seal  Purdue News

July 15, 2003

Vitamin D expert to speak at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – One of the nation's leading experts on vitamin D will speak at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 25, at Purdue University's Fowler Hall.

"Dr. Michael Hollick is one of the most entertaining science speakers I have ever heard," said Connie Weaver, president of Purdue's Sigma Xi chapter and head of the Department of Foods and Nutrition. "His message will appeal to any health care professional or anyone who is interested in science."

This Sigma Xi distinguished lectureship presentation is titled "The Agony and Ecstasy of Applied Biomedical Research: The Calciotropic Hormone-Skin Connection." A reception will follow the lecture in Stewart Center's East/West Faculty Lounge. Hollick, professor of medicine, dermatology, physiology and biophysics, is director of the General Clinical Research Center and the Bone Health Care Clinic at Boston University Medical Center.

"Some of his scientific accomplishments, for which he is internationally known, include the discovery of vitamin D as an excellent cure for psoriasis," said Weaver, distinguished professor in foods and nutrition. "He also has revolutionized our thinking about how much vitamin D is required for optimal health. His research shows that a vitamin D deficiency during the wintertime can lead to bone loss."

Hollick also has provided insight as to why obesity is associated with vitamin D deficiency, Weaver said. Hollick's research has increased awareness among the pediatric and medical community about the extent to which vitamin D deficiency exists in the American population and its role in causing metabolic bone disease and osteoporosis in adults. His research also has led to fortifying orange juice with vitamin D.

Sponsors for the lectureship include Sigma Xi, the Department of Foods and Nutrition, Provost's Office and Lafayette Center for Medical Education.

Sigma Xi is a global science and engineering scholarly society that brings together scientists from across disciplines to exchange ideas. Two more lectureships are scheduled for the year.

Lee Hood, president of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle and one of the world's leading scientists in molecular biotechnology and genomics, will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 3 at Loeb Playhouse in Stewart Center. His presentation is titled "Systems Biology." Co-sponsors for Hood's lecture are University Lectureship and the Department of Biology.

Mildred Dresselhaus, professor of physics and electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will present "Perspectives on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology" at 3:45 p.m. on Sept. 19 in Fowler Hall. Dresselhaus is known for her pioneering work of new materials and contributing to research in carbon nanotubes, bismuth nanowires and low dimensional thermoelectricity. Sigma Xi, the Provost's Office and the Department of Physics are sponsoring the Dresselhaus lecture.

Writer: Amy Patterson-Neubert, (765) 494-9723,

Sources: Connie Weaver, (765) 494-8237,

Jim Fleet, professor of foods and nutrition, (765) 494-0302,

Lou Sherman, professor of biological sciences, (765) 494-8106,

Anant Ramdas, Lark-Horovitz Distinguished Professor of Physics, (765) 494-3028,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;


NOTE TO JOURNALIST: Advance interviews with Dr. Michael Hollick can be arranged by contacting his assistant, Catherine St. Clair, at (617) 638-4546 or

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