Carnegie Mellon University
September 20, 2012

Press Release: "Can Financial Engineering Cure Cancer?" MIT's Andrew W. Lo To Present Nash Lecture in Quantitative Finance

Contact: Jocelyn Duffy / 412-268-9982 /

LoPITTSBURGH-Andrew W. Lo, one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2012, will present Carnegie Mellon University's sixth Nash Distinguished Lecture in Quantitative Finance. His lecture, titled "Can Financial Engineering Cure Cancer," will be held at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 27, in Porter Hall 100 (Gregg Hall), on CMU's Oakland campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Lo will discuss his theory that financial engineers can use the same techniques that were devised to open up large amounts of money for mortgages - and that led to the current financial crisis - to provide billions in funding for biomedical research. Lo argues that current methods of funding biomedical research don't provide sufficient financial resources to find cures for some of the most pervasive diseases, like cancer. He and his colleagues propose that financial engineers can harness global markets to create pools of funding through a combination of public and private investment and long-term debt.

Lo is the director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Laboratory for Financial Engineering, the Harris & Harris Group Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a principal investigator at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1984, and taught at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School from 1984 to 1988. He has published numerous articles in finance and economics journals, and has authored several books, including "The Econometrics of Financial Markets," "A Non-Random Walk Down Wall Street," and "Hedge Funds: An Analytic Perspective." He is currently a co-editor of the Annual Review of Financial Economics and an associate editor of the Financial Analysts Journal, the Journal of Portfolio Management and the Journal of Computational Finance. He also is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a consultant to the Office of Financial Research, a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Economic Advisory Committee, Moody's Academic Advisory and Research Committee, the New York Fed's Financial Advisory Roundtable, and founder and chief investment strategist of AlphaSimplex Group, LLC, an investment advisory firm in Cambridge, Mass.

This biennial lecture is named after John F. Nash, Jr., who in 1948 earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon, and his doctoral degree from Princeton University in 1950. In 1994, Nash, along with John Harsanyi and Reinhard Selten received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for their pioneering analysis of equilibria in the theory of non-cooperative games. This work, sometimes called the Nash Equilibrium, has greatly influenced research in economics and finance.