M.G. Finn at the Atlanta Science Tavern - Let's Make a Vaccine: Managing Evolution Against a Formidable Foe

A Production of the Atlanta Science Tavern

This event is a production of the Atlanta Science Tavern.
- It is free and open to the public.
- Seating is on a first-come basis.
- RSVPs are not required to attend nor do they reserve seats.
- Doors open at 6:00 pm for early arrival.
- Gather for dinner by 7:00.
- The evening's presentation gets under way around 7:45.

It’s a rough world out there!  What’s a single-celled organism to do but find a warm and comfy place to raise a family? Our bodies are that comfy place for an amazing array of bacteria, viruses, and other living things. Most don’t affect us, some help us survive, and a few make us sick. But those few would run amok if not for the immune system, which is on constant patrol and can call in reinforcements that evolve to meet any challenge.

Well, almost any challenge. Sometimes the immune system reacts too late, and infection takes hold with life-threatening consequences. Vaccines are humanity’s attempt to alert our bodies to bad guys before they arrive. No medical discovery in the history of the world has saved more lives.

How do we design, build, and test new vaccines? Come learn about such a journey currently under way at Georgia Tech and central Brazil. The enemy of the tale is a single-celled creature called Leishmania (“lesh-MAY-nee-ah”), an ancient organism that has infected mammals throughout recorded history, is transmitted by insect bites, and currently sickens about 1.5 million people all over the world. Maybe, just maybe, we can give ourselves the power to fight it off.

M.G. Finn is a professor and chair of the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech and Chief Scientific Officer of the Pediatric Technology Center at that institution. He is an expert in the use of chemical methods to solve biological problems. A native of the New York and Boston environs, he is a fan of jazz and salsa music, as well as the Celtics, Red Sox, and Atlanta United.

Event Details


  • Saturday, 2018, April 28 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Manuel's Tavern, 602 North Highland Ave NE, Atlanta 30307