Investigator Update: Dr. Clark Lantz

In addition to being Associate Director of the University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP), Dr. Clark Lantz is a Professor of Molecular and Cellular Medicine and Deputy Director of the Southwest Environmental Health Science Center (SWEHSC). His research investigates the effects of exposure to environmentally relevant doses of arsenic and uranium. He also enjoys taking his work outside of the lab, to better translate it to stakeholders and impact communities.

In July 2015, Lantz was invited to serve on the National Toxicology Panel that was responsible for Peer Review of the Draft Report on Carcinogens (RoC) Monograph on Cobalt and Certain Cobalt Compounds, hosted by the Nation Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

In early December 2015, Lantz spent a week in Nicaragua drilling a well to provide clean, uncontaminated water to a rural community outside of Leon. Punto Arena Norte is a small farming community of 200 that now has consistent access to clean water thanks to a team of 12 volunteers, including Lantz, who helped drill a new well under the direction of Living Water International. Each of the team members got to experience the various tasks for drilling the well, including running the drilling rig, acting as the assistant driller and filtering the debris that came out of the well during drilling. Lantz said that, “while working on the well was extremely dirty and sometimes physically demanding, it was well worth it to see the joy of the village children playing in the water from the completed well.”

Lantz also recently presented several invited talks related to his Superfund research on arsenic. On November 20, he spoke at the Water Summit at the Tohono O’odham Community College in Sells, AZ. Members of the Water Resources Department and community of the Tohono O’Odham were present to gain a better understanding of the adverse health effects of arsenic exposures. On December 10, Lantz was an invited speaker at a Conferece held by the Faculty of Medicine at the Autonomous University of Coahuila in Torreon, Mexico. The Conference commemorated the 58th Anniversary of the Faculty of Medicine and the 25th  Anniversary of the Center for Biomedical Investigation.  Lantz spoke on the pulmonary effects associated with exposure to arsenic, presenting some of the collaborative research between his lab and Dr. Rogelio Recio Vega of the Faculty of Medicine in Torreon.

Lantz has also been involved in a number of recent publications. Having participated in an Arsenic Summit in August 2014, he contributed to the meeting’s recently published report, “MDI Biological Laboratory Arsenic Summit: Approaches to Limiting Human Exposure to Arsenic.” He published a paper with his collaborators in Torreon, Mexico (and former UA SRP Director Jay Gandolfi) entitled “Lung inflammation biomarkers and lung function in children chronically exposed to arsenic.” Finally, together with Dr. Cara Sherwood, Lantz co-authored of a chapter entitled “Lung Cancer and Other Pulmonary Diseases” in the recently published book “Arsenic: Exposure Sources, Health Risks, and Mechanisms of Toxicity.”  (Jay Gandolfi was also an author of the chapter entitled “Bladder Cancer and Arsenic.”) 

Keep leading the way with your excellent example of research translation, Clark!