Symposium to mark opening of BJC Institute of Health

Renowned scientists from across the country will share their knowledge on biomedical research at the BioMed 21 Symposium Monday, Sept. 27, at Washington University School of Medicine.

The symposium, titled “Crafting a 21st Century Biomedical Research and Training Institution,” celebrates the recent opening of the BJC Institute of Health at Washington University School of Medicine and the establishment of five new BioMed 21 Interdisciplinary Research Centers focused on finding new and better ways to improve human health and translate discoveries more rapidly into patient care. It will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Eric P. Newman Education Center.

The $235 million BJC Institute of Health includes 240,000 square feet of research space and houses several of the Interdisciplinary Research Centers, which focus on genomics, cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease, infectious disease, and membrane excitability disorders. Each brings together researchers from different scientific disciplines and academic departments to work together in designated laboratory space.

“What’s important about this building is the science that goes on inside,” says Jennifer Lodge, PhD, associate dean for research at the School of Medicine. “It has helped to focus our attention on creative science and building more interdisciplinary research at the university.”

Speakers for this event include luminaries in interdisciplinary biomedical science:

  • George Church, PhD, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School;
  • France Cordova, PhD, president of Purdue University;
  • Stanley Falkow, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine;
  • Christopher Newgard, PhD, professor of pharmacology and cancer biology and of internal medicine at Duke University;
  • Charles Sawyers, MD, chair, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator;
  • Roy Vagelos, MD, who headed the WUSTL Department of Biological Chemistry from 1966-1975 and is the retired chairman and CEO of Merck & Co. Inc.;
  • Michael Welsh, MD, professor, Carver College of Medicine of the University of Iowa; and
  • Huda Zoghbi, MD, professor of molecular and human genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

A 10-minute question-and-answer session will follow each speaker’s presentation.

The symposium is designed for faculty, students, postdoctoral researchers, residents, fellows and the science community.

“We wanted to integrate trainees into the program, so they will have the opportunity to participate by introducing speakers or having lunch with the speakers,” Lodge says.

The symposium is free and open to the public, however, preregistration is encouraged. For more information or to register, visit