The MaryFran Sowers Memorial Lectures

2024: Save the Date!

The MaryFran Sowers Memorial Symposium 2024 with Tamarra James-Todd, PhD

Dr. James-Todd is the Mark and Catherine Winkler Associate Professor of Environmental Reproductive Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research takes a three-way approach to studying and improving women's reproductive and long-term health by:

  • evaluating the role of environmental chemicals on adverse maternal health outcomes;
  • assessing racial/ethnic disparities in environmental chemical exposures and adverse health outcomes;
  • developing pregnancy and postpartum interventions to improve women's chronic disease risk.
Date + Time: Thursday, September 26, 2024 • 1:00 pm — 2:00 pm • Add this event to your Google Calendar
Location: M1020 SPH 2 School of Public Health • 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029
Sponsored by: Center for Midlife Science, Department of Epidemiology, and the Department of Environmental Health Sciences
Contact: Meredith McGehee (


Honoring the career of Dr. Siobán Harlow
Date: Thu May 12 2022 + Fri May 13 2022
Thu May 12 2022 1:30 — 4:30 PM: Symposium and Reception
Fri May 13 2022 11 AM — 1 PM: Panel on the future of Women’s Health
Video: Video of this event is now available for a limited time.
Sponsored by: Center for Midlife Science


“Discriminatory Stressors and Cardiovascular Risk in Midlife Women: Implications for African-American Women’s Health” with Tené T. Lewis, PhD
Date + Time: Thu January 14 2021 12:00 Noon
Tené T. Lewis, PhDAbout the speaker: Dr. Lewis’ primary area of research is in the area of health psychology/psychosocial epidemiology, with an emphasis on cardiovascular health in women. She has a particular interest in understanding how psychological and social factors contribute to the disproportionately high rates of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality observed in African-American women compared to women of other racial/ethnic groups. Dr. Lewis has two primary projects: one focused on psychosocial stress, resilience, and ambulatory blood pressure in healthy African-American women, and the other focused on psychosocial stress, inflammation and atherosclerosis in African-American women with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Dr. Lewis’ scientific work has received honors from the American Psychosomatic Society and the Health Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association and has been featured in the Washington Post, USA Today, Essence Magazine, JET magazine and on National Public Radio (NPR).
Sponsored by: Center for Midlife Science


“Inherited Breast and Ovarian Cancer: from Gene Discovery to Precision Medicine and Public Health” with Mary Claire King, PhD
Date + Time: Thu September 19 2019 4:00 PM — 5:30 PM
Description: Mary-Claire King, PhD is American Cancer Society Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Genome Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. King is renowned for the discovery of the BRCA1 gene for breast and ovarian cancer; her other research interests include hearing loss and deafness, schizophrenia, the Human Genome Diversity Project, as well as human rights and social justice work to identify missing people in Argentina and victims of human rights abuses on five continents. Reception immediately following lecture.
Click here for a short presentation by Dr. King from “The Moth”
Sponsored by: Center for Midlife Science; reception at 5:30 sponsored by Precision Health
Location: M1020 SPH II, School of Public Health; 1415 Washington Heights; Ann Arbor, MI 48109


“Genetics of menopause timing: findings from ReproGen Consortium” with Joanne M. Murabito, MD, ScM, Co-Principal Investigator of the Framingham Heart Study
Date + Time: Tue April 3 2018 12:00 PM — 1:00 PM
Location: Room 1655 SPH I, School of Public Health; 1415 Washington Heights; Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Sponsored by: Center for Midlife Science
Description: Dr. Murabito graduated from the University of Rochester in 1981 and received her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York in 1985. She completed a residency in internal medicine at Boston University Hospital followed by a research fellowship at the Framingham Heart Study and a master’s degree in epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Murabito is Director of the Clinic at the Framingham Heart Study and she is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr Murabito is the recipient of R01 and R21 grant awards from the NIH/NIA. Her research interests include the epidemiology and genetics of longevity, healthy aging, reproductive aging and peripheral artery disease. Dr Murabito is a member of the Genetics of Longevity Consortium sponsored by NIA.


“Australian Women’s Healthy Ageing Project 1990 to 2020,” with Cassandra Szoeke, PhD, FRACP, GAICD, MBBS, BSc (Hons), GENET
Location: Room 1755 SPH I, School of Public Health; 1415 Washington Heights; Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Media: Click here to watch slides and audio from this event.
Date + Time: Thursday, April 13, 2017 at Noon
Description: Associate Professor Cassandra Szoeke is the Director of the Healthy Ageing Program, Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne and Professor at Institute for Health and Ageing, Australian Catholic University. She led the research program in Neurodegenerative Diseases, Mental Disorders and Brain Health at the Australian Commonwealth Science and Industry Organization (CSIRO) and helped establish and served on the steering committees of several major Australian collaborative studies (ASPREE, START and AIBL), sat on the executive scientific board of the Australian Imaging Biomarker and Lifestyle study of ageing (AIBL) from 2008 to 2014, and was Inaugural Chair of the Vascular Stream. She served on the board of executive directors for the Western Health Service Network, employed by the Victorian Minister for Health. In this role, she was Chair of both the Quality and Safety and the Education and Research Board sub-committees. Dr. Szoeke is a practicing physician in internal medicine with sub-specialization in neurology. In addition to her medical qualifications she has an honors degree in Genetics and Pharmacology, and completed her PhD thesis in Epidemiology with postdoctoral training conducted between Stanford University and Duke University focused on Public Health and Policy. She has been the recipient of numerous national and international awards for her research work.


“The Athletic Triad: Broader Implications for Understanding Women’s Health and Aging” with Michelle P. Warren, MD
Date + Time: Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 3:30 pm
Location: 1690 SPH I (Lane Auditorium)
Description: Dr. Warren is the founder and Medical Director of the Center for Menopause, Hormonal Disorders and Women’s Health at Columbia University Medical Center. She is the Wyeth professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology and medicine. A pioneer in the effects of eating disorders and athletics on the menstrual cycle, Dr. Warren was the first to identify skeletal problems, including scoliosis and stress fractures that occur in young women as a result of menstrual irregularities in the setting of exercise and eating disorders. Over a lifetime of practice focusing on women’s health, she has written numerous articles and textbook chapters, published a book on sports and hormones, and lectured extensively on menopause, oral contraceptives, anorexia nervosa, menstrual irregularities, amenorrhea in athletes, and osteoporosis. She has conducted clinical trials and medical research in the field of eating disorders, hypothalamic amenorrhea, osteoporosis, and menopause and has been awarded multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health. She has appeared as a speaker on TED talks and made multiple television appearances to discuss menopause and hormonal problems in women. More recently Dr. Warren has authored several publications on the role of leptin and athletes’ menstrual function, endocrine manifestations, and bone health. She has been named best doctor by NY Magazine and named best doctor in America since 2004 and held an endowed professorship in Women’s Health at Columbia University Medical Center.


“Peripheral nerves and musculoskeletal function: Impact on mobility outcomes in older adults” with Elsa S. Strotmeyer, PhD, MPH
Date: October 10, 2013
Location: 1690 SPH I (Lane Auditorium)
Description: Elsa S. Strotmeyer, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Center for Aging and Population Health, Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, where she received her master’s degree in public health and doctorate in epidemiology. She has pioneered work on the complex interrelationships of peripheral nerves and musculoskeletal function, which has indicated that peripheral nerves are critical to lower extremity performance and major geriatric outcomes of falls, mobility and disability. Her research on peripheral nerve impairments and lower strength was recognized with the 2007 Health Sciences Research Award from the Gerontological Society of America.


MaryFran Sowers Memorial Symposium
Date: October 12, 2011
Location: 1690 SPH I (Lane Auditorium)
Description: A day-long symposium to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Sowers.