Donald S. Coffey, the scientist whose laboratory is recognized for the discovery of the molecular matrix, or infrastructure, of DNA and its role in the development of cancer, will speak on "Science, Creativity and Human Destiny" at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in the WHSCAB auditorium. A reception will follow.
The talk is part of the Executive Vice President for Health Affairs' Future Makers Lecture Series, a new series made possible with support from the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Fund, Inc. The series is meant to bring to campus people of vision in science, health care, business, government, the arts and other fields relevant to the future of Emory's clinical, teaching and research missions. The entire University community is invited, as well as those in the scientific and business communities.
While here, Coffey also will spend time with faculty involved in the research strategic planning process now under way in the Health Sciences Center.
Coffey holds professorships in three departments at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions: urology (where he heads the research unit), oncology, and pharmacology and molecular sciences. He is also a member of The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
A leading expert on prostate cancer, Coffey has focused much of his research on the molecular genetic causes of the disease. As the current president of the American Association for Cancer Research, one of his primary missions will be to persuade the public and Congress that the $2.3 billion in federal money being spent this year on cancer is not nearly enough, he said.
Coffey's future-oriented audio-visual presentation presents the many different human approaches to the questions: "Who are we? Where are we? Where are we going?" He will discuss how humans have developed and why we are creative and conscious of our universe in a way that seems to be almost devoid in other higher primates, who have evolved for much longer periods of time. Is the system self-organized? Is the human condition getting better or worse? He asks audience members to formulate their own conclusions through their evaluation of his unusual collection of slides as tempered by their own beliefs.
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