May 12, 2005
Vol. 24 No. 16

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    Saturday Seminars’ May 14 program to feature Abbott scientists

    By Josh Schonwald
    News Office

    High school students thinking about a career in medical research or the biological sciences will have a rare opportunity Saturday, May 14, to learn about research being done on some of the world’s most harmful diseases.

    As part of its ongoing Saturday Seminars program, the Division of Biological Sciences will offer participants a chance to learn about the work of researchers from Abbott, a global, broad-based health care company. The event will take place in the Biological Sciences Learning Center, Room 109, 924 E. 57th St.

    Alumnus Jeffrey Leiden (A.B.,’75, Ph.D.,’79, M.D.,’81), president of the pharmaceutical products group at Abbott, and several of Abbott’s top scientists will speak about their research on HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, pain and spinal cord injury.

    “It’s very exciting for us to move beyond the University to expose students to a whole new world of opportunities and research,” said José Quintans, Master of the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division and Professor in Pathology and the College, who directs the program. Quintans said the visit by Abbott scientists greatly enhances the goal of the 15-year-old outreach program, which is to expose Chicago Public Schools students and their teachers to the vista of careers in the biological sciences.

    Following a presentation by Leiden, John Leonard, vice president of global medicine and scientific affairs, will speak on the subject “HIV/AIDS: From Killer to Chronic Disease.” Also, Rita Jain, a rheumatologist, will give a talk titled “Evolution in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis,” and Jim Sullivan, head of neuroscience and pain research, will discuss Abbott’s research effort with spinal cord injury and the treatment of pain.

    Following the lectures, the researchers will hold a question-and-answer session with CPS students who are participating in the University’s Collegiate Scholars program.

    Initiated three years ago, the Collegiate Scholars program is a three-year enrichment program specifically aimed at preparing CPS students for success at elite colleges and universities. Leiden, a former Professor in Medicine and Chief of the Cardiology Section at Chicago, is a mentor to Collegiate Scholar Langston Wesley, a Morgan Park High School student who is interested in a career in the biological sciences.

    The Saturday Seminars are held on the first Saturday of each month during the academic year. For more information, please contact Patrick Medina at medina@midway.uchicago.edu.