UC Davis Graduate Studies Commencement Speaker Bennet Omalu

'Concussion' Doctor Bennet Omalu To Speak At Graduate Studies Commencement

Bennet Omalu, clinical professor and associate physician of pathology and laboratory medicine at UC Davis Health as well as the president and medical director of Bennet Omalu Pathology, will be the the keynote speaker for the 2019 Graduate Studies Commencement at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) Pavilion.

Omalu first diagnosed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) -  a neurodegenerative disease characterized by cognitive and behavioral symptoms linked to traumatic brain injury - in 2002 in a National Football League player. The disorder has since been confirmed by postmortem examination in dozens of American athletes. Today, CTE is widely recognized as a health risk in millions of patients with histories of repetitive brain trauma, including military veterans.

The story of Omalu’s CTE research and the pressure he faced from the NFL inspired the 2015 film “Concussion,” in which he was portrayed by Will Smith.

Dr. Omalu holds eight degrees and certifications in the medical sciences and business management and has been honored by the United States Congress for his work on brain injury and trauma. Omalu is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, the American Medical Association's highest honor. He continues to study brain trauma and is currently collaborating with other researchers looking for ways to definitively diagnose and treat CTE in living patients. He will share insights about his journey to success with the 4,000 guests at the 72nd annual Graduate Studies Commencement Ceremony.

The Graduate Studies Commencement will also be shown live via a webcast on the UC Davis Commencement website for friends and family members unable to attend the ceremony.

For more information about the 2019 Graduate Studies Commencement Ceremony, visit the Graduate Studies Commencement site.

About Graduate Studies

Graduate Studies at UC Davis includes over 100 dynamic degree programs and a diverse and interactive student body from around the world. Known for our state-of-the-art research facilities, productive laboratories and progressive spirit – UC Davis offers collaborative and interdisciplinary curricula through graduate groups and designated emphasis options, bringing students and faculty of different academic disciplines together to address real-world challenges.

UC Davis graduate students and postdoctoral scholars become leaders in their fields: researchers, teachers, politicians, mentors and entrepreneurs. They go on to guide, define and impact change within our global community.

For information on Graduate Studies’ current strategic initiatives, visit the Graduate Studies strategic plan page.

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