University of South Carolina

Siddhartha Mukherjee

Lecture canceled: Pulitzer Prize winner unable to present "Writing a History of Cancer" tonight

Owing to travel delays, tonight's Townsend Lecture has been canceled.


Contact: Steven Powell, 803-777-1923,

Siddhartha Mukherjee, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction for his book, "The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer," will present the Townsend Lecture at USC on May 3.

The lecture, "Writing a History of Cancer," will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Gambrell Hall auditorium, 817 Henderson St.

A native of New Delhi, India, Mukherjee obtained a B.S. in biology from Stanford University, a Ph.D. in immunology from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

In the book’s prologue, Mukherjee writes that after an immersive program in oncology, as he "emerged from the strange desolation of those two fellowship years, the questions about the larger story of cancer emerged with urgency: How old is cancer? What are the roots of our battle against this disease? Or, as patients often asked me: Where are we in the ‘war’ on cancer? How did we get here? Is there an end? Can this war even be won?"

"This book grew out of the attempt to answer these questions."

Mukherjee’s book has won numerous awards, including The New York Times Best Book of 2010, the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award (2010), The Guardian First Book Prize (2011), and the Pulitzer.

He is currently a staff physician at Columbia University Medical Center and an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University, where he conducts research on leukemia and pre-leukemic syndromes.

The Townsend Lecture is among the premiere lectureships in the university’s College of Arts and Sciences. It was established in 1996 by J. Ives Townsend, a 1941 graduate of the University of South Carolina and professor emeritus at the Medical College of Virginia, through an endowment honoring his parents. Townsend requested that the topic of the lectures alternate between the culture of the South and the impact of biological sciences.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Limited parking will be available in the B lot at the corner of Greene and Henderson Streets. A book signing will follow the presentation.

News and Internal Communications

Posted: 04/26/12 @ 4:45 PM | Updated: 05/03/12 @ 3:26 PM | Permalink



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