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NHLBI director Gibbons set to deliver Oct. 9 Watkins Lecture

Sep. 27, 2018, 8:46 AM

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine will present its 17th annual Levi Watkins Jr., MD, Lecture at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 9, in 208 Light Hall. The lecture is sponsored by the school’s Office for Diversity Affairs.

Gary Gibbons, MD

This year’s speaker will be Gary Gibbons, MD, director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NHLBI), the third largest institute at the NIH, with an annual budget of more than $3 billion and a staff of 917 federal employees. Prior to being named director of the NHLBI, Gibbons served as a member of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council from 2009-2012. He was also a member of the NHLBI Board of Extramural Experts.

Levi Watkins Jr., MD, made significant contributions toward increasing opportunities for underrepresented minorities in the sciences. A distinguished physician and researcher, in 1966 he became the first African-American student to be admitted to VUSM. 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, who died in 2015, embodied the attributes important in serving as a renowned role model for those who pursue careers in medicine and the biomedical sciences.

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