From the Early Universe, to Protons, to Cancer Therapy

  • Cynthia Keppel

Jefferson Lab distinguished scientist scheduled to speak at TEDxCharlottesville

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – On Friday, Nov. 8, Cynthia Keppel will step up to the challenge to present big ideas worth spreading in Charlottesville, Va. The experimental hall leader at the Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility will conduct a grand tour of the universe, from the laws governing the origin of matter to applying those laws to treat cancer, in just 18 minutes or less at TEDxCharlottesville.

Keppel gracefully straddles the line between basic and applied science in her position as leader of Experimental Halls A and C, two of the four major experimental facilities at Jefferson Lab. She and her colleagues study the structure and dynamics of the fundamental building blocks of matter. Keppel has applied state-of-the-art techniques that enable discovery science toward practical medical applications, resulting in several patents for products and facilities in use today.

In her TEDxCharlottesville talk, Keppel will take audience members on a journey from the early cosmos to the tiniest bits of matter that build our everyday universe, and will explain how research into these grand ideas has led to life-changing technologies.

Keppel is an award-winning nuclear physicist based at Jefferson Lab. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and her awards include a Virginia Outstanding Scientist Award, a 2018 R&D 100 Award and this year’s Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics Distinguished Lectureship Award. Keppel founded the Hampton University Center for Advanced Medical Instrumentation, a center focused on technology development for nuclear medicine, radiation therapy and other medical applications. This transitioned into serving as a founding Director of the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute. She is an author of more than 160 peer-reviewed scientific publications and has been featured on popular radio and television.

TEDxCharlottesville is an independently organized and executed program that brings people together to share a TED-like experience. According to its website, TEDxCharlottesville has participated in the TEDx mission to bring awareness to the rich talent, creativity and innovation in the Charlottesville area since 2013.

Following the event, Keppel’s talk will be available for viewing in TEDxCharlottesville Talk, a video series that is featured on YouTube and is supported by the event.

Contact: Kandice Carter, Jefferson Lab Communications Office, 757-269-7263,

Further Reading
Jefferson Lab Scientist Awarded Distinguished Lectureship
Jefferson Lab-Affiliated Researchers Honored as APS Fellows
Award-Winning Nuclear Physics Technology Monitors Cancer Treatments
JLab Researcher Receives Award for Excellence in Service to Physics
Distinguished Hampton University Professor Joins Jefferson Lab As Experimental Hall Leader
Virginia Outstanding Scientists of 2011 Announced


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. JSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA).

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit