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Environmental Risks for Disease

Presented by:

Kenneth Olden, Ph.D.

Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program

Human health and human disease result from three interactive elements: environmental factors, individual susceptibility, and age. The mission of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is to reduce the burden of human illness and dysfunction from environmental causes by understanding each of these elements and how they interrelate. In his lecture, Dr. Kenneth Olden, NIEHS Director, will discuss current research.

Dr. Olden has directed NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program since June 1991. Before assuming the NIH post, he served as professor and chairman of the Department of Oncology and Director of the Howard University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C.

He is highly regarded as a cancer researcher whose 26-year career has included appointments at Harvard University Medical School and the National Cancer Institute. His research to understand and prevent the spread of cancer has led to the publication of more than 200 articles, book chapters, and abstracts. He published two of the "One Hundred Most Cited" papers in 1978-1979, and one on the subject of cancer cell biology is now deemed a "Citation Classic."

Dr. Olden is a cell biologist and biochemist by training, and has been active in research into the properties of cell surface molecules and their possible roles in cancer for more than two decades.

He has served on numerous national and international committees and has been a major invited speaker and presidential appointee to the National Cancer Advisory Board and a member of the visiting committee of the Board of Overseers of Harvard College and the awards assembly selection committee of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation. He presently serves on the Board of Scientific Consultants of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and is on the editorial boards of Cancer Research and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Olden was born in Parrottsville, TN. He earned his bachelor's degree in biology from Knoxville College, his master's degree at the University of Michigan, and his doctoral degree from Temple University, with research done at the University of Rochester. He held postdoctoral fellowships and then was a Macy Faculty Fellow and an instructor at Harvard Medical School before joining NIH.


For more information about the Clinical Center and its Medicine for the Public lecture series, contact CC Communications (, (301) 496-2563.

National Institutes of Health, Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland 20892. 9/98

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This page last reviewed on 09/9/09

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