Exploring St. Louis’ ‘infinite possibilities’ in the 21st century

WUSTL panelists provide glimpse into the region’s future
By Barbara Rea

Three leaders and international experts from Washington University in St. Louis will headline a panel discussion exploring the future of the St. Louis region and its opportunities for growth. The Assembly Series panel, "Innovation and Infinite Possibilities in the 21st Century,” will mark the city of Clayton’s centennial year. Co-sponsors are the city of Clayton and the Clayton Century Foundation.

The program will be held from 7-8:30 p.m Wednesday, Nov. 6, in Simon Hall's May Auditorium on WUSTL's Danforth Campus. It is free and open to the public.

The panelists are:

William G. Powderly, MD, addressing medicine and public health

Powderly is the J. William Campbell Professor of Medicine, co-director of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the School of Medicine, and director of the Institute for Public Health. Joining WUSTL's School of Medicine in the 1980s as a specialist in infectious diseases, he also directed the school's AIDS Clinical Trials Unit.

In 2004, Powderly returned to his native Ireland to head the University College Dublin School of Medicine's Department of Medicine, and later served as dean of the school from 2005 until his return to WUSTL in 2013.

For the past two decades, Powderly has concentrated his research on advancing treatments for patients with HIV and studying the long-term metabolic side effects. As a recognized leader in the field of HIV and infectious disease teaching and research, he often advises such organizations as the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Peter H. Raven, PhD, addressing global climate change and biodiversity

Raven is the George Engelmann Professor Emeritus of Botany in Arts & Sciences at WUSTL and president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Under his leadership, the garden became an internationally renowned center for botanical research and pioneered biodiversity and conservation initiatives throughout the globe.

An eloquent and impassioned spokesman for conservation, Raven's contributions to advancing awareness of the negative effects of global climate change are evident in the recognition he has received over the years, which run the gamut from Time magazine's "Hero for the Planet" to numerous professional and association honors, including the National Medal of Science, the highest award for scientific accomplishment in the U.S. His extraordinary global reach is marked by membership in the academies of science in 19 countries (including the U.S.). His publishing oeuvre includes both popular and scientific books and articles, as well as textbooks. 

Holden Thorp, PhD, addressing education and information access

This summer, Thorp became WUSTL's provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. He also holds professorships in both the School of Medicine and the Department of Chemistry in Arts & Sciences.

He comes to St. Louis by way of North Carolina, specifically the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he advanced his academic and administrative career, and, in 2008, became UNC's chancellor. As a chemist, educator and successful entrepreneur in biotechnology, he understands and embraces the crucial role research universities play in spearheading societal change and how the role of higher education is rapidly changing. In addition, he has co-authored Engines of Innovation: The Entrepreneurial University in the 21st Century and teaches a course on Coursera called "What's Your Big Idea?” 

For information on this and future Assembly Series programs, or for directions and parking information, visit assemblyseries.wustl.edu or call (314) 935-4620. 

For information on other Clayton Centennial events, visit here.

Barbara Rea
Director of Assembly Series and Special Projects
(314) 935-5297