Development & Alumni Relations Office 


30 May 2018

The Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s is hosting a public lecture (on 01.06.18) by Professor Juliette Legler from Utrecht University, on whether the increasing use of, and exposure to, environmental chemicals such as plastics, pesticides, personal care products, household and other consumer goods could be linked to obesity and diabetes epidemics.

Internationally renowned, Professor Legler’s research focusses on the molecular mechanisms of toxicity of chemicals and the effects of chemical exposure on humans and wildlife.

In recent years she has become more and more intrigued by the environmental origins of disease, and how the health of the environment and the health of humans and animals are interconnected.

The lecture is part of a four-year, €4m Marie Curie Innovative Training Network project called PROTECTED (Protection Against Endocrine Disruptors) led by Queen’s University’s Dr Lisa Connolly, also an acclaimed academic in Toxin Food Safety.

The project, which involves 13 organisations across nine countries, aims to train 15 early stage researchers (ESRs) from around the world to look at ways in which natural and synthetic chemicals can disrupt the hormone system leading to illnesses such as cancer, obesity, diabetes and infertility among others.

Through innovative early stage research, it also hopes to build a sufficient knowledge base to inform legislation, improve monitoring and reduce exposure to humans and the environment.

Speaking ahead of the lecture Dr Connolly said: “Currently there is a world-wide shortage of researchers who can assess the impact of potentially dangerous endocrine disrupting chemicals and their mixtures on the hormone system which control important functions within the body such as growth, development and fertility.”

“The PROTECTED consortium has been established to promote the highest level of flexible training of a new generation of 15 Early Stage Researchers to become specialists and leaders in the field of EDs; an area which urgently needs research and the knowledge necessary to curtail the epidemic in endocrine related impacts and diseases.”

The lecture, which is open to the public, will take place from 10am–2pm on Friday 1 June 2018, in the Institute for Global Food Security, David Keir Building |(Stranmillis Road) at Queen's. To register for the event please use this link

For more on food security click here or to support the work of IGFS contact Sorcha Mac Laimhin, on tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5189.

All media inquiries to Queen’s Communications Office, telephone: +44 (0)28 9097 3091.


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