Café Scientifique with Dr. Katie Hailer, "Peering Down the Pit"
- Thursday, October 1, 2015 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm
- Bozeman, MT
Montana Tech associate professor of biochemistry, Dr. Katie Hailer, Ph.D., will speak at Montana State University’s upcoming Café Scientifique.
Dr. Katie Hailer will present “Peering down the Pit: Assessing Human Metal Accumulations near an Urban Superfund Site” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Baxter Hotel Ballroom in Bozeman. The event is free and open to the public.
Butte, Montana, is home to approximately 35,000 residents living adjacent to one of the largest concentrated areas of environmental contamination in the United States. While the decommissioned Berkeley Pit copper mine has garnered national attention as a Superfund site, fewer people are as aware that other open-pit mines continue to operate in close proximity to Butte’s urban population. To date, most scientific research has focused on assessing water and soil contamination related to past decades of mining. Dr. Hailer’s talk will instead focus on current mining operations’ ongoing effects on air pollution and soil contamination and the potential health consequences for local residents.
Dr. Hailer’s presentation will cover her research methodology, which includes collecting blood and hair samples from Butte residents, using these samples to determine the overall concentration of metals in their bodies, and comparing these readings with samples taken from a control population in Bozeman. Dr. Hailer will also discuss her preliminary findings, which included statistically higher levels of copper, manganese, and molybdenum in Butte residents compared to the control group in Bozeman. She will also discuss follow-up research conducted in 2014 and 2015, which revealed elevated levels of copper, manganese, lead, selenium and zinc in hair and blood samples coming from Butte residents.
Although preliminary, Dr. Hailer’s findings are significant because chronic metal exposure has been associated with potential health consequences, including certain cancers and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Her data illustrate the need for additional study, including how chronic exposure to metal mixtures might play a role in activating dormant genetic medical conditions.
Dr. Katie Hailer is an associate professor of biochemistry at Montana Tech. Dr. Hailer received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from West Virginia University and her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Montana. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, before teaching at Winona State University from 2007 through 2009. Dr. Hailer joined Montana Tech’s chemistry department as an assistant professor in 2010.
Café Scientifique, co-sponsored by Montana's INBRE and COBRE programs, provides a relaxed setting for people to learn about current scientific topics. The concept started in England in 1998 and has spread to a handful of locations in the United States. Following a short presentation by a scientific expert, the majority of time is reserved for lively conversation, thoughtful questions and respectful dialog. Refreshments are provided free of charge.
Housed at MSU, Montana INBRE and COBRE are each an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant numbers P20GM103474 (INBRE) and GM103500 (COBRE).
For more information, contact Laurie Howell at (406) 994-7531 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Café Scientifique concept, check the Web at http://www.inbre.montana.edu/cafe.php.
- Dr. Katie Hailer Presentation Poster
Café Scientifique Poster featuring Dr. Katie Hailer
- Dr. Katie Hailer Presentation Poster