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Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Commencement

August 31, 2021

By Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science staff

Anthony Fauci, M.D., and Franklyn Prendergast, M.D., Ph.D., are to be keynote speakers at Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences commencement, which will be held virtually on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.

This is the first time Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences has held graduation for only its graduates. Due to COVID-19, the school has invited 2020 graduates as well as master’s degree and M.D.-Ph.D. students to attend. More than 100 graduates will be recognized at the event.

The ceremony will be available by live video stream for everyone in the Mayo Clinic community, including our graduates and their loved ones, faculty, students, alumni, and staff.

According to Fredric Meyer, M.D., Juanita Kious Waugh Executive Dean of Education at Mayo Clinic, this year's commencement is different, and not just because of the pandemic.

"Traditionally, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences has participated in a joint commencement ceremony with Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. As we continue to grow biomedical research careers, we felt it was important to invite these two keynote speakers and the class of 2020 to attend," Dr. Meyer says.

Commencement speaker: Anthony Fauci, M.D.

Anthony Fauci, M.D.Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser to the president, will deliver the 2021 commencement address. He also will receive an honorary degree during the commencement ceremony.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Fauci's speech will be given virtually and will be available to all of the program's graduates, as well as to all Mayo Clinic staff by live video stream on Saturday, Sept. 11.

Dr. Fauci has been the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director since 1984. He oversees an extensive portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis and malaria, as well as emerging diseases such as Ebola and Zika.

"When I think of the impact science is having on society, I cannot think of a more inspiring person than Dr. Fauci. He has brought medicine and science to the forefront of America by being an unwavering advocate for science and facts," says Stephen Ekker, Ph.D., dean of Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. "His career represents the power of what I call a 'Scientist-plus.' He is changing lives around the world with his ability to communicate about discovery, translation, and the application of science. These are inspiring values and servant leadership that our graduates imbue as well."

Commencement speaker: Franklyn Prendergast, M.D., Ph.D.

Franklyn Prendergast, M.D., Ph.D.Franklyn Prendergast, M.D., Ph.D., emeritus professor of biochemistry, molecular biology, and pharmacology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, also will be a keynote speaker at commencement this year.

Dr. Prendergast held major leadership roles both inside and outside of Mayo Clinic, beginning in the early 1980s and continuing until his retirement in 2014. He served in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, where he also served as chair.

Dr. Prendergast also was director for Research, a member of the Mayo Clinic Board of Governors and Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, director of the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center, and director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine. Dr. Prendergast completed a doctorate in biochemistry at Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Rochester and an internal medicine residency at Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education.

"It is an honor to have both of these speakers at our inaugural commencement," says Dr. Meyer.