WWS Calendar

Medical Science and Global Health as Instruments of International Diplomacy

Apr 4, 2018 04:30PM to 06:30PM
Robertson Hall
Open to the Public
Dr. Harold Varmus –Nobel Prize-winning scientist; former Director of the National Cancer Institute; Lewis Thomas University Prof. of Medicine, Weill Cornell College

What role does science play in global health and how is it an instrument of international diplomacy?

Princeton University’s 2018 Gilbert S. Omenn ’61 Lecture in Science Policy will be delivered by Dr. Harold Varmus, co-recipient of the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for studies of the genetic basis of cancer. He currently helps to develop programs in cancer genomics at the New York Genome Center and was a co-chair of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Varmus will speak about the role that science plays in global health, noting its dependence on diplomacy and on tools required for scientific success, including the development of institutions like research centers and the use of internet-based publication practices that promote access. He will be introduced by former University President Shirley Tilghman. 

Previously, Varmus was the director of the National Cancer Institute for (2010 – 2015), the president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for a decade and director of the National Institutes of Health (1993 – 1999). He joined the Meyer Cancer Center of Weill Cornell Medicine as the Lewis Thomas University Professor of Medicine in April 2015.

He is a member of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences and Medicine, is involved in several initiatives to promote science and health in developing countries and serves on advisory groups for several academic, governmental, philanthropic and commercial institutions. The author of approximately 400 scientific papers and five books, including a recent memoir titled “The Art and Politics of Science,” Varmus was a co-founder and chairman of the board of the Public Library of Science, and chair of the Scientific Board of the Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health.

A graduate of Amherst College and Harvard University in English literature and of Columbia University in medicine, he was further trained at Columbia University Medical Center, the National Institutes of Health, and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), before becoming a member of the UCSF basic science faculty for more than two decades.