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Exploring the nuances and breadth of biomedical science

Health & Science Horizons at Santa Clara University is a series of events designed to enrich student, faculty, and community understanding of modern healthcare topics. Boasting dynamic and eminent speakers, the series features interdisciplinary programs aimed at inspiring an intellectual dialogue across campus and in our community. Health & Science Horizons brings out the best of a Jesuit education, reflecting Santa Clara’s institutional commitment to the pursuit of informed ethical discourse.

Health & Science Horizons is presented in partnership with the Gerald and Sally DeNardo Lectureship, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and the Center of Performing Arts.



Dr. Stanely Prusiner

Wednesday, April 15 

Gerald and Sally DeNardo Lectureship: “The Scourge of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and Prion Diseases.” Dr. Stanley Prusiner, Nobel Prize-winning neurologist, biochemist, teacher, and expert in neurodegenerative diseases, looks at some of the greatest challenges facing neurological research today.  Dr. Prusiner is Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Professor of Neurology and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Francisco.



Thursday, April 30 

Based on John Bayley’s memoir, “Elegy for Iris,” about his marriage to novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch, this film takes us on a journey from their early years together through Iris’ heartbreaking struggle with Alzheimer’s disease 40 years later. This film focuses on the incredible character of Iris and the steadfast love of her husband. ©Miramax Films. Rated R. Talkback immediately following the film: Margaret McLean, Associate Director and Director of Bioethics, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, moderator. Panelists, Elizabeth Edgerly, Chief Program Officer for the Alzheimer’s Association; Doris Hawks, Elder Law Attorney, Advocate, and Lecturer, School of Law; Lawrence J. Nelson, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy; Christelle Sabatier, Lecturer in Biology.

Henry T. "Hank" Greely

Thursday, May 7
12:00 noon


Ethics at Noon: “Brain-Boosting Drugs and the Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement.” Greely is the Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor at the Stanford Law School. A leading expert on the legal, ethical, and social issues surrounding health law and the biosciences, Greely specializes in the implications of new biomedical technologies, especially those related to genetics, neuroscience, and stem cells.


Albert Jonsen

Thursday, May 14


Regan Lecture: “Autonomy and the History of American Bioethics.” Dr. Jonsen is a biomedical ethicist and author. He is Emeritus Professor of Ethics in Medicine at the University of Washington, School of Medicine, where he was Chairman of the Department of Medical History and Ethics from 1987-1999, and currently is Co-Director of the Program in Medicine and Human Values at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.  Made possible by a gift from New York Life Insurance Co. in honor of William Regan III.


For more information call 408-554-2301 or visit

If you have a disability and require a reasonable accommodation, please call Marie Brancati at 408-554-2301 (voice) or 1-800-735-2929 (TTY-California Relay) at least 72 hours prior to the event you wish to attend.