Perspectives in Chemistry and Health to be Presented at Florida Southern’s 9th Annual Spencer Symposium

LAKELAND (Feb. 4, 2019) – The roles of biology and chemistry in urgent care will be among the topics presented Friday at the annual Dr. John L. Spencer Symposium at Florida Southern College. The symposium will take place from 2 to 5:45 p.m. on Feb. 8 in the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel on the FSC campus. The four symposium presentations are free and open to the public.

Dr. Eugene Grimley, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry at Elon University, will discuss the chemotherapy medication cisplatin in his 2 p.m. talk, “Serendipity and Cisplatin.”

At 3 p.m., FSC graduate Lauryn Wolfe Gazzia ’09, a Critical Care Pharmacist at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, will lecture on “Understanding the Roles of Biology and Chemistry in the Art and Science of Critical Care.”

FSC graduate Rubens Petit Homme ’16, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Kentucky in Louisville, Ky., will deliver the presentation “Modulation of Inflammation via Inflammatory Inhibitor (JSH-23) Mitigates Diabetic Retinopathy” beginning at 3:45 p.m.

The day’s final talk, “Benign by Design from the Nanoscale to the Human Scale,” will be presented at 4:45 p.m. by Dr. Rigoberto Hernandez, Ph.D., the Gompf Family Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.

This annual symposium is named in honor of the late Dr. Jack Spencer, a Florida Southern College professor of chemistry who is credited with making major advances in the research and development of antibiotics. The symposium draws together the FSC community and interested members of the public to highlight the application of chemistry in healthcare. The event is organized by Dr. Carmen Gauthier, Jessie Ball duPont Professor of Chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics at Florida Southern College.

For more information about the symposium, call 863-680-4316 or email

About Florida Southern College

Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is the oldest private comprehensive college in Florida. The College maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 70+ undergraduate programs and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, and nursing. Florida Southern has a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio; is an award-winning national leader in engaged learning; and boasts 30 NCAA Division II national championships. It is ranked among the Top 20 Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report; named a Top Baccalaureate College by Washington Monthly; and included in The Princeton Review’s 384 Best Colleges, The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018, and Forbes magazine’s America’s Top Colleges Guide. The College is committed to the development of the whole student through vibrant student life programs that prepare graduates to make a positive, consequential impact on society.  FSC is conveniently located within an hour’s drive of both Orlando and Tampa. FSC is home to the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2012. Named the “Most Beautiful Campus in the Nation” for two consecutive years by The Princeton Review and one of the nation’s “Ten College Campuses with the Best Architecture” by Architectural Digest, Florida Southern is an internationally-recognized place of beauty and academic excellence.