Every year, The BUSM community convenes to celebrate the life of Sue Kim Hanson, an extraordinary BU Ph.D. student who died tragically with her husband and daughter on September 11, 2001. Sue was born in Los Angeles, California. She spent her early childhood in Korea, returning to Los Angeles at age 6. In 1989 she received a B.A. degree in biology and psychology from the University of California, Berkley. After graduation she worked for Cetus Corporation and was involved with early development of gene amplification by polymerase chain reaction. She moved to Boston and earned a M.A. in medical sciences from Boston University School of Medicine in 1992. After graduation, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Hardy Kornfeld in the Pulmonary Center at BUSM. While in the Kornfeld laboratory, she concurrently entered the Ph.D. program in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (immunology track) at BUSM. Sue’s thesis project was an investigation of the role of interleukin-16 in immunity. On September 11, 2001, Sue was traveling to Los Angeles with her husband, Peter Hanson (BU School of Management ’94) and their two-year-old daughter, Christine Lee, on United Airlines flight 175, the second plane that struck the World Trade Center. Sue was scheduled to defend her dissertation in November of 2001. Her degree was awarded posthumously by unanimous vote of her thesis committee.

The BU community celebrates Sue’s joy for life and passion for discovery by inviting some of the most exciting scientists studying immunology and pulmonary biology to the BU School of Medicine for a lecture in her honor.  Sue Kim Hanson Lecturers have included:

2023 – Anuradha Ray, Endowed Chair in Lung Immunology, University of Pittsburgh

2022 – Gwendalyn J. Randolph, Emil R. Unanue Distinguished Professor, Washington University-St. Louis

2021 – Kate A. Fitzgerald, Worcester Foundation Chair in Biomedical Sciences, University of Massachusetts

2020 – Akiko Iwasaki, HHMI Investigator and Von Zedtwitz Professor, Yale University 

2019 – Anne Sperling, Professor of Medicine, University of Chicago

2018 – Charles Dinarello, Professor of Medicine and Immunology, University of Colorado

2017 – Arlene Sharpe, Professor of Comparative Pathology, Harvard University

2016 – Manolis Pasparakis, Professor of Genetics, University of Cologne

2015 – Jean-Laurent Casanova, HHMI Investigator and Professor, Rockefeller University

2014 – Jack Elias, Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences, Brown University

2013 – Richard Locksley, Sandler Professor and HHMI Investigator, UCSF

2012 – Ruslan Medzhitov, Professor of Immunobiology, Yale University

2011 – Brigitta Stockinger, National Institute of Medical Research, London

2010 – Dan Littman, Professor of Pathology and Microbiology, NYU

2009 – Luke O’Neill, Chair of Biochemistry, Trinity College Dublin

2008 – Laurie Glimcher, Irene Heinz Given Professor, Harvard School of Public Health

2007 – Tom Maniatis, Thomas H. Lee Professor, Harvard University

2006 – Jonathan W. Yewdall, Chief of the Laboratory of Viral Disease, NIAID

2005 – Peter C. Doherty, Nobel Laureate Professor, Univ. of Melbourne

2004 – Arthur Weiss, Chief of Rheumatology, Univ. of California

2003 – William E. Paul, Director of the Laboratory of Immunology, NIAID

2002 – Brian Seed, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School

The Sue Kim Hanson Lectures are presented by the Pulmonary Center in conjunction with Medical Grand Rounds, supported by many generous contributions to the Sue Kim Hanson Lectureship Fund. We are very grateful to those who have supported this lectureship.