Previous Events 2009-2010
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Nicholas Kefalides, Professor of Medicine specializing in infectious disease, will discuss his recent book "Echoes from the Cobblestones: A Memoir". His story begins with the 1930s as war raged in Europe. Italy invades Greece in 1940 and Germany invades in 1941. Dr. Kefalides and his brother join their country's resistance movement and fight back. They are arrested and imprisoned by the Gestapo before being sent to a concentration camp in Thessaloniki but survive the war. Decades later, after a successful career in medicine in the U.S., Dr. Kefalides reflects back on a period in the 1940s when starvation and loss of freedom led to restrictions of everyday life.
After arriving in the USA, Dr. Kefalides pursued his medical training and after his internship in 1957, he joined NIH and was sent to Lima, Peru, to direct a US government project on the treatment of burns. Later, his research at Penn focused on studies of the cell and molecular biology of extracellular matrix, especially the structure and function of basement membrane components such as type IV collagen and laminin and their role in cell adhesion and tumor metastasis. In 1973, his paper on the structure and biosynthesis of basement membranes in Int. Rev. Connect. Tissue Res. was named a citation classic for having been the most cited paper in the journal. The data presented were largely from the work of Dr. Kefalides and established for the first time the existence of a new collagen (Type IV) found exclusively in basement membranes.
For several years, Dr. Kefalides has developed the speaker program for both PASEF and ASEF and he is President-Elect for the Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty (ASEF) in the School of Medicine.
The luncheon is at 11:45 A.M. on Friday, May 21, 2010, in the Lenape Room of the University Club.
Sarah Tishkoff, Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Departments of Genetics in Medicine and Biology in Arts and Sciences, will present the topic "Genetic history of Africa; implications for human evolution and medicine." Dr. Tishkoff, a leading global expert in human genetics, is a PIK University Professor and holds the David and Lyn Silfen chair.
"Sarah Tishkoff's scholarship in human genetics and the nature of genetic diversity underscores the leaps of knowledge that we can make by path-breaking discoveries that integrate previously distinct fields of study," said President Gutmann at the time of her appointment as PIK Professor in 2008. Tishkoff works primarily in Africa, where she has compiled the world's most extensive DNA database, representing more than 7,000 Africans from more than 100 ethnic groups. Her research examines how genetic variations and genetic diversity can affect a wide range of practical issues, including, for example, differences in human susceptibility to disease, metabolism of drugs and evolutionary adaptation.
Dr. Tishkoff has won a Packard Career Award and was named one of Popular Science Magazine's "Brilliant 10" American scientists in 2003. Her research has been featured recently in a number of newspaper and journal articles including Science, Nature, New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, LA Times, Washington Times, US News and World Report, The Economist, National Geographic, Popular Science, Science News, Discovery News, American Scientist, Scientific American, and Newsday, among others. Tishkoff taught at the University of Maryland from 2000 to 2008. She received her Ph.D. in genetics from Yale University and her B.S. in anthropology and genetics from the University of California, Berkeley.
The luncheon is at 11:45 A.M. on Friday, May 7, 2010, in the Lenape Room of the University Club.
PASEF Spring Lecture, April 15, 2010
Richard Beeman, Professor of History, will discuss "The Founding Fathers and the myth of the 'original meaning' of the Constitution." This presentation, an outgrowth of Dr. Beeman's recent book Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution, is a rumination on what the Founding Fathers would have had to say about many of the constitutional controversies currently confronting the United States Supreme Court and Congress. The men who drafted the Constitution, Dr. Beeman argues, would have been mystified, perhaps even enraged, by current attempts by jurists such as Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas to impose on subsequent generations a narrow and legalistic standard of consitutional interpretation. 6-minute video of appearance of Dr. Beeman on The Daily Show
Dr. Beeman has been on the faculty of the Department of History at Penn for forty-one years. He is an historian of the American Revolutionary Era and has written six books and several dozen articles on aspects of America's political and constitutional history in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Professor Beeman has served as Chair of the Department of History and as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He has received numerous awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and the Huntington Library. He has served as a Fulbright Professor in the United Kingdom and as Vyvian Harmsworth Distinguished Professor of American History at Oxford University.
The lecture is at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, 2010, in the College Hall Auditorium, Room 200. A reception will follow the lecture.
PASEF Luncheon, January 28, 2010
Eve Troutt Powell, Associate Professor of History, will discuss "Slaves in the nursery: Childhood and memories of slavery in Egypt and the Ottoman Empire". She will explore the memoirs of two women political activists for their remembrance of the enslaved men and women with whom they grew up.
Dr. Powell teaches the history of the modern Middle East. As a cultural historian, she emphasizes the exploration of literature and film in her courses. She is the author of "A Different Shade of Colonialism: Egypt, Great Britain and the Mastery of the Sudan", University of California Press, 2003, and the co-editor, with John Hunwick, of "The African Diaspora in the Mediterranean Lands of Islam", Princeton Series on the Middle East (2002).
Dr. Powell received her B.A, M.A., and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Prior to coming to Penn, she taught for ten years at The University of Georgia. She has received fellowships from the American Research Center in Egypt and the Social Science Research Council, and has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. In 2003 she was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.
The luncheon is at 11:45 A.M. on Thursday, January 28, 2010, in the Lenape Room of the University Club.