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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.



"Why Telomeres Matter..."

Wednesday, January 12
12 noon
Weigand Room
Arts & Sciences Building, free


Ethics at Noon: "Why Telomeres Matter: The Ethical and Social Significance of the Tips of Your Chromosomes." A panel discussion featuring Santa Clara University professors Leilani Miller, Biology; Lawrence Nelson, Philosophy, and Frederick Parrella, Religious Studies.


Elizabeth Blackburn

Wednesday, February 2
7:30 p.m.

Recital Hall
Music & Dance Building
Advance Reservations requested, free.


Gerald and Sally DeNardo Lectureship: "Studying Chromosome Ends in Human Health and Diseases." Dr. Blackburn is the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discoveries in telomere biology that have uncovered a new understanding of normal cell functioning and given rise to a growing field of inquiry. She has been recognized for her seminal contribution to the field of telomere biology with numerous prizes, awards, and honorary degrees, including the 2006 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. In 2007, Time magazine named her one of the '100 Most Influential People in the World.' Dr. Blackburn holds the Morris Herzstein Endowed Chair in Biology and Physiology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. She is also a Non-Resident Fellow of the Salk Institute. 

Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health

Tuesday, March 1
12:00 p.m.
Wiegand Room
Arts & Sciences Building, free


DeNardo Dialogue: A presentation and conversation featuring Santa Clara University Professor of Psychology, Tom Plante. In a world of continuing stress and nonstop sensory input, the one thing that seems increasingly elusive is peace of mind. Contemplative practices, from meditation to Zen, are growing in popularity as methods to inspire physical and mental health. Contemplative Practices in Action, edited by Dr. Plante, presents information about contemplative practices from various spiritual and religious traditions, with insights to contemplative methods that are practiced across cultures, religions, and socioeconomic groups. Director of the Spirituality and Health Institute at Santa Clara, Dr. Plante is also adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine.



Tuesday, April 5
7:00 p.m.
Recital Hall
Music & Dance Building, free


Superb talent Emma Thompson puts in a tour de force as a renowned professor approaching 50 who is diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. She agrees to a radical and painful treatment, and the film follows the effects on her body and mind. Her emotions range from joy at her reactions to her various predicaments to fear at the prospect of facing such a difficult death. Even throughout her painful treatment, all of her thoughts and relationships are handled with a sense of "wit." Talkback immediately following the film.


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.