SFU alumnus, Dr. Stephen O'Brien, one of the world’s foremost authorities on human and evolutionary genetics, a leader at the National Cancer Institute, and author or co-author of over 800 scientific articles and several books, is wrapping up a biology seminar series at Saint Francis University this week.
The lecture series was held every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:15-2:30pm beginning on February 19th. Many lectures were presented by Dr. O’Brien himself, and some were presented by his distinguished colleagues on topics in their specialty areas.
As a thank you for Dr. O’Brien’s time and service, the Biology department will be presenting him with some gifts and an honorary Distinguished Visiting Professor of Biology position at the University at the final lecture this Thursday, April 11th.
The students that have attended the series to date have found them to be diverse and insightful. One of the students said, “I can’t get over is how much this man has done in his lifetime already. He has been a part of or lead many groups and/or organizations that have/had so many different goals. He definitely influenced me to try things out of my comfort zone for my future career, because you never know what may happen and it could be something pretty great. This series definitely was inspiring and interesting all in one."
Another student reflected, “For my future career, I plan on becoming a pharmacologist where I will be studying drugs. Knowing that certain animals have an immunity to certain diseases may be useful information for trying to develop a cure for certain diseases.”
The lectures are free and open to the public and are held in Science Center Room 024.
About Dr. O'Brien
Dr. Stephen O’Brien ‘66, one of the world’s foremost authorities on human and evolutionary genetics started his career at Saint Francis University and went on to earn a Ph.D. from Cornell. He later joined the National Cancer Institute where his specialization in the genetics of a more docile feline, the common house cat, has been invaluable in human disease research. Dr. O’Brien is credited with the discovery of CCR5-D32, the first of twenty human AIDS restriction genes, authored or co-authored over 800 scientific articles, and published the following books: “Tears of the Cheetah and Other Tales from the Genetic Frontier” (St. Martin’s Press, 2003), “Atlas of Mammalian Chromosomes” (Wiley, 2006), and “Genetic Maps - Locus Maps of Complex Genomes” (Cold Spring Harbor Press, 1988-1993).