Hundreds gather for Marquam Hill Lecture kick-off

Dr. ThornburgOctober 25, 2013

Series shares OHSU science with the Portland community

The first event of the 2013-2014 Marquam Hill Lecture Series was a resounding success. More than 200 people from the Portland community and OHSU were in attendance Oct. 17 to hear Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., director of the OHSU Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness and professor of medicine, speak on the vital connection between maternal diet, the quality of fetal growth and epigenetics – how adult onset diseases are "programmed" in the womb. "The most common cause of chronic disease is vulnerability due to poor growth in early life," said Dr. Thornburg. "And the declining quality of the American diet is the primary cause of that vulnerability."

Before the lecture, Dr. Thornburg met with about 25 students from South Albany High School to delve into the science behind the developmental origins of health and disease. The students had prepared by reading two articles co-authored by Dr. Thornburg. A lively discussion about epigenetics and the role of nutrition ensued.

For more than 30 years, the Marquam Hill Lecture Series has brought cutting-edge research from leading OHSU scientists to the community. Speakers in the series tailor their talks to the lay audience, creating a link from the lab to the community and providing an important opportunity to educate the public about basic, translational and clinical research and biomedicine.

Up next is Beth Habecker, Ph.D., professor of physiology and pharmacology, who will deliver a talk entitled "Nerve Remodeling After a Heart Attack" on Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. in the OHSU Auditorium. Dr. Habecker's lab has uncovered surprising new evidence about the body's physical remodeling following a heart attack, which may contain answers to other perplexing nerve injuries, such as those in the spinal cord. RSVP online.

In the interest of serving all Oregonians, each lecture is recorded and posted on the website for later viewing. Watch/listen to previous Marquam Hill lectures.