Padma Lakshmi, host of Bravo’s Top Chef and co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA), came to MIT to speak at the official launch of the new Center for Gynepathology Research (CGR). Inspired by her personal struggle, Lakshmi is committed to raising awareness about endometriosis, especially among young women. Her efforts to inform the public and raise money for research are detailed in her 2009 interview with Newsweek.
At the CGR launch, Lakshmi shared her experience with endometriosis with students, faculty, and other members of the MIT community. Her speech entitled “The Pain Within: My struggle with and triumph over endometriosis” was apropos considering Lakshmi recently announced she is pregnant. Her pregnancy represents a great success in her battle with endometriosis, since the disease causes infertility in many women. After her speech, students and community members who had submitted essays about their experiences with endometriosis joined Lakshmi, CGR founder Professor Linda Griffith, and other CGR contributors in a private reception. Accompanying Ms. Lakshmi to MIT was her surgeon and EFA co-founder, Dr. Tamer Seckin, who met with MIT researchers, presented his own work, and introduced Ms. Lakshmi’s address. The launch was a great success, generating a front-page story in the Boston Globe. Additionally, Lakshmi identified her keynote address at MIT as her favorite moment of 2009 in a People magazine article. To see pictures from the event, click here (coming soon). A video clip of Lakshmi and Dr. Seckin’s meeting with CGR founders and contributors, courtesy of the Cambridge Chronicle, can be seen here. MIT student and blogger Hamsika also gives a wonderful account of the event in her blog.