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UM science expert to speak at Lawrence Tech

Release Date: March 10, 2021

SOUTHFIELD--A science expert will discuss the “grand challenges” facing science, technology, and society today in the annual Walker L. Cisler Lecture at Lawrence Technological University on Tuesday, March 30.

The virtual lecture by Gil Omenn, Harold T. Shapiro Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan and director of its Center for Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics, begins online at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

Omenn will discuss the concept of “grand challenges” and how it has proven to be a powerful tool to stimulate critical discoveries, create new technologies, and attract public attention to make policy decisions that enhance investment and accelerate innovation.

Referencing the famous “23 Puzzles” lecture given by mathematician David Hilbert in 1900 in Paris, Omenn will discuss the history of issuing challenges and the resulting ways that finding solutions can move society and policy forward.

Omenn will examine growth in the space program, astrophysics, computer science, the life sciences, economic development, and multiple other fields, and will call upon the audience to formulate bold challenge statements for their own fields of science, technology, and innovation.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Registrations are encouraged. To register, visit www.ltu.edu/cisler.

Omenn's research is focused on proteogenomics and bioinformatics of cancers. He has led the global Human Proteome Project for a decade. He previously worked on biochemical genetics of the brain, cancer prevention, health promotion, and disease prevention for older adults, and science and health policy. Omenn is author of more than 600 publications and has written or edited numerous books.

Omenn was a White House Fellow at the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Associate Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget, and President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He chaired the Presidential-Congressional Commission on Risk Assessment and Risk Management in the 1990s. He served on the board of Amgen Inc. for 27 years, and Rohm & Haas Co. for 22 years. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the AAAS. He received the Walsh McDermott Medal from the National Academy of Medicine, and the David E. Rogers Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton, a M.D. from Harvard, and a PhD in genetics from the University of Washington. 

LTU’s annual Walker L. Cisler Lecture is dedicated to the improvement of science education, and is generously supported by the Holley Foundation in Cisler's memory.

Well known for his leadership of the Detroit Edison Co. from 1954 to 1971, Walker L. Cisler, 1897-1994, enjoyed a career that spanned a lifetime of personal, professional, civic, and business accomplishments. As an international ambassador for the American electric utility industry, he worked closely with heads of state both here and abroad. As a tireless, dedicated humanitarian, he strived to improve the quality of life for people everywhere. Included in his resume: the rebuilding of the electric grid across Europe after World War II.

Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers nearly 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

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