September 13, 2017

16th annual Levi Watkins Jr., M.D., Lecture set for Oct. 10

Dr. Levi Garraway, senior vice president for global development and medical affairs for Lilly Oncology, will present the 16th annual Levi Watkins Jr., M.D., Lecture Oct. 10.

Dr. Levi Watkins Jr. (Vanderbilt)

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine presents its 16th annual Levi Watkins Jr., M.D., Lecture at noon on Oct. 10 in 208 Light Hall. The lecture is sponsored by the school’s Office for Diversity Affairs.

This year’s speaker is Dr. Levi Garraway, senior vice president of global development and medical affairs for Lilly Oncology, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and assistant professor of medicine in the Medical Oncology Service of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The title of his lecture is “How Dreams Come True: Reflections on the Physician-Scientist Career Path.”

Dr. Levi A. Garraway

A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Garraway formerly served as director of the Joint Center for Cancer Precision Medicine, which spans Harvard teaching hospitals: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He is co-leader of the Cancer Genetics program at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

Garraway serves on the boards of major cancer centers, including Sloan Kettering, MD Anderson and Ohio State, and he is chairman of several major National Institutes of Health (NIH) committees. He also serves on the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) board of directors and was elected president of the American Society of Clinical Investigation–one of the highest honors for academic clinician scientists.

The author of nearly 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles, Garraway has received many awards, including the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, the Jane Cooke Wright Award from AACR, the New Innovator Award from the NIH, and an Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute.

He is a founder of Foundation Medicine, a leading company in cancer genomics diagnostics.

About Dr. Levi Watkins Jr.

Dr. Levi Watkins Jr., MD’70, has made significant contributions toward increasing opportunities for underrepresented minorities in the sciences. [rquote]A distinguished physician and researcher, in 1966 he became the first African American student to be admitted to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.[/rquote] He graduated in 1970 and was selected a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. He continued his training at Johns Hopkins and Harvard. Watkins embodies the attributes important in serving as a renowned role model for those who pursue careers in medicine and the biomedical sciences. At the time of his death in 2015, he had retired just two years earlier from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he was a renowned professor of cardiac surgery.