USTS to welcome Professor Vargesson as first in our Online Speaker Series

by | Aug 25, 2020

It’s time to register for the 1st session of the US Thalidomide Survivors 2020-21 Online Speaker Series! For this 1.5 hour session on 9/19/2020 8:00 AM PDT/11:00 AM EDT/4:00 PM Aberdeen, Scotland Time, we welcome Professor Neil Vargesson.

Professor Neil Vargesson Prof. Vargesson is currently the Chair of Developmental Biology at the Institute of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland. He will present an overview of thalidomide, his current work and current theories on thalidomide and how it causes damage to the embryo. He will also cover unilateral damage, and thalidomide phenocopy syndromes – conditions with thalidomide-like characteristics – and tests to identify them. 

A sought-after authority on the subject, Prof. Vargesson has advised survivors in Canada, Australia, UK, Germany and recently Italy and Spain for their public campaigns for compensation. His University of Aberdeen bio can be viewed here. He will gladly share information from those groups, and there will be time for Q&A at the end. You don’t want to miss this presentation!!


READ UP on other research by Neil Vargesson before the online session:

Thalidomide Embriopathy: An Enigmatic Challenge

Thalidomide-induced teratogenesis: History and mechanisms


John Marshall

Most of us participated in a guided tour of the US Capitol Building. Most impressive, in my opinion, was the Rotunda, the infamous domed circular room in the center of the Capitol. The historical paintings i.e., the Declaration of Independence along with the statues and busts of former presidents were impressive. BUT no one could resist looking up!

The conference was a jam-packed three days ending with a “roaming” dinner in the hotel. The term is used lightly, as it turns out, we have a party animal in our midst. Our fearless leader, JoJo Calora, had quite the set-up in his room. He had karaoke goin’ on. He also cranked up the tunes and blasted out heavy metal! Did you know there’s a song about thalidomide? It’s called “Prescribing Horror” by Exodus. You shouldn’t listen to it before you go to sleep. LOL! Fortunately, no neighbors complained, and fun was had by all. Although there was food, snacks, and drinks in three other rooms, people didn’t roam much. JoJo had the fun room! Can’t wait for next year!

Robert Gamble, JoJo and Elizabeth


We consider this conference successful! We are moving forward with our campaign and we can’t do it alone. We need YOUR help! Write your senators and representatives! Tell your friends what we have learned. One person could be the link we need to be heard. Be a part of our success story!

Need assistance with this process? Please call our info line (612-440-1920) and we’ll connect you with our legislative committee!