Two Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute professors will take part in the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Virginia Tech during the week of Jan. 19. Sharon and Craig Ramey, both professors and distinguished research scholars at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, will give two seminars on how health and education disparities can contribute to poverty and class divide.

The first presentation, titled, “Poverty, Biology, and Health: Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”, will take place on Thursday, Jan. 22, at 3:30 p.m. During this talk, the Rameys will present some of their recent research findings, with a specific focus on how an impoverished living environment can have lifelong effects on a person’s well being. They’ll also discuss the extent to which systematic interventions, tested through controlled trials and observational studies, can lead to improved health outcomes.

The next day, on Friday, Jan. 23 at 12:20 p.m., Drs. Sharon and Craig Ramey will present, “The Civil Rights of Health, Education, and Biology: MLK’s Enduring Legacy.” This will be a broader political discussion about why eliminating health and educational disparities is a compelling and crucial goal for the future of our nation. In this presentation, they will review historical data about the impact of race and poverty on a person’s life, biologically and behaviorally. The Rameys will also speak about a new 2014 national agenda that links education and health as the most compelling way to overcome entrenched inequities that endure as a legacy of racism and classism.

The weeklong celebration is sponsored by the Department of Biology and College of Science diversity committees, the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, the Virginia Tech Life Science Seminars and the Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Seminar Series.