Annual Wesley Spink Memorial Lecture

Wesley W. Spink, MD, received his undergraduate education at Carleton College and graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1932. After post-graduate training at Harvard, he returned to Minnesota August 1, 1937, as a faculty member in the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota, where he initiated clinical trials with sulfonamides for serious infectious diseases. Dr. Spink was one of the first physicians in Minnesota to use a new antimicrobial agent called penicillin. The clinical response of patients with serious infections was dramatic and the University of Minnesota became a center for Infectious Disease research.

Wesley Spink

At the time, brucellosis was a serious health problem in Minnesota. Dr. Spink characterized the clinical aspects, pathogenesis, and treatment of this disease. A state law mandating pasteurization of milk was a direct result of his research and leadership.

Dr. Spink and his trainees studied several other infectious agents including streptococci and staphylococci. Their studies focused on host defenses as well as treatment and were motivated by potential clinical applicability. Endotoxemia associated with experimental brucellosis led to research on gram-negative sepsis and septic shock.

Dr. Spink received many honors during his career including election to the Presidency of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and American College of Physicians, the Bristol Award from the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the National Library of Medicine Distinguished Scholar Award. He was a consultant to the World Health Organization from 1950-73 and was a University of Minnesota Regents' Professor of Medicine starting in 1967. He retired in 1973. From 1973 to 1978, he wrote a 577-page text entitled “Infectious Diseases Prevention and Treatment in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries”. Dr. Spink established the named lectureship with the University administration and the Medical School. The first lecture was presented in 1971. He died May 14, 1988.

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Past Speakers

2022 | Timothy M. Uyeki, MD, MPH, MPP
Chief Medical Officer in the Influenza Division, CDC
"Don't Forget About Influenza - An Update for Clinicians"

2021 | Constance A. Benson, MD
Professor of Medicine
Division of Infectious Disease & Global Public Health University of California San Diego
“Global Health Perspectives on the Treatment of COVID-19 Disease – A Focus on Clinical Trials That Inform Clinical Practice”"

2020 | Stanley Perlman, MD, PhD
Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Iowa
"Pathogenesis of COVID-19"

2019 | Irini Sereti, MD
Senior Investigator
HIV Pathogenesis Section
National Institutes of Health

2018 | Carol A. Kauffman, MD, MACP
Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School
Chief of Infectious Diseases Section, Veterans Affairs
Ann Arbor Healthcare System
“Life Among the Fungi”

2017 | John R. Perfect, MD
Professor of Medicine, Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Duke University  School of Medicine
"Cryptococcosis: A 40-year journey to understanding the sugar-coated killer".

2016 | Paul G. Quie, MD
Regents Professor, and Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota
"The Thrill of Discovery".

2015 | Allan R. Ronald, MD, PhD
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba
“Global Health: A Universal Human Right?”

2014 | Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH
President, Merck Vaccines, Merck & Co, Inc. Associate Adjunct Professor of Medicine, University of California,  San Francisco
"Clinician As Chief Communication Officer: Crossing the Health Literacy Chasm".

2013 | Ashley T. Haase, MD
Regents’ Professor and Head, Department of Microbiology, University of Minnesota Medical School
“Slow Infections: An Old Slow Virologist Reminisces".

2012 | Jan Verhoef, MD, PhD
Professor of Clinical Microbiology, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
“Comfort and Discomfort: the Difficult Road to a Sustainable Healthcare”.

2011 | Hans Rosling, MD
Professor of International Health; Director, Gapminder Foundation Karolinska Institute, Sweden
"An Evidence-Based View on Global Health".

2010 | Jonathan I. Ravdin, MD
Dean and Executive Vice President, Medical College of Wisconsin
“Vaccines for the Prevention of the Great Neglected Diseases of Mankind”.

2009 | Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH
University of Minnesota, School of Public Health Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy
"Pandemic Influenza: Our Battle of Waterloo".

2008 | Christopher J.L. Murray, MD, DPhil
University of Washington School of Medicine, Professor of Global Health & Director, Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation
“Global Health: Is Public Health and Medical Care Making a Difference?”

2007 | Thomas C. Quinn, MD, MS
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Founding Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health
“The HIV/AIDS Pandemic in the Global Health Context: Current Status and Future Challenges”. 

2006 | King K. Holmes, MD, PhD
University of Washington, School of Medicine; Chair, Department of Global Health
“Everything You Need to Know About the STI That More Than Half of Your Patients Have”.

2005 | Herbert L. Dupont, MD
Director, Center for Infectious Diseases and Professor of Epidemiology, Baylor College of Medicine

2004 | Merle A. Sande, MD
Professor of Medicine, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Co-Chair

2003 | Gary Schoolnik, MD
Health Advisor to the United Nations, High Commissioner for Refugees, Stanford University, School of Medicine

2002 | Richard L. Guerrant, MD
Founding Director, Center for Global Health, University of Virginia School of Medicine

2001 | Lawrence Corey, MD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

2000 | Gerald T. Keusch, MD
Associate Provost for Global Health, Boston University Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health

1999 | Keith McAdam, MD
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Director, Infectious Diseases Institute, Makerere

1984 | Roger V. Short, PhD, MSc
Professor, Monash University of Melbourne, Australia
"Reproductive Strategies of Animals and Man"

1979 | Leo K. Bustad, DVM, PhD
Dean of School of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman Washington
"Animal Contributions to Understanding Aging" 

1975 | William Montagna, PhD
Director of Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, Beaverton Oregon. Professor of Experimental Biology, Professor of Dermatology, University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, Portland Oregon.
"Non-Human Primates in Biomedical Research"

1973 | Michael W. Fox, DSc, PhD, Bvet Med, MRCVS
Associate Professor of Psychology, Washington University, St. Louis
#1) "The Behavior of Wolves, dogs and Man" #2) "Ethology - the Study of Man and Beast". #3) "The Ontogeny of Behavior-From Womb to Tomb". #4) "Applied Ethology and Comparative Psychopathology". #5) "Concepts in Ethology, Animal and Human Behvior"

1971 | William I. Beardmore Beveridge
Professor of Animal Pathology, University of Cambridge, England
#1) "Frontiers in Comparative Medicine" #2) "Analogy is a Method of Research in Biology and Medicine" #3) "Animal Models of Human Diseases". #4) "The Biology of Influenza"