NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

NIGMS Director Shares Basic Science Breakthroughs with Lifelong Learners

Lorsch stands at a podium
NIGMS Director Dr. Jon Lorsch speaks to Asbury’s Keese School of Continuing Education.


Dr. Jon Lorsch, director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), spoke to continuing learners at Asbury Methodist Village, a 55+ community in Gaithersburg, Md., on Feb. 8. 

Titled “How Basic Science Leads to Medical Breakthroughs,” the talk was arranged through Asbury’s Keese School of Continuing Education, a robust program run entirely by Asbury residents. Lorsch was introduced by Dr. Joye Jones, an Asbury resident who worked for NIGMS in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a health scientist administrator and section chief in what is now the institute’s Division of Genetics and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. Jones also served as the NIGMS deputy associate director for program activities.

Lorsch’s talk emphasized the critical role of basic research in medical breakthroughs such as Cisplatin, CRISPR and the Covid-19 vaccines. He explained that such discoveries emerge on complex foundations of fundamental information and knowledge contributed by many people over many years. A Q&A followed, with several audience members sharing stories of their own research careers and connections to NIH.

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