Keynote Speakers Inspire with Advice, Careers

By on 07/10/2010

The 2010 “Technology for Life” research symposium featured two prominent keynote speakers who have broadened their scientific backgrounds into careers with global impact.

Dr. William McClure, a partner at Napa Valley Plastic Surgery, Inc. and a graduate of U.C. San Diego’s medical school and Stanford University, focused on his volunteer work with Interplast, doing reconstructive surgery on children in developing countries.

During 25 years and 55 missions in 14 countries, McClure has repaired cleft lips and palates, burn scars and other issues. McClure said, “I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was in high school,” until a teacher with a burn scar stirred “my first interest in plastic surgery.” During residency, he had the chance to take care of children in Mexico. “Something clicked. That changed my life,” said McClure.

Dr. Christopher Gilbert is the vice president of science and technology at Keystone Dental, Inc. and is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon in materials science.

Gilbert said his father’s interest in bad science fiction, where fantastical microsurgical tools and bionic eyes were part of the stories, inspired him. Some of those medical devices such as surgical robots and ocular implants are now a reality. Gilbert said, “Medical technology has revolutionized health care since the 1960s. Discoveries improve lives; they change lives.”

Noting the interdisciplinary nature of the field, Gilbert advised, “Many of the skills you are now developing in science will serve you in the future. Many of the problem-solving skills I developed in the sciences have served me well in the business world.”

For the full report on keynote speakers at the Harker Research Symposium, go to and search on “Research.”