Lunch Colloquiums

Lunch Colloquiums are generally held twice monthly at the Luce Center and feature a wide range of faculty from all parts of the university. We switched to Zoom presentations at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue offering online access using a hybrid format when it is safe to meet in person.

Colloquiums usually take place every first and third Monday or Tuesday from 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Many of our colloquiums are recorded. Click on a title link to view the session.

2023–2024 Programs

Monday, September 11 
Anna Leo, Associate Professor of Dance Emerita
“Full Circle: A Personal Journey”

Anna Leo first became curious about mandalas in college. Since then, she has continued to read about and seek out the shape in myriad forms. In 2017, she began designing and constructing mandalas during a residency at the Hambidge Center in North Georgia. Through this exploration, she came to recognize the form’s presence in her choreographic work, which often builds upon circular patterns, squares, and intricate spatial patterning.  “I like to think that I am on a continual arcing, creative pathway in investigating mandalas--first creating them in space through dance making, and now on paper,” she says. “I view my mandala making as an intersection between play, art, and meditative practice.” Here, she’ll talk briefly about how choreographers in general find inspiration, what inspires her own choreographic process, and how dance making and mandala making intersect.  Best of all, she’ll lead the group in making a paper mandala. No previous art experience required, and all needed materials will be supplied. Contact Leo in advance at if you plan to attend via ZOOM, and she’ll mail a “mandala kit” to you. 

Tuesday, September 26
Time and Location Change: 10:00–11:30 a.m., Alumni Hall, Miller-Ward Alumni House (no food served)
Timothy Albrecht, Professor of Music Emeritus
“Good, Better, Best! Timothy Albrecht Performs at the Piano and Illustrates Selections from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier Volume 2”

Join us for this sequel one year after Timothy Albrecht’s September 2022 Emeritus College presentation on Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier Volume 1. He will discuss and play some of the musical treasures in J. S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier Volume 2.  Like last year, this session promises to be humorous, informative, and accessible—even to non-musicians.

Tuesday, October 10 
Dennis Liotta, PhD, DSc
“Novel Therapeutics for Treating Viral Diseases, Cancer, and Neurological Disorders”

Led by Dennis Liotta, the Liotta Research Group (LRG) is a complex medicinal chemistry organization within Emory University. Liotta will start with an overview of the LRG’s earlier success in the antiviral arena and transition into recent endeavors in developing novel CXCR4 antagonists as immunomodulators for treating cancer designing fast-release neurosteroid prodrugs (a compound that the body metabolizes into a drug) for treating traumatic brain injury. In the past decade, the LRG has designed, synthesized, and evaluated over 350 tetrahydroisoquinoline-containing CXCR4 antagonists. Leading this pipeline is EMU-116, which exhibited enhanced pharmacokinetic properties and superior anti-tumor efficacy compared to mavorixafor, a small molecule CXCR4 antagonist studied in clinical trials. In recent years, neurosteroids such as progesterone have emerged as promising neuroprotective agents for treating TBI. Unfortunately, previous investigations into the use of neurosteroids for TBI treatment typically required administration in a hospital setting, thus losing valuable time before the treatment could be administered. To address this unmet need, the LRG has developed two generations of progesterone prodrugs having improved aqueous solubility and fast in vivo release rate. Their efficacy was demonstrated in a rat model of acute TBI.

Monday, October 23 
Beth Michel, Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Admission
“Growing Institutional Efforts with an Indigenous Approach”

Beth Michel will describe Emory’s efforts to increase the visibility, voice, and contributions of Native American people, highlighting the people, departments, and initiatives at Emory that have been and continue to be instrumental in this effort. For example, the new Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies, to be launched this fall in Emory College, will advance research, scholarship, teaching, and learning rooted in and related to Indigenous studies. Michel also will summarize and highlight Emory’s active relationship with tribal communities on and off campus as well as Emory’s history related to Native Americans—notably, the development of a Land Acknowledgment recognizing the Native peoples who lived here centuries before Emory’s founding and were forced to relinquish their land.

Monday, November 6 
Tanine Allison, Associate Professor, Film and Media Studies
“Are Digital Actors the Future of Hollywood?”

Tanine Allison’s research and teaching focus on film, digital media, and video games. Her work explores emerging media technologies in relation to ideas of authenticity, identity, and aesthetics. Her book Destructive Sublime: World War II in American Film and Media challenges conventional notions of the American war genre. She is now focusing her research on the use of digital visual effects in film and animation and exploring how digital visual effects mediate issues of race, gender, age, and identity.

Monday, November 20
Leslie Gordon, Executive Director, Breman Jewish Museum
“The Breman: More than a Museum”

Along with Breman staff, Leslie Gordon will give an overview of the Breman Museum and its education, entertainment, and exhibition programming. Although primarily known for reaching students through its Weinberg Center for Holocaust Education, the institution also houses the Cuba Family Archive, one of the largest collections of Jewish documents and objects in the region. The collection covers the entire state of Georgia as well as eastern Alabama. The museum focuses on arts and culture through regular photography exhibits that generate programs to take the works “off the wall” as well as music, literary, dance, and film programs. Currently, the Breman is exhibiting “History with Chutzpah: 290 Years of the Jewish Presence in Georgia,” which encompasses the 1733 founding of the Jewish settlement in Savannah to Jon Ossoff's election to the US Senate. Expect to hear little-known stories from the Breman’s oral histories, examples of the museum’s virtual programs, and exciting plans for its future. 

Monday, December 4
Robert Gaynes, MD, Infectious Disease Specialist and Professor of Medicine Emeritus
“The Discovery of HIV: New Insights on the 40th Anniversary of the Breakthrough”

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is one of the most important pathogens ever discovered. Forty years after its discovery, remarkable progress has occurred, however, challenges remain and new insights from the story have emerged. Robert Gaynes will discuss these insights from a 2021 interview that includes audio clips from Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, the French female scientist and 2008 Nobel laureate who discovered HIV.  She gives her account of the discovery of the virus and how she found herself in the middle of one of the most bitter scientific disputes in recent history.