April 13, 2023

Join Jay Cross on a journey toward the unknown at 2023 Lecture of a Lifetime

Explore secrets for creating an appetite for learning and reorienting when faced with adversity
Dr. Jay Cross

We often try to avoid the uncomfortable nature of exploring unknown paths, but what happens when we change our perspective to embrace the challenge and opportunity that comes with the unfamiliar?  

For Dr. Jay Cross, DVM, PhD, his entire career has been a series of opportunities that challenged him to embrace uncertainty and focus on tackling some of society’s most pressing questions related to human and animal health. 

During this year’s Lecture of a Lifetime on May 3, Cross will explore his progression from scientist to academic leader and educational program developer. His talk, Purposefully Travelling Towards the Unknown, will delve into conversations surrounding the role of mentorship; how universities should be evolving at the pace of societal change; and equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in institutions.

Highlighting a distinguished career 

Hosted by the Chancellor and Senate, the 15th annual Lecture of a Lifetime will be held in person this year. This dynamic event is a unique opportunity for the community to learn about how research and learning at UCalgary contributes to the vibrancy of our city and addresses society's greatest challenges.  

“Jay’s long and distinguished career, interdisciplinary approach to research, multiple teaching awards, and strong leadership and entrepreneurial skills made him the ideal choice to speak at the 2023 Lecture of a Lifetime,” says Dr. Donna Finley, PhD’12, chair of the UCalgary Senate Lecture of a Lifetime selection committee. 

Cross is a professor of molecular genetics in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the Cumming School of Medicine. He is recognized internationally in the areas of animal reproductive and developmental genetics and is the founding director of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) and current president of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.  

“Dr. Cross will be an incredibly exciting speaker,” says Chancellor Jon Cornish. “His expertise in animal and human health has brought invaluable contributions to our research and education programs. Jay’s dedication to his work, combined with his appreciation for working across disciplines, truly embodies the spirit of positive change that we embrace at the university."   

Praised for his expertise, dedication and collaboration 

As a highly respected leader, many of Cross’s colleagues are honoured to have worked alongside him and collaborated on important initiatives. Dr. Myriam Hemberger, PhD, a professor in the departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Medical Genetics, speaks highly of his skills, mentorship and sense of humour.  

“Dr. Cross is an exceptional mentor and leader who has made a profound impact on the field of developmental genetics, reproductive biology and placentation, and on the greater good,” says Hemberger. “His unique approach to leadership allows him to see things from a different perspective and effectively communicate his vision with others. He has a stellar reputation and continues to innovate and inspire many of us in the animal and human health community.” 

Cross is at the forefront of interdisciplinary research, education and innovation in animal and human health. In addition to his academic achievements, he is also a fourth-generation rancher with a deep appreciation for the role of agriculture in society. 

Don’t miss the 2023 Lecture of a Lifetime 

“I’m humbled by the whole thing, it’s a great honour,” says Cross. “It’s a unique opportunity to reflect, not just on one’s career, but on the responsibilities we have as a post-secondary institution to be aware of how we adapt to changes in our societies, and in our commitments to the community.” 

The lecture will be held on May 3 at 5:30 p.m. in MacEwan Hall AB.  

Learn more about Lecture of a Lifetime and register now.

Presented by the UCalgary Chancellor and Senate since 2008, the Lecture of a Lifetime is a dynamic demonstration of academic talent and achievement, celebrating a distinguished career of learning, exploration and discovery. Nominations for the 2024 lecturer are now open! If you know a great candidate, submit a nomination package now

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