Wellman 40th Anniversary Celebration

An enthusiastic and joyful crowd celebrated the Wellman Center's 40th anniversary on October 30. Much of the day was spent catching up with old friends and colleagues, sharing stories amongst all Wellmanites and hearing about recent research.

The morning program began with John Parrish's recounting of Wellman history, all the way from its fascinating beginnings. He then outlined factors underlying the success of Wellman researchers to improve healthcare, focusing especially on multidisciplinary high synergy collaborations. Rox Anderson presented John with a significant token of appreciation, namely, the diffraction grating John used in 1981 to establish the UV action spectrum for treatment of psoriasis, a treatment still routinely used. Rox described the many research areas of Wellman researchers today and nominated some ideas for future research areas. Next, Reginald Birngruber, a former Wellman faculty member, extended John's theme of the importance of multidisciplinary collaborations for translational research by detailing the development of the photodynamic therapy treatment for the wet form of age-related macular degeneration.

After a short, conversation-intense break, Howie Schlossberg from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research described the support received by Wellman from the Department of Defense and the unique enabling effect this support had research (with several humorous asides.) Tom Flotte, previously a faculty member and first leader of the Photopathology group, rapidly traced the history of surgical pathology, noted a significant contribution by Rob Webb, and provided a vision for its future.

The morning program concluded with birthday wishes to Wellman from Hensin Tsao and Seok-Hyun (Andy) Yun. They acknowledged many of the achievements of Wellman researchers as "wishes that have come true" and concluded with an imaginative wish list of future light-based diagnostics and therapeutics, e.g., selective "genolysis" and photopsychotherapy.

After lunch, stimulating research talks were presented by former Wellman trainees who now have highly productive research groups at other universities (Daniel Côté, Irene Georgakoudi, Aydogan Ozcan, Brian Pogue), or have remained at Wellman as successful independent investigators (Conor Evans, Seemantini Nadkarni) or are established investigators in the Wellman Center (Tayyaba Hasan, Gary Tearney). Each included anecdotes and thoughts about their experiences in Wellman as well as describing their current research.

The early evening reception resounded with conversations and laughter from the over 300 attendees. By the end of the day it was apparent that working at Wellman was, and still is, a meaningful time in everyone's life. The Wellmanites and their guests then dispersed to spend the rest of the evening with friends.

The Program, Handouts (coming soon), and Celebration Booklet are available by clicking on these titles.

Help find missing Wellmanites!
A great effort was made to invite all current Wellmanites and everyone who has worked in Wellman to the celebration, but many email addresses were missing or no longer accurate. You can help by looking through this list and sending any contact information about the "missing Wellmanites" to .

Photos and comments
Photos taken by many attendees are posted below. If you would like to share your photos from the 40th celebration, please send them to .

Wellman Stories
Did you enjoy reading the Wellman stories in the 40th celebration booklet? Many, many memories and stories were exchanged during the celebration. Your stories will be appreciated and enjoyed by everyone when you send them to for posting on this site.

Contributed by John Kochevar
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Contributed by Khalil Khatri
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Contributed by Malte Gather
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Contributed by MGH Public Affairs photographer
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Contributed by Tianhong Dai
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