, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
Dr Joachim Mutter, Switzerland
Med. Dr. Mutter is a specialist in environmental medicine at the Swiss Mountain Clinic. He recevied his medical degree in 1999 and has since specialised in complementary and environmental medicine and has many years of clinical experience in metal detoxification. He has also performed research at different institutions in Germany and published articles in both German and international scientific journals where the main focus has been on heavy metals and neurotoxicity.
Prof. Michael Aschner, USA
Dr. Aschner serves as the Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Molecular Pharmacology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He served on numerous toxicology panels (Institute of Medicine, US Environmental Protection Agency, Center for Disease Control), and is a member of the Neurotoxicology and Alcohol study section (NIH). Research in his lab focuses on the following topics: (1) Modulation of C. elegans genes (aat, skn-1, daf-16) that are homologous to mammalian regulators of MeHg uptake and cellular resistance will modify dopaminergic neurodegeneration in response to MeHg exposure. (2) Under conditions of MeHg-induced oxidative stress, Nrf2 (a master regulator of antioxidant responses) coordinates the upregulation of cytoprotective genes that combat MeHg-induced oxidative injury, and that genetic and biochemical changes that negatively impact upon Nrf2 function increase MeHg’s neurotoxicity. (3) PARK2, a strong PD genetic risk factor, alters neuronal vulnerability to modifiers of cellular Mn status, particularly at the level of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. His studies are designed to (1) shed novel mechanistic insight into metal-induced neurodegeneration; (2) identify targets for genetic or pharmacologic modulation of neurodegenerative disorders; (3) increase knowledge of the pathway involved in oxidative stress; (4) develop improved research models for human disease using knowledge of environmental sciences.
Dr Jose Centeno, USA
Dr. José A. Centeno is the Director of the Division of Biology, Chemistry and Materials Science (DBCMS) located within the Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories (OSEL) – Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) – US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) in Silver Spring, MD, USA. He has responsibility for oversight of all laboratory research programs, including in the areas of biocompatibility, toxicology, risk assessment, and materials science. He is a subject matter expert in toxicology, with special expertise in metals toxicology. In his current position at the USFDA, he oversees a research portfolio, the outcomes of which lead to safer medical devices. The research program directed by Dr. Centeno contributes to regulatory decision-making in CDRH and directly impacts the development of draft CDRH guidance documents and international standard documents in the areas of biocompatibility and toxicological risk assessment. Dr. Centeno received his BS (Chemistry) and MS (Physical Chemistry) from the University of Puerto Rico atMayagüez; and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Michigan State University. He completed a postdoctoral training in biophysics at the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.Dr. Centeno is a founding member and Past-President of the International Medical Geology Association (IMGA), Senior Advisor for the IUGS-International Year of Planet Earth(2007-2009), Regional Officer for the International Union of Geological Sciences and its Commission on Geosciences for Environmental Management (2005-2015), founder of the International Medical Geology Conference Series (MEDGEO), Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, London, UK, and Academician of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Andalucia Oriental-Granada, Spain.
Prof. Christopher Exley, United Kingdom
Dr Olle Selinus, Sweden
Dr Olle Selinus is a PhD geologist working with the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU). After his retirement he is a guest professor at the Linneaus University, Kalmar, Sweden. During the 1960s and 1970s he worked in mineral exploration and since the beginning of the 1980s his research work has been focused on environmental geochemistry, including research on medical geology. Dr Selinus has published over 100 papers and was in charge of external research and development at SGU. He started the concept of medical geology and was the cofounder, and later the president, of the International Medical Geology Association, IMGA. He has been appointed Geologist of the Year in Sweden. He was also chairing the ”Earth and Health” team of the International Year of Planet Earth 2008-2009 by UN General Assembly. He has also been chief editor for several other books on medical geology. He is now retired but affiliated as guest professor at the Linneaus University in Kalmar Sweden.
Prof. Ulf Lindh
Prof. Lindh’s research started about fifty years ago by developing nuclear techniques to measure concentration and depth distribution of nitrogen in single seeds. The aim was to improve plant breeding. During the development of a nuclear microprobe, the interest was focussed on trace elements and their biological functions. Using nuclear microscopy it was possible to investigate the trace-element distribution single cells, mainly human blood cells. Research was mainly devoted to find out differences in trace-element profiles of blood cells in various diseases such as inflammatory diseases. Later, the research was directed to infection biology in close collaboration with the Department of Infectious Diseases at the University Hospital in Uppsala, Sweden. Two models were used to improve knowledge of trace-element biology of bacterial infection in Chlamydia pneumoniae in humans and of viral infection by Coxsackie B3 in mice. Nuclear microscopy of blood cells was used as an additional diagnostic measure and as a control of treatment results for patients with ill health associated with side effects of metal exposure from dental restorative materials, mainly mercury amalgams.