Examining environmental exposures
“This study will provide the Navajo Nation with information on rates of kidney disease and kidney cancer and the potential correlation to environmental exposures from contaminants of legacy mining,” said Regents’ professor Jani Ingram, NAU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “The project will translate the findings into practical tools for health care providers to assist in early detection and diagnosis of kidney cancer and disseminate the findings to communities to minimize exposures. We will provide a roadmap for future work linking environmental exposures and cancer.”
Ingram is an expert on environmental exposure and uranium mining and has authored many publications on the effects of environmental contaminants, especially on humans. She is the principal investigator of the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention (NACP) and director of the Bridging Native American Students to Bachelor’s Degree (BRIDGES) program, and she is a member of the Navajo Nation from the Naneesht’ezhi clan.
Other researchers on the project with Ingram include Ricky Camplain, assistant professor with CHER and the Department of Health Sciences; a post-doctoral researcher with expertise in environmental health; and a chemistry graduate student to focus on environmental chemistry work.
The team will be advised by Ken Batai, cancer researcher, Melissa Furlong, environmental epidemiologist at the University of Arizona, and Bethany Davis, translational genomics researcher from TGEN.
“Our team will take a multi-disciplinary approach to investigate the complex issue of the correlation between environmental exposure from legacy mining and cancer,” Ingram said.
Funding: The study is funded by NIMHD/NIH U54MD012388