Drs. Fauci, Prendergast to present keynote addresses to more than 120 graduates at Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences’ virtual commencement

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Two keynote speakers will highlight the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 11:

  • Anthony Fauci, M.D.
    Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Fauci’s speech will be prerecorded in Washington, D.C. He will receive an honorary doctorate presented by Stella Hartono, M.D., Ph.D., a 2017 graduate who now works alongside him at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Fauci, who has been one of the most visible public health leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been the institute’s director since 1984.
  • Franklyn Prendergast, M.D., Ph.D.
    Prendergast is a Mayo Clinic emeritus professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and pharmacology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. Dr. Prendergast held major leadership roles at Mayo Clinic from the early 1980s until his retirement in 2014. He also will receive an honorary doctorate.

The  livestream of commencement will begin at 1 p.m. CDT and can be viewed at https://mssvideoupload.mayo.edu/media/t/1_sl0hlq15. Dr. Fauci’s speech is planned for approximately 1:08 p.m. and Dr. Prendergast’s will occur about 1:30 p.m.

Also speaking at the event will be:

Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences traditionally has had its commencement in tandem with Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. This year’s ceremony will be different, and not just because of the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, says Dr. Meyer.

“This is a special moment for graduates and their families, as well as the entire graduate school faculty and family,” says Dr. Meyer. “Due to the pandemic, we can’t have the in-person ceremony that we would like, but we want to celebrate the achievements of these outstanding students as they begin their biomedical research careers.”

Sixty-two students will graduate with the Class of 2021, including 26 doctoral degrees, 31 master’s degrees, and five medical and doctoral graduates. The school also has invited Class of 2020 graduates to attend.

Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences offers doctoral, medical and doctoral, and other biomedical research training programs in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. The school, which is embedded in Mayo Clinic, one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, provides extraordinary training experiences that develop biomedical scientists, educators and innovators whose leadership will change the world.


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