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Promise and Progress - A Place to Come Together

Special Commemorative Issue: The Abeloff Era - Building Upon a Tradition of Excellence

A Place to Come Together

Date: April 1, 2007

A Place to Come Together - Auditorium Named for Cancer Center's First Director

Thirty years ago, when the first facility to house a cancer center at Johns Hopkins (then called the Oncology Center) was being built, the Center’s director, Albert H. Owens, had a vision. At the time, little was known about cancer, and he believed that the most rapid advances would come from the collaboration between clinicians and laboratory researchers. To encourage and facilitate this collaborative atmosphere he had the laboratories built adjacent to the patient floors. It was a unique concept in academic medicine at the time and one that fostered the continual exchange of information between the bench and the bedside.

As our facilities and faculty grew, it became impossible to have everyone working on cancer in the same building. However, that translational philosophy instilled under Owens’ leadership remains in practice at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center today. Today, the 230-seat, technologically advanced auditorium that joins the Bunting Blaustein Cancer Research Building to the recently constructed David H. Koch Cancer Research Building provides space for clinicians and investigators to come together. That it has been named for Owens seems a fitting tribute.