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African-American health disparities to be discussed in May 15 Science Cafe

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Contact: emelia.cowans@naturalsciences.org; 919.707.9837

Science Café: Explaining Minority Health Disparities

RALEIGH — African-Americans are more likely to die from highly aggressive and less curable forms of prostate and breast cancers than their European-American counterparts. Learn about the genetic and environmental factors that may contribute to this phenomenon at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ Science Café on Thursday, May 15 at 7 p.m. 

Speaker Dr. K. Sean Kimbro is Director of North Carolina Central University’s flagship research institute, the Julius L. Chambers’ Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute (JLC-BBRI) in Durham. As co-principal investigator of the NIH-funded Center for Translational Health Equality Research, he oversees research that addresses health disparities in obesity, hypertension and diabetes, in addition to his own research on the role of innate immune variations that contribute to breast and prostate cancer disparities. 

Dr. Kimbro will also describe the unique environment African-American ancestors were exposed to and how ancient genetic adaptations to that environment may explain some of the biological differences that result in the devastating health disparities afflicting African-Americans today. The role of inflammation and genetic signatures that likely predispose this population to cancer and other chronic diseases will also be discussed.  

Science Cafés are free, informal, intimate talks held in the Museum’s Nature Research Center Daily Planet Café. Visitors are invited to grab a bite to eat, have a glass of wine, and listen to a visiting scientist on an array of science topics for roughly 20 minutes, followed by Q & A. Seating is limited, so please arrive early. Science Cafés are a part of the Museum’s weekly “Science Thursdays,” when the Nature Research Center is open until 9 p.m. For more information, visit http://naturalsciences.org/sciencethursdays or contact Katey Ahmann at 919.707.9888 or via email at katey.ahmann@naturalsciences.org.


The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (11 W. Jones St. and 121 W. Jones St.) in downtown Raleigh, is the state’s most visited cultural attraction. It is an active research institution that engages visitors of every age and stage of learning in the wonders of science and the natural world, drawing them into the intriguing fields of study that are critical to the future of North Carolina. Hours: Mon.- Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Thu. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sun., noon-5 p.m. Admission is free. Visit the Museum on the web at www.naturalsciences.org. Emlyn Koster, PhD, Director; John E. Skvarla III, Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Pat McCrory, Governor.

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, May 6, 2014