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Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS) - Bad Deeds Go Unpunished: The vacuole guard hypothesis and pathogen intracellular growth

November 20, 2019

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Building 10, Clinical Center, Masur Auditorium

The NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series, colloquially known as WALS, is the highest-profile lecture program at the NIH. Lectures occur on most Wednesdays from September through June from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Building 10 on the NIH Bethesda campus.

Each season includes some of the biggest names in biomedical and behavioral research. The goal of the WALS is to keep NIH researchers abreast of the latest and most important research in the United States and beyond. An added treat is the annual J. Edward Rall Cultural Lecture, which features top authors and other cultural icons. All speakers are nominated by the NIH community.

Speaker: Ralph R. Isberg, Ph.D.

Ralph Isberg has been a Professor of Molecular Biology and Microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine for 32 years. After receiving an undergraduate degree at Oberlin College, he obtained his PhD at Harvard working on transposable genetic elements in bacteria. Throughout his career at Tufts he has primarily focused on the pathogenesis of Legionella pneumophila and enteropathogenic Yersinia, and has recently initiated projects on tackling drug resistance in nosocomial organisms. His research highlights include the identification of proteins involved in uptake of bacteria into mammalian cells, the identification of the protein machine that allows Legionella to construct an intracellular niche, and understanding how innate immune recognition distinguishes pathogens from nonpathogens. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2009. Former trainees from his laboratory include some of the leading figures in the field of bacterial pathogenesis.


This lecture will be followed by a reception in the NIH Library. Special thanks to the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) for its support of the weekly reception. FAES is proud to co-sponsor with the NIH in hosting the Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series.

To watch the WALS lecture online, visit Registration is not required; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Fire regulations require that every person in Masur Auditorium must have a seat. Standing in the aisles or in the back of the auditorium is not permitted. Sign language interpreters can be provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact Jacqueline Roberts,, 301-594-6747, or the Federal Relay, 800-877-8339.