Public Release: 

Via College Research Recognition Day features 'father of microbial genetics'

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Va. -- Nobel Laureate Joshua Lederberg will be the keynote speaker at the Second Annual Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) Research Recognition Day on Oct. 5, 2005. Lederberg will speak on "The Scientific Basis for FDA's Regulatory Balance between Assurance of Safety versus the Innovation to keep up with Disease: No drug can ever be proven perfectly safe for every member of the 'prescribee' population."

Lederberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology in 1958 at age 33 "for his discoveries concerning genetic recombination and the organization of the genetic material of bacteria." He has also been actively involved in artificial intelligence research in computer science and has been a consultant on health-related matters for government and the international community. From 1978 to 1990, he served as president of Rockefeller University, where he continues his research activities.

The second annual Via Research Recognition Day will feature research by VCOM and Virginia Tech faculty members in three areas -- aging and neurological research, bone and joint research, and cancer and immunology.

Other speakers will be Peter Hotez, professor and chair of microbiology and tropical medicine at George Washington University, and Marguerite Lederberg, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Holtez will speak on "The Neglected Tropical Disease: The Ancient Afflictions of Stigma and Poverty and the Prospects for their Control and Elimination." He heads the Section on Helminths for the Disease Control Priorities 2 Initiative of the World Health Organization, World Bank, and Fogarty International Center, and is co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. He is the author of the books, Parasitic Diseases (Apple Tree Press) and Krugman's Infectious Diseases of Children (Mosby).

Marguerite Lederberg will present on "Family Decision-makers: Their underestimated psychological and ethical burden." She specializes in psychological and psychiatric problems of patients with cancer and their families and ethical issues in the care of patients with cancer.

To register, contact Varelos at 540-231-3150, or email kvarelos@ Pre registration by Sept. 5 is free. On-site registration the day of the event is $50. Registration includes admission to all sessions, continental breakfast, beverages and lunch.


The Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. This program is eligible for eight hours of category one credit, AOA.

For more information about the conference, contact Hara Misra, associate dean for biomedical academic and research affairs, at or 540-231-3693. Learn more about the college at The college is located at 2265 Kraft Dr. in Blacksburg.

For information on accommodations and directions, see the PDF file linked from

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