Nobel Laureate Peter Agre will discuss the role science and medicine has in positively impacting the developing world and serving as a basis for diplomacy between nations. Agre will convey his accounts of working on the global problem of Malaria, as well as the use of science as a diplomatic tool.
Dr. Peter Agre
A native Minnesotan, Dr. Peter Agre learned the importance of science and humanism from his Scandinavian parents. Following graduation from Augsburg College, Agre studied medicine at Johns Hopkins where he developed a lifelong interest in biomedical research.
After clinical training, Dr. Agre joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins and focused his research on red cell membranes. His laboratory became widely recognized for discovery of the aquaporin family of membrane water channels. Aquaporins regulate entry and release of water from cells and are implicated in multiple diseases including renal failure, heart failure, brain edema, blindness, and infectious diseases including malaria. For this work, Dr. Agre shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Roderick MacKinnon (Rockefeller). His other honors include the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, Commandership in the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, and membership in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine for which he chaired the Committee on Human Rights (2005-08). As President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009-10), he led scientific diplomacy visits to Cuba, North Korea, Myanmar, and Iran.
Dr. Agre is currently University Professor and Director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and directs the NIH International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Dr. Agre and his wife Mary have been married 38 years and have four grown children.
Ms. Shaifali Puri is the Executive Director of Scientists Without Borders, a global partnership that aims to improve the quality of life in the developing world by linking, mobilizing, and coordinating science-based activities, initiatives, and resources.
Prior to being named Executive Director of Scientists Without Borders, Ms. Puri was the Senior Advisor to the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Empire State Development Corporation, the economic and development arm of the State of New York. In that capacity, she helped to supervise the operations of the 550-employee agency with a $50 million annual operating budget and $500 million program and capital budget, to devise and direct strategy for major development projects in the state, and to negotiate significant deals and investments with major corporations across New York. Ms. Puri also worked closely with the Governor of New York, other elected officials, and multiple non-governmental stakeholders to design and execute strategic economic development projects, policies, and public/private partnerships. Prior to joining the Empire State Development Corporation, she was an Assistant Solicitor General for the State of New York. Earlier in her career, she was a journalist at Fortune magazine
She received her AB with honors from Princeton University and her law degree with distinction from Stanford Law School. She is a former law clerk to the Hon. Amalya L. Kearse of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Dr. Peter Agre, Director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute
at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, responds to a question about Americans' perceived lack of
enthusiasm for scientists and scientific research.