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Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas grew-up is a small Gulf of Mexico town, the oldest daughter of two young physicians, she was raised in a nurturing environment where the daily contact with patients was the rule and over dinner conversations were delightful ways to start her in medical and literature subjects, two main interest of her parents. She knew she wanted to be a physician by the time she finished middle school and she started medical school at age 15. The following year, she was the TA’s to the Chair of Embryology at the National University Medical School in Mexico City and started her life-long passion for teaching. Her first day as a TA’s in medical school surrounded by ~40 much older first year students, she was told she was in the wrong place, the middle school was 3 blocks away. Her love for exploring disease causes started in medical school and she decided to pursue her studies in the USA and Canada. Her pathology and neuropathology training at the University of Toronto were followed by her fellowship at Harvard University and her first position as an Assistant professor at Northwestern University in Chicago. She earned an American Board in Anatomical Pathology and Neuropathology in 1981. Literature was always in her mind, so she went back to school and earned a BS in English Literature and a MA in Comparative Literature in 1997. Her interest for clinical environmental research took her back to Chapel Hill, North Carolina where she earned a PhD in Toxicology in 2001, followed by three years as a postdoctoral fellow in Environmental Pathology. She loves her work, her teaching is key to her way to transmit her contagious enthusiasm for medicine, science and her research work and in her free time she paints, cooks and tenders her vegetable garden and cooks some more. Her husband is a UM 2011 graduate with a PhD in History and with two children also UM alumni, her house is surrounded by grizzly memorabilia.
Dr. Lilian Calderon Garciduenas is interested in the chronic effects of exposure to air pollutants both indoors and outdoors in clinically healthy children. A crucial aspect is the role of cytokine imbalance in the respiratory tract, and cardiovascular pathology and on systemic effects.
Dr. Lilian Calderon Garciduenas is interested in the role outdoor and indoor air pollutants-specially fine and ultrafine particulate matter, and lipopolysaccharides could be playing in the brain pathology we have described for both dogs and humans chronically exposed to air pollutants.
The canine chronic brain inflammation and the observation of the acceleration of Alzheimer’s disease-like pathology, were the basis to explore the brains of subjects residing in the same areas. In our most recent work we showed that the frontal cortex and hippocampus of neurologically and cognitively intact lifelong residents of cities with severe air pollution exhibit evidence of chronic inflammation and neuronal and astrocytic accumulation of the 42 amino acid form of ß amyloid (Aß42).
These findings suggest that exposure to severe urban air pollution is associated with brain inflammation and amyloid deposits, causes of neuronal dysfunction that precede the appearance of neuritic plaque formation and neurofibrillary tangles, hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.
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