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University of California, Los Angeles

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Recent studies have found statistical links between pesticide use and an outbreak of Parkinson's disease in California farm towns. Researchers even know which chemicals are the likely culprits. What's the government doing about it? Not much.

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Peter Long is the president of the Blue Shield of California Foundation. Previously, he was senior vice president for executive operations at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. He also was the director of research and planning at The California Endowment. He was promoted to that position after serving as senior program officer for the Endowment's Access to Health program, the arm of this grant-making organization that works to increase access to quality, affordable health care and services for the state's underserved populations.

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Dr. Laurene Mascola is chief of the Acute Communicable Disease Control (ACD) unit for the Los Angeles County Department of Health's Public Health Programs & Services, which performs disease surveillance and epidemic control activities for more than 60 diseases. Mascola oversees the County's programs for immunization, food and water safety epidemiology, vectorborne (insect) disease, hospital outbreaks and bloodborne diseases. Mascola has extensive experience in epidemiology and disease prevention, publishing more than 100 articles and abstracts in numerous medical and public health journals.

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Jinah Choi is an assistant professor in the School of Natural Sciences at UC Merced. Her research focuses on the molecular characterization of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and its interactions with the host. HCV is an important human pathogen. More than 80 percent of HCV infection results in chronic infection that can lead to serious liver diseases, such as liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (i.e. liver cancer). Choi seeks to better understand HCV and its pathogenic mechanisms in order to develop a new and improved anti-HCV therapy. Choi received her Ph.D.

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Dr. Jay Bhattacharya is an assistant professor of medicine and a CHP/PCOR core faculty member. His research focuses on the constraints that vulnerable populations face in making decisions that affect their health, as well as the effects of government policies and programs designed to benefit vulnerable populations. He has published research on the elderly, adolescents, HIV/AIDS and managed care.

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The nation's top infectious disease specialist will join us for a conversation with national health reporter Dan Diamond of The Washington Post. We’ll talk about the evolving threat posed by monkeypox, the current state of the COVID pandemic, and broader lessons on how we respond to emerging diseases. Sign-up here!

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