Linda Birnbaum, PhD, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), will lead the discussion. The panel also includes UofL scientists and representatives from Rubbertown Emergency Action network (REACT), West Jefferson County Community Task Force (WJCTF), Rubbertown Community Advisory Council (RCAC) and Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.

Health begins where we live, learn, work and play, said Irma Ramos, MD, CEGIB community outreach director. This is an opportunity for people of Metro Louisville to talk about conditions in their neighborhoods, schools, homes and workplaces and how they might influence their health and predisposition to illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

NIEHS will have similar forums around the country, primarily in partnership with universities that have established NIEHS-funded core centers and researchers who are investigating pressing environmental issues.

The forums encourage coordination among the public and health professionals working on community exposures, industrial exposures and other environmental health issues. They help broaden public understanding of local health issues and they help set our science agenda, said Ken Ramos, PhD, core center director.

UofL’s CEGIB is an NIEHS core center that focuses on the application of genomics and integrative biology to problems in environmental health, providing expertise and facilities to advance research efforts in the areas of environmental cardiology, environmental carcinogenesis and developmental origins of health and disease.

The NIEHS is one of 27 research institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health. Its mission is to reduce the burden of human illness and disability by understanding how the environment influences the development and progression of human disease.