Showing up for Penn in London

A capacity audience attended an academic symposium in London titled “Frontiers of Knowledge and Discovery: Leading in a Changing World.”

Sharing the exciting work happening at Penn with alumni, parents, and friends throughout the world is a priority for Interim President J. Larry Jameson.

Shortly after challenging the graduating Class of 2024 to “keep reinventing, learning, and engaging” he brought that same spirit to the Penn community in London. He met with leadership volunteers from the region and welcomed approximately 200 attendees to an academic symposium titled “Frontiers of Knowledge and Discovery: Leading in a Changing World.”

Penn president J. Larry Jameson speaking at a microphone in London.
Interim Penn President J. Larry Jameson addresses the audience at Penn’s academic symposium in London on Friday, June 21, 2024. (Image: Courtesy of Penn Giving)

Kevin Mahoney, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, moderated the first panel, on the genesis of breakthroughs. “When our faculty explain how landmark achievements like new fields of science or first-in-class cancer therapies come about, they never fail to emphasize how collaboration turns expertise into progress,” he said. “Hearing Mike Mitchell, John Wherry, and Carl June speak made plain how our brilliant, interconnected Penn faculty work together on one campus with results that are changing our world.”

Vijay Kumar, the Nemirovsky Family Dean of Penn Engineering, shared Mahoney’s perspective on collaboration—with a twist. “Non-engineers can be mystified, if not intimidated, by the complexities of the work we do,” he explained. “When a faculty member breaks down a project and talks it through, step by step, the engineering concepts become so much more understandable and relatable.” Kumar moderated a session with Dan Rader and Rene Vidal that focused on the increasing and powerful synergies among data science and AI, medical research, and clinical practice.

The opportunity to engage one of Wharton’s highest-profile professors and AI expert, Ethan Mollick, in conversation with Frances Jensen, chair of Penn Medicine’s Department of Neurology, was “a fascinating combination of mutual expertise,” according to Erika James, dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise at Wharton. “Ethan has become the go-to source if you want to understand how artificial intelligence can be applied in your work and life, and Frances is legendary for her understanding of the brain and how it develops. They brought together different perspectives on one of the timeliest and most salient topics of our time.”

This story is by Laura Bellet. Read more at Penn Giving.