Dr. Donald J. Ross Sr. Biology Lecture Series Celebrates 10 Years

Dr. Donald J. Ross Sr. Biology Lecture Series Celebrates 10 Years

Donald J. Ross Sr., PhD, conducting research during the early years of his 48-year career at Fairfield University.

The College of Arts and Sciences will commemorate the series’ milestone anniversary with a diverse lineup of lectures featuring Biology Department alumni and faculty.

My family and I express our sincerest thanks to [those] whose generous donations will keep the Biology Department lecture series running in dad’s memory.

— Christine Ross Earls, PhD, professor of the practice in biology

In 2011, the College of Arts and Sciences established the Dr. Donald J. Ross Sr. Biology Lecture Series to honor the memory of beloved Professor Emeritus Donald Ross, PhD, who passed away in August 2008, and was one of the founding members of the Fairfield University Biology Department. Today, nearly a decade later, the series is poised to commemorate its tenth anniversary this fall with a special virtual series dedicated to preserving Dr. Ross’ legacy of educating and engaging students in scientific inquiry.

The yearlong anniversary series will be hosted virtually via Zoom on select Wednesdays throughout the fall and spring semesters and will feature lectures by biology faculty members and alumni who have gone on to achieve tremendous success in their field. From new developments in cancer treatment to the fascinating study of Magellanic penguins, the seven-part series will cover a wide range of medical and scientific topics.

Over the past few years, biology professor Brian Walker, PhD, and assistant professor Geoffrey Church, PhD, were instrumental in helping the Office of Advancement raise funds to support the longevity of the Dr. Donald J. Ross Sr. Biology Lecture Series. The professors reached out to the hundreds of alumni, friends, and family mentored by Dr. Ross during his tenure, and received a tremendous outpouring of support that will be used to fund the lecture series for the next five years.

“My family and I express our sincerest thanks to [those] whose generous donations will keep the Biology Department lecture series running in dad’s memory,” said Christine Ross Earls, PhD, professor of the practice of biology and daughter of Dr. Ross. “To have his legacy of ‘cura personalis’ and ‘magis’ memorialized by these students is a source of great comfort to his family.”

Dr. Ross worked as a biology professor and advisor to premedical students at Fairfield University for 48 years, and also served as Biology Department chair. Following his retirement in 1998, he continued to teach courses as a professor emeritus until his passing in 2008. A recipient of the Fairfield Silver Jubilee Faculty Award, he was also honored with the Fairfield University Distinguished Faculty Service Award and Fairfield University Teacher of the Year Award, in addition to being recognized as one of the Outstanding Educators in America. Dr. Ross is credited with helping more than 800 Fairfield alumni earn their acceptances into some of the top medical, dental, and graduate schools in the country.

For lecture series event links and details, visit Life@Fairfield


Dr. Donald J. Ross Sr. 10th Anniversary Biology Lecture Series

September 30, 2020 | Noon
“Rapid Evolution in Salt Marshes Alters Phenology and Ecosystem Processes”
Presented by Thomas Mazdzer '00, PhD, associate professor of biology and Bryn Mawr College research associate for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

October 28, 2020 | Noon
“Circulating-Free DNA and Liquid Biopsies for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Assessment”
Presented by Paul Kirschmeier, ’73, PhD, head of research (emeritus) for the Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

November 18, 2020 | Noon
“Molecular Genetics and Development of Therapies for Human Congenital Myopathies”
Presented by Alan Beggs, PhD, director of the Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research at Boston Children’s Hospital and Sir Edwin and Lady Manton Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School

January 27, 2021 | Noon
The Genetics of Parkinson Disease”
Presented by Tatiana Foroud ’87, PhD, Joe C. Christian Professor and chair of the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at Indiana University School of Medicine

February 24, 2021 | Noon
Cancer Treatment Through iPSC-Derived Immune Cell Therapy”
Presented by Jill Carton ’90, PhD, senior director for Century Therapeutics

March 31, 2021 | Noon
Science in Service to Policy: 35 Years in Washington, D.C.”
Presented by Patrick Kelley ’76 MD, DrPH, distinguished fellow in nursing and heath studies at Fairfield University

April 28, 2021 | Noon
What I’ve Learned From 25 Years of Playing With Penguins”
Presented by Professor Brian Walker, PhD, associate dean of the Biology Department and director of the Health Studies Program at Fairfield University

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Last modified: 09-23-20 12:00 AM

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