Howell Health Lecture Series
Presenting Cutting-edge Research to Advance Women’s Health.
Our Next Event: Microplastic Pollution in the Ocean and its Effect in Human Health
Date: September 24, 2021
Time: 12:00PM – 1:00PM
Registration Fee: $25 (your fee is 100% tax deductible)
About the Topic
Microplastic pollution is an emerging concern in the environment. In this event, the speaker will introduce overall issues and concerns regarding to microplastic pollution such as coastal pollution with microplastics, their fate and transport, exposure to wildlife and humans, and toxicity.
About the Speaker
Eunha Hoh, PhDDivision of Environmental Health
Professor and Division Head
San Diego State University
Dr. Eunha Hoh is a Professor of Environmental Health at the School of Public Health. Dr. Hoh received her doctoral degree in Environmental Science in 2006, under the guidance of Distinguished Professor Ronald A. Hites at Indiana University. Her research focused on the fate and transport of organohalogen contaminants in the atmosphere and the investigation of previously unrecognized halogenated flame retardants in the environment.
After her graduation, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher under supervision of Dr. Steve Lehotay in the field of food safety at the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, located near Philadelphia, PA. She developed novel analytical methods, which included fast and efficient analyses of multiple classes of targeted chemical residues and a nontargeted analytical approach for organic compounds of interest in food and environmental samples.
She was one of six PIs of the Scripps Center for Oceans and Human Health. She is a Scientific Guidance Panel member for the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program. She is a member of the California Ocean Protection Council’s Science Advisory Team, an expert interdisciplinary group formed to address issues impacting the state’s coastal and marine ecosystems. As a member of the Thirdhand Smoke Research Consortium, she also serves as a lead researcher with the Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center.
Wearable Electrochemcial Sensors for non-Invasive Monitoring of Health Status
Juliane Sempionatto, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Researcher at Caltech
In May, Dr. Sempionatto introduced the application of non-invasive wearable devices –or point-of-care sensors – currently in development, and discussed the challenges of the application of nanoengineering to biochemical measurement, as well as the opportunities involved in building a successful electrochemical wearable biosensor for monitoring important parameters related to women’s health.
The Importance of Sleep in Aging Women: Why Can't Grammie Sleep?
Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Center for Circadian Biology at UCSD
In March, Dr. Ancoli-Israel addressed the reason older adults are not getting the sleep they need, pointing to the fact that it is not a result of aging per se, but rather a result of all the things that happen to women as they age. Her presentation focused on the need vs. the ability to sleep, the consequences of poor sleep in older adults, the co-morbidities associated with poor sleep, the primary sleep disorders in older adults, and the cardinal rules for good sleep.
Top Ten Stories on Women's Health, 2020 Edition
In February, the Howell Foundation hosted three experts in the field of women’s health. The Annual Howell Foundation Top Women’s Health Stories of 2020 reviewed an update of the most relevant research stories that took place in 2020, and the impact it has in women’s health during 2021 and beyond.
Christina Chambers, Ph.D.
Professor of Pediatrics and Co-Director of the Center for Better Beginnings @UC San Diego
Pregnant and lactating women are the most understudied group in women’s health research. The uncertainties of a viral disease and the secondary effects of potential drug treatments during pregnancy make it difficult to identify how unborn developing babies and newborns can react to illness and drug treatment. For her, the top one story of 2020 was about COVID-19 in women during pregnancy and lactation, and how it affects newborns. Dr. Chambers covered the most pressing and frequently asked questions regarding COVID and the health of women through pregnancy, and the outcomes for the developing baby and newborns.
Cynthia Stuenkel, MD
Clinical Professor of Medicine and Founding Member and Past President of the North American Menopause Society UC San Diego
Dr. Stuenkel stressed the need of refining and updating the guidelines to assess a women’s risk for heart disease. For her, it’s a two-prong approach: expand cardiovascular risk assessment guidelines, and the need for women to be aware of potential heart disease so they can be proactive about managing their own risk. The bigger conclusion, and what these stories on cardiovascular disease in women show, is that cardiovascular disease risks that were once considered to develop during a 40-year reproductive life span are now developing earlier, during a 30-year lifespan.
Andrea LaCroix, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor and Chief of Epidemiology and Director, Women’s Health Center of Excellence UC San Diego
Dr. LaCroix presented issues that affect women in the later stages of life. She discussed the importance of heart palpitations in midlife, how the COVID pandemic has affected cancer screening and diagnosis, she updated the status on hormone therapy in breast cancer. She discussed how adverse childhood experiences are linked to a risk of dementia. And finally, presented new data on the benefits of standing and light physical activity and the association with increasing our lifespan and maintaining mobility.
What are RNA Vaccines? Why is the New Vaccine Technology Being Used Against COVID-19?
Andrew Gaell, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer, Precision Nanosystems
RNA vaccines are a relatively recent innovation but are at the forefront of the many vaccine technologies providing solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic. This talk described the different types of vaccines being developed with a focus on how RNA vaccines are different to conventional vaccine technologies and how they work. It concluded with a review of the available published clinical data.
What Science Tells Us about How to Stay Cognitively Healthy as we Age. Linda McEvoy, Ph.D.
Linda McEvoy, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Radiology, Department of Family Medicine & Public Health, University of California, San Diego
Dr. Linda McEvoy, guest speaker for our August webinar walked us through the changes the brain goes through as we progress in life, and why women are more prone to cognitive decline. She is one of the Principal Investigators of the Rancho Bernardo Study, a local research project leading the way in cognitive health and aging at a national level. As a matter of fact, it is one of the longest, continuously funded, NIH observational studies in the US.
What We've Learned from COVID-19.
Dr. Nancy Binkin
Renowned virologist and Professor Practice at UCSD
The webinar — a first for the Foundation — "What we've learned from COVID-19" — presented reliable and science-based information on the background and status of the disease, discussed the effects of COVID-19 on our bodies, provided an up-to-date status of cases in our community, and importantly, laid out the actions we can take to stay healthy and safe. *The status on COVID changes every day. Please visit the CDC, FDA and local Health and Human Services Office for an update.
Top Women's Health Stories of the Year
Christina Chambers, PhD,
Professor of Pediatrics and Co-Director of the Center for Better Beginnings, UCSD
Andrea LaCroix, PhD,
Distinguished Professor and Chief of Epidemiology, Director, Women’s Health Center of Excellence, UCSD
Cynthia Stuenkel, MD,
Clinical Professor of Medicine Founding member and Past President of the North American Menopause Society, UCSD
For the first luncheon of 2020, the Howell Foundation hosted three experts in the field of women’s health research. The presentation “Top Ten Stories in Women’s Health” walked us through the top research impacting women’s health, determined research needs for the betterment of women’s health, explored how to integrate the latest research findings into the diagnosis and treatment of women, and presented an overall update on the pressing issues that affect women in our community.
Latest Research on Metastatic Breast Cancer
Rebecca Shatsky, MD (left)
Brooke Emerling, PhD (Right)
This event featured guest speakers Brooke Emerling, PhD, Assistant Professor, Cancer Metabolism and Signaling-Networks Program, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Rebecca A. Shatsky, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, and Dr. Linda Brubaker, Clinical Professor, Reproductive Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology at the School of Health Sciences at UCSD.
Urine Trouble: Women’s Bladder Health and the Urinary Microbiome
Linda Brubaker, MD
This event featured guest speaker Dr. Linda Brubaker, Clinical Professor, Reproductive Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology at the School of Health Sciences at UCSD. Her presentation “Urine Trouble: Women’s Bladder Health and the Urinary Microbiome” explained the facts about the conditions that lead to a urinary tract infection and new treatment being developed to keep our urobiome healthy.
Why Palliative Medicine Must Become Mainstream
Daniel Hoefer, MD
This event featured guest speaker Dr. Hoefer, Chief Medical Officer, Outpatient Palliative Care Program, at Sharp Healthcare. Dr. Hoefer made the case that palliative care is no longer just the responsibility of specialists in geriatrics but is important for all specialties in medicine. He explained why over-treatment is a deadly disease and all the things that can compromise a patient’s well-being during a hospital admission.
Women and Diabetes: Use of digital technologies in diabetes care
Athena Philis-Tsimikas, MD.
This event featured guest speaker Dr. Philis-Tsimikas, Corporate Vice President of the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute at Scripps Health and the Director of Community Engagement at Scripps Translational Science Institute in San Diego, California
Dementia: perspectives, progress and promise
Amy Borenstein, PhD,
Pamela Maher, PhD.
Dr. Borenstein is Professor of Epidemiology at UC-San Diego. Dr. Borenstein described dementia and its major subtypes as well as the most important risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. She also discussed ongoing trials of antibodies against the Alzheimer protein beta-amyloid as well as lifestyle changes that may delay the onset of the disease to later ages.
Dr. Maher is a Senior Staff Scientist at The Salk Institute. Dr. Maher discussed the rationale behind the Salk Institute’s approach to the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of AD. She provided examples of the use of this approach, and summarized where research is right now and what she hopes to accomplish in the future.
Addiction: it’s not just drugs and alcohol
Carolyn Coker Ross, MD
Dr. Carolyn Coker Ross addressed multiple addictions, the common factors and novel remedies. Dr. Ross maintains private practices in Denver and San Diego using both western and complimentary medicine to treat a wide array of addictions.
Health & Happiness Evening Series
Improving Benefits and Reducing Harms from Breast Cancer Screening: The WISDOM Trial
Barbara A Parker, MD,
Andrea Z. LaCroix, PhD
Lisa Madlensky, PhD
In support of the WISDOM (Women Informed to Screen Depending On Measures of risk) trial, the event focused on informing the audience about current breast screening technologies, and the research currently being conducted to establish the guidelines based on personal history and genetics. Hosting three renowned specialists in the areas of oncology, epidemiology and genetic testing, the objective was to inform the San Diego community about the latest research being conducted regarding breast cancer screening guidelines, their efficacy, and the steps required to provide women with accurate, personalized prevention processes that effectively diagnose and treat breast cancer on an individualized basis.
Advanced Tissue Therapies -
Progress in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Benjamin Shepherd, PhD
Dr. Benjamin Shepherd presented the latest and most innovative developments in using cultured human tissues for vital organ transplantation. Dr. Shepherd is Senior Director of Therapeutics at Organovo.
Dr. Shepherd talked about examples of tissue engineering for both drug discovery and therapeutic tissue development. His presentation focused on current research areas where bioscience and technology have been very successful. He elaborated on the areas of challenge in tissue regeneration: 1) current efforts in organ reconstruction based on previous research in vascular grafts (the blood vessel space), and 2) efforts focused on “additive manufacturing”, also known as 3-dimensional printing. Of significant importance are the future applications of his own research in both areas.
Latest Advances in Medical and Surgical Treatment of Heart Disease
Anthony De Maria, MD
Dr. Anthony De Maria, Judith and Jack White Chair of Cardiology and Founding Director of the UCSD Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, presented the latest advances in medical and surgical treatment of heart disease.
Be Better Fed: Fasting, Fats and (Plant Based) Food
Katherine (Meg) Richman, MD, FACR
“Healthy, (Nutrient) Wealthy, Wise: The Benefits of Plant-based Nutrition to Prevent Cancer, Osteoporosis, & Dementia”
Abigail D’Agostino, RN, BSN, MBA
“Fasting: to eat or not to eat (and when), those are the questions!”
Carole L. Banka, PhD
“In Defense of Fats”
Improving the snooze: Sleeping better as we age
Andrea Z. LaCroix, PhD.
Dr. Andrea LaCroix, Professor and Chief of Epidemiology in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UCSD, spoke about how sleep changes as we age, the problems that women experience with sleep in midlife and beyond, and the ways we are learning to improve sleep without using sedative and hypnotic drugs.
Cannabis: the good, the bad, the myths and the reality
Igor Grant, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C)
Susan F. Tapert, Ph.D.
With the passage of Proposition 64 legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in California last November, it seemed timely to hear about research surrounding this issue. Dr, Grant discussed his research on clinical use of cannabis. Dr. Tapert addressed the effects of cannabis on the adolescent brain.
Ending the arms race with infectious diseases
Janelle Ayres, Ph.D.
Dr. Ayres’s fascinating presentation outlined her ultimate goal to develop treatments for infectious and non-infectious diseases without the need for antibiotics.
Chocolate and Cardiovascular Disease: The Bitter Truth
Pam R. Taub, MD FACC
Dr. Taub discussed cardiovascular disease in women, the risk factors for heart disease, preventive measures for heart disease and the story of chocolate.
Health & Happiness Symposium
Dr. Sanjaya Saxena
Dr. Jill Bormann
Dr. Carole Banka
New year, new life! How to better manage stress including the hidden disorder that no one talks about. The Howell Foundation’s Health and Happiness Series presented its first symposium focused on sources, health consequences and coping skills related to stress.
With the key note presentation on Hoarding by Dr. Sanjaya Saxena delivered an in depth understanding of the differences between cluttering and hoarding and the tools to mitigate the stress of dealing with either. We also had the honor of hosting experts who gave us an in-depth perspective on how to manage the stress that derives from this and other sources, including: ‘Using mantram meditation to reduce stress’,with Dr. Jill Bormann, ‘Using Pilates to reduce stress’, with Laura Sepulveda, and ‘Stress and your health: consequences and coping – gender matters,’ with our own Dr. Carole Banka. On-site Massage therapy was provided by the Wellness Institute of America www.TheWellnessInstituteOfAmerica.org.
Claudia Kawas, MD
Cheryl Wilson, RN, MA, LNHA
The Howell Foundation celebrated its last luncheon of 2016 with a topic that concerns us all: “Intelligent Aging”. We had the honor of hosting two experts that gave us an in-depth perspective on the intelligent steps to take in our aging journey.
Health & Happiness Evening Series
The Happy Map
Hilary Stokes, Ph.D.
Kimberly Ward, Ph.D.
Drs. Stokes and Ward took attendees on a step by step journey to developing the habit of happiness. The novelty that Kim and Hilary bring to the search for happiness is an understanding of the latest neurological research and a method for reprogramming your brain to achieve happiness.
Unlocking the Power of the Genome
Genomics is changing human health – in areas such as Food Safety and Supply, Forensics, Genetic Disease Oncology and Reproductive Health. Ms. Possemato gave an overview that covered the basics of genomics, its potential and the impact it is having today.
Simple Lifestyle Changes for Improving Women’s Health
Dorothy D. Sears, Ph.D.
Dr. Sears presented the latest information about how eating patterns and sedentary behavior are associated with the risk for chronic diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. She shared insights from her latest women’s health-focused research and newly-funded projects in these areas.
Understanding the genome 10,000 experiments at a time: applying genomic approaches to understand autoimmune disease in women
Sonia Sharma, PhD
Dr. Sharma’s presentation focused on applying genomic approaches to the understanding of autoimmune disease in women. Autoimmune disorders are the third most common cause of disease in Americans, after cancer and cardiovascular disease. There are as many as 80 types of diseases classified as autoimmune and, for reasons largely unclear, women represent 80% of the affected population.
One world, one health
Stanely Maloy, PhD
Infectious diseases are arising at an alarming frequency, making it imperative to understand where emerging diseases come from and why. Although the health of humans, animals, and the environment are inextricably interconnected, practices in human and veterinary medicine rarely recognize these linkages. Dr. Maloy presented how the “One Health” initiative integrates these three disciplines to develop upstream approaches to prevent disease.
Health & Happiness Evening Series Hormones & Happiness
Hormones & Happiness
Carole L. Banka, Ph.D.
Dr. Banka presented the latest research on hormones are interconnected and the potential they have for making us happy or totally miserable.
The promise of the microbiome in human gastrointestinal health
Sarah K. Highlander, PhD
Dr. Highlander’s presentation focused on how studies of the gastrointestinal tract in particular are allowing us to better understand the role of microbes in educating the immune system, response to infectious agents, and in diseases such as gastrointestinal cancers, Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and various autoimmune disease conditions.
Bone Up: What you need to know about Osteoporosis in 2015
Heather Hofflich, DO, FACE
Dr. Hofflich presented new concepts in diagnosis, treatment, and fracture prevention strategies for Osteoporosis.
Telemedicine – Bridging the gap between humans and machines
Todd Coleman, Ph.D.
Dr. Coleman’s presentation focused on merging the most recent wireless technologies to medical care.
Parkinson’s Disease: The Road Ahead
Sherrie Gould, MSN, NP-C
Jeanne F. Loring, Ph.D.
James R. Paterniti, Ph.D.
The panel presented and discussed topics related to the research advancements currently being conducted, the efforts of the Parkinson’s Disease Association to continue funding Parkinson’s Disease research, testimony from a Parkinson’s patient, the latest in treatment, and a caregiver’s perspective on the challenges of providing care for a Parkinson’s Disease patient.
Health & Happiness Evening Series Depression vs. Sadness...Learning to Know the Differences
Depression vs. Sadness…Learning to Know the Differences
Christina Zampitella, FT, Psy.D.
Dr. Zampitella presented the skills to be able to distinguish sadness from depression, identify when professional help is needed, determine when sadness or depression is improving and how to improve hope while decreasing sadness or depression.
The Unmentionables: What Every Woman Should Know About Pelvic Health
Emily Lukacz, M.D., M.A.S.
Dr. Lukacz discussed the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the common pelvic disorders, incontinence and prolapse. Her talk focused on both conservative and surgical treatment options for women faced with incontinence and prolapse including behavioral approaches to treatment.
Nutrition: A Novel Approach to Pain Management
Robert Bonakdar, M.D.
Examined the current body of science on pain and diet. Included discussion of nutritional factors that may exacerbate pain, approaches for reversing this as well as diet and supplement prescriptions for optimizing pain and related symptoms.
Health and Happiness Evening Series An Integrative Approach to Stress Management: Reducing Stress & Increasing Happiness
An Integrative Approach to Stress Management: Reducing Stress & Increasing Happiness
Tahir Bhatti, M.D., Integrative Psychiatrist and Wellness Physician, UCSD
Carole Banka, Ph.D., Dept. of Medicine, UCSD
Presented the concept of “relational wellness” influences stress management and how “Western” and “complimentary” medicine can be integrated to reduce stress for men and women.
The meal you miss could save your life: How intermittent fasting may extend health-span
The meal you miss could save your life: How intermittent fasting may extend health-span
Roberta Gottlieb, M.D.
Dr. Gottlieb presented the latest research on the relationship between fasting and the benefits that ultimately lead not only to a healthier life, but a longer one.