Baylor Researcher to Present at Gilliland Military Medical Lectureship on Thursday

July 22, 2014

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Media contact: Tonya Lewis, (254) 710-4656

WACO, Texas (July 22, 2014) – Lea Steele, Ph.D., research professor and director of the Veterans Health Research Program in Baylor University’s Institute of Biomedical Studies, is scheduled to present Thursday during the Gilliland Military Medical Lectureship at Baylor Scott & White’s Temple campus.

The lectureship aims to shed light on many facets of veterans’ health and wellness post-deployment.

Steele and Drew A. Helmer, M.D., director of the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center in the VA New Jersey Health Care System, will participate in a discussion and offer research findings.

Steele will present information on the nature and impact of Gulf War illness, a complex medical condition affecting about 200,000 veterans of the 1991 Gulf War, particularly the medical and population research underway at Baylor University, in conjunction with Baylor Scott and White.

Before joining the Baylor Institute of Biomedical Studies in 2010, Steele served as scientific director for the federal Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' illnesses. The committee was mandated by Congress to conduct an independent review of federal research addressing health issues facing Gulf War veterans.

As director of the Baylor Veterans' Health Research Program, Steele testified (March 12, 2013) before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on the care provided to veterans of the Gulf War.

Steele focused on Gulf War illness and said the VA has been slow to clearly and accurately acknowledge the problem and has failed to establish an effective and strategic scientific research program to address Gulf War illness research questions.

She testified that within the Department of Veterans Affairs, there appears to have been backward movement, with actions that seem intended to ignore the science and minimize the fact that there is a serious medical condition resulting from military service in the 1991 Gulf War.

“Our primary objective is to improve diagnosis and treatment for the signature health conditions that persist in military personnel after they return from serving in a warzone,” she said.

The lecture will take place from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Baylor Scott & White’s Medical Education Building, Lecture Hall 1, 2401 S. 31st St. in Temple, Texas. The event is free and open to the public.

by Rebecca Flannery, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference

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