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Christine Samuel-Nakamura, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, UCLA
About the lecture: "Ethnically diverse populations are disproportionately exposed to hazardous environmental materials by virtue of living in close proximity to contaminated areas. Specifically, one-half of the uranium (U) in the United States is found on American Indian (AI) lands where mining, milling, processing and waste storage commonly occurs." Christine Samuel-Nakamura worked for multiple years in several Indian Health Service (IHS) and tribal hospitals/clinics as a nationally board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). A portion of her clinical work focused on chronic health conditions such as diabetes, renal failure, autoimmune disorders and cancer. Her clinical work with these chronic health conditions led her to contemplate whether there is a connection between these chronic conditions and the community environment. These hypotheses ultimately led to her research question and work examining environmental contamination from U and other metal(loid)s.
About the speaker: Dr. Samuel-Nakamura received her doctorate from UCLA and her dissertation study focused on U and associated metal(loid)s in the food chain on the Diné (Navajo) reservation. Her postdoctoral work examined U, metals and metalloids in a common AI herbal tea plant. Before joining the UCLA SON, Dr. Samuel-Nakamura was a Lecturer in the UCLA Interdepartmental Program in American Indian Studies (IDP-AIS). She is a member of the Diné Nation. Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest: Community environmental health research, metal(loid) contamination, AI health, behavioral health and healthcare research.
Center for Occupational and Environmental Health & Department of Environmental Health Sciences