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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 9, 2013 (Monday)
Cori Bargmann, The Rockefeller University
"Neuromodulatory circuits and motivated behavior"

September 11, 2013
Jeffrey Esko, University of California, San Diego
"Proteoglycans: Arbiters of lipoprotein metabolism"

September 18, 2013
No scheduled WALS

September 25, 2013
The Annual Robert S. Gordon Lecture
Moyses Szklo , Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
"Epidemiology: Back to translation"


October 2, 2013 canceled, gov't shutdown; rescheduled April 9
Taekjip Ha, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"Genome maintenance up close and personal: Eavesdropping on single molecular conversations"

October 3, 2013 (Thursday) canceled, gov't shutdown; not rescheduled
Special Director's Lecture
Shinya Yamanaka, Kyoto University and Gladstone Institutes
"Recent progress in iPS cell research towards regenerative medicine"

October 9, 2013
No WALS, NIH Research Festival from October 7 to 11

October 16, 2013 canceled, gov't shutdown; rescheduled February 26
Joseph Gall, Carnegie Institute for Science
"Giant chromosomes and deep sequences: What the frog egg tells us about RNA transcription"

October 23, 2013 canceled, gov't shutdown; not rescheduled
The Annual DeWitt Stetten, Jr., Lecture
Ron Vale, University of California, San Francisco
"The mechanisms of cytoskeletal motor proteins"

October 30, 2013
The Annual George Khoury Lecture
Carl Wu, HHMI Janelia
"Chromatin structure and the control of gene expression"


November 6, 2013
NIH Director's Lecture (first of three)
Erica Ollmann Saphire, Scripps Research Institute
"The structural basis of Ebola viral pathogenesis"

November 13, 2013
John Carpten, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)
"Comprehensive molecular profiling to support treatment recommendations for advanced cancer"

November 20, 2013
Annual Astute Clinician Lecture
Marston Linehan, NCI CCR Urologic Oncology Branch
"The genetic basis of kidney cancer: Targeting the metabolic basis of disease"

November 27, 2013
No WALS, Thanksgiving break


December 4, 2013
Susan Rosenberg, Baylor College of Medicine
"How bacteria and cancer cells regulate mutagenesis and their ability to evolve"

December 11, 2013
The Annual G. Burroughs Mider Lecture
Steve Holland, NIAID Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases
"The protean manifestations of GATA2 deficiency across the lifespan"

December 18, 2013
Clyde Yancy, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine
"Patient-centered outcomes research: New directions, major challenges, transformative potential"

December 25, 2013
No WALS, Christmas break


January 1, 2014
No WALS, New Year's break

January 8, 2014
Jean-Laurant Casanova, The Rockefeller University
"Toward a genetic theory of childhood infectious diseases"

January 15, 2014
NIH Director's Lecture (second of three)
Elaine Fuchs , The Rockefeller University
"Skin stem cells in homeostasis, wound-repair and cancer"

January 22, 2014
Avery August, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
"Nature versus nurture: Tuning CD8+ T cell responses"

January 29, 2014
Robert Langer, MIT
"Biomaterials and biotechnology: From the discovery of angiogenesis inhibitors to the development of drug delivery systems and the foundation of tissue engineering"


February 5, 2014
Jenny Ting, UNC School of Medicine
"The broad impact of NLRs on immunity and beyond"

February 12, 2014
Christine Seidman, Harvard Medical School
"Congenital heart disease: Many genes lead to a broken heart"

February 19, 2014
Flora Vaccarino, Yale University
"Induced pluripotent stem cells and the impact of genomic variation on psychiatric disorders"

February 26, 2014 (rescheduled from October 16)
Joseph Gall, Carnegie Institute for Science
"Giant chromosomes and deep sequences: What the frog egg tells us about RNA transcription"

February 26, 2014 (postponed, to be rescheduled)
NIH Director's Lecture (third of three)
Debra Silverman, NCI DCEG
"The story of diesel exhaust and lung cancer"


March 5, 2014
Douglas Rees, California Institute of Technology
"Structural and mechanistic diversity of ABC transporters"

March 12, 2014
The Annual Florence Mahoney Lecture
Shelley Berger, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
"Epigenetic regulation of senescence and aging"

March 19, 2014
The Annual Margaret Pittman Lecture
Ana Maria Cuervo, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
"Did you remember to take out the trash? Your cells sure did!"

March 26, 2014 postponed till January 2015
Titia de Lange, The Rockefeller University
"How telomeres solve the end-protection problem"


April 2, 2014
Douglas Wallace, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
"A mitochondrial etiology of metabolic and degenerative diseases, cancer and aging"

April 3, 2014 (rescheduled from April 9)
Jeannie Lee, Harvard Medical School
"Epigenetic regulation by long noncoding RNAs"

April 9, 2014 (rescheduled from October 2)
Taekjip Ha, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"Genome maintenance up close and personal: Eavesdropping on single molecular conversations"

April 16, 2014
Raju Kucherlapati, Harvard Medical School
"Genetics of human cancer"

April 23, 2014
Rachel Wong, University of Washington
"Assembly, disassembly and reassembly of circuits in the retina"

April 30, 2014
Peter Palese, The Mount Sinai Hospital
"Toward a universal influenza virus vaccine"


May 7, 2014
Ulrike Heberlein, HHMI Janelia
"Sex, flies and videotape: How social experience shapes behavior"

May 14, 2014
The Annual R. E. Dyer Lecture
Akiko Iwasaki , Yale School of Medicine
"Antiviral defense mechanisms at the mucosal surfaces"

May 21, 2014
Ron Kahn, Harvard Medical School
"Interplay between genes and environment in insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome; the unique role of the gut microbiome"

May 28, 2014
Kaspar Locher, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH Zürich)
"ABC transporters: Structures, functions, and reaction mechanisms"


June 4, 2014
Karina Walters, University of Washington
"Innovation of Methods and Measures of Historical Trauma and Micro Aggression"

June 11, 2014
The Annual Marshall W. Nirenberg Lecture
Karl Deisseroth, Stanford Institute
"Optical deconstruction of fully-assembled biological systems"

June 18, 2014
Donald Ingber, Wyss Institute and Harvard University
"Human organs on chips and programmable nanotherapeutics"

June 25, 2014
Jorge Galán, Yale Medical School
"Typhoid toxin: A window into the unique biology of Salmonella typhi"

2013–2014 season

WALS poster
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