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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 and SCU Presents.

Immortal Cells and the Ethics of Cancer Research - What We Learned From Henrietta Lacks

Tuesday, April 29
12:00 p.m.
Wiegand Room
Arts & Sciences Building, free


The Art of Science: Join Christelle Sabatier, Ph.D., in a discussion of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a book published by Rebecca Skloot in 2010. In this era of citizen science, easy genomic sequencing, and stem cell research, the story of Henrietta Lacks, who quietly passed away in 1951, continues to inform us. Her immortal cells have led to great scientific advances but at great emotional cost to her family. Dr. Sabatier is a Lecturer of Biology at Santa Clara University.


James E. Bradner, M.D.

Wednesday, April 30
7:30 p.m.
Music & Dance Recital Hall, free


Gerald and Sally DeNardo Lectureship:   “A Case for Open-Source Drug Discovery.” How does a cancer cell know it’s a cancer cell? Dr. Bradner, Staff Physician in the Division of Hematologic Malignancies at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Associate Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, has researched this question in his lab extensively. Having identified the cell’s molecular bookmarks that remind it of its identity, Dr. Bradner and his team have produced a molecule, JQ1, which has shown great promise in subverting the aggressive behavior of cancer cells by altering their identity. Instead of patenting this breakthrough, he and his team have sent samples of JQ1 to labs across the globe in the hope of speeding up open-source drug discovery.


Cancer, Genes, and the Angelina Jolie Case: Ethics and the Aftermath of Genetic Diagnosis

Tuesday, May 6
12:00 p.m.
Wiegand Room
Arts & Sciences Building, free


Ethics at Noon: In May 2013 Angelina Jolie revealed that she had undergone a double mastectomy after tests showed that she carries the BRCA cancer gene, leaving her with a high probability of developing breast cancer. Equipped with readily-available gene-identifying tools, we now have to confront difficult personal and ethical questions about medical treatment in the aftermath of genetic diagnoses. Santa Clara scholars will discuss the ethical, medical, communication, gender, and biological aspects of such scenarios. The panel: Laura Ellingson, Professor of Communication and Director, Women’s and Gender Studies Program; Ángel Islas, Associate Professor of Biology; and Karen Peterson-Iyer, Lecturer in Religious Studies.

The Cancer Journey

Thursday, May 15
12:00 p.m.
Wiegand Room
Arts & Sciences Building, free


DeNardo Dialogue: There are few people who have affected the landscape of Santa Clara County health more than Gay Crawford, who has been involved at the local, state, and national level, fighting for better cancer care, research, advocacy, and services since 1974. Ms. Crawford is a founding member of Cancer CAREpoint, founder of the State Cancer Registry, founder of Hospice of the Valley, and founder of Courageous Kids. A two-time cancer survivor, Gay has been referred to as the “face of cancer” in Silicon Valley because of her position of leadership in these and many other cancer programs. Come hear about her experience as a cancer survivor and advocate, and the challenges she has faced in the pursuit of her many accomplishments in the area of cancer care.


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.