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MEDIA ADVISORY: The 13th International Congress on Photobiology


Contact: Robert Sanders
(510) 643-6998


The 13th International Congress on Photobiology, expected to draw 1,000 scientists from around the world. Scientific presentations will address questions relating to how light affects living things, including:

  • Will eating fish protect you from UV damage and skin cancer?
  • Do sunscreens really prevent premature aging and skin cancer?
  • Is artificial light disrupting our immune system and increasing the incidence of diseases such as breast cancer?
  • Other topics include the use of light to treat disease, the impact of the ozone hole on marine life, how light sets the human biological clock, and new details about the molecular structure of the body's photoreceptors.
WHEN: Saturday, July 1, through Thursday, July 6, 2000.  
WHERE: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Embarcadero Center, San Francisco  

BACKGROUND: Every four years, scientists gather at the international congress to discuss new research about the effects of light on life. This year's congress will be hosted by the American Society for Photobiology. Roderic B. Park, former University of California, Berkeley, vice chancellor and now senior associate for academic development at UC Merced, will welcome the attendees on Saturday.

Among the presenters will be a dozen biotechnology companies exploring the uses of light in medicine. These range from novel treatments for eye disease (macular degeneration) and technologies for decontaminating blood to phototechniques for clearing blocked arteries. A public education symposium on Saturday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. will concentrate on the fun aspects of light: how our daily or "circadian" rhythms impact our health; photosensitive chemicals used in medical treatment; light, jet lag and seasonal depression; and how light affects the quality of wine grapes.


Symposia on photoimmunology, or the effects of light on the immune system. Sunday, July 2, 8-10:45 a.m. and 3-5:45 p.m.

Symposium on omega-3 fatty acids - common in cold-water fish - and skin protection. Sunday, July 2, 3-5:45 p.m.

Symposia on circadian rhythms and the hormonal oscillations that set our internal clock. Monday, July 3 - 8:00-10:45 a.m. and 3-5:45 p.m.

Symposium on sunscreens and skin protection. Tuesday, July 4, 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Plenary lecture: A. R. Young, St John's Institute of Dermatology, London. "The ability of sunscreens to protect against endpoints other than erythema" Tuesday, July 4, 8 a.m.

Plenary lecture: John Hearst, UC Berkeley professor emeritus of chemistry. "Photomedicine in the 21st century" Thursday, July 6, 11:45 a.m.


NOTE: Media attending the meeting must check in at the press office located in Regency A, just off Grand Ballroom A.

For more detail on scientific presentations, check the conference web page:


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