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Purdue Student Pugwash Conference looks at healthcare industry


More than 100 Purdue students, faculty and visiting scholars attended the 2014 Purdue Student Pugwash Midwest Regional Conference, held April 4 and 5 at Purdue Memorial Union and Stewart Center.

With the theme, “Epidemic Success Infecting Our Future,” most of the talks centered around the many facets of the healthcare industry – from the viruses that cause disease to the trends in drugs that treat those nasty diseases.

The 2014 event saw a marked increase in attendance as well as in the number of presenters. Ten men and women touched discussed their fields and entertained questions from the curious audience. The presenters included:

Biological Sciences Prof. David Sanders
  • Purdue Biological Sciences Prof. David Sanders, “Inoculation Against Biological Weapons and Emerging Diseases.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Fisher, distinguished professor of psychology at University of Connecticut and board director of the Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention, “Changing HIV Risk and Other Unhealthy Behaviors: 25 Years of Theory-Based Research"
  • Dr. Andrew Hyland, chairman for Department of Health Behavior at Rowell Park Cancer Institute and director for New York State Smokers’ Quitline, “The 1 Billion Life Tobacco Epidemic: Opportunities and Challenges to Make a Difference in the 21st Century”
  • Purdue Health Sciences Prof. Urlike Dydak, “Medical Imaging of the Body’s Chemistry: Impacts on Occupational Health and Cancer Research”
  • Dr. S. Patrick Kachur, chief of Center for Disease and Control – Malaria Branch, “Social Dimensions of Malaria Since the Mid 20th Century: From Eradication to Control and Back”
  • Purdue Health Sciences & Toxicology Prof. Jason Cannon, “Neurodegeneration, Neurotoxicology & Gene-Environment Interactions”
  • Brittany Moss, viral hepatitis prevention coordinator – Indiana State Department of Health, “Emergence of Acute Hepatitis C in Young Indiana Residents”
  • Indiana University Epidemiology and Biostatistics Prof. Ka He, “Medical Imaging of the Body’s Chemistry: Impacts on Occupational Health and Cancer Research”
  • Kyle Gracey, PhD student from Carnegie Mellon University

Nancy Lilly, vice president of emerging markets for Eli Lilly & Co., served as the event’s keynote speaker. Her presentation, “Emerging Trends in Pharmaceuticals,” spanned her career within Lilly and her many travels around the world. Her stellar career has seen – and is seeing – interesting trends in pharmaceuticals, from China’s growing emergence in the field to the improvement of generic drugs that are leveling off sales of prescription drugs, despite a ballooning U.S. population.

In 1955, famed scientists Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell and others decreed that scientists must consider the social implications of their work.

The effort was born from the development of the hydrogen bomb. Russell and Einstein worried that while a major scientific achievement, the weapon would have disastrous, horrifying effects on the planet. An ethical and social responsibility should be considered in every scientific achievement.

These scientists convened two years later in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, Canada, to discuss similar critical issues in their respective fields. The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs was born.

Almost 60 years later, the Pugwash Conferences are still being held. The Pugwash organization earned a Nobel Peace Prize in 1995, just a few years after the Purdue University Pugwash chapter was first called to order. The student-run organization grew in strength and started to host its own regional conference annually in 2006. 

Nancy Lilly

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Student Advising Office: (765) 494-1771, Fax: (765) 496-3015 • Science IT, (765) 494-4488

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