Contact: Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, 581-3124
ORONO — Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, professor of clinical nutrition at UMaine, recently was elected treasurer of the International Society of Trace Element Research in the Human (ISTERH) at the society’s recent joint international conference in Crete, Greece.
She will serve until 2010. Klimis-Zacas, a faculty member in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at UMaine since 1988, also was a co-organizer and chair of the ISTERH’s Local Organizing Committee. The annual conference was sponsored also by the Nordic Trace Element Society and the Hellenic Trace Element Society.
Trace elements are essential nutrients needed in very small amounts by the body (micrograms) to maintain good health and prevent disease. They have very important functions in body structure, metabolism and DNA expression, among others.
The October conference, “Trace Elements in Diet, Nutrition and Health: Essentiality and Toxicity” attracted 300 delegates from academia, medical schools, hospitals, research centers and government agencies from the United States and around the world, including the U.S.D.A., the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and UNESCO.
Participants discussed cutting-edge science in the area of trace elements, including how trace elements affect diseases such as cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, carcinogenenesis, osteoporosis, infectious diseases and molecular mechanisms of metal-induced diseases. Additionally, conference sessions addressed new research on health effects of low dose exposure to toxic metals, metal toxicity, metal speciation, and advances in the detection of trace elements in biological tissues.
Klimis-Zacas also was plenary session organizer, fundraiser and chair of “Trace Elements: Modulators of Arterial Function and Metabolism.” She also made a presentation: “Manganese, Regulator of Vasomotor Tone and Arterial Glycosaminoglycan Metabolism.”
The keynote speaker at the conference was Dr. Antonia Trichopoulou of the University of Athens Medical School, a researcher and creator of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.