The University Lecture

The nominating period for the 2015 University Lecture is now open.

Since 1950, the University Lecture has offered members of the BU community and the general public an opportunity to hear from distinguished faculty about the outstanding and often groundbreaking research and scholarship in which they are actively engaged.

University Lecturers represent a vast array of disciplines and research topics, yet share a common commitment to excellence in scholarly inquiry and discovery. The annual lecture provides an opportunity to highlight the work of a distinguished scholar and engages both the University community and the broader public in the vibrant intellectual life of Boston University.

To nominate a BU faculty lecturer for this honor, please complete this downloadable form. Nomination forms should be submitted by Wednesday, April 15, 2015, via e-mail to or by mail to the Office of the Provost, One Silber Way, attention PJ Jorgensen. Any questions regarding the Lectureship should be directed to Ms. Jorgenson, who can be reached at 617-353-2230 or

2014 University Lecture

A Bionic Pancreas for Type 1 Diabetes:  The Long-Awaited Alternative to the Ever-Elusive Cure

Presented by Edward Damiano, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Edward Damiano

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 7 p.m.
Tsai Performance Center
685 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts
Admission is free. The public is cordially invited
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Edward R. Damiano is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Boston University College of Engineering, where he has taught since 2004.  His expertise and training are in the areas of mechanical and biomedical engineering, applied mechanics, and applied mathematics.

Professor Damiano has gained worldwide attention over the last decade for groundbreaking work in the treatment of Type 1 diabetes. Ever since his 15-year-old son, David, was diagnosed at 11 months of age, Professor Damiano has been committed to the development of a bionic endocrine pancreas – a device that mimics its namesake through a closed-loop, automatic control algorithm that manages blood sugar levels through the delivery of insulin and glucagon.

Starting with a seed grant from the BU Coulter Translational Research Program in 2006, Professor Damiano has gone on to raise more than $14 million to support his research from a variety of sources, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He has tirelessly driven the designs of the experimental protocols and the clinical trials necessary to move the technology towards FDA approval and commercial availability. The device has been successfully used in trials by dozens of adults and children, and now includes a special iPhone app that assists patients in monitoring and controlling glucose levels and insulin needs.

The author of dozens of seminal journal articles and seminars exploring endocrinology and biomechanics, Professor Damiano is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he also received his PhD in Applied Mechanics. He received his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to his work at BU, he is an Associate Biomedical Engineer in the Division of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Watch this year’s University Lecture:

Past Lectures


The D-Lightful Vitamin D for Health
Presented by Michael Holick


The Ponzi Scheme Puzzle: The Stories Behind Some of the Biggest Liars in History
Presented by Tamar Frankel


The Wonderful Things of Punt: Excavations at a Pharaonic Harbor on the Red Sea
Presented by Kathryn Bard


Not a Note Too Many: Beethoven, McCartney, & Miles 2010
Presented by Jeremy Yudkin


Aeroecology: The Next Frontier
Presented by Thomas H. Kunz


Biology by Design
Presented by James J. Collins


Illusions of Managing History: The Enduring Relevance of Reinhold Niebuhr
Presented by Andrew J. Bacevich


Blood Wedding: The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in History and Memory
Presented by Barbara Diefendorf


American Bioethics after Nuremberg: Pragmatism, Politics, and Human Rights
Presented by George Annas


Macbeth and the Show of Kings
Presented by William C. Carroll


Crossing the Watershed: Biological and Other Worlds in the Post-Genomic Era
Presented by Charles Delisi