May 28, 2002
MEDIA CONTACT: Joanna Downer
PHONE: 410-614-5105

First McKusick Lecture Scheduled For May 30, 4 P.M.

The inaugural lecture honoring the life and work of Hopkins physician Victor A. McKusick, M.D., will be delivered by Sir David Weatherall, Emeritus Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, Thursday, May 30, 2002, at 4 p.m., in the auditorium of the Wood Basic Science Building (725 N. Wolfe St.). Media are invited to attend.

Weatherall, a 1960-61 trainee of McKusick, 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.

Weatherall's main research focus has been applying the techniques of genetics to clinical medicine, particularly to learning about inherited blood disorders such as thalassemia. A sickle-cell-like disease particularly common in the Middle East, India, Pakistan and other countries of southern Asia, thalassemia and similar diseases can be the result of a single inherited change in one of the genes that carry instructions for hemoglobin, the oxygen- and waste-carrying molecule in blood cells.

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 Johns Hopkins 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.

Read more about Victor McKusick:

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