Tillman Gerngross to Deliver 2017 Presidential Lecture

Thayer’s Gerngross is a chemical engineer, a molecular biologist, and an entrepreneur.

Tillman Gerngross, a professor of engineering at Thayer School of Engineering, will deliver the 29th Presidential Faculty Lecture at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1, in the Filene Auditorium at Moore Hall.

Gerngross, a chemical engineer, molecular biologist, and entrepreneur, will speak on “The Impact Factor—Reflections of a Translational Scientist,” including a discussion about connecting scientific knowledge to human needs and the role this connection has played in his career.

Co-founder of a number of biotechnology-related ventures, Gerngross spent three years as associate provost for Dartmouth’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer. “Entrepreneurship is an extension of my academic career that allows me to take basic discovery into a realm where it actually impacts real people,” Gerngross says.

“I believe in the sanctity of basic inquiry and I want to give a lot of homage to my colleagues in the basic sciences, but I want to highlight that being an engineer is almost a different job,” he says. “We rely on one another because, if the public doesn’t have a sense that basic discovery at some point will lead to benefits to society, the support for the basic sciences would, I think, gradually erode.”

The Presidential Lecture Series was established in 1987 by then-President James Freedman to honor the contributions of outstanding members of the Dartmouth faculty. Sponsored by the Office of the President, Gerngross’ lecture is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception.