11th Annual ADAO International Asbestos Awareness Conference

Where Knowledge and Action Unite
April 17 – 19, 2015
Washington, D.C.

2015 Conference Info |  2005 – 2014 Conferences Infographic |  Registration | EventsAgenda Awards Dinner | Honorees | Speakers | Speaker Information | Family Tour | Sponsors | BrunchMedia | Tributes 

Posted on March 2, 2015

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is proud to present a new weekly series” Meet the Speakers, Honorees, and Leadership,” highlighting one or several attendees at our highly-anticipated 11th Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference!  The ADAO Conference, which will take place on April 17-19, 2015 in Washington, DC, combines over 30 expert opinions, victims’ stories, and new technological advancements from more than 10 countries into one united voice raised for asbestos awareness.  ADAO is the only U.S. nonprofit that organizes annual conferences dedicated solely to preventing exposure and eliminating asbestos-caused diseases.  Register today!  This week, we are featuring our Session II Moderator: Dr. Christine Oliver and Speakers: Arturo Aguilar, Dr. Brad Black, Dr. Robert Cameron, Prof. Dean Fennell,  Dr. Raja Flores, Dra. Guadalupe Madrid, Dr. Aubrey Miller, Celeste Monforton, DrPH, Ellon Patton, Dr. Jorma Rantanen, and Dr. John Wheeler.


arturoArturo Juárez Aguilar, Filmmaker, is highly regarded in the Latin American cinema and TV industry. He is part of several working productions in countries such as México, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Brazil and Uruguay. Producer and co-founder of the movie production company Aberracion Optica, based in Mexico City, Arturo strives to uphold profound quality in all aspects of his film making and searches to co-produce with artists from other cultures, using ethnic differences and similarities to tell stories that various communities can identify with. His recent documentary work “The Path of Stone Soup” was awarded best documentary in the Huatulco Food and Film Festival, and selected to screen at other festivals in countries such as India, Portugal, South Africa, USA, Dominican Republic and Canada. Currently Arturo is working on his latest documentary called “Zero Asbestos” a personal and environmental movie about the harm that asbestos industries inflict on Mexican society and individual families.

Brad Black, PhD has been the Medical Director and CEO for the Center for Asbestos and Related Disease in Libby, Montana since 2000.Dr. Brad Black He has been a physician in the Libby medical community since 1977 and became the Lincoln County Health Officer in 1984. Beginning in 1999, he worked closely with Dr. Alan Whitehouse, a Spokane, WA pulmonologist, for 9 years. Since 2000, Dr. Black has had the opportunity to care for thousands of patients and this longitudinal observation of progressive pleural fibrosis has led to a clear characterization of Libby amphibole asbestos disease. CARD continues to provide asbestos health screening and care to a population with significant Libby Amphibole exposure and related diseases. In 2008 he presented at the National Institute of Health/National Cancer Institute about the progressive pleural fibrosis and mesothelioma identified in those exposed to Libby amphibole asbestos. He was instrumental in initiating research on Libby amphibole asbestos health effects. His work has expanded into research leading to an association with pulmonologists and occupational medicine specialists from multiple academic centers around the U.S. In 2010, Dr. Black became an adjunct professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He has collaborated on a number of professional journal publications, and most recently he participated in a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences working group that developed a publication on the non- neoplastic, pleural endpoints. Today, Dr. Black continues his dedicated efforts to providing excellent healthcare, outreach, and research for asbestos related diseases.

Dr. Robert Cameron

Dr. Robert B. Cameron is a board certified thoracic and general surgeon as well as a fully-trained surgical oncologist who serves as the Director of the UCLA and West LA VA Comprehensive Mesothelioma Programs as well as the Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the West Los Angeles VA. Dr. Cameron trained at UCLA, The National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health as well as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Cornell-New York Hospital in New York. He has over 30 years of experience as a surgeon and over 20 as a specialist in mesothelioma. He has championed “lung-sparing” surgical techniques which over the last 10 years has become the preferred standard surgical procedure for mesothelioma throughout the world. Dr. Cameron is also interested in treating mesothelioma as a chronic disease through the use of cyroablation, immunotherapy, as well as mesenchymal stem cell and gene therapies.

Prof. Dean Fennell, PhD, FRCP, originally trained in Pharmacology and Medicine at University College London. He undertook a PhDProf. Dean Fennell, PhD, FRCP as an MRC clinical research fellow at UCL followed by completion of training in medical oncology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. He then undertook a Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist fellowship, which was renewed, at the CRUK Centre Belfast before joining the University of Leicester. A leading UK researcher in thoracic cancers, Prof Fennell heads a translational research laboratory in the University of Leicester, exploring mechanisms of drug resistance as a basis for personalizing therapy using agents under clinical investigation. Prof Fennell is board member of the EORTC, current chair of the NCRI mesothelioma subgroup, and sits on the NCRI lung cancer and biomarker/imaging clinical studies group. He is Leicester CRUK Centre Lead in the TRACERx consortium. He is currently chief investigator, leading the CRUK PIN, VIM, and MESO2 clinical trials and for two global randomized trials, COMMAND and GALAXY. He has published several peer reviewed in journals such as PNAS, Nature Communications, JNCI, Lancet, and Lancet Oncology. Prof Fennell was elected president of the International Mesothelioma Interest group in 2012 commencing 2014.

Raja Flores, MD, is the Chairman of Thoracic Surgery, Ames Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, at Mount Sinai Medical Center in NewUntitledYork City.  Dr. Flores helped pioneer the use of intraoperative chemotherapy for mesothelioma.   He led a multi-center trial designed to improve patient outcomes. In addition, he changed the surgical management of pleural mesothelioma cancer with a landmark study comparing extrapleural pneumonectomy and pleurectomy/decortication.  With over 100 related publications to date, his energies and commitment to the plight of mesothelioma patients remains paramount.

Guadalupe Aguilar Madrid. MD.MSc. PhD.  Specialist in Occupational Medicine, Master of Science in Occupational HealtGuadalupeh, and Doctor of Science in Epidemiology. She has been a Research Associate “C” on Health Research Unit at Work XXI Century National Medical Center, IMSS (Mexican Social Security Institute), since 2004. Dr. Aguilar Madrid is a Member of the National System of Researchers, Researcher Level I. She has published in international journals and serves as external reviewer of the Salud Publica de Mexico since 1999. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Revista Medicina y Seguridad en el Trabajo. Instituto de Salud Carlos III. Madrid, Spain, since 2008. Professor Faculty of Medicine.UNAM. Collaborate with CILAS (Centro de Investigación Laboral y Asesoría Sindical). Her research interests are: Occupational cancer (pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer). Assessment of exposure to lead, asbestos, noise and organic solvents. Seroprevalence of H1N1 influenza in healthcare workers. Burden of disease in workers. Medical care costs in insured by the IMSS. Occupational laws and regulations. In addition she trains health workers on health and safety.

Aubrey MillerCaptain Aubrey K. Miller, M.D., M.P.H., currently Senior Medical Advisor, Office of the Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institutes of Health.(NIH). He has responsibility for strategic planning and coordination of environmental health issues and activities among HHS and other federal agencies, as well as supervisory oversight of the NIEHS office in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Miller has longstanding experience, publications, speaking engagements, and contributions to a wide range of occupational and environmental health issues and policies. He has had extensive involvement in the Gulf Oil Spill response providing testimonies before Congress on the health concerns of environmental exposures and coordinating a variety of ongoing NIEHS activities. His has worked on health issues for numerous disaster responses including Hurricane Sandy, H1N1 pandemic, anthrax attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and WTC response. Additionally, Dr. Miller has longstanding involvement with asbestos issues; helping to lead the federal response to the asbestos contamination in Libby, Montana; assessing health effects & exposures, developing public health alerts, and facilitating improved access to health care and needed research. He is also working on newly identified concerns related to hydraulic fracturing and erionite exposures in the U.S. He is board certified in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH is a professorial lecturer in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the GeorgeDr. Celeste Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services.  Her research includes assessment of worker health and safety laws and policies, and their effectiveness in protecting workers from illnesses, disability and death.  She has published articles on strategies used by economic interests to manipulate scientific evidence to create uncertainty about health risks in order to delay protective regulatory action.  Prior to her academic appointment, Dr. Monforton was a federal employee at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA, 1991-1995) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA, 1996-2001). Dr. Monforton served on the special panels appointed by the West Virginia Governor to investigate the January 2006 Sago coal mine disaster that took the lives of 12 workers, and the April 2010 disaster at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 workers.  Dr. Monforton is an active member of the American Public Health Association, and she has served in a leadership position with the organization’s Occupational Health and Safety Section.

Christine OliverChristine Oliver, MD, MPH, MS, FACPM is President of Occupational Health Initiatives, Inc. She is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Physician in the Department of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care Division) at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Board certified in internal medicine and in preventive (occupational) medicine, Dr. Oliver’s primary specialty is Occupational and Environmental Medicine, with an emphasis on occupational lung disease. She is the Co-Director of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. There she evaluates and cares for patients with a variety of occupational and environmental diseases, including occupational asthma, interstitial lung disease associated with exposure to asbestos and beryllium, and building-associated illness. Dr. Oliver has done research and published in the area of occupational lung disease. An important focus of her research and clinical activities has been asbestos-related disease. She has lectured frequently on this topic. Dr. Oliver is responsible for medical surveillance of a group of public school custodians employed by the City of Boston and previously exposed to asbestos during the course of that work. She consults on medical-legal issues and provides expert witness testimony. Dr. Oliver has testified before Congress and OSHA on issues related to workplace exposures and related disease. She was an active participant in the implementation of medical aspects of the 1991 Workers’ Compensation Reform Act signed into law in Massachusetts. 

Ellen Volk PattonEllen Volk Patton is a mesothelioma patient dedicated to raising asbestos awareness, advocacy and support. In 2001, at 41 years old, she was diagnosed with bilateral malignant pleural mesothelioma. She has bravely fought with an alternative treatment option, immune therapy. Ellen is a very positive person and her strengths shine through with her desire to share her story and educate others on asbestos exposure.

Dr. Jorma Rantanen, MD, PhD, Professor at International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) and 2015 Honoree, is a specialist in occupational health and served for 30 years as the Director General of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, FIOH. He has experience in practical occupational health services, and occupational medicine and in the development of regulations for OHS in Finland Jormaand internationally. He chaired the Finnish Government Committee on Asbestos and was in charge of the charge of the Finnish National Asbestos Programme for total ban and elimination of asbestos. Internationally he has advised WHO, ILO and several Governments on elimination of asbestos-related diseases. Besides about 500 research and professional articles, he has authored books on occupational health practices, cancer risk assessment, chemical and global risk assessment, prevention practices, including asbestos-related diseases, and work in the information society. Dr. Rantanen has served the Academy of Finland in research strategy planning. He has evaluated universities and research institutions in Finland and planned new governance model for Finnish University Reform, including the drafting of the new University law, which was passed by the Parliament in 2009 and implemented since 2010. He chaired University of Jyväskylä for years 2009-2013. He has evaluated Government research institutes and Government funded research programmes for Finland, Norway, UK, USA, Sweden and Switzerland. He has over 30 years’ experience on programmes for occupational health in developing and transitory countries in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, China and Eastern Europe, including the Russian Federation, Baltic and Balkan areas. He has served as the Board member of ICOH and as President for the tenures 2003–2006 and 2006–2009, serving currently as a Board Member in the capacity of the past President.

Dr. John Wheeler  – Bio coming soon


Check back next week for the sixth “Meet the Speakers, Honorees, and ADAO Leadership” blog featuring to our amazing Session III Speakers – Moderator: Dr. Brad Black and Speakers: Mark Catlin, Geoff Fary, Dr. Celeste Monforton, Patrick J. Morrison, Domani Tripam

In unity,


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The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO),  a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, does not make legal referrals.