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Bell Named to Prestigious Institute of Medicine Committee on Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 25, 2008) -- Erin Bell, an assistant professor of epidemiology in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Environmental Health Sciences at the University at Albany School of Public Health, has been appointed by the Institute of Medicine to serve on the Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides.

The committee reviews the association between exposure to chemicals in the herbicides used in Vietnam and various adverse health outcomes.  The study is funded entirely by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  Work begins in March 2008 and is expected to be completed in September 2009. 

Bell's research experience focusing on environmental exposure, particularly to pesticides, and the relationship of exposure to reproductive, immune and cancer outcomes supported her appointment to the committee.

"Dr. Bell's expertise and work in environmental health sciences and epidemiology will be of value to this committee," said Philip C. Nasca, dean of the University at Albany School of Public Health. "She will provide many useful insights into the possible relationships between environmental health exposures and reproductive outcomes." 

"It is a tremendous privilege to work with this esteemed group of scientists on such an important public health question regarding our veterans," said Bell.  "We will be able to build upon the important work of previous committees in understanding the health affects on veterans from exposure to herbicides while they served in Vietnam." 

The Institute of Medicine is part of the National Academies, the premier advisory body to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine. 

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