Ross Lecture Series Begins Sept. 27

Ross Lecture Series Begins Sept. 27

Ross lecture series graphic

Fairfield University Honors Legacy of Dr. Donald J. Ross with Biology Lecture Series

Fairfield University commemorates the enduring legacy of Donald J. Ross, PhD, a beloved and dedicated professor who shaped the lives of countless students during his illustrious 58-year teaching career, through the Donald J. Ross, PhD, Biology Lecture Series. A testament to his unwavering commitment to education and scientific inquiry, the longstanding lecture series begins this semester on Wednesday, Sept.27 at noon.

Dr. Ross, professor emeritus of the Fairfield University biology department, left an indelible mark on the academic world, inspiring generations of students to pursue careers in medicine, biology, and related fields. He passed away in August 2008, but his influence continues to resonate, and this lecture series serves as a tribute to his lasting impact.

The series comprises a lineup of distinguished speakers, each offering unique insights into the world of biology and its applications in various domains. All lectures will be held in-person on select Wednesdays at noon, with locations specified on the Life@Fairfield website; attendees can enjoy refreshments during the events.

This season’s inaugural lecture on Sept. 27, 2023 will feature Sarah Knutie, PhD, associate professor from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. Her lecture, titled "Finch in a pinch: effect of human activity on Darwin's finches in the Galápagos Islands," promises to delve into the intricate relationship between human activities and the survival of these iconic birds.

On October 25, 2023, Mike Certo, PhD, a Fairfield University alumnus from the Class of 2004, and vice president at 2Seventy Bio, will present "Development and application of genome editing technology for cell-based therapeutics in oncology and beyond: From writing papers at Fairfield to writing genomes in biotech." Dr. Certo's journey from Fairfield to the forefront of biotechnology will be both inspiring and information to aspiring scientists.

Jason Ramsay, PhD, from Westfield State University will enlighten the audience on November 29, 2023, with his lecture titled "Prey processing in sharks, rays, and basal vertebrates, new insights on the origin of chewing." Attendees can expect a deep dive into the fascinating world of predatory behaviors in these aquatic creatures.

The series continues into 2024, with Gabriela Vida, PhD, Fairfield alumna from the Class of 2018, exploring stem cell behavior in her presentation on January 24, 2024, followed by Matt Schuler, PhD’s investigation into the impact of urban landscapes on freshwater environments on February 21, 2024. Zac Freedman, PhD, from the Class of 2005, will shed light on the connection between microbial ecology and soil carbon on March 20, 2024, and the series will culminate with Shelley Phelan, PhD, professor of biology at Fairfield, in an exploration of natural products as anti-cancer agents on April 17, 2024.

The Donald J. Ross, PhD, Biology Lecture Series not only honors a cherished educator but also fosters a continued spirit of curiosity and scientific inquiry among Fairfield University students and the wider community. These lectures promise to be a source of inspiration and knowledge, carrying forward the legacy of a remarkable teacher and scientist. Don't miss this opportunity to engage with cutting-edge biological research and celebrate the enduring impact of Dr. Donald J. Ross.

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