Drs. Peter and Marlene MacLeish Endowed Lectureship
Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) proudly announced the establishment of the Drs.
Peter and Marlene MacLeish Endowed Lectureship in March 2018, recognizing MSM’s commitment
to supporting neuroscience and to celebrate the contributions Peter and Marlene have
made to advance education and scientific research at MSM.
The Drs. Peter and Marlene MacLeish Endowed Lectureship Series is a Morehouse School
of Medicine (MSM) event established to:
Recognize and celebrate the contribution of basic science, particularly neuroscience,
to Morehouse School of Medicine,
Invigorate and inspire students and junior faculty, and
Inform the general public about advances in biomedical science and its impact on health.
The lectureship was established in 2017, thanks to initial funding gifts from Dr.
Zach Hall, Former Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and
Stroke, his wife Julie Ann Giacobassi and Dr. Torsten Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and President
Emeritus of The Rockefeller University.
Honoring a Legacy
To honor the legacy of Drs. Peter and Marlene MacLeish and to ensure its continuation,
Morehouse School of Medicine and its gracious donors have created an initial $200,000
endowment to support this high-profile lecture series bringing outstanding biomedical
scientists to the MSM campus and surrounding community. You are invited to further
support the Drs. Peter and Marlene MacLeish Endowed Lectureship, by making a gift
online by visiting giving.msm.edu.
Cori Bargmann, Ph.D.
Due to the progression of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the 3rd Annual Drs. Peter and
Marlene MacLeish Endowed Lectureship lectures will be postponed. They were originally
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 Community Presentation:"Accelerating science through technology and collaboration" Reception: 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. Lecture: 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Summary: The Chan Zuckerberg Science Initiative was founded with the goal of supporting
basic biomedical science and technology to help cure, prevent, or manage all diseases
by the end of the century. Toward that goal, we wish to accelerate scientific discovery:
by encouraging collaboration between scientists, physicians, engineers, and patients,
and by building tools and technologies that enable every scientist to be more successful.
Thursday, April 2, 2020 Scientific Lecture: "Neuroscience, technology and collaboration: a personal view" 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Summary: Genes, neurons, and circuits encode information, interpret it based on context and
motivational states, and use that combined input to drive flexible behaviors. Understanding
how these processes propagate across temporal and spatial scales is daunting in the
complex human brain, but more straightforward in the simple brain of the nematode
C. elegans. Our studies of C. elegans foraging behaviors have provided insights into
three levels of behavioral regulation: the gating of information flow by circuit state
over seconds, the extrasynaptic regulation of circuits by neuropeptides and neuromodulators
over minutes and hours, and innate programs that modify behavior across development.
This year's lecturer was scheduled to be Cori Bargmann, Ph.D., Head of Science, Chan
Zuckerberg Initiative, Head of the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits
and Behavior and the Torsten N. Wiesel Professor at Rockefeller University.
Cori Bargmann is a neuroscientist and geneticist. She received a BS in biochemistry
from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
where she studied the neu/HER2 oncogene with Robert A. Weinberg. Her work on the neurobiology
and genetics of behavior began during a postdoctoral fellowship with H. Robert Horvitz
at MIT. She has studied the relationships between genes, circuits, and behaviors in
the genetically tractable nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a faculty member
at the University of California, San Francisco (1991-2004) and at the Rockefeller
University as the Torsten N. Wiesel Professor and Head of the Lulu and Anthony Wang
Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior (2004-present).
She was an HHMI Investigator from 1995-2016. Highlights of her lab’s work include
identifying the first direct link between an olfactory receptor protein and an animal’s
odor recognition, demonstrating that a pre-patterned map of olfactory and taste preference
converts sensory perception into stereotyped behaviors, elucidating the circuit logic
connecting odors to fixed and variable behavioral responses, mapping natural trait
variation in social and foraging behaviors to receptors for neuromodulators, and discovering
many molecules involved in nervous system wiring, including a “matchmaker” for synaptic
specificity. This work has been recognized by scientific honors including a 2012 Kavli
Prize in Neuroscience and the 2013 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. In 2013-2014,
she co-chaired the NIH working group to the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director
for President Obama’s Brain Initiative. In 2016 she joined the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
as its first President of Science. Chan Zuckerberg Science has the goal of advancing
basic science and technology that will make it possible to cure, prevent, or manage
all diseases by the end of the century. To accelerate the pace of biomedical science,
the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative supports collaborations between experimental and computational
scientists and engineers, technologies to advance scientific discovery, and open science.
The 2nd Annual lectures were held on Wednesday, March 27 and Thursday, March 28, 2018.
Internationally renowned anesthesiologist-statistician-neuroscientist, Emery N. Brown,
Ph.D, M.D., delivered the keynote presentation “Deciphering the Dynamics of the Unconscious
Brain Under General Anesthesia." Dr. Brown is the Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Medical Engineering, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science and Professor of Computational Neuroscience, Picower Institute for Learning
and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at Massachusetts Institute
of Technology. He is also the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anesthesia, Harvard Medical
School, Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at Massachusetts
Marlene MacLeish, Ed.D., was recruited to MSM in 1995, as an internationally known spokeswoman for science
education and health disparities research. She has published widely on STEM education
and served in many leadership roles to advance science education.
Published The Brain in Space: A Teacher’s Guide with Activities for Neuroscience.
Served as the executive producer of a six-part radio series, Biomedical Science for
Space Travelers, and a documentary film, Exploring Two Frontiers: The Brain in Space,
which aired on Public Broadcasting Services-USA.
Served on many boards, including the Board of Trustees of the International Academy
of Aeronautics: France; Emory University Board of Visitors, the National Science,
Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy Advisory Board, and the Fernbank Science
Center - Space Station Advisory Committee.
Earned the Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.) from the University of Western Ontario,
Canada; The Woman of Distinction Award, Brescia College, Canada; there is also a Dr.
Marlene MacLeish Endowment Fund by The Congress of Black Women of Canada in London,
Peter MacLeish, Ph.D. wastrained in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School and was a faculty
member at Harvard Medical School, Rockefeller University and Cornell University Medical
College (Weill) before being recruited to Morehouse School of Medicine in 1995 to
found the Neuroscience Institute, the first of its kind at a Historically Black College
or University. He was subsequently honored as the George H.W. and Barbara P. Bush
Professor of Neuroscience. He is internationally recognized for his work on phototransduction
and on the electrical properties of identified retinal cells from adult vertebrates.
He has published in top-tier journals and been invited to lecture nationally and internationally.
He is also a member of the National Academy of Medicine and served on national committees
including the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Council,
the Advisory Committee to the Director of NIH, the Board of Scientific Councilors
at the National Institute of Mental Health and the NIH Brain Research through Advancing
Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) working group.
Under his leadership:
Neuroscience Institute investigators at Morehouse School of Medicine received a total
of 69 awards, including 50 from the NIH, totaling $77.6 million,
Morehouse School of Medicine established a Department of Neurobiology with him as
the founding chairman,
The Specialized Neuroscience Research Program was expanded with U54 awards from the
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to support neuroscience
programs at other minority institutions,
The Neuroscience Institute implemented a 5-year BS/MS degree program in collaboration
with Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University.