Note: The first lecture, which was to be held at noon on April 4, has been canceled.

Lectures will take place April 4-8

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Five nationally recognized tobacco specialists from across the country will address “Tobacco and Co-occurring Health Risks and Disparities” at this year’s Tobacco Research Intensive Lecture Series (TRILS), April 4-8 at the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center (HSC).

“One of this institution’s primary missions is to train the next generation of scientists. This lecture series provides a great way to explore and address tobacco issues from nationally and internationally recognized authorities on tobacco use,” Valerie Frey-McClung, assistant director of the Translational Tobacco Reduction Research (T2R2) Program at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, said.

The series will kick off at noon on April 4 with Serena Tonstad, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., who will discuss tobacco and diabetes. Dr. Tonstad is a professor of health promotion and education at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health and a professor of medicine at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine. She is board certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine and is a practicing clinician and international expert in preventive cardiology. This lecture is in Room 1905 in the WVU Health Sciences Learning Center.

Michael Weitzman, M.D., will lecture on tobacco, children and metabolic syndrome at noon on April 5 in the Fukushima Auditorium at the HSC. Dr. Weitzman is a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine. His research interests include secondhand smoke and its association with metabolic syndrome, childhood asthma, behavior problems and childhood obesity.

On Wednesday, April 6, Cheryl Healton, Dr.P.H., founding president and C.E.O. of the American Legacy Foundation will present her lecture on tobacco and socioeconomic status in the Okey Patteson Auditorium at the HSC. The foundation’s mission is to build a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit.  The lecture will begin at 8 a.m.

Scott Tomar, D.M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., will present the fourth lecture in the series when he discusses tobacco and periodontal disease at noon on Thursday, April 7 in Room 1905 in the Learning Center. Dr. Tomar is a professor at the University of Florida College of Dentistry and also serves as a member of the Public Health Advisory Committee to the American Dental Association.

The series will conclude with a presentation by Scout, Ph.D., director of the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network and adjunct assistant clinical professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. Dr. Scout specializes in transgender health, tobacco, social determinants, health disparities, surveillance and HIV. He will address tobacco and Sexual and Gender Minority Populations at noon on Friday, April 8 in Room 1905 of the HSC Learning Center.

“Studies have shown that West Virginia has a high prevalence of tobacco use. This series provides a chance for residents of the state to become involved in educating themselves about the health risks related to tobacco use,” Frey-McClung said.

Since 2008, TRILS has been providing the public and healthcare community with educational and informative lectures about tobacco use, its impacts, and current medical research. The series is presented through a partnership that includes the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, the West Virginia Prevention Research Center, the WVU Office of Public Health Practice and T2R2.

The lectures are open to the public and will be available online through live webcasts.

For more information on the TRILS lecture series see

For more information: Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
jy: 03-28-11