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Virginia Secretary William Hazel to Speak at Bioelectrics Symposium on Campus

Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. William Hazel will be guest speaker at the opening of the 7th International Bioelectrics Symposium at Old Dominion University's Frank Reidy Research Center on Thursday evening.

Hazel, an orthopedic surgeon from Oakton, Va., was named the commonwealth's medical leader in January by Gov. Bob McDonnell. On Thursday, starting at 5 p.m., Hazel will receive a tour of the state-of-the-art facility from Reidy Center Director Richard Heller and give an address, titled the "Potential Impact of Research on Improving Health."

Hazel founded Commonwealth Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, a solo private practice that grew into an organization that employs 41 physicians in 11 locations, with two surgery centers and seven physical therapy clinics. He is a former president of the Medical Society of Virginia and the Fairfax County Medical Society and once was a team physician for the Washington Redskins. He has served on the board of trustees of the American Medical Association.

He is a graduate of Princeton University, holds a medical degree from Duke University and completed his orthopedic residency at the Mayo Clinic.

The symposium is a gathering of the world's leading researchers working in the area of Bioelectrics. It will also include a meeting of the member institutions from the International Bioelectrics Consortium, a group of institutions worldwide that have assembled expertise in the fusion of biology and electricity.

The symposium, which will be held at ODU's University Theatre, is an opportunity to share information about the diverse bioelectrics fields being studied by consortium researchers worldwide.

"Events like this are very important. These are really the world's leaders in bioelectrics," Heller said. "Meetings like this are where ideas get shared, connections get formed. Really, I think it could push the field to another level."

As many as 100 experts from academics, industry and government are expected to attend the symposium.

The Reidy Center's mission is to increase scientific knowledge and understanding of how electromagnetic fields interact with biological cells, and to apply this knowledge to the development of medical diagnostics and therapeutics, as well as environmental decontamination. The center, which is named for Frank Reidy, a Hampton Roads-based entrepreneur who has been the facility's chief benefactor, has received numerous grants, including substantial support from federal agencies.

Heller, the renowned cancer researcher and pioneer in the use of electrogenetherapy who joined Old Dominion two years ago, was named executive director of the Reidy Center in July 2008.

In addition to ODU, members of the International Bioelectrics Consortium are: the Institute for Pulsed Power and Microwave Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany; Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan; Center for Molecular Delivery, University of South Florida; University of Missouri; Institut de Cancerologie Gustave-Roussy, Villejuif, France; IPBS Universite P Sabatier, Toulouse, France; and Leibniz-Institut für Plasmaforschung und Technologie, Greifswald, Germany.

This article was posted on: June 23, 2010

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