75th Anniversary Speaker Series

The UC Berkeley School of Public Health's 75th Anniversary Speaker Series is designed to bring distinguished experts to Berkeley and engage the community on a variety of current and important topics in the field of public health. Events are held approximately once a month during the fall and spring semesters. The Speaker Series events are free and open to the public; registration is encouraged. If the event reaches capacity, registered guests will receive priority seating until 10 minutes before the scheduled start of the talk.


Fall 2018

Improving Care and Restoring Dignity for the U.S. Prison Population

Thursday, September 13
1st Floor Colloquia, Berkeley Way West
5–7 p.m.

Register to attend 

Mass incarceration in the United States has given rise to a system where human dignity is too often denied. Conditions of confinement, unjust sentencing laws, and incarceration of the mentally ill, elderly, and dying all contribute to this complex public health problem which disproportionately impacts poor and minority communities. The U.S. criminal justice system must consider how to restructure our process of punishment in order to preserve the health and human dignity of incarcerated persons and facilitate their successful reentry back into our communities.

Join us for a presentation from Michele DiTomas, a physician who has dedicated her career to improving medical care for incarcerated persons. She will discuss her path to correctional medicine and the health and human rights hurdles that must be overcome in order to achieve true reform. After the presentation Dr. DiTomas will have a discussion with Eric Stover, faculty director of UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center.


Michele DitomasMichele DiTomas MD, MS has served as the Chief Physician and Surgeon and Hospice Medical Director at California Medical Facility in the California Department of Corrections since 2007. She earned her MD from UCSF and is board-certified in both Family Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She began her career in correctional medicine as a consultant to the California Department of Corrections. After a year of consultation she joined the Department in order to continue working toward improved medical care from the inside. She has spent over 10 years working for prison reform from the inside by advocating for positive changes from both custody and medical staff as well as through collaboration with outside organizations.


Eric StoverEric Stover is faculty director of the Human Rights Center and adjunct professor of law and public health at UC Berkeley. He has built the Human Rights Center into a premier interdisciplinary research and policy center that is highly regarded nationally and internationally. He is a pioneer in utilizing empirical research methods to address emerging issues in human rights and international humanitarian law.

This talk is part of the 75th Anniversary UC Berkeley School of Public Health Dean’s Speaker Series. It is co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center. Registration is recommended to attend. Please register at sph.berkeley.edu/deans-speaker-series.


Past Dean's Speaker Series events

*Talks marked with an asterisk are also part of the 2015-2016 Kaiser Permanente Lecture series, co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.


  • A Conversation with Marion Nestle and Alice Waters, (March) watch


  • A Conversation with Larry Brilliant, (January) watch
  • Beyond Coverage: After the ACA, (February) watch
  • Grappling with Cure, (March) watch
  • The Next 82 Years: Faculty and Students Confronting Existential Challenges, (May) watch
  • Global Health and the Future Role of the United States, (August) watch
  • Is Sugar Making Us Sick?, (September) watch
  • Climate Change: The Defining Health Challenge and Opportunity of the 21st Century, (November) watch 


  • From Biomedicine to Bioregion: The Geographies of a Care-Based Economy, (February) watch
  • Achieving Health Equity: Tools for a National Campaign Against Racism*, (February) watch
  • Dying in America*, (February) watch
  • Why Scientific Retractions Are Rising—and Why That's Good News for Public Health (and Journalism)*, (March) watch
  • The Principles and Priorities of Population Health Science, (March) watch
  • Communicating Science to the Public: The Vaccine-Autism Controversy*, (April) watch
  • Clinical and Financial Integration: Managing Risk in a Changing Marketplace, (April) watch
  • A Conversation with Lisa Jackson, (May)
  • All That Glitters, (May) watch
  • Firearm Violence: Research and Action, (September) watch
  • Devoured: A Journey in the American Food Psyhe, (October) watch
  • From Biomedicine to Bioregion: The Geographies of a Care-Based Economy, (November) watch
  • Health in California under a Trump Presidency, (December) watch