We've been hosting an annual symposium since before the institute was even built. However, this year--the Life Sciences Institute's 10th anniversary--we did something a little different.
In honor of this anniversary year, LSI faculty member David Ginsburg and I have invited back to Michigan a number of scientific faculty "alumni" who spent formative parts of their careers at the University of Michigan. They will be presenting on a wide range of research, but they all have two things in common: 1. They shaped their questions in labs here at U-M, and 2. They left U-M to assume influential leadership positions in government, research and healthcare across the country.
I think there is something about Michigan that really catalyzes excellent science. There are many reasons that U-M, a public university, competes with the top private research institutions in the world. I think some of those reasons are the community, the undeniable creativity, the culture of entrepreneurship and the willingness to embrace risk. At the LSI, our faculty could have chosen to work almost anywhere, and they chose Michigan. And those who have left have made us all proud. They are the best testament to what the culture of Michigan creates.
In addition to lectures on topics from cancer epigenetics to gene therapy, we will be holding two panel discussions. On May 14, Francis Collins, now the director of the NIH, will introduce a panel discussion called "The Future of Biomedical Research." And on May 15, Tachi Yamada, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Takeda Pharmaceuticals International, will introduce a panel called "Drug Discovery and Development in the 21st Century." Jack Dixon will be giving the Mary Sue and Kenneth Coleman Life Science Lecture. The entire schedule is on our website.
--Alan Saltiel, Mary Sue Coleman Director of the Life Sciences Institute