Dr. Bennett Omalu to Speak at UE Snyder Lecture in October

Posted: Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Dr. Bennett Omalu, the first doctor to diagnose chronic brain damage in NFL athletes, will be the guest speaker for the University of Evansville’s Patricia H. Snyder Lecture in October. Omalu’s lecture is planned for Thursday, October 13, at 7:00 p.m., in Eykamp Hall, Ridgway University Center, on UE’s campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Omalu’s life story was chronicled in a recent book and in a major motion picture, both titled Concussion.

Born in 1968 in Eastern Nigeria during the civil war, Omalu and his family lived as refugees, his town under fire by the Nigerian Air Force. Despite this, he would go on to attend medical school at age 15 and become a physician by age 21.

In 2002, Omalu made a career breakthrough when he became the first doctor to discover and identify chronic brain damage as a major factor in the deaths of some professional athletes. He called the disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). He was also the first to discover CTE in military veterans diagnosed with PTSD, as well as professional wrestlers.

But his findings were dismissed and ridiculed by his professional peers, the NFL, and the sports industry. The NFL made an effort to retract Omalu’s published papers. But he stood his ground, and today, CTE has become generally accepted. Omalu’s findings have revolutionized neuroscience, sports medicine and safety, study of all types of brain trauma, and the sports industry.

Omalu was awarded a WebMD Health Heroes 2015 award for his discovery of CTE and raising awareness to the disease. Health Heroes awards are given to those who do great things to help others live healthier, better lives.


The Patricia H. Snyder Concert and Lecture Series was made possible in 1997 through an endowment from the late Patricia H. Snyder, trustee and longtime friend of the University of Evansville, to bring speakers or performers of national or international renown to Evansville at no cost to the public. The concerts and lectures in this series span a wide variety of topics, and are aimed at both the Evansville and campus communities. Events are free and open to the public.


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