By Cindy Foster

UNM’s College of Pharmacy Hosting International Conference on Health Effects of Toxic Metal Exposures

We live in a complicated world - and papers being presented this year at the UNM College of Pharmacy's 10th Conference on Metal Toxicity and Carcinogenesis, which runs from October 29-31, will be reflecting that.

Many of the conference topics touch close to home for New Mexicans, because they concern the effects of exposures of mixed heavy metals in and around hundreds of abandoned uranium mine sites on the Navajo Nation as well as the thousands present throughout the western U.S. Among contaminates at those sites are uranium, vanadium, cadmium and arsenic.

"Our health can be severely impacted by exposures to a multitude of environmental metals and toxins," said College of Pharmacy Dean Don Godwin, PhD. "Increasingly, our research reflects those multiple exposures. We are proud that our conference has grown into the premier national conference on mixed metal exposures and that is reflected by the international team of experts who will be presenting here."

Scientists from as far away as China and Germany are traveling to Albuquerque to present their research, he said.

In 2017, the College received funding as the Environmental Protection Agency's first Superfund Research Center dedicated to studying the toxic effects of mixed metal and uranium exposure on tribal communities in the Southwest.

Alternating between UNM and the University of Kentucky, the conference has built a reputation as the premier conference in this area of scientific discovery. Entire issues of scholarly journals have been dedicated to the work highlighted at these meetings. This year, a special issue of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology will be published, with an expected online publication in May 2019 and August 2019 in print.

The conference began with a reception at the Hotel Albuquerque on Sunday, October 28, and runs through Wednesday, October 31. More information can be found at

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