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Lawrence Schook, ’72

Lawrence Schook, ’722012 Elkin R. Isaac Lecture

Vice President For Research And Senior Research Officer, University Of Illinois

“Individualizing Health and Wellness: Navigating Your Personal Journey”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012; 7:30 p.m.
Towsley Lecture Hall

In his role at the University of Illinois, Schook oversees an $800 million annual sponsored research portfolio covering the University’s three campuses. Additionally, he monitors the University’s research-related concerns including intellectual property, technology commercialization, and economic development.

Schook is also an active researcher, exploring comparative genomics and translational biomedical models. He is an Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell professor in biomedical sciences and holds faculty affiliations with the Institute for Genomic Biology, the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory. He currently directs the international Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium and was principal investigator for a $25 million research project sponsored by the NIH, NSF and USDA.

Schook has launched two start-up companies focusing on molecular medicine and is a fellow at the Kaufman Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership. He has served in key leadership roles at the National Research Council in animal genomics, chaired the executive steering committee of the Alliance for Animal Genome Research and was coauthor of both the cattle and pig NIH genome project white papers.

He has served on the boards of multiple biotechnology companies and the Biotechnology Industry Organization and was appointed by Illinois governor Pat Quinn to the Illinois Innovation Counsel. He is currently on the board of governors for the Argonne and Fermi National Laboratories.

Schook began his research career working with Albion College biology professor Ken Ballou, and went on to earn a doctorate from Wayne State School of Medicine, followed by postdoctoral training at the Institute for Clinical Immunology in Switzerland, and the University of Michigan. He has also held faculty positions at the Medical College of Virginia and the University of Minnesota, and was a visiting professor at the Ludwig Cancer Center of the University of Lausanne.

He is a recipient of NIH, Swiss National Fund and Pardee fellowships, received the Funk Award for Meritorious Achievements in Agriculture and the Pfizer Animal Health Research award, and is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2010, Schook was a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in human genomics at the University of Salzburg. He was recently selected as the ninth University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor’s Center for Advanced Study Lecturer for his pioneering work on genomics and evolutionary biology. He has mentored 38 undergraduate students, 37 graduate and doctoral students, and 19 postdoctoral fellows; has written more than 200 published works; edited six books; and is founding editor of Animal Biotechnology. Schook was named an Albion College Distinguished Alumnus in 1996.

About the Elkin R. Isaac Endowment.

John Ferris, ’89

John Ferris, ’892011 Elkin R. Isaac Lecture

Product Planning Manager, Elec. Vehicles & Infrastructure, Energy and Environmental Policy & Commercialization, General Motors Company

“Recharging the Auto Industry: The Story of the Chevrolet Volt”

Wednesday, April 13, 2011; 7:30 p.m.
Towsley Lecture Hall/Norris 100

Mr. Ferris has more than 20 years of experience in the automotive industry, including multiyear assignments in corporate finance, corporate strategy, product planning, and advanced vehicle development. He has also traveled and worked overseas in Japan, South Korea, China, and the United Arab Emirates (UAB). Ferris was a member of the Chevrolet Volt Concept Team and was the program planning lead for the Chevy Volt production program. He is currently managing electric infrastructure development and home charging installation for the Volt and future General Motors Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) programs. Ferris started his GM career at Saturn Corp. and has an MBA from the University of Chicago. In 1994, he was selected as one of eight MBA students nationally to participate in the 1994 Business Fellowships in Japan Program.

About the Elkin R. Isaac Endowment.

Richard Alley

2014 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote AddressRichard Alley

“A Brighter Light at the End of the Tunnel: The Optimistic Future of Energy and Environment”

April 24, 2014
7 p.m., Goodrich Chapel

Teacher, researcher and author Richard Alley is Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences and associate of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at The Pennsylvania State University. Alley has spent 14 field seasons on great ice sheets in Antarctica, Greenland and Alaska, gathering data on climate and sea-level change. His development of future climate-change models earned him a seat on the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Alley is past chair of the National Research Council's Panel on Abrupt Climate Change, and has provided climate-change information to top federal officials including a U.S. vice president and members and committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Committed to educating the general public as well, Alley was presenter for the PBS program Earth: The Operators' Manual. He wrote a companion book for the PBS series and a popular account of climate change and ice cores, The Two-Mile Time Machine, which was named Phi Beta Kappa's Science Book of the Year in 2001.

Alley is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has earned numerous research awards, including the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the Heinz Prize, the Revelle Medal of the American Geophysical Union and the Seligman Crystal of the International Glaciological Society. He has won four teaching awards at Penn State, and his public service has been recognized with the American Association for the Advancement of Science Public Engagement with Science Award, the Public Service Award of the Geological Society of America and the American Geological Institute Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Understanding of the Geosciences.

Alley will receive the National Academy of Sciences' triennial Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship on April 27, 2014.

Nathan Wolfe

Nathan Wolfe 2015 Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address

“Before It Strikes: Viral Forecasting for Pandemic Prevention”

April 23, 2015
7 p.m., Goodrich Chapel

The Indiana Jones of virus hunting, Nathan Wolfe travels the world to track, study, and eradicate the next pandemic before it strikes. One of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2011, this Viral Storm author draws on his breakthrough discoveries to tell us where viruses come from, why they spread, and how to stop them.

"Virus Hunter" Nathan Wolfe rethinks pandemic control for our globalized world. By concentrating on how epidemic diseases—such as HIV, SARS, and West Nile—all stem from human contact with infected animals, he is able to discover new threatening viruses where they first emerge. According to Wired magazine, "Wolfe's brand of globe-trotting echoes an almost Victorian scientific ethic, an expedition to catalog the unseen menagerie of the world." His debut book, The Viral Storm, is an "engrossing and fast-paced chronicle of medical exploration and discovery" (Publisher's Weekly) that takes readers from the jungles of Africa to Wolfe's state-of-the-art labs, shedding light on the often overlooked but ultimately critical field of microbiology. It was published in six languages and shortlisted for the Royal Society's Winton Prize.

Wolfe is the Lorry I. Lokey Business Wire Consulting Professor in Human Biology at Stanford University; the Founder and CEO of Metabiota, a company that specializes in microbiological research, products, and services; and the Chairman of Global Viral, a non-profit that promotes understanding, exploration, and stewardship of the microbial world. Wolfe was named a Rolling Stone "100 Agents of Change," a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He is also the winner of the NIH Director's Pioneer Award. Wolfe has received over $60 million in grants and contracts from Google, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Defense, among others—making him a man poised to eradicate pandemics before they even happen.

Greening of the Great Lakes

Nathan Wolfe spoke with Kirk Heinze, '70, on the April 12 edition of "Greening of the Great Lakes" (WJR-AM 760, Detroit).

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