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Full House: Forum on Endocrine Disrupters Draws Hundreds

July 2005

Media coverage and general attendance exceeded expectations at the Endocrine Society's pre-meeting forum on endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Jerry Heindel, NIEHS scientific program administrator in the Division of Extramural Research and Training, orchestrated the day-long forum at the San Diego Convention Center.

NIEHS co-sponsored the forum and received recognition for both financial and scientific support. Heindel, along with Ken Korach, program director of the NIEHS Environmental Disease & Medicine Program and former editor-in-chief of Endocrinology, organized the forum to highlight the issues surrounding endocrine disruptors.

Fifty to 75 people were expected to attend, but more than 200 people, including members of the media, registered for the June 3 event. Elizabeth Weiss, from USA Today, interviewed Korach.

Korach, Heindel and NIEHS biologist Retha Newbold represented NIEHS at the forum. Newbold also presented her research at the Endocrine Society annual meeting June 4-6. Her research focused on Genistein, a soy phytoestrogen found in soy-based infant formulas. Results showed marked altered reproduction function in mice given Genistein at doses equivalent to human infant exposure from soy formula.

Endocrine Society leaders committed to giving higher visibility to the research area of endocrine disrupters and indicated it would be discussed in future annual meetings. "Overall, it was a very positive activity and all the participants were very pleased," Korach said.

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