The Johns Hopkins Gazette: May 28, 2002
May 28, 2002
VOL. 31, NO. 36


In Brief

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

First McKusick Lecture scheduled for May 30

The inaugural lecture honoring the life and work of Hopkins physician Victor A. McKusick will be delivered by Sir David Weatherall, Emeritus Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 30, in the auditorium of the Wood Basic Science Building, East Baltimore campus.

Weatherall, a 1960-61 trainee of McKusick's, will discuss the links between genetic changes and diseases, using examples from his specialty, inherited diseases of the blood. Weatherall has written on the potential of gene therapy in treating inherited blood diseases and the use of genetic techniques to diagnose such diseases before a child is born.

The McKusick Lecture was established by the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Hopkins to honor McKusick's contributions to science, medicine, teaching and patient care. A 1946 graduate of the School of Medicine, McKusick has spent his entire career at Hopkins as a quintessential physician-scientist and is widely acknowledged as the founder of genetic medicine. McKusick, University Professor of Medical Genetics, recently was named one of this year's recipients of the National Medal of Science, the highest scientific honor in the United States.

Wilson Fellows' presentations can be seen and heard online

Alison Calhoun brings to life the music and lyrics of a 17th-century composer of French opera, and Corey Seznec details the 300-year-old history of his family's land in Anne Arundel County, Md. Greg Shih made a video that gets behind the curtain into the lives of three classical guitarists.

The three students, who graduated last week, were among the first group of Woodrow Wilson Fellows to pursue research projects with funding and support from the Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Program. Over three nights in April and May, the graduating Wilson scholars presented their research findings in a public setting.

To sample three of the presentations, go to and follow the Real Video links.

BME researcher named one of world's top young innovators

Jennifer Elisseef, an assistant professor of biomedical enginering in the Whiting School, has been chosen as one of the world's 100 Top Young Innovators by Technology Review, published by MIT. The TR100, chosen by a panel of notable academics and industry leaders, are individuals under age 35 whose innovative work in business and technology has a profound impact on today's world.

Elisseeff was recognized for her efforts to find better ways to repair human tissue.

While pursuing her doctorate in medical engineering from the Harvard University-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Elisseeff designed a liquid polymer that can keep cartilage cells alive. In patients, the polymer hardens into a hydrogel, a scaffold on which the cells could develop into new tissue. Normally, surgeons have to insert such a polymer and shine light on it to induce it to harden. Elisseeff wondered if she could devise a polymer that hardens under minimal light, so that surgeons could inject the compound and shine a light through the skin to trigger solidification, obviating the need for surgery.

Her experiments with mice and rats succeeded. Now, Advanced Tissue Sciences of La Jolla, Calif., is investigating using the polymer to repair everything from ruined knees to facial damage.

The TR100 winners were honored May 21 at MIT during a conference themed "The Innovation Economy: How Technology Is Transforming Existing Businesses and Creating New Ones."

MICA president will give Friends of JHU Libraries talk

Fred Lazarus IV, longtime president of the Maryland Institute College of Art and an active member of Baltimore's arts and business communities, will give a talk titled "Is the 21st-Century Artist Really an Artist?" at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29, at the Carriage House at Evergreen.

His presentation is sponsored by the Friends of the Johns Hopkins University Libraries.

Prior to becoming president of MICA in 1978, Lazarus was staff assistant to the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1975 to 1978. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Claremont McKenna College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Lazarus is a director of numerous organizations, including the Alliance of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, the Baltimore Council for Equal Business Opportunity, Maryland Art Place, The Afro-American Newspaper and the Friends of Artists' Equity.

The event, which includes a wine and cheese reception, is free and open to the public.

For more information, go to

To reserve a place, call 410-516-8327 or e-mail

'The Gazette' begins biweekly schedule for summer

With this issue, The Gazette begins its biweekly summer schedule with publication scheduled for June 10, June 24, July 8, July 22, Aug. 5 and Aug. 18. Calendar items and classifieds should be submitted by noon on Monday one week before publication.

The weekly schedule will resume on Sept. 3, the week during which the fall semester begins.