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University of Iowa News Release

April 29, 2004

Lab Testing Of Suspected Bioterrorism Agents Topic Of May 6 Lecture

In this era of heightened concern about bioterrorism, suspicious substances are often sent to a laboratory for testing. What happens once samples arrive at the lab? On Thursday, May 6, Mary Gilchrist, Ph.D., director of the University Hygienic Laboratory (UHL), will describe what takes place when an unidentified specimen is evaluated in a public health laboratory, discuss the roles and responsibilities of key laboratory personnel, and highlight new developments in the laboratory.

The presentation, to be held from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 22 of the Nursing Building on the University of Iowa campus, is free and open to the public. It also will be broadcast live over the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) and via streaming video on the Web.

Gilchrist will be joined by UHL program managers Lucy DesJardin and John Vargo, along with Bonnie Rubin, UHL bioterrorism response coordinator.

The program is part of the spring 2004 Grand Rounds series sponsored by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness (UMCPHP). Advanced registration is requested and may be completed online at Links to the live Web broadcast, as well as archives of past presentations, are available on the center's site.

The presentation is sponsored by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness, based in the UI College of Public Health, and the Iowa Association of Local Public Health Agencies. UMCPHP is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a cooperative agreement with the Association of Schools of Public Health.

For more information about the Grand Rounds series, contact Angela Harding, program assistant at the Center for Public Health Preparedness, at 319-335-8451 or

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,