Now in its seventh year, the annual
Voyage and Discovery lecture series
kicks off Tuesday, Feb. 8, with a talk by Rafael J.
Tamargo, the Walter E. Dandy Professor of Neurosurgery at
the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Titled "Life as a
Neurosurgeon," his talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in 111
Mergenthaler on the Homewood campus.
Originally created by a Johns Hopkins undergraduate
who felt his fellow students could benefit from hearing the
personal and professional journeys of world-renowned
physicians and researchers, the series will continue for
three more Tuesday nights, all at 7:30 p.m. in 111
But the story of how this series has thrived has a lot
to do with its remaining true to its original purpose: to
inspire those who want to pursue careers in science and
This year's co-chairs are Matthew Schreckinger, a
senior computer science major in his third year with the
series, and Angela Yin, a senior neuroscience major in her
second year. There are also two vice chairs, Christopher
Weier, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering, and
Katrina Escuro, a sophomore biology major.
Both Schreckinger and Yin were inspired to become part
of the series after hearing the stories of previous
speakers, including orthopedic surgeon Michael Ain and
pediatric neurosurgeon Benjamin Carson. About that Carson
lecture she attended, Yin said, "It really summed up the
whole purpose of the series, which is to be motivated."
The Voyage and Discovery series annually provides fuel
for the journey into medicine, they said.
Schreckinger, who has been interested in neurosurgery
since high school, said that the messages delivered by the
speakers have "definitely added to my desire to become a
Schreckinger got to know Tamargo, the first speaker,
by shadowing the Cuban-born physician last summer. "He
really has an interesting story to tell," Schreckinger
said. "He's one of the best neurosurgeons in the world."
Rafael Tamargo, this week's
PHOTO BY HIPS/WILL KIRK
Next up is Myron L. Weisfeldt, chairman of the
Department of Medicine at the School of Medicine. His talk
is titled "Progress in CPR: Biomedical Engineering,
American Government, American Heart Association, American
Business Working Together." He will speak on Feb. 15.
Yin said that hearing the stories of these
world-renowned physicians and researchers "gives you
inspiration to do other things [and shows you] that you're
not limited to one particular path or one particular
Yin said that the committee looks for researchers who
are both at a high level in their field and are outstanding
speakers. It also looks for a mix of men and women, medical
doctors and Ph.D. researchers.
Other speakers this year will be Valina L. Dawson,
director of the Nerve Regeneration and Repair Program in
the Johns Hopkins Institute of Cell Engineering, who is
scheduled to speak Feb. 22 on the topic "Inspiration and
Innovation: Lessons About the Survival and Death of
Neurons," and Leslie S. Matthews, chief of Orthopedic
Surgery at Union Memorial Hospital and assistant professor
of orthopedic surgery at Johns Hopkins, as well as a 1973
graduate of JHU.
Matthews, whose talk is titled "Path to a Career in
Orthopedic Surgery," was a two-time All-American lacrosse
player for the Blue Jays and was inducted into the National
Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1994. He currently serves as team
physician for Johns Hopkins. He is scheduled to speak on
For more information about the series, go to