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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160 / Fax (410) 516-5251

March 25, 1999
Glenn Small, glenn@jhu.edu

Behind Every Scientific Discovery
There's A Great Story

World-Renowned Medical Researchers from
Johns Hopkins to Give the Colorful Stories
Behind Their Research Discoveries

Five preeminent medical researchers from Johns Hopkins University are participating in an unusual five-part lecture series called "Voyage and Discovery."

Rather than focus on breakthroughs or important research findings, these researchers have agreed to discuss the inspiring tales behind these great discoveries--the journey they took and the thrill of inspiration and pursuit in their research.

The series begins March 30 at the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus in Baltimore. Admission to all lectures is free and open to the public.

Leading off the series, which will feature one speaker per week for five consecutive weeks, will be Benjamin S. Carson Sr., (pictured at right) director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Carson will speak March 30 in Mudd Lecture Hall at 7 p.m. His talk is entitled, "From Medical Missionary to Academic Neurosurgery: Are They Really That Different?"

The lecture series was the brainchild of an undergraduate student who had been inspired last fall by a Johns Hopkins professor's tale of researching a rare neurological disorder. Adam Libow, 22, conceived of the series and brought it together.

Adam Libow

The person who inspired Libow, Guy McKhann, kept students spellbound as he led them through the shifting terrain he traveled in researching Gullian Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder.

McKhann enhanced the story, which involved a journey through China, by the deft use of the Socratic method, Libow remembers. He covered the science, but he also gave his audience the romance of the pursuit.

"I walked out of there thinking, 'I wish more people had heard this,'" Libow recalls. "And I figured there were other researchers who had similar stories."

He was right. Libow identified top medical researchers from Johns Hopkins to invite, and he was pleasantly surprised when all five agreed. And each researcher has agreed to waive their normal speaker fees. Libow says he hopes each scientist will focus "not so much on their latest or most accomplished findings, but rather on the process of scientific discovery, the stories behind their findings."

Other speakers in the series are:

Donald S. Coffey, director of research laboratories in the Department of Urology, will speak April 6 in Mergenthaler Lecture Hall. His talk is entitled, "From Failing the Fifth Grade to Cancer Research: A Journey through Academia."
Guy M. McKhann, director of the Krieger Mind/Brain Institute, will appear April 13 in the Mergenthaler Lecture Hall. His talk is entitled, "From a Chinese Leader to Pediatric Paralysis: Investigating a Mysterious Disease."
Diane E. Griffin, chair of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, will speak April 20 in Mergenthaler Lecture Hall. Her presentation is entitled, "From Measles to Zambia: Chasing a Killer Virus."
Victor A. McKusick, professor of medical genetics, will speak April 26 in Mudd Lecture Hall. His talk is entitled, "From MediGenetics to Genomics-based Medicine: A 50 year experience."
Visit the Voyage and Discovery website!

Photos are available.

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