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Environmental Factor

February 2011

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Superfund researcher honored by AAAS

By Eddy Ball
February 2011

Agnes Kane, M.D., Ph.D.

In her discussion at the NIEHS meeting on asbestos, Kane said, "There's a lot more we don't know about these [asbestos and related mineral fiber] diseases than we do know." (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will honor NIEHS Superfund Research Program grantee Agnes Kane, M.D., Ph.D., as one of its newly elected Fellows at its annual meeting Feb. 19. Along with those of four colleagues at Brown University, her election was announced by the university Jan. 11.

According to the Brown University press release ( Exit NIEHS, AAAS recognized Kane ( Exit NIEHS for "research contributions to the mechanistic understanding of the impact of asbestos and other inhaled particulates on the evolution of disease and for her leadership role in education and advising on national and international policies concerning environmental toxicology."

A focus on asbestos

Kane is a professor and chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Brown University where she has pursued research on fiber toxicology and nanotoxicology funded continuously by NIEHS since 1992 with additional support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Science Foundation. Kane is board certified in anatomic pathology and has studied murine models of asbestos-induced disease.

Recognized as a leader in her field, Kane was a plenary speaker at a December 2009 workshop convened by NIEHS in Chapel Hill, N.C. on the topic, "Asbestos and Related Mineral Fibers: State of the Science and Mode of Action" (see story ( The review articles from that workshop have been accepted by the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B: Critical Reviews, and are expected to be published in late summer or early fall 2011. Kane is lead author on the article, "Non-Neoplastic and Neoplastic Pleural Endpoints Following Fiber Exposure."

Kane directs the Training Program in Environmental Pathology at Brown and the Training Core for the Superfund Research Program Grant, funded by a grant ( managed by Health Scientist Administrator Heather Henry, Ph.D. She is also the principal investigator on NIEHS grants for training ( and individual-research on nanocarbon toxicity ( from NIEHS.

AAAS Fellows

AAAS began electing fellows in 1874, an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. Fellow nominations may be made by the steering groups of the Association's 24 sections, by the chief executive officer, or by any three fellows who are current AAAS members, so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee's institution. Each nominee must receive the approval of a majority of the steering group members.

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