Public Release: 

Advisory: University of Louisville faculty at AAAS Annual Meeting

University of Louisville


Ronald M. Atlas, Ph.D., professor with joint appointments in biology and public health, and co-director, Center for Health Hazards Preparedness, University of Louisville; and Brad K. Rodu, D.D.S., the Endowed Chair in Tobacco Harm Reduction Research, James Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville


Atlas and Rodu are on the program of the 178th American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting, one of the largest and most prestigious gatherings of scientists from around the world. The meeting will feature thousands of top scientists, engineers, educators, policymakers and science journalists from some 50 nations and a full spectrum of disciplines.

Atlas will serve as discussant, chairing a panel discussion, "The One Health Vision: From Institutional Support to Local Practice." One Health aims at bringing together animal, human and environmental health scientists and practitioners. A past president of the American Society for Microbiology, Atlas currently leads the One Health effort for the ASM with the main emphasis on zoonotic diseases, those diseases that affect both humans and non-human animals. "The One Health Vision" session at AAAS will highlight real world examples of One Health in action with presentations on projects that are occurring in Canada and in the developing world. This will show how veterinarians, physicians and scientists are coming together to jointly tackle infectious diseases around the globe.

Rodu will present "Transforming Tobacco Use: The Potential of Tobacco Harm Reduction," taken from his extensive research in tobacco harm reduction that shows the growing scientific foundation for a transformation of tobacco use from combustible to smoke-free forms. Tobacco use became a global health problem in the 20th century with the nearly universal adoption of the cigarette, a highly efficient but highly toxic nicotine delivery system. Tobacco-related death can be reduced far more rapidly than nicotine use by focusing on the fact that people smoke for the nicotine but die from the smoke. Tobacco harm reduction educates smokers to replace cigarettes with smoke-free substitutes that have been proven to be safer. Rodu's research shows that applying harm reduction principles to public health policies on nicotine is more than a rational and humane policy; it has the potential to fundamentally change the forecast of a billion cigarette-caused deaths this century.


The meeting will be held Feb. 16-20, 2012, in the Vancouver Convention Centre, 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, Canada.

Atlas's panel discussion: 1:30-4:30 p.m. Pacific, Friday, Feb. 17, Rooms 116-117, the West Building

Rodu's presentation: 3-4:30 p.m. Pacific, Saturday, Feb. 18, Room 122 the West Building


Jill Scoggins, 502-852-7461,


Information from this advisory can be released in advance of the AAAS meeting. Information from Atlas and Rodu's sessions is embargoed to the date and time when those sessions occur. To arrange for interviews in advance, contact Jill Scoggins.


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