The lung cancer research project is based at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. The principal investigator, MIT
Professor William G. Thilly, Director of the Center For Environmental
Health Sciences, said, "This is a tragic loss. I'm devastated by the
news. I volunteered myself for these studies and, had my daughter
volunteered, I would have approved her civic consciousness. I want to
express my profound condolences to the family of Ms. Wan."
The research into how environmental air quality may affect lung cancer
was begun in July, 1994 under a grant to MIT from the National Institute
of Environmental Health Sciences to investigate "mutagenic effects of
airborne toxicants in human lungs."
The project seeks to discover if the mutations, especially cancerous
mutations, in the bronchial cells of human lungs from non-smokers are
principally caused by exposure to airborne chemicals in urban outdoors
and indoors environments.
The research is being carried out at MIT, the University of Rochester
and other research centers.