In recognition of the high esteem that they hold for the late Dr. Victor McKusick, Dr. Terry Taylor and his wife Julia have established The Margaret Ellen Nielsen Fellowship, in memory of their grand daughter who was born on November 14, 1990 in Kingston, New York. Shortly after birth, Margaret was diagnosed with Down syndrome, and she died while undergoing heart surgery 11 months later.
Dr. McKusick began his career by studying heart defects, but rapidly developed an interest in the inherited components of diseases. In 1957 he founded the Division of Medical Genetics at Johns Hopkins and, in 1966, created the first edition of the genetic reference "Mendelian Inheritance in Man," a compilation of inherited disease genes. Today the online version (OMIM) is the largest annotated database of human genes and genetic disorders. Dr. McKusick contributed as an author and editor until the time of his death. It will continue to be authored and edited by his colleagues both at Johns Hopkins University and elsewhere. A scientist as well as a prominent clinician, Dr. McKusick received a National Medal of Science June 13, 2002.Both donors are Hopkins Alumni. Mrs. Taylor graduated from The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in 1960, while Dr. Taylor graduated from The Johns Hopkins Medical School the same year. Dr. Taylor is a board certified ophthalmologist, who attended the Bar Harbor Annual Short Course in 1970 and again in 2004 at Dr. McKusick's invitation. He is acutely interested in the field of medical genetics and maintains close ties with the medical genetics residency program as well as in the progress of the trainees he endows.