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"Investigations in Diesel Exhaust" - Nov. 4, 2011

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Uploaded on Nov 7, 2011

Chad Weldy presented "Investigations in Diesel Exhaust -- Mediated Effects in Pulmonary Inflammation and Vascular Reactivity; How Our Genes May Increase Our Susceptibility to Air Pollutants" as part of Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series at noon on Friday, Nov. 4 in Academic West room 304 on the Western campus.

A wide range of health impacts are associated with both chronic and acute exposures to airborne particulates, most predominantly the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular related mortality. Diesel engines are the main source of the particulate matter of concern in urban environments.

Weldy will discuss his research that examined the biological effects and mechanisms of diesel exhaust to explore the role of reactive oxygen species and cellular capacity to generate sufficient quantities of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH). Genes that code for proteins responsible for GSH synthesis are important in human antioxidant defense, and induced expression of these genes are vital in maintaining normal cellular function following exposure to many environmental toxicants. Weldy's research suggests that these genes may be important in mitigating both pulmonary and cardiovascular effects following diesel exhaust exposure. These findings are important because they suggest a large number of people (about 20 percent of the population) may be at increased risk of adverse health effects following inhalation of particulate matter.

Weldy graduated in 2007 from Western's Huxley College of the Environment, earning a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Environmental Toxicology, and was awarded the Ming‐Ho Yu Award for the Outstanding Student in Environmental Toxicology at Huxley College.

He is in the final year of work toward a doctorate in Environmental Toxicology at University of Washington's School of Public Health. Weldy is a member of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) and the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine. He is first author on publications in current issues of "Inhalation Toxicology" and "Toxicology in Vitro," and he collaborates on research in the Cardiology Division of the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

Anyone interested in this topic is encouraged to come and participate; the presentation will include a question-and-answer period. The speaker series is held by Western's Huxley College of the Environment to bring together the environmentally minded community and other interested members of the WWU and Bellingham communities. Speakers address topics of contemporary environmental concern in the region and the world.

For more information, please contact the main office of Huxley College of the Environment, at (360) 650-3520.

Western's Huxley College of the Environment is one of the oldest environmental colleges in the nation and a recognized national leader in producing the next generation of environmental stewards. The College's academic programs reflect a broad view of the physical, biological, social and cultural world. This innovative and interdisciplinary approach makes Huxley unique. The College has earned international recognition for the quality of its programs.

http://www.wwu.edu/

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