2019 Event

Sponsored by the Sommer Memorial Trust UnderUnder the Auspices of Providence St. Vincent Medical Center and in conjunction with OHSU School of Medicine, Division of Continuing Medical Education


Audio recordings

Download audio of this years lectures with a free SoundCloud Account


View Presentation Slides


Meet this year’s Sommer Lecturers

M. Eric Gershwin, M.D., MACR , MACP

  • The Hygiene Hypothesis: Is Dirt Really Good for You!
  • Primary Biliary Cholangitis: Paradigm versus Paradox for Understanding Autoimmunity
  • Sex and Autoimmunity: Why the Female predominance?

Dr. M. Eric Gershwin is  currently a Distinguished Professor of Medicine as well as the Jack and Donald Chia Professor of Medicine. He is  also Chief of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the University of California School of Medicine in Davis. He graduated from Stanford Medical School in 1971 and subsequently trained in internal medicine and then immunology at Tufts University-New England Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health. He joined the UC Davis faculty in 1975 and has been Division Chief since 1982 and has been continuously funded by NIH since 1975 and currently has published more than 20 books, 800 experimental papers, and 200 book chapters or review articles. He is triple-boarded in rheumatology, allergy-immunology and  in internal medicine. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Autoimmunity and also Clinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology and on the editorial board of multiple other journals. Gershwin is also listed in the top 1% of all cited authors in Pubmed in immunology and has been Chair or served on of multiple committees for NIH, NSF, USDA, FTC and the FDA. He received an Honorary PhD from the University of Athens, home of the Hippocratic Oath, for a Life Time Achievement in Medicine.

Dr. Robert Sawin

  • The history of, and trends in extracorporeal support for
    cardio-respiratory failure (ECMO) in both adults and children
  • The omentum: Good cop or bad cop
  • Rediscovering Joy in Medicine and Surgery

Dr. Sawin graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and then trained in General Surgery at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and pediatric surgery at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Dr. Sawin joined the faculty at the UW in 1989 and spent the first several years helping develop Pediatric Liver Transplant Program at the Children’s Hospital, and performed the first pediatric liver transplant in the Northwest with Dr. Jim Perkins.  He also led the development of the Extracorporeal Membranes Oxygenation (ECMO) program at Seattle Children’s.

He has held leadership positions at Children’s since 1995 when he became the Chief of General and Thoracic Surgery. He was named Children’s Hospital’s second full-time Surgeon-in-Chief in December 2002, succeeding his mentor David Tapper, and designated the Herbert E. Coe Professor of Surgery.  In 2010, Dr. Sawin was named Senior Vice President and Chief Surgical Officer of the Seattle Children’s Hospital.  At the national and regional level, Dr. Sawin has served as President of the Pediatric Surgery Biology Club, Chairman of the Organization of Children’s Hospital Surgeons-in-Chief, and President of both the North Pacific Surgical Association, and the Pacific Coast Surgical Association.

Ronald J. Falk, MD

  • Why do patients develop autoimmune disease?
  • Why do patients develop ANCA vasculitis?
  • Why do patients develop the nephrotic syndrome?

Dr. Ronald Falk is internationally recognized physician-scientist whose lifelong career has been the study of autoimmune kidney disease and ANCA vasculitis. For over three decades, his research has led to a deeper understanding of the causes and conditions that may lead to the development of ANCA vasculitis in an effort to improve the lives of those patients afflicted with vasculitis and autoimmune kidney diseases.

Dr. Falk graduated from Dartmouth College and obtained his MD from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He served as Chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at the University of North Carolina (1993-2015) and is currently the Chair of the Department of Medicine (06/2015- ). In 2005, he became co-founder and Director of the UNC Kidney Center. He is also Chair of Carolina Dialysis, LLC and Chair and Co-Founder of the Carolina Vascular Access Center. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN). He has served as Chair or Charter Member of a variety of National Institutes of Health Study Sections and Steering Committees since 1997. He has served in various capacities within the American Society of Nephrology including serving as ASN president from 2011-12. He was the Founder of the Kidney Health Initiative (KHI), a public-private partnership with the ASN and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Falk has received a number of distinguished professorships at UNC, and was most recently honored with the Nan and Hugh Cullman Eminent Professorship in 2016, and has received numerous honors and awards including recognition as one of the “Best Doctors in America” every year since 1982.


Multnomah Athletic Club
1849 SW Salmon St
Portland, OR 97205

Course Description

The Sommer Memorial Lectures and Alumni Scientific Sessions bring nationally and internationally-known speakers to discuss a broad range of current clinical, research and societal issues in medicine. Topics are designed to be of interest and value to both the generalist and specialty physician.


The Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

American Medical Association: Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, Division of CME, designates this live activity for a maximum of 12.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Additional Information

If you have questions, please call the OHSU Division of Continuing Medical Education at 503-494-8700 or email cme@ohsu.edu.

If you require reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this event, please contact the CME office with details of your request at least 30 days prior to the activity.