2024 E. E. Just Lecture May 20th 4:00 pm BSLC 109

Hosted By: The BSD Diversity Committee

Register to Attend Here: https://redcap.link/E.E.Just2024


Students are invited to attend a student only Q&A session with Dr. Spencer preceeding the lecture from 3 – 4pm in BSLC 008

What is the E. E. Just Lecture?: Every year the BSD Diversity Committee holds a highly prestigious named lecture in honor of Dr. Ernest Everett Just. The first African American to graduate with a PhD from the University of Chicago in 1916. Working jointly at the Marine Biological Sciences Laboratory and our Chicago campus under Dr. F. R. Lilly, Just made many pivotal discoveries about the fundamental role the cell surface plays in the development of an organism and became a global leader in embryology. He went on to publish numerous articles in embryology and developmental biology with his seminal work being the textbook “The Biology of the Cell Surface” published in 1939. Dr. Just conducted research in laboratories around the world while serving as the chair of the department of Zoology at Howard University throughout his career. His experiences in countries like France and Germany highlighted the second-class nature of African American life in the United States and lead him to become a vocal opponent of racism in society and academia. We hold the E. E. Just Lecture in his honor every year to uplift a Scientist who echoes E. E. Just’s impact and contribution to diversity equity and inclusion in science through their innovative biological research.


Who is Dr. Spencer? : Dr. Spencer is a professor of Pharmacology and Neuroscience studying the dopamine reward system as it related to substance abuse and addiction recovery. In her own words: “Our research program is aimed at identifying the neural mechanisms that underlie the development of drug addiction and relapse. Broadly, we are interested in studying the trajectory of neuroplasticity, neurochemistry, and behavior associated with addiction as a relapsing-remitting brain disorder. These interests extend to the comorbidities between drug addiction and other debilitating psychiatric diseases.”

An intimate Student only Q&A with Dr. Spencer : Dr. Spencer is also deeply involved in initiatives to diversify neuroscience through recruitment of diverse students to graduate programs. As such at 3pm we will be holding a student only Q&A session with Dr. Spencer. Students can register to attend the Q&A session using the lecture RSVP form as well. Faculty, please encourage your students to attend, Dr. Spencer’s Journey and approach to developing her academic career will be inspiring to many students in our program.

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