Speaker Series, Fellowship Launched

Chris Hillyer, M.D., '80

Chris Hillyer, M.D., ’80

Chris Hillyer, M.D. ’80, a nationally recognized expert in hematology and blood transfusion, kicked off the new Science for the Greater Good speaker series September 12. The series, featuring at least five common hour lectures during the 2013-14 academic year, showcases Trinity College alumni addressing how they use science to benefit what they consider to be the greater good. All lectures are open to the entire campus community.

Alison Draper, director of Trinity’s Science Center and lecturer in interdisciplinary science, is coordinating the program along with Kathryn Van Sickle, assistant director, annual giving–Long Walk Societies. Draper, who came up with the series’ title, says, “We wanted something that was broad, that would lend itself to science alumni for a number of fields.” The aim, she says, is to offer “more of a personal perspective rather than a professional talk.”

Hillyer, president and chief executive officer of the New York Blood Center, is also a professor at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. He edited nine textbooks in transfusion medicine and penned more than 120 articles about transfusion, human immunodeficiency virus, and herpes viruses. The co-founder of Transfusion & Transplantation Technologies, Inc., Hillyer holds more than 20 patents or patents pending.

Four more lectures are planned for the fall semester: an October 3 visit by Peter Chupas ’99, group leader of the Structural Science Group, X-ray Science Division at the Argonne National Laboratory; an October 24 talk by John Robson ’70, associate director of the Brown Institute for Brain Science and administrative director of the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute; a November 14 talk by Henry DePhillips III ’82, chief medical officer at tele-health provider Teladoc; and a November 21 presentation by David Weinstein ’90, a University of Florida College of Medicine professor of endocrinology who also serves as director of UF’s Glycogen Storage Disease Program and as associate program director for research. Additional lectures may take place in the spring.

A second new program supporting the sciences is the Thrasher-Broidy/Cedars-Sinai Fellowship, with sophomores and juniors majoring in neuroscience eligible to apply. The selected student will spend 10 weeks working at the Regenerative Medicine Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, during the summer of 2014, engaging in research under the guidance of an assigned research scientist. The student also will give a presentation on his or her summer research during the fall science symposium on campus.

The partnership with Cedars-Sinai came about thanks to Elizabeth Thrasher-Broidy ’80, a leadership volunteer with the College and a two-term Board of Fellows member, and her husband, Marc Broidy, who is on the Board of Governors of Cedars-Sinai. Thrasher-Broidy initiated a similar opportunity for Brian Castelluccio ’12 during the summer of 2011,and the new program is a formalization of the partnership.

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Neuroscience Bill Church and other neuroscience faculty are charged with soliciting applications from qualified students in the spring. A committee composed of Church, other neuroscience faculty members, Thrasher-Broidy, and Broidy will review the applications and narrow the list to the top candidates. Clive Svendson, director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute at Cedars-Sinai, will select and assign a student based on the committee’s recommendations and the needs of the institute.

Church says the partnership is another opportunity to expose Trinity’s science programs to the international scientific community. For the selected student, he says, “It offers a unique opportunity to interact with top-notch research scientists and gain experience in a biomedical lab that is internationally famous. For a Trinity student to have this on their resume is priceless.”