Campus Notebook

November/December 2002

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A New Degree for Lawyers from Abroad

In September, the Law School launched a new LLM (master of laws) degree for 18 foreign-trained lawyers who will specialize either in corporate governance and practice or in law, science and technology. The one-year program aims to expose experienced lawyers to American-style legal training and thinking. “The more lawyers can become familiar with multiple legal systems, the more the practice gains,” says professor Margaret Jane Radin, ’63, a specialist in cyberlaw and e-commerce and director of the science and technology LLM program.

First Premeds, Now Pregrads

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has awarded $1 million to Tim Stearns, an associate professor of biological sciences and genetics, to build creative undergraduate courses. Stearns plans to develop a “pregrad” program that will attract students who are considering graduate work in biology, rather than MD degrees. Undergrads in the program will be able to take a course in biological experimentation that relies more on journal articles than on textbooks, conduct research alongside professors and attend conferences where they’ll meet working scientists.

From the Med Center, News on Adult Stem Cells

Many scientists believe that embryonic stem cells, which can differentiate into any type of tissue, could someday be used to manufacture replacement organs and cure genetic diseases. When President Bush restricted federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research to existing cell lines last year, however, some turned their attention to adult stem cells, hoping they would prove as versatile. But a recent study of mice by leading adult stem-cell researcher Irving Weissman, MD ’65, a professor of cancer biology, and postdoctoral fellow Amy Wagers casts some doubt. One adult blood-forming stem cell singlehandedly repopulated the mice’s blood and immune cells, but formed few, if any, other types of cells. “I hope it tempers the enthusiasm for adult stem-cell plasticity,” Wagers says. “Maybe it’s not the answer that it appeared to be.”

Who’s in Charge of the Band?

Giancarlo Aquilanti, an Italian composer and conductor who has directed the Stanford Wind Ensemble since 1997, has accepted the post of musical director of the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band. Aquilanti, DMA ’96, is not responsible for policing the unpredictable ensemble, but he is attempting to teach members how to read music. “I hope that their interest will begin to shift to music and that they will think of themselves more as a musical group than a social event,” he says. “But that may be a few years off.”

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