Dr. Martin J. Blaser will present the University of Southern Indiana’s sixth-annual Marlene V. Shaw Biology Lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 22 in Mitchell Auditorium located in the Health Professions Building on the USI campus. The presentation, entitled “Missing Microbes: Antibiotic Overuse Fuels Modern Plagues,” is free and open to the public.
Blaser is the Muriel and George Singer Professor of Medicine, professor of microbiology, and director of the Human Microbiome Program at the NYU School of Medicine. He served as chair of the Department of Medicine at NYU from 2000-2012. A physician and microbiologist, he is interested in understanding the relationships we have with our persistently colonizing bacteria. Blaser will explore how the human microbiome is perturbed by modern medicine, identify long-term unintended consequences of the loss of normal gut microbes and offer solutions.
Over the last 15 years, Blaser has been actively studying the relationship of the human microbiome with health and with important diseases of increasing frequency, such as asthma, obesity, diabetes and allergies. Over the course of his career, he has served as president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute, chair of the Advisory Board for Clinical Research of the National Institutes of Health, and on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy for Arts and Sciences. He has received many honors, including the 2014 Alexander Fleming Award from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the 2016 Thermo-Fisher New Frontiers in Science and Technology Award.
Blaser holds 28 U.S. patents relating to his research, and has authored over 550 original articles. Recently, he wrote Missing Microbes, an award-winning science book targeted to general audiences. He now is serving as the chair of the Presidential Advisory Council for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.
The Annual Marlene V. Shaw Biology Lecture is funded through an endowment established by the USI Foundation.
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