Distinguished Lecture Series

The Duke University Distinguished Lecturer Series was instituted to bring inspiring, accomplished, distinguished lecturers to campus to illuminate progress and future areas of excitement in genetic and genomics. A key feature of the series is to provide a forum in which the students of the University Program in Genetics and Genomics assume a leadership role, with a faculty advisor, in identifying and inviting speakers, in designing the schedule for their visit, and in hosting and introducing the speakers. Students also attend lunches and dinners with the invited guests, who usually spend one to two days on campus also visiting with interested faculty.

Since the series inception in 2002, many distinguished individuals have shared their research and experience with the Duke community. These scholars have included six Nobel Laureates (Eric Wieschaus, Craig Mello, Richard Axel, Mario Capecchi, Carol Greider, and Harold Varmus)(four of whom received the Nobel prize after visiting Duke or being invited to visit Duke), five recipients of the Lasker Award (Mario Capecchi, Carol Greider, Randy Schekman, Matt Meselson, and Harold Varmus), and numerous members of the National Academy of Sciences (Mario Capecchi, Richard Axel, Douglas Wallace, Elliot Meyerowitz, Eric Wieschaus, Eric Lander, David Botstein, Carol Greider, Randy Schekman, Judith Kimble, Joan Brugge, Susan Lindquist, Craig Mello, Bonnie Bassler, Matthew Meselson, Svante Paabo, Joanne Chory, John Doebley, Harold Varmus, Pat Brown, Jeff Gordon, Barbara Meyer, Cynthia Kenyon, Roger Beachy, Eric Olson, and Neil Shubin).

The series is supported by the Dean's office, School of Medicine, the Cancer Center, the Departments of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Medicine, Cell Biology, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Pathology, and Biochemistry.

Highlighted Speakers

  • Church, George

    George M. Church

    Genome-scale Sequencing & Engineering
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  • Fire, Andrew

    Andrew Fire

    Sequenced-based tracking of molecular recognition elements in RNA-based and classic immune surveilance
    Read more
  • Greider, Carol

    Carol Greider

    Telomerase and the Consequences of Teomere Dysfunction
    Read more

Previous Events

Date Guest Speaker University Title
Feb 18 2021 Margaret McFall-Ngai University of Hawaii-Manoa The Influence of Symbiosis on Animal Development: Lessons from the Squid-Vibrio Association
Apr 23 2020 Lalita Ramakrishnan University of Cambridge Canceled
Mar 19 2020 Steve McCarroll Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute Canceled
Nov 14 2019 Joseph Takahashi University of Texas-Southwestern “Circadian clock genes and the importance of timing in aging and longevity”
Mar 28 2019 J. Paul Taylor Edward F. Barry Chair of Cell and Molecular Biology, HHMI Investigator, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Bridging biophysics and neurology: phase transitions, membraneless organelles and neurological disease
Feb 28 2019 Brett Finlay UBC Peter Wall Distinguished Professor, Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia The role of the microbiome in asthma and malnutrition
Nov 15 2018 Joseph Ecker Salk Institute of Biological Sciences, Director of the Genomic Analysis Laboratory Epigenomics of neuronal diversity and connectivity in the brain
Oct 25 2018 Sean B. Carroll University of Wisconsin-Madison, The Allan Wilson Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics Butterfly spots and rattlesnake tales: The evolution of novelty
Sep 20 2018 Scott Edwards Harvard University, The Alexander Agassiz Professor of Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Evolutionary genomics of flightlessness in birds
Apr 19 2018 Nipam Patel Berkeley, Department of Integrative Biology “Evolution and Development: Insights from Emerging Model Systems”
Nov 9 2017 Phillip A. Sharp MIT, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research “The Roles of RNA in Transcription”
Nov 2 2017 John Novembre University of Chicago, Department of Genetics “New lenses on human genetic variation: Tools for interpreting geographic structure in genetic data”
Mar 30 2017 Nicole King University of California, Berkeley “150+ Years in the Making: Choanos as a Model for Animal Origins, Development and Cell Physiology”
Mar 28 2017 Joanna Wysocka Stanford University “Making faces: Regulatory and evolutionary principles underlying development of the human neural crest”
Mar 2 2017 Sue Biggins Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center “Reconstituting Kinetochore Functions in vitro”
Apr 14 2016 Doris Bachtrog University of California Berkeley TBD
Mar 11 2016 Roy Parker University of Colorado Boulder Biological and physical properties of stress granules and their connection to human disease
Oct 15 2015 Feng Zhang Massachusetts Institute of Technology Genome Editing: Technologies and Applications
Oct 8 2015 Allan Spradling Carnegie Institution of Washington Transposon Site-Specificity and Evolution
Apr 9 2015 Richard Lenski Michigan State University Time Travel in Experimental Evolution
Mar 13 2015 Karl Deisseroth Stanford University, HHMI Optical Deconstruction of Fully Assembled Biological Systems
Mar 5 2015 Jeanne Lawrence University of Massachusetts Medical School From Fundamental Engineering Epigenetics to Down Syndrome and Back Again
Sep 18 2014 George M. Church Harvard University, Medical School Genome-scale Sequencing & Engineering
Jan 19 2012 Andrew Fire Stanford University, Schoolof Medicine Sequenced-based tracking of molecular recognition elements in RNA-based and classic immune surveilance