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School of Medicine Greenville

Inaugural David A. Wilson Endowed Lecture brings renowned microbiologist Dr. Sabra Klein to SOMG

The inaugural David A. Wilson, M.D. Innovations in Medicine Distinguished Endowed Lecture, held at USC School of Medicine Greenville Thursday, Feb. 23, had been a few years in the planning. 

Conversations with the Wilson Family and the Sargent Foundation to launch the endowed lecture series began in 2019, but the inaugural lecture was delayed due to COVID-19. The lecture series will highlight bold strides in medicine and aims to engage the surrounding medical community and draw national attention to the school. “We have waited years to have this inaugural lecture,” SOMG Dean Marjorie Jenkins told the audience of community members, faculty, physicians and medical students who attended the event. 

The Wilson Endowed Lecture is named after Dr. David A. Wilson, a pioneering physician who came to Greenville in 1945. Wilson, M.D., was the first board certified general surgeon in Greenville, and he helped secure the first accreditation of surgical training at Greenville Health System (now Prisma Health). Dr. Wilson instituted a formal training program for surgery here and conducted groundbreaking research on tuberculosis. His family, along with the Sargent Foundation, established the lectureship series in celebration of his innovative work, including his research on and surgical treatment of tuberculosis. “My father had many interesting experiences,” said Dr. Robert Wilson, his son. 

As the School of Medicine Greenville carries out its plans to expand the depth and breadth of the School’s medical research footprint, increase ongoing community-focused research, and engage with medical leaders, Dr. Robert Wilson said he believes the Wilson Endowed Lectureship will continue to delve into timely medical topics. “This is so exciting,” said Dr. Wilson, who looks forward to future Wilson lectures, to be held annually on the SOMG campus. The goal is to enhance the knowledge of innovative medical discovery and research — just as his father did.  

On Feb. 23, Dr. Sabra Klein was the inaugural lecture speaker. Dr. Klein is a Professor of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Department of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She is an expert on sex and gender differences in immune responses and susceptibility to infection and vaccination, with interrogation of sex-specific effects of aging in humans and animal models.

Dr. Klein highlighted her lab’s research —along with the work of fellow researchers — which looks into differences in rates of covid infection, and statistical differences in severe reactions to SARS-CoV-2 between males and females. Klein also probes impacts of covid on pregnant women and different impacts and risks during phases of pregnancy. 

The David A. Wilson, M.D. Distinguished Endowed Lecture is made possible due to the generosity of the Wilson family and the Sargent Foundation. Future lectures will be held annually at the SOMG campus. 

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