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National Institutes of Health
Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

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The NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series, colloquially known as WALS, is the highest-profile lecture program at the NIH. Lectures occur on most Wednesdays from September through June from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Building 10 on the NIH Bethesda campus.

Each season includes some of the biggest names in biomedical and behavioral research. The goal of the WALS is to keep NIH researchers abreast of the latest and most important research in the United States and beyond. An added treat is the annual J. Edward Rall Cultural Lecture, which features top authors and other cultural icons. All speakers are nominated by the NIH community.

Join us for another exciting year. Contact WALS and trans-NIH events coordinator Jackie Roberts with any questions or comments. Or, join our listserv (recommended for non-NIH employees who otherwise don't receive meeting announcements).

* Look for an all-new WALS website coming later this fall.


September 3, 2014
Andrew Feinberg, Johns Hopkins University
"The epigenetic basis of common human disease"

September 10, 2014
Megan Moreno, University of Washington
"Using social media to investigate adolescent health"

September 17, 2014
Leslie Vosshall, The Rockefeller University
"The neurogenetics of innate behaviors"

September 22, 2014
No scheduled WALS; NIH Research Festival


October 1, 2014
The Annual Florence Mahoney Lecture
Eric Schadt, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York
"A multiscale biology approach for dissecting the complex processes underlying aging and aging related phenotypes"

October 8, 2014
The Annual George Khoury Lecture
Paul Bieniasz, The Rockefeller University
"Intrinsic host defenses against HIV-1"

October 15, 2014
No scheduled WALS

October 22, 2014
Rakesh Jain, Harvard Medical School
"Normalizing the tumor microenvironment to enhance cancer treatment"

October 29, 2014
The Annual DeWitt Stetten, Jr., Lecture
Ron Vale, University of California, San Francisco
"The mechanisms of cytoskeletal motor proteins"


November 5, 2014
K. Christopher Garcia, Stanford University
"Probing receptor-ligand interactions through protein engineering and structure: Wnt/Frizzled and IgSF deorphanization"

November 12, 2014
Annual Astute Clinician Lecture
Jay Hoofnagle, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
"Past and future therapy for hepatitis C"

November 19, 2014
Roy Bar-Ziv, Weizmann Institute of Science
Programmable on-chip DNA compartments as "artificial cells"

November 26, 2014
No WALS, Thanksgiving break


December 3, 2014
The Annual Robert S. Gordon, Jr. Lecture
Shiriki Kumanyika, University of Pennsylvania
"Research directions for solving the obesity epidemic in high risk populations"

December 10, 2014
John Mekalanos, Harvard Medical University
"The extraordinary bacterial Type VI secretion machine"

December 17, 2014
No WALS, Christmas break

December 24, 2014
No WALS, Christmas break


January 7, 2015 (MOVED TO FEBRUARY 25)
The Annual G. Burroughs Mider Lecture
Crystal Mackall, Chief of the NCI Pediatric Oncology Branch
"The immune system in childhood cancer: Mobilizing the troops"

January 14, 2015
Titia de Lange, The Rockefeller University
"How telomeres solve the end-protection problem"

January 21, 2015
Stuart Orkin, Harvard Medical School
"Bringing genetics and epigenetics to the fetal-adult hemoglobin switch"

January 28, 2015
Arturo Casadevall, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
"Insights into microbial pathogenesis and immunology from Cryptococcus neoformans"


February 4, 2015
NIH Director's Lecture (first of three)
Max Cooper, Emory University School of Medicine
"Tracing the evolution of adaptive immunity"

February 11, 2015
Maiken Nedergaard, University of Rochester Medical Center, School of Medicine and Dentistry
"The nightlife of the brain"

February 18, 2015
Evan Eichler, University of Washington
"Autism: New mutations, genes, and pathways"

February 25, 2015 (Rescheduled from January 7)
The Annual G. Burroughs Mider Lecture
Crystal Mackall, Chief of the NCI Pediatric Oncology Branch
"The immune system in childhood cancer: Mobilizing the troops"


March 4, 2015
No WALS scheduled

March 11, 2015
The Annual Margaret Pittman Lecture
Jennifer Doudna, University of California, Berkeley
"The biology of CRISPRs: From genome defense to Genomic engineering"

March 18, 2015
NIH Director's Lecture (second of three)
Richard Flavell, Yale School of Medicine
Title TBA

March 25, 2015
J. Edward Rall Cultural Lecture
Somebody fun, TBA

March 25, 2015 (MOVED TO MAY 13)
Judy Garber, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Title TBA


April 1, 2015
Roland Fryer, Harvard University
Title TBA

April 8, 2015 (MOVED TO JUNE 17)
Yukiko Yamashita, University of Michigan Medical School
"Asymmetric stem cell division: Insights from Drosophila male germline"

April 15, 2015
Amy Paller, Northwestern University
"Use of spherical nucleic acid nanoconjugates to accelerate closure of diabetic wounds"

April 22, 2015
The Annual R. E. Dyer Lecture
Herbert 'Skip' Virgin, Washington University in St. Louis
"The mammalian virome in genetic analysis of health and disease pathogenesis"

April 29, 2015
E. Albert Reece, University of Maryland School of Medicine
"Unraveling the syndrome of diabetic embryopathy: From cell signaling to clinical care"


May 6, 2015
Pamela Stanley, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
"Glycans that regulate development and notch signaling"

May 13, 2015 (rescheduled from March 25)
Judy Garber, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Title TBA

May 13, 2015 (MOVED TO FALL 2015)
Lalita Ramakrishnan, Cambridge University
"The zebrafish guide to tuberculosis"

May 20, 2015
The Annual Marshall W. Nirenberg Lecture
David Page, MIT Whitehead Institute
"Lost in translation: Do males and females read their genomes differently?"

May 27, 2015
Marianne Bronner, CalTech
"Origin and evolution of the vertebrate neural crest"


June 3, 2015
James Allison, MD Anderson Cancer Center
"Targeting immune checkpoints in cancer therapy: New insights and opportunities"

June 10, 2015
NIH Director's Lecture (third of three)
Huda Akil, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Title TBA

June 17, 2015 (Rescheduled from April 8)
Yukiko Yamashita, University of Michigan Medical School
"Asymmetric stem cell division: Insights from Drosophila male germline"

June 24, 2015
Ricardo Dolmetsch, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
"A new day for drug development in neuroscience"

2014–2015 season

WALS poster
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