North Central College - Naperville, IL

Keynote Speaker

2007 Keynote Address

"Can Any Good Come from a Viral Infection?"

will be given by Dr. Erik Falck-Pedersen '75
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Co-Chair of the Graduate Program in Mlecular Biology
Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Dr. Erik Falck-Pedersen is a molecular virologist and leader in gene therapy — the pioneering research into genetic and cell-based technologies to treat and eliminate the root cause of disease.

Falck-Pedersen’s research interest focuses on how viruses activate the immune system. As scientists study basic mechanisms of immune activation, new antiviral strategies can be developed to help protect against infection. His research laboratory seeks to apply viral pathogenesis studies to the development of viral vectors useful in vaccine, anti-cancer and basic gene therapy applications.

After graduating from North Central College in 1975 with a double major in biology and chemistry, he earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Illinois-Chicago in 1981 and took postdoctoral training in molecular biology/virology as a fellow at The Rockefeller University in New York City.

In 1985, Falck-Pedersen joined the faculty at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College, which is affiliated with New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and ranked among the top clinical and medical research centers in the country. He advanced to the rank of professor of microbiology and immunology and is co-chair of the graduate program in molecular biology. A member of the Transgene Scientific Advisory Board and the Scientific Editorial Board Human Gene Therapy, he has produced numerous patents related to his extensive research. Widely published, he’s a frequent contributor in the Journal of Virology, Human Gene Therapy, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Journal of Immunology, to name a few.

Dr. Erik Falck-Pedersen

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Class of 1975