Penn Symposium to Honor Veterinarian Ralph Brinster


August 14, 2012

Penn Current

Last September, Ralph Brinster, a researcher in the School of Veterinary Medicine, became the first veterinarian to receive the National Medal of Science, one of the most prestigious awards bestowed upon scientists in the United States. Later this month, a unique meeting will honor that achievement and place in context Brinster’s half-century career at Penn.

The Penn Symposium, to be held Aug. 24-25 at Hill Pavilion, will feature 17 speakers who are among the leaders in germ cell and developmental biology. It is an apt lineup, as research led by Brinster, the Richard King Mellon Professor of Reproductive Physiology at Penn Vet, has focused on manipulating the germline of mammals to make breakthroughs in reproductive science. His findings have been applied in genetic engineering, in vitro fertilization, and cloning. In addition, his recent work has identified a stem cell-based method that may be used to preserve fertility in boys who undergo cancer therapies.

“Ralph Brinster has had a stellar 50 years at Penn,” says Michael Atchison, a professor of biochemistry and director of the VMD/PhD Program at Penn Vet, and one of the symposium’s organizers. “Ralph is exceptionally humble but he has really been a game changer, making discoveries that have changed the field.”... Read More