13/06/2012 - 12:00 - Auditori PRBB

Integrating biomarkers of internal dose of environmental chemical pollutants in basic and clinical research on the etiopathogenesis of human diseases

Scientific sessions, CRG Group Leader Seminars

Miquel Porta

Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology of Cancer, IMIM-Hospital del Mar Research Institute

Miquel Porta is a physician and epidemiologist who pioneered clinical epidemiology in Spain, and the integration of biological, clinical and environmental knowledge, reasoning and methods in research and teaching, which he has conducted internationally; notably, at UNC Chapel Hill (Master, Postdoctoral Fellow and Faculty, Adjunct Professor), Harvard (teaching 1992 - 2012, sabbatical 1998-1999), Imperial College London, and several other universities in Europe, Kuwait, and Brazil. He was president of the European Epidemiology Federation, and regularly intervenes in the media on the responsibility of medical scholars to tackle sensitive cultural, environmental and economic issues, such as iatrogenic genetization or the abduction of basic scientists by the DNA bubble.

His talk will present scientific reasons for and ways to achieve the integration mentioned in the title. A fact that clinical scientists cannot ignore is: most individuals accumulate complex mixtures of persistent toxic substances throughout the life course, both at high and low concentrations. Knowledge on such ‘cocktails’ and their joint effects (including alterations of metabolic functions and gene expression) ought to be assessed more often when building causal scenarios that aim at being relevant for human health. It may be scientifically unfounded to study mechanisms of diseases of complex etiology without considering environmental mixtures and the hypothesis that key causal processes involve contamination by toxic pollutants and the ensuing accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations.

The upcoming "Group leader Seminars" are:

Maria Pia Cosma (CRG), June 20

Xavier Estivill (CRG), July 4

Group Leaders Seminars are always on Wednesdays at 12:00h at the Auditorium or Sala Marie Curie.