Skip to main content

Wistar President’s Society Members Gather for Special Event Featuring Dr. Paul Offit

June 27, 2024

The June 4, 2024 event recognized President’s Society members for their contributions to the Institute.

Nearly 100 steadfast members of Wistar’s President’s Society and honored guests gathered at The Wistar Institute to attend this year’s President’s Society Dinner for an evening of community and reflections on the scientific journey. Dr. Dario Altieri, Wistar President & CEO, welcomed attendees and emphasized the importance of their support. “You are investing in what is yet to come – discoveries that have the potential to change human health,” he explained.

The event featured Keynote Speaker Dr. Paul Offit, world-renowned virologist and director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Dr. Offit, who completed a fellowship in Dr. Walter Gerhard’s lab at Wistar during the 1980s, told the audience about his path to science, and the importance of his lab experience. He attributed his success as a scientist to the formative experience he had performing basic research at Wistar.

“I was here for five years because I was just overwhelmed with the prospect of doing science. How amazing it was to be able to pursue a career in basic science,” he explained. “It was unlike anything I’d done before … The researchers in the lab took it upon themselves to teach me how to think like a scientist, and work like a scientist.”

Later in his career, Dr. Offit collaborated with Wistar scientists on work that contributed to the development of RotaTeq, a vaccine that is used to protect against rotavirus infections. The vaccine is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines.

Dr. Offit continued, “I just don’t know how much I can thank … all the people that were in the laboratory that were devoted to making me the scientist that I am.” He then took a moment to acknowledge Dr. Gerhard, who had returned to Wistar for the event.

Dr. Offit, who has authored more than 13 books, provided attendees with a signed copy of his latest, Tell Me When It’s Over: An Insider’s Guide to Deciphering Covid Myths and Navigating Our Post-Pandemic World.

The President’s Society Dinner is an annual event celebrating members of Wistar’s President’s Society, a dedicated community of supporters who provide essential, annual funding to The Wistar Institute. Visit us online to learn more about the benefits of becoming a member.

To view a gallery of the event, please visit here.