Baylor College of Medicine expert to speak in Victoria about skin cancer protection

Homer Black

The second of a series of University of Houston-Victoria talks about cancer causes and prevention will feature an expert in dermatology discussing protection from nonmelanoma skin cancer.

Homer Black, professor emeritus of dermatology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, will speak to the public about “Protection from Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer by Omega-3 Fatty Acids” from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday in Room 303 of the UHV University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. Black will follow that talk with more in-depth science for graduate students from 8 to 9:45 p.m., though the public is welcome to stay.

“Dr. Black will provide expert testimony about skin cancer, which has come to touch so many families,” said Richard Gunasekera, UHV professor and director of graduate biology studies. “Changes in health behavior through public and professional education are the medical community’s goal, and getting experts from the medical field to speak with students is a wonderful first step.”

The event also will be broadcast to the public via Interactive Television to Room 309 of the George Building at the University of Houston System at Sugar Land, 14000 University Blvd., and to Room 144 of the UH System at Cinco Ranch building, 4242 South Mason Rd. in Katy.

Black, a Port Arthur native, has taught in the past at UHV as an adjunct professor. He continues to teach, write papers and give presentations around the world.

“The experimental and clinical evidence strongly suggests that omega-3 fatty acids could have a beneficial influence on non-melanoma skin cancer occurrence, particularly in those individuals at high risk,” Black said.

Even though the death rate is low for nonmelanoma skin cancer, there are still about 2 million new cases annually, he said.

A talk on March 3 will feature Gopala Kovvali, president of the Carcinogenesis Foundation and executive editor of the Journal of Carcinogenesis. The Rutgers University adjunct faculty member will speak about “Biology to Targeted Therapy for Cure of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.”

A highlight of the series will be a March 10 talk by John Milner, chief of the National Institute of Health Cancer Prevention Center. He also will speak in Victoria about “Opportunities and Challenges Associated with Diet and Cancer Prevention.”

“This series is a wonderful opportunity for the public and students to hear from leading experts in the cancer field,” Gunasekera said. “It is our hope that one day, cancer will be canceled.”

Gunasekera’s own research focus is on nutrition study at the genetic and cellular levels, and safe uses of preventative food and exotic products in cancer prevention.

For more information about the series, contact Gunasekera at 281-275-8826 or

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Ken Cooke 361-570-4342