Thanks for Joining Us! 

Thank you for joining the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) on one or more Thursdays for this year's OLLI At-the-U Lecture Series. We hope you learned something new about the work and research taking place at the University of Minnesota

Missed a lecture? Want to share a lecture with family or friends? You can find the recordings on this page.

Like what you see? You can learn more about OLLI and the benefits of membership on the OLLI website.

Lecture Recordings

Christopher Pennell

Treating Cancer as an Invasive Species
There are striking similarities between cancer and invasive species as it relates to how they disrupt ecosystems. There also are parallels in eradication strategies. Dr. Christopher Pennell will use the invasive species paradigm to introduce the key concepts of cancer as well as the interdisciplinary comparisons that may suggest novel treatment strategies for cancer.

Christopher Pennell, PhD, is the associate education director of the Masonic Cancer Center. His research explores tumor immunology (interactions between tumors and the immune system) and tumor immunotherapy (how the immune system can be exploited to treat malignant tumors).

Presented March 28, 2024.

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Jean McElvain

Dynamic Design in Everyday Objects 
Get up close and personal with the Goldstein Museum of Design, the region's only museum dedicated to design! Curator Jean McElvain will begin with an introduction to the Museum’s rich history as well as its current aims and vision. This will be followed by an interactive presentation of objects and stories from five main collecting areas: apparel, textiles, decorative arts, product design, and graphic design.

Jean McElvain, PhD, curates exhibits for the Goldstein Museum of Design where she applies her deep understanding of many facets of 19th- and 20th-century design to identify relationships between everything from fashion to architecture. She regularly uses her exhibition curation and design to tell stories and guide research.

Presented April 4, 2024.

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James Luby

Awesome Apples: Honeycrisps to Kudos®
Honeycrisp, Haralson, SweeTango, First Kiss. Everyone, it seems, has a favorite kind of apple. Did you know that many apple varieties, including those listed, are the result of the University’s Apple Breeding program? Dr. Jim Luby will discuss the program's origins and how new varieties are developed. He’ll also share how Honeycrisp changed the apple-breeding game and led to a legacy of varieties, including Kudos®, the program’s newest variety.

James Luby, professor, Horticultural Sciences, directs research in fruit crops breeding and genetics, developing new varieties of apples, wine grapes, blueberries, strawberries, and other fruits.

Presented April 11, 2024.

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David Bernlohr and Lisa Chow

Diabetes, Obesity, and the Next Generation Drugs Shaping our Future
Dr. David Bernlohr and Dr. Lisa Chow will lead a lively discussion about the most recent drugs to treat Type 2 diabetes and obesity, identifying their mechanisms of action (the biochemical process through which drugs produce their effect) and how they improve human health.

David Bernlohr is a Distinguished McKnight Professor and head of the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics. His research focuses on metabolic relationships between obesity, diabetes, cancer, and aging.

Lisa Chow, is a professor and director of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism. She also is the Pennock Family Land Grant Chair in Diabetes Research and serves as program director for the Diabetes T32 Research Training Program. Her research focuses on the effects of lifestyle changes on insulin resistance and diabetes.

Presented April 18, 2024.

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Tom Fisher

The Post-Pandemic City: Space, Structures, and Design in a Post-Pandemic World 
Pandemics have long-term effects on how we live and work and the COVID-19 pandemic was no exception, accelerating us into a digital economy in which people increasingly work, shop, and learn online, transforming how we use space in-person and remotely. Dr. Thomas Fisher will explore the rebalancing of our physical and digital interactions and what it means for the built environment going forward.

Thomas Fisher, director, Minnesota Design Center and professor, School of Architecture, is the former dean of the College of Design. Recognized as one of the nation's most published architecture writers, his most recent book is Space, Structures and Design in a Post-Pandemic World (Routledge, 2022).

Presented April 25, 2024.

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Lisa German

University of Minnesota Libraries: The Front Line of Providing Access to Information to the Campus, the Community, and the World
Librarians are often on the front lines and in numerous ways—ensuring the freedom to read, teaching critical thinking skills, showing how to recognize bias in search results, and more. Dean of Libraries Lisa German will talk about the challenges and opportunities that all libraries face in 2024.

Lisa German, is a McKnight Presidential Professor, and University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, providing leadership for 11 libraries with historically rich collections and nationally recognized programs in technology development, information literacy, and research services.

Presented May 2, 2024. 

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Series Sponsors

Thank you to our Series sponsors!