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WALS lecture

First Virtual WALS Lecture

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NIH Lecture-Remote with Dr. James Allison
With sponsored travel and large gatherings now limited to stop the spread of COVID-19, NIH has been making lots of logistical adjustments. That includes holding the first “virtual” NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS) on March 11, 2020. I started things off from Bethesda, Maryland by looking into a video monitor in a large, mostly empty conference room and introducing Jim Allison, the cancer immunotherapy giant and recent Nobelist at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. In Houston, Jim walked to the podium in a mostly empty hall (top left), called for his slides, and delivered a roughly 45-minute presentation titled Immune Checkpoint Blockade in Cancer Therapy: Historical Perspective, New Opportunities, and Prospects for Cures. Taking it all in online was a large NIH audience that included next to me another cancer immunotherapy giant, Steve Rosenberg of NIH’s National Cancer Institute (bottom right). At the conclusion of the presentation, NIH staff emailed questions to the podium in Houston, where Jim provided the answers. Still left to be worked out in this virtual format is how to share afterwards in the real-world coffee, refreshments, and stimulating conversation. Credit: NIH