LAWRENCE — Dr. Barney Graham, recently retired deputy director of the National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Center, will be featured March 31 at the 17th Higuchi Memorial Lectures. A scientific lecture for students and faculty will be held from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the School of Pharmacy on the Lawrence campus West District. A public lecture will be held from 5-6 p.m. at 1154 Gray-Little Hall on the Lawrence campus Central District. A livestream of the public lecture will be available online at https://rockcha.lk/higuchi.
Graham, who earned his medical degree from the KU School of Medicine in 1979, has been widely recognized for his role in the rapid development of novel vaccines to combat coronaviruses, including the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines used for COVID-19. Graham and another NIH colleague shared the Federal Employee of the Year award in 2021 for their research that led to the coronavirus vaccines. The Kansas native is an immunologist, virologist and clinical trials physician with an extensive background in basic and translational research applied to vaccine development. His work has focused on respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, coronaviruses, HIV and other emerging viral diseases.
The scientific lecture is titled “Rapid COVID-19 Vaccine Development and the Future of Vaccinology,” while Graham’s public lecture is titled “How COVID-19 Vaccine Development Shapes the Future of Pandemic Preparedness.”
Hosted by the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry in the KU School of Pharmacy, the biennial lectures honor Takeru Higuchi, who founded the department and is considered the “father of physical pharmacy.” Higuchi, who died in 1987 at the pinnacle of his career, was a prolific drug developer and entrepreneur, creating numerous entities to further pharmaceutical advancements.