The Value of Life Symposium: April 17th

The Value of Life Symposium is the 2nd Annual Honors Spring Symposium that explores the relationship between science and life. This year’s event is hosted by Heidi Hehnly, an endowed Honors professor in Sciences and Mathematics, as well as Karin Nisenbaum, an endowed Honors professor in Humanities. Sumeda Nandadasa, assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, and Jennifer Ann Frey, dean of the Honors College at the University of Tulsa, are featured as guest speakers.

The research in Sumeda Nandadasa’s laboratory is focused on understanding the function of extracellular matrix proteases belonging to the ADAMTS family of metalloproteinases in embryonic development and in disease. Specifically, he investigates a group of developmental birth defects known as ciliopathies that arise by the dysgenesis of the primary cilium, a crucial antenna-like cellular organelle, present in nearly all cells. ADAMTS proteases (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin type 1 motifs), are secreted molecules mainly known to act on the extracellular matrix. Mutations in ADAMTS proteases can result in nephronophthisis (NPHP) and Joubert syndrome (JBTS), two devastating ciliopathies which are diagnosed in young children and infants. 

Jennifer Frey is currently researching moral psychology and virtue. She has co-edited a volume titled Self-Transcendence and Virtue, and she is finishing up a volume titled Practical Truth. A third volume, titled Practical Wisdom, is under contract with Oxford University Press. In 2015, she was awarded a multi-million-dollar grant from the John Templeton Foundation, titled “Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life.” She frequently writes popular essays and book reviews in Breaking Ground, First Things, Image, and The Point. She hosts a philosophy, theology, and literature podcast called Sacred and Profane Love.

The symposium will take place on April 17th from 1 pm to 3 pm, in Lundgren Room 106 in the Life Sciences Complex. Come discover the virtue of life while growing knowledge!

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