Annual Lecture in Global Childhood Health

The Center's annual lecture in Global Childhood Health was established in 2023 to honor the life and legacy of Bette Parsons.

Bette was born in Philadelphia and grew up during the Great Depression as well as World War II.

Like many American women of her generation and those preceding it, Bette wasn’t greeted with the full spectrum of life choices that many enjoy today.

But as matriarch, Bette cultivated in her eight children a deep curiosity about and compassion for the world outside their home.

The Elizabeth A. Parsons Lecture in Global Child Health is a testament to the spark that survives societal constructs. It’s also a reminder of the work left to do to help lift these constraints for communities across the globe—an effort that includes the Center’s focused mission of improving childhood health outcomes worldwide



Ann Duerr, MD, PhD, MPH

“The search for an HIV vaccine: a long and winding road”


Anna Mandalakas, MD, PhD

"State of the World's Children: Focus on TB"

The 2024 Parsons Lecture also occasioned a program of short presentations from early-career investigators associated with the Center. This session included Felicity Coulter (Messer's lab), Xammy Nguyenla  (Tafesse's lab), and Dylan Kain (the Lewinsohn lab). The archive of these talks can be viewed here.