The University Lecture

The nomination period for the 2014 University Lecture has begun. Please consider nominating one or more of your colleagues for this honor. Nomination forms should be submitted by April 6, 2014 via e-mail to, attention PJ Jorgensen. For questions about any aspect of the Lectureship, please e-mail or call 617-353-2230.

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.

2013 University Lecture

The D-Lightful Vitamin D for Health

Presented by Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD, Professor of Medicine, Physiology, and Biophysics
Michael Holick

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 7 p.m.
Tsai Performance Center
685 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts
Admission is free. The public is cordially invited
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Michael Holick is Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics; Director of the General Clinical Research Unit; Director of the Bone Health Care Clinic; and Director of the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University Medical Center.

Dr. Holick has made numerous contributions to the biochemistry, physiology, metabolism, and photobiology of vitamin D for human nutrition, among them, establishing global recommendations advising sunlight exposure as an integral source of vitamin D. He has also helped increase awareness regarding vitamin D deficiency pandemic, and its role in causing not only metabolic bone disease, and osteoporosis in adults, but increasing risk of children and adults developing preeclampsia, common deadly cancers, schizophrenia, infectious diseases including TB and influenza, autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

Dr. Holick is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Association of Physicians.  He has received numerous honors, including the General Clinical Research Centers Program Award for Excellence in Clinical Research from NIH, American College of Nutrition’s Communication Media Award, Best Docs in America, and the Linus Pauling Prize for Human Nutrition.  He has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed publications, edited or co-edited 13 books, written The UV Advantage (2004) and The Vitamin D Solution (2010), and helped develop the app.

Past Lectures


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