The Johns Hopkins Gazette: May 5, 2003
May 5, 2003
VOL. 32, NO. 33


SOM Alumnus Endows Professorship, Online Meetings in Vascular Surgery

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

A Johns Hopkins medical school graduate who was the first to employ the microscope in general surgery is using his philanthropy to assist patients globally via the Internet.

Julius H. Jacobson II, a 1952 alumnus of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has endowed professorships in vascular surgery at Johns Hopkins, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Medicine in Jerusalem.

His contributions also have provided for monthly audio-visual conferences over the Internet that link the staffs of the three institutions. Some 60 vascular surgeons participate in the sessions, where a case is presented and alternative treatment techniques are discussed. This collaboration, he hopes, will advance surgical outcomes, research and teaching at these top medical centers and beyond.

"I was very fortunate to have a superb education that led to a rewarding career," said Jacobson, who is Distinguished Service Professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "By linking these three fine centers, I hope to give back to the institutions and profession that nurtured me, and at the same time advance the field of vascular surgery for the ultimate benefit of patients worldwide."

At a dedication ceremony on April 30 at the Outpatient Center on the East Baltimore campus, Bruce A. Perler, director of the Division of Vascular Surgery, will be installed as the first holder of the university's Julius H. Jacobson II, M.D., Professorship in Vascular Surgery.

"When you consider Dr. Jacobson's incredible career as an internationally renowned surgeon, researcher and teacher who put a premium on innovative techniques, it seems to me an extraordinary privilege to have my name linked with his in this way," said Perler, who has served as director of the Vascular Noninvasive Laboratory at The Johns Hopkins Hospital since 1982.

Jacobson, known as Jack, is a native of Toledo, Ohio, and the grandson of physicians. His grandfather was a nationally prominent surgeon, and his grandmother was the first woman graduate of the McGill University medical school.

By 19, Jacobson was a University of Toledo graduate and a Navy veteran. He earned his M.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1952 and served his seven-year residency in general and thoracic surgery at New York's Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital. He became director of surgical research at the University of Vermont, where his earlier experience with microscopes in cell physiology led to his becoming the first surgeon to bring a microscope into the operating room for the entire range of surgery beyond the eye and ear.

Jacobson's work led to such advances as coronary artery surgery and limb reimplantation; it is estimated that today one half of all neurosurgical operations utilize microsurgical techniques. He also developed the first microscope that allowed the surgeon and first assistant to view the operative field simultaneously. This "Diploscope" is now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.