David B. Larson

David B. Larson, M.D., was a psychiatrist trained at Duke, who founded and directed the National Institute for Healthcare Research and was a leader in the religion and health research field. He died suddenly at the young age of 54 on March 5, 2002. The David B. Larson Memorial Lecture was established in 2003 to honor Dr. Larson’s pioneering work.

David B. Larson Memorial Lecture

The 21st Annual David B. Larson Memorial Lecture will be held Thursday, March 9, 2023. The speaker will be Aasim Padela, MD, MSc, Vice Chair for Research and Scholarship, Department of Emergency Medicine, Professor of Emergency Medicine, Bioethics and Humanities, Medical College of Wisconsin. The title, location and time of the lecture are listed below. All are welcome and no reservation is required.  Contact Dr. Koenig (Harold.Koenig@duke.edu) for more information.


Title:  An Islamic Reflection on Health, Healing, and the Moral Dimensions of Biomedicine

Brief Summary
: This lecture will focus on aspects of a pietistic cosmology that shape Islamic worldviews on biomedicine and healthcare. It will cover scriptural sources that inform the concepts of health and healing and how the ethical duties of patients and providers are connected to the notion of proper comportment in front of God.  Scriptural sources, as well as sociological and empirical data, will be brought into dialogue into consider how contemporary healthcare attends to the religious dimensions of the human being.

Thursday, March 9, 2023
5:30 – 6:30PM (in-person)
Duke University Hospital North, Rm 2001

Presented by: Aasim Padela, MD, MSc

Aasim Padela, MD, MSc
is an emergency medicine clinician, community health researcher, and bioethicist whose scholarship aims at improving health and healthcare equity by better accommodating religious values in healthcare delivery. Using Muslim Americans and Islam as a model, he studies how (i) religion impacts patient health behaviors and healthcare experiences, (ii) informs the professional identities and workplace experiences of clinicians, and (iii) furnishes bioethical guidance to patients, providers, policy-makers, and religious leaders. This knowledge is subsequently mobilized towards educational and policy interventions. Methodologically Dr. Padela’s expertise spans community-engaged research, religiously-tailored & faith-based message design, educational interventions aimed at health behavior change, discourse analysis, and mixed-methods research. His current projects span behaviors related to cancer screening, organ donation, end-of-life care, and the intersection of religion and science and are funded by the John Templeton Foundation, the Health Research and Services Administration, the Greenwall Foundation, and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.  Dr. Padela holds an MD from Weill Cornell Medical College and an MSc in Healthcare Research from the University of Michigan. He completed residency in emergency medicine at the University of Rochester, clinical medical ethics training at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. He also holds Bachelor’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Classical Arabic from the University of Rochester, and has studied Islamic theology and law in seminary and academic settings.  He has authored over 120 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, is editor of three books, and serves in an editorial capacity for the Encyclopedia of Islamic Bioethics, the American Journal of Bioethics, BMC Medical Ethics, Global Bioethics, International Journal of Islam, BETIM Journal of Medical Humanities, and TAFHIM Journal of Islam and the Contemporary World. His work has been featured in many major news outlets including the New York Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, National Public Radio, BBC, and CNN.


Past Lectures & Pictures