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Ray Symposium 2019, classroom with people

Ray Symposium

About the Ray Symposium

Max Ray The Ray Symposium, an annual speaker series, honors Max D. Ray, MS, PharmD, Dean Emeritus of the WesternU College of Pharmacy. As Professor and Dean from 1996-2006, he created a stimulating educational environment that fostered excellence and professionalism.


His professional career was divided almost equally into pharmacy practice, association management, and education. A major focus of his work throughout his career was seeking ways in which to improve the value of pharmacy to society.


Today, the Ray Symposium celebrates the multifaceted role that pharmacists play in improving the lives of patients and the health of their communities.

  • Ray Symposiums

    Photo of Daniel Kraft, MD Daniel Kraft, MD
    Physician-Scientist and Innovator
    “Catalyzing the Future of Health and Medicine: What’s Next?”
    April 27, 2023

    Portrait of Asaf Bitton Asaf Bitton, MD, MPH
    Executive Director of Ariadne Labs
    “Health Systems Improvement – Scaling for the Globe”
    April 28, 2022 2022 Ray Symposium Presentation

    Aaron Kesselheim Aaron Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH
    Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School
    “Drug Regulations in the 21st Century- The FDA, Policy, and Politics?”
    April 22, 2021 2021 Ray Symposium Presentation

    Katherine Eban
    Investigative Journalist
    “The Hidden World Behind America’s Low-Cost Drugs”
    April 30, 2020 2020 Ray Symposium Presentation

    Cato T. Laurencin, featured speaker Cato T. Laurencin, MD, PhD
    University Professor, The University of Connecticut
    “Addressing the Future of Health in America: Diversity, Racism and Health Disparities”
    April 18, 2019

    Alan L. Leshner Alan I. Leshner, PhD
    CEO-Emeritus, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Former Executive Publisher, Science
    “Communicating Science Effectively”
    April 19, 2018 2018 Ray Symposium Presentation

     Dana Goldman, PhD

    Dana Goldman, PhD
    Professor, Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair and Director for the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics
    “Re-Thinking Value in an Era of Health Reform”
    April 20, 2017 2017 Ray Symposium Presentation

     Michael W. Kalichman, PhD

    Michael W. Kalichman, PhD
    Professor, Director of the UCSD Research Ethics Program
    “Science, Truth and the Public Trust”
    April 21, 2016 2016 Ray Symposium Presentation

     Ellen Peters, PhD

    Ellen Peters, PhD
    Professor of Psychology, Director of the Behavioral Decision Making Initiative, The Ohio State University
    “Numeracy and Health: A Tyranny of Numbers”
    April 30, 2015 2015 Ray Symposium Presentation

    Eileen Crimmins, PhD Eileen Crimmins, PhD
    AARP Chair in Gerontology, USC Davis School of Gerontology
    “Shorter Lives, Poorer Health”
    April 17, 2014

    Patricia B. Crawford, Dr. PH, RD Patricia B. Crawford, Dr. PH, RD
    Director, Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health Cooperative Extension Nutrition Specialist
    “Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention”
    April 18, 2013

    Joshua S. Benner, PharmD, ScD Joshua S. Benner, PharmD, ScD
    President and CEO, RxAnte, Inc. and Visiting Scholar, The Brookings Institution
    “Reforming Health Care: Policy, Politics, and Patient Care”
    April 12, 2012

    William E. Evans, PharmD William E. Evans, PharmD

    Director and CEO, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    “The Promise of Genomics – What Lies Ahead?”
    April 21, 2011

    Michael Cohen, RPh, MS, ScD

    Michael Cohen, RPh, MS, ScD
    President of The Institute for Safe Medication Practices
    “Safe Medication Practices – Preventing Errors”
    April 15, 2010

    David B. Reuben, MD David B. Reuben, MD
    Director, Multicampus Program in Geriatrics Medicine and Gerontology (MPGMG) and Chief, Division of Geriatrics at UCLA Center for Health Sciences“Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce”
    April 9, 2009

    Brian Smedley, PhD Brian Smedley, PhD
    Research Director and Co-founder of the Opportunity Agenda
    “Eliminating Disparities”
    April 17, 2008

    Lyle Bootmanion Lyle Bootman
    Co-editor, 2006 National Institutes of Medicine Report
    “Preventing Medication Errors”
    April 19, 2007