Nobel laureate, NIH leaders to present 2021-22 Maury Strauss public lectures
The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC announced the lineup for its 12th annual Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lecture Series – an initiative that has exposed the public to more than 90 globally renowned science thought leaders and health care innovators over the years
Since the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC opened its doors 11 years ago, it has exposed thousands of community members in Southwest Virginia to leading scientists and health thought leaders from across the world.
The 2021-22 public lecture series features a Nobel laureate and National Institutes of Health directors among the group of 10 esteemed invited speakers. The talks will cover a range of emerging topics in health research – from social inequities in health and precision medicine and the genetics underlying aging and cancer, to brain-machine interfaces.
“The Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lecture series is one important way in which the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute gives back to the community. The program spans key areas at the forefront of science and medicine that are of interest to a broad segment of our community, whether on the new insights into the global pandemic, innovations to realize true precision medicine for children and for seniors, overcoming health care disparities or preventing and reversing senescence,” said Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and vice president for health sciences and technology at Virginia Tech.
"We are delighted to be able to share the future of health and medicine with our neighbors and colleagues, as envisioned by some of the world’s most respected and accomplished thought leaders, scientists, and innovators. We are also proud to celebrate the diversity of these leaders in the biomedical and health scientific enterprise.”
The first lecture in the series, “Cancer Control in the 21st Century with Special Attention to Disparities in Health,” presented by a globally recognized expert in cancer prevention and control starts at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 9. The talk, anticipated to be hosted in person at the research institute as well as virtually via Zoom, will explore ways to close the racial, economic, and social disparities tied to increased cancer risk in the United States and worldwide.
Here is the 2021-22 Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lecture Series lineup:
- “Cancer Control in the 21st Century with Special Attention to Disparities in Health,” by Otis Brawley, M.D., M.A.C.P., F.R.C.P., Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, on Sept. 9, 2021. Brawley is also an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.
- “Social Inequities in Health: What Each One of Us Can Do,” by David Williams, Ph.D., M.P.H., the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health, chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, on Sept. 16, 2021. Williams is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Science, and the National Academy of Arts and Sciences.
- "Digital Innovations Are Essential For Leading Organizations: A Houston Methodist Hospital Experience," by Roberta Schwartz, Ph.D., executive vice president and chief innovation officer at Houston Methodist Hospital, on Oct. 14, 2021. Schwartz is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Healthcare Executives.
- “Travels Around the Urea Cycle,” by Mark Batshaw, M.D., senior investigator in the Center for Genetic Medicine Research at Children’s National Hospital and former physician-in-chief and chief academic officer at the Children’s National Hospital, on Nov. 4, 2021.
- “(Tentative Title) Advances in Precision Health Research for Children,” by Diana Bianchi, M.D., director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, on Dec. 16, 2021. Bianchi is also head of the Prenatal Genomics and Therapy Section for the Medical Genetics Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.
- “SARS-CoV-2 Variants – Past, Present, and Future,” by Sharon Peacock, Ph.D., professor of public health and microbiology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge, and executive director and chair of the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium, on Jan. 20, 2022. Peacock is an elected member of the National Academy of Medical Sciences.
- “The Digital Transformation of Healthcare: (Finally) A Time for Optimism,” by Robert Wachter, M.D., the Holly Smith Distinguished Professor in Science and Medicine, the Benioff Endowed Chair in Hospital Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, on Feb. 10, 2022.
- “(Tentative Title) Role of Telomeres in Genome Stability, Cancer, and Aging,” by Carol Greider, Ph.D., recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology at UC Santa Cruz on Feb. 24, 2022. In addition to the Nobel Prize, Greider is a recipient of the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
- “Improving Accessibility and Affordability of Hearing Health Care,” by Debara Tucci, M.D., M.S., M.B.A., director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders at the National Institutes of Health, on April 14, 2022.
- “Dynamic Brain Mapping and Brain-Computer Interfaces,” by Bin He, Ph.D., trustee professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, on May 5, 2022. He is an elected fellow of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, the Biomedical Engineering Society, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
The series of free public lectures is named for Maury Strauss, a Roanoke businessman and longtime community benefactor who recognizes the value of bringing thought leaders and innovators in science, medicine, and health to share their work and vision with the Roanoke community.
Over the past 11 years, the series has become a staple in the region, attracting more than a thousand community members to the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute each year. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has also been offered virtually. More than 1,200 attendees tuned in to the 2020-21 virtual lectures.
In addition to the Maury Strauss Distinguished Public Lectures, the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute also hosts weekly Pioneers in Biomedical Research Seminars during the academic year, Brain School, international conferences, and the Timothy A. Johnson Medical Scholar Lecture Series.
All of the lectures will be streamed live via Zoom, and some are anticipated to be presented in-person at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute. For more information about the lecture series and how to tune in via Zoom, please visit the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute’s website.