A golden tan never goes out of fashion, but a dark, health risk is always lurking behind that attractive glow: skin cancer. It can be serious and scary, but its also preventable through effective communication.

Thats the subject of a unique talk Thursday (April 17) at West Virginia University by nationally known health researcher David Buller.

Buller will discussPromoting Sun Safety: Translational Research on Health Communication,from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair Gluck Theatre on the Downtown Campus.

Admission is free for the talk, which kicks off the inaugural McConnell Health Communication Lecture Series through the Department of Communication Studies.

Buller has introduced skin cancer awareness programs for everyone from professional skiers to youngsters on the playground at recess. Hes a senior scientist and director of research for Klein Buendel Inc., a health communication research and media development company. Before that, he held the Harold Simmons Chair for Health Communication at the Cooper Institute, where he directed the Center for Health Communication.

HisGo Sun Smartsafety education campaign is funded by the National Cancer Institute and directed to employees and guests of high-altitude ski resorts. The program is also widely distributed by the National Ski Areas Association in partnership with The Cooper Institute.

Hes also developed or contributed to several policy programs for school and public health administrators, including theSunny Days, Healthy Wayscurriculum for elementary and middle schools.

Buller has written or co-written more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters. Along with the National Cancer Institute, his research has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Cancer Research Foundation of America.

He has a doctorate in communication from Michigan State University and a masters degree in speech communication from Auburn University.

Were excited to have Dave on campus,said Melanie Booth-Butterfield, professor and McConnell Chair of Speech Communication at WVU .He exemplifies the goals and achievements that can be attained when we use productive health communication messages to improve the way people think, feel and behave about health and safety.

Bullers visit is supported by the Peggy Rardin McConnell Chair in Speech Communication endowment. For more information, contact Booth-Butterfield at 304-293-3905 or mbooth@wvu.edu .

Learn more about WVU -led health communication on campus and in the community athttp://www.livelongwv.com/.

The Department of Communication Studies is in WVU s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.