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Special Speakers

Learn more about the special speakers at ASLMS 2023!

Marcia Rieke, PhD

ASLMS 2023 Keynote Speaker


Regents Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona, Professor Elizabeth Roemer Endowed Chair in Astronomy 

Dr. Marcia Rieke served as the Deputy Principal Investigator on NICMOS, (the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer for the Hubble Space Telescope), the Outreach Coordinator for the Spitzer Space Telescope, and now is the Principal Investigator for the near-infrared camera (NIRCam) for the James Webb Space Telescope.

Plenary | Friday, April 14, 2023 | 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM MT

Presentation Title:  The Webb Telescope: Twenty Years in the Making but Worth the Wait!

Presentation Summary:  The James Webb Space Telescope marks a new era in space astronomy. The telescope itself is the most complicated space astronomy mission ever launched with an instrument suite designed to take maximum advantage of the telescope’s capabilities. Because of the nature of Webb, the commissioning process was highly structured with a carefully designed timeline. Dr. Rieke will discuss some of the challenges inherent in aligning the telescope optics and checking the functionality of all the systems. How the team met the challenges to achieve performance only limited by the laws of physics will be described.  She will also share some of the exciting scientific results and what they mean for our understanding of how the universe began and is changing over time.


Learn more about Dr. Rieke and the James Webb Space Telescope:

Marcia J. Rieke, PhD



Wonder Makes Me Predict the Past | Marcia J. Rieke, Astronomer
Source: University of Arizona

The University of Arizona Regents’ Professor of Astronomy Marcia Rieke is the scientist behind the incredible optics on the new James Webb Space Telescope. The camera she built will allow us to look farther out into space and further back in time than ever before–all the way to the glow left by the Big Bang–to study the evolution of our universe. 

Marcia Rieke, PhD NASA Biography

James Webb Space Telescope


James Webb TelescopeSOURCE | FOX News
Oldest known galaxies spotted by James Webb Space Telescope
A group of international astronomers has used data from the James Webb Space Telescope to report the discovery of the earliest galaxies confirmed to date...



2022 Innovator of the Year: Gregory Robinson and The James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb telescope has come to represent something larger and grander than all of us. The long effort to get the spacecraft built, the mission it was assigned—searching for clues to the very origins of the universe—have worked a certain transcendent good...

Kathy Givens

Plenary Special Speaker

Plenary | Friday, April 14, 2023 | 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM MT

Kathy Givens

Kathy is co-Founder of Twelve 11 Partners, an organization committed to supporting human trafficking survivors and sits on the US Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. She will discuss her personal connection to the ASLMS New Beginnings Tattoo Removal Program.

Learn more about Kathy and Twelve 11 Partners.

Zenia Tannous, MD

Celebration of ASLMS Women in Energy-Based Device Speaker

Zeina Tannous, MD

Zeina Tannous, MD is a tenured Professor and Founding Chair of Dermatology at the Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine of the Lebanese American University (LAU) and Chief of Dermatology at LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital. She is also a Dermatology faculty member at Harvard Medical School.

Celebration of ASLMS Women in Energy Based Devices | Thursday, April 13, 2023 | 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM MST | Level 3 | Hall C


Presentation Title: Changing Lives with Lasers

As a physician in Lebanon, I have witnessed my country face unprecedented challenges in the last decade, all of which have negatively impacted the health-care system and access to medical care in numerous ways. Lebanon suffered concomitantly from a multitude of disastrous events, including an economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, the arrival of millions of Syrian and Palestinian refugees, and most importantly, an unparalleled blast, the largest non-nuclear explosion in history, that took place at the Beirut port on August 4, 2020.

These circumstances plunged Lebanon in an ongoing financial and economic collapse ranked worst in the world since the mid 19th century according to the United Nations. Lebanon ranks now as one of the poorest countries with over 80% of the population below the poverty line. It is currently one of the few countries where citizens are denied their basic human rights such as proper access to food, water, electricity, fuel, and healthcare.

As a physician and leader in the medical community in Lebanon, this situation has impacted me immensely at the professional level as well. In addition, the healthcare sector continues to suffer from scarcity of medications and medical equipment – mostly imported from abroad – leaving doctors with no choice but to resort to less efficacious alternatives. These circumstances, combined with insecurity and instability, led many qualified physicians to immigrate in search for better opportunities and a safer environment for them and their families. Despite numerous opportunities abroad, I was and remain determined to weather the storm as an effective leader, physician, philanthropist, and contributor to my society, both locally and globally, in the impactful field of Dermatology in which I have been extensively trained. 

Being an expert in lasers and leading the department at a referral center for vascular lesions, I receive hundreds of patients annually with birthmarks. In addition to the cosmetic problem, these birthmarks, when present at vital locations, affect functionality, quality of life, and the patients’ psychological well-being. I found it heartbreaking and challenging to turn away patients with such disfiguring vascular lesions because of lack of funds for proper treatment. Thus, I made it my top priority to secure proper solutions to provide adequate care to both Lebanese and refugees in need.  It brings me and my entire department immense pleasure to impact positively the lives of so many in despair over a condition that they deemed unsolvable due to their financial situation and the difficulty in reaching or lack of knowledge in finding treatment centers. 

On a different front, I have also been involved in the recovery mission after the Beirut Port Explosion. This explosion, which took place on the 4th of August 2020, has been ranked as one of the biggest explosions ever witnessed in history, ripping the city of Beirut to shreds and disrupting an already fragile population and infrastructure, suffering simultaneously from civil unrest, ongoing economic crises, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The blast, which took Beirut within seconds, left 200 dead, thousands injured, and tens of thousands homeless. It was my duty to reopen the department and call on my team to return to help the overflowing emergency room with the injuries. My residents and I stayed in the hospital till the next day, suturing the injured while listening to their devastating stories. Furthermore, the thousands of people who survived were left with disfiguring scars, a constant and eternal reminder of that dreadful and terrifying event. To add to their sufferings, the majority of the injured could not afford scar treatment.  My role as a dermatologist and laser expert was to alleviate the suffering of the survivors within all my capabilities. Again, I tremendously reduced the cost of the laser therapy, and offered many free laser treatments for patients with low income. I collaborated with different national and international NGOs and donors to help fund the laser scar treatment.