Rising Tide: Impact of Climate Change on Human Health


The impact of climate change can be felt throughout the world in a variety of ways. It is increasing air pollution, diminishing water quality in many areas, and causing more frequent extreme weather events, to name but a few examples. Such climate-related changes are complex and can negatively affect human health, leading to increases in cardiovascular disease, asthma, allergies, and other health concerns. So, how does climate change effect human health? How are animals and ecosystems similarly affected and how are these impacts interconnected? What can we do in our individual lives to address these issues? And how is biomedical research working to limit the impacts of climate on health?

Charles Sanders, Ph.D., associate dean of research and professor of biochemistry, delved into these questions and more during the December 2022 Lab-to-Table Conversation from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Basic Sciences.

The event featured the following panelists:

·         Eva R. Parker, M.D. – Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, expert of medical, inpatient, and cosmetic dermatology with interests in the intersection between climate change and global health.

·         Manuel Ascano, Jr., Ph.D. – Director of Graduate Studies for Biochemistry, associate professor of biochemistry and pathology, microbiology and immunology, Dean Faculty fellow, and expert on RNA and RNA-binding proteins.

·         Louise Rollins-Smith, Ph.D. – Professor of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology as well as professor of pediatrics and biological sciences, and expert of eco-immunology with a specialty in host and pathogen interactions.

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