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Science 2018 Highlights: Extraordinary Keynotes, Spotlights on Hot Topics

All members of the University community are invited to Science 2018, Pitt’s 18th annual celebration of science and technology.

This free, three-day symposium (Wednesday, Oct. 17, to Friday, Oct. 19) has something for everyone, including faculty, staff, scientists, students, physicians and others interested in exploring the region’s strengths in science and technology.

All events at Science 2018 are free and open to the public. On-site registration is available in Alumni Hall and the adjacent Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center throughout the event. For details, visit science2018.pitt.edu.  

Highlights for 2018 event include:

Michael G. Wells Entrepreneurial Scholars Lecture

Wednesday, Oct. 17
4 p.m.
Alumni Hall, Science Lecture Hall, 3rd Floor

This year’s Michael G. Wells Entrepreneurial Lecture will be presented by Mir Imran, chair and CEO of Rani Therapeutics and chair of InCube Ventures. Imran is a prolific health care innovator and entrepreneur who has developed and commercialized numerous medical innovations and founded many diverse life sciences companies. His lecture will address the challenges faced by entrepreneurs while sharing strategies behind the pathway to success.

Michael G. Wells Student Health Care Competition and Kuzneski Innovation Cup

Wednesday, Oct. 17
4:45 p.m.
Alumni Hall, Science Lecture Hall, 3rd Floor

The Michael G. Wells Student Health Care Competition brings together University of Pittsburgh students who are developing health care innovations. The competition is sponsored by the Michael G. Wells Entrepreneurial Scholars Fund.

The Kuzneski Innovation Cup, sponsored by local entrepreneurs Andrew and Laurie Kuzneski, involves Pitt students who are developing innovations in fields outside of health care that can improve people’s lives.

Early in the day, student finalists in each competition will pitch their innovations to judges from the local business community. The winners will be announced before the start of the Innovation Showcase, where all competition participants can share and discuss their innovations.

Opening Reception and Innovation Showcase

Wednesday, Oct. 17
5 p.m.
Alumni Hall, J.W. Connolly Ballroom, 1st Floor 

Join the University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute for a first look at the latest Pitt-generated innovations in health care, assistive technologies, internet of things, information technology, human performance and more. Many of these technologies are available for licensing, and others already form the basis of local, early-stage Pitt spinoff companies.

You will have the unique opportunity to network with these inventors and founders, as well as with local entrepreneurs, investors and community leaders. Don’t miss this opportunity to view novel Pitt discoveries that have already received development funding and mentorship from a host of sources on campus. All Science 2018 registrants are invited to this opening reception.

Keynote Talks

Thursday, Oct. 18
11 a.m.
Alumni Hall, Auditorium, 7th Floor

The Dickson Prize in Medicine — the highest honor bestowed by the School of Medicine — will be presented to Bonnie Bassler, Squibb Professor and chair of molecular biology at Princeton University, for her role in the discovery and elucidation of the universal use of chemical communication among bacteria. Bassler will present the 2018 Dickson Prize in Medicine Lecture, “Tiny Conspiracies: Cell-to-Cell Communication in Bacteria."

Other Science 2018 plenary speakers include:

Thursday, Oct. 18
4 p.m.
Alumni Hall, Auditorium, 7th Floor

Arthur Lupia, Hal R. Varian Collegiate Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan, will give the Provost Lecture, “Communicating Science in Challenging Environments.”

Friday, Oct. 19
11 a.m.
Alumni Hall, Auditorium, 7th Floor

Feng Zhang, Poitras Professor of Neuroscience, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will present the Mellon Lecture, “Development of CRISPR-Cas Systems for Genome Editing."

Friday, Oct. 19
4 p.m.
Alumni Hall, Auditorium, 7th Floor

Paul E. Turner, Elihu Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, will present the Hofmann Lecture, “Using Viruses To Select for Reduced Virulence of Bacterial Pathogens in Human Patients.”

Spotlight Sessions

Over the course of two days (Thursday, Oct. 18, and Friday, Oct. 19), a dozen sessions will feature presentations by multiple researchers exploring hot topics in science from diverse viewpoints.

Topics under the microscope at Science 2018 include:

For detailed information on spotlight speakers locations, visit Science 2018

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