New research to fight human diseases: A free public minicourse starts Jan. 23

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — "Cures, Treatments, Prevention: Medical research from labs to hospitals to homes" is the focus of the 2016 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science, a series of six weekly lectures designed as a free public minicourse. The lectures will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays from Jan. 23 to Feb. 27 in 100 Thomas Building on the University Park campus. 

Registration is not required, and all are welcome. The six speakers are scientists who are expanding the frontiers of scientific knowledge in fields of research related to human health.

The first lecture, "Your Health Risks: Prediction and Prevention," will be given on Jan. 23 by Sarah Pendergrass, assistant professor of biomedical and translational informatics at the Geisinger Health System. She will describe how her research team, which includes Penn State scientists, is harnessing massive amounts of information from electronic health records and other sources to discover advanced strategies for preventing, diagnosing, and treating coronary heart disease, endometrial cancer, type-2 diabetes, and other complex diseases.

Future lectures in the series include: 

  • "New Hope for Brain Repair" on Jan. 30 by Gong Chen, professor of biology and the Verne M. Willaman Chair in Life Sciences at Penn State; 
  • "How to Stop an Epidemic" on Feb. 6 by Matthew Ferrari, assistant professor of biology and statistics at Penn State; 
  • "New Antibiotics for Drug-Resistant Infections" on Feb. 13 by Kenneth Keiler, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State; 
  • "Invented: A Better Tool Against Cancer" on Feb. 20 by Tony Jun Huang, professor of engineering science and mechanics and the Huck Distinguished Chair in Bioengineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State; and 
  • "Anti-Cancer Drugs: Discovery and Development" on Feb. 27 by Raymond J. Hohl, professor of medicine and pharmacology and the director of the Penn State Cancer Institute.

The Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science is an annual free public minicourse organized and supported by the Penn State Eberly College of Science as an enjoyable and enlightening learning opportunity for central Pennsylvania residents. The lectures will be archived online for learners worldwide. More information about the Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science, including archived recordings of previous lectures, is online at

For more information or access assistance, contact the Eberly College of Science Office of Media Relations and Public Information by calling 814-867-5830 or emailing

Last Updated January 25, 2016