The Graduate School has a long and proud tradition of inviting a distinguished special guest speaker as a highlight of each Graduate Research Day celebration. We have enjoyed and learned from each honored guest over the years. Here are a few from previous events:

Keynote Speakers

photo of Eric Olson, PhD

Annie and Willie Nelson Professor of Stem Cell Research|Pogue Distinguished Chair in Research on Cardiac Birth Defects |Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Science at Department of Molecular Biology, UT Southwestern Medical Center


Keynote Address: 

"CRISPR Correction of Muscle and Heart Disease"


photo of Max Dale Cooper, MD

Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar|Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine |


Winner of the 2019 Lasker Award


Keynote Address: 

"Evolution of our Immune System"

photo of Bruce Beutler, MD

Regental Professor|Director, Center for the Genetics of Host Defense |Raymond & Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research,  University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


Winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine


Keynote Address: 

“Creating New Diseases and Suppressing Old Ones with Random Germline Mutagenesis"

photo of Vishva M. Dixit, MD

Vice President of Early Discovery Research, Genentech


Keynote Address: 

“Why so many ways to die? The Non-canonical Inflammasome Pathway”

photo of Bruce D. Hammock, PhD

Distinguished Professor Department of Entomology & UCD Comprehensive Cancer Center |Director, NIEHS-UCD Superfund Research Program, University of California – Davis


Keynote Address: 

“Development of a Non Addictive Analgesic: The Painful Path from Basic Science to Treating Diabetic Pain”

photo of J. Merchant, MD / PhD

Professor, Departments of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology & Integrative and Molecular Physiology, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor


Member: Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences


Keynote Address: 

 Helicobacter, Hedgehog and Gastric Cancer”

photo of Dora Angelaki, PhD

Professor & Chair of Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine


Member: American Academy of Arts and Sciences and National Academy of Sciences


Keynote Address: 

“Merging of Our Senses: A Brain Challenge for Perceptual Reality”

photo of Leroy Hood, PhD

President, The Institute of Systems and Biology


Keynote Address: 

“System Medicine and Proactive P4 Medicine: Catalyzing a Revolution in Healthcare”

photo of Shu Chien, MD, PhD

Professor of Bioengineering & Medicine |Director of Institute of Engineering in Medicine Jacobs School of Engineering, University of California, San Diego


Keynote Address: 

“Career Development: A Case History and General Thoughts”

photo of Carl Wu, PhD

Senior Fellow, HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus  |NIH Distinguished Investigator, Emeritus, Laboratory of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute


Keynote Address: 

“Chromatin Remodeling and the Regulation of Gene Expression in Eukaryotes”

GRD Information

Previous Award Winners