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One Book, One Community

Share a Book. Share an Experience.

Each year since 2009, Pitt Public Health invites students, faculty, alumni, and friends to share the experience of reading and discussing our annual selection for the One Book, One Community (OBOC) program. This year's OBOC selection is The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee. 

About the Book

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.

Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with—and perished from—for more than five thousand years.

The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out “war against cancer.” The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist.

Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer.

(Excerpted and condensed from Amazon.com)

Selecting this Year’s Book: From the Dean

We chose "The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer" because it takes one important concept of health, cancer, and examines the historical evolution of that concept from a variety of perspectives - that of the patient, the surgeon, the chemotherapist, the molecular biologist and the public health official. Author Siddhartha Mukherjee masterfully selects and explains how advances - and setbacks -  in theory, practice, and science have jostled along over the years, giving rise to our current notions of precision medicine and precision public health. I wish there were many more "biographies" like this one, revealing the intellectual roots of all our major health concepts.  A Pulitzer Prize winner, it's a terrific read."

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What Should We Read Next?

OBOC book stack

 

 

 

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Read-Along Program

Alumni, families, and friends are invited to sign up below and read along with the school’s students and faculty by participating in the second read-along program. Read The Emperor of All Maladies and participate in live and virtual events and discussions. Read more...

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Questions?

With questions about OBOC, or to suggest an event, contact Robin Leaf, educational programs and practicum coordinator.

OBOC and Cancer News

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Colon cancer risk depends on polyp type found during colonoscopy 

Colon cancer risk depends on polyp type found during colonoscopy

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Submit suggestions for the 10th year of OBOC 

Submit suggestions for the 10th year of OBOC

It's that time again. Submit your suggestions for next year's One Book, One Community title. We will be celebrating 10 years of this initiative that has encouraged interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends through reading a shared book relative to public he... (04/25/2018)

One Book, One Community: an interdisciplinary cancer collaboration 

One Book, One Community: an interdisciplinary cancer collaboration

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Lee discovers breast cancer mutation 

Lee discovers breast cancer mutation

“We think we now have tools to measure changes to tumors that have become resistant to therapy,” says HUGEN’s ADRIAN LEE, who identified a new genetic change in the estrogen receptor that hinders treatment of breast cancer in some patients, uncovering new clues for potential improved treatments for... (02/09/2018)
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Kuller endorses statement warning breast cancer patients may be at increased risk for heart disease 

Kuller endorses statement warning breast cancer patients may be at increased risk for heart disease

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Lee looks to genes to develop more targeted breast cancer therapies 

Lee looks to genes to develop more targeted breast cancer therapies

HEALTH NEWS DIGEST - The current movement in breast cancer research is matching DNA with targeted therapies and HUGEN's ADRIAN LEE is at the forefront. "We know now that no two cancers are alike...the concept is, with our ability to more comprehensively understand the genetic basis of the disease, ... (01/25/2018)
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Moore on the infection connection for some skin cancers 

Moore on the infection connection for some skin cancers

CURE - “New technology is allowing us to find cancers that may have a (previously unknown) infectious origin,” says PATRICK MOORE, professor of infectious diseases, microbiology, molecular genetics, and biochemistry. He is credited with co-discovering viral links to two types of skin cancer: Kaposi ... (12/16/2017)
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Kagan helps find mechanism of dendritic cell needed for antitumor immune response 

Kagan helps find mechanism of dendritic cell needed for antitumor immune response

DRUG TARGET REVIEW - A team including EOH researcher VALERIAN KAGAN has revealed the mechanism causing defective function of tumour-associated dendritic cells, explaining why they’re ineffective in inducing antitumor immune responses and effective cancer treatment. The findings could lead to new str... (12/15/2017)
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