||UNIVERSITY OF UTAH THE APROBABLE LIFE OF trio C FROM THE EDITOR On these wintry days when the white landscape blurs into the cloudy horizon, we welcome warmth. In hospital offices, clinics and patient rooms though, we frequently take it for granted. Only when a draft warns us of its impending absence do we talk about life- sustaining warmth. It's the same with feelings such as hope. Hope, the confidence- not certainty- that what we long for may happen, permeates the health sciences center. We can sense it every day in the hands of a nurse, the nod of a physical therapist, the eyes of a physician. But not until clinical vocabularies are exhausted do we often hear the word used in conversation. When hope seems most tenuous, we reach for it. Mario R. Capecchi, Ph. D., knows about hope. Despite discouragement from the National Institutes of Health, Capecchi remained confident that his experiments with gene targeting would prove successful. His perseverance paid off with the discovery of homologous recombination that has revolutionized mammalian biology. But there is an earlier chapter in the Capecchi story, a time when survival, not research, was the focus of his life. At four years of age, Capecchi was left homeless to wander through Italy. His mother had been imprisoned in a German concentration camp during World War II. For three years, he survived on the streets. A fourth year, he spent hospitalized for malnutrition. As Capecchi relates in this issue of the magazine, he lay naked on a hospital bed with no sheets or blankets, delirious from lack of food, yet every day, he plotted an escape. That hope kept him alive. Hope does the same for many patients today who are separated from their families by disease. But we are confident that, in the near future, we can offer them more than expressions of hope. At the University's transgenic and knockout mice facilities, also featured in this issue, researchers are working with laboratory animals to learn about some 4,000 human diseases known to be genetic. Many of these research projects have been described in previous issues of the magazine in " Research in Brief." That section, as well as several other regular features, will be included again this spring. We're expanding the magazine to three issues per year to better cover events and issues at the health sciences center. Vaclav Havel, playwright and president of the Czech Republic, has suggested that hope may not be the desire for something you want to happen, but " the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out." At the University, we are working in labs, clinics, classrooms and offices towards a better understanding of health and disease with perseverance- and, of course, hope, c Susan Sample INTER 1997 HEALTH SCIENCES REPORT HEALTH SCIENCES REPORT UNIVERSITY OF UTAH Vol. 2 1 , No. 1 Published by the Office of Public Affairs, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, 50 North Medical Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah 84132. Telephone ( 801) 581- 7387. Health Sciences Report is mailed to faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University of Utah School of Medicine; to the staffs of University Hospitals & Clinics, and Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library; and to the faculties of the colleges of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health. Articles may be reprinted with permission. Editor: Susan Sample Editorial Consultant: Anne Brillinger Contributing Writer: Anne Brillinger Photographer: Brad Nelson, Medical Illustration Service This issue o/ Health Sciences Report is printed on recycled paper as part of a major recycling campaign at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center. Headlines. People Features Taking Aim in Gene Targeting 10 Knockout mice help researchers track the role defective genes play in disease causation. Against the Odds 16 Wandering homeless through Italy or discovering homologous recombination in his genetics lab, Mario Capecchi has persevered, proving that anything is possible. Gift of Health 23 The sesquicentennial campaign kicks off; other contributions fund a dermatology workshop, lectureship and cardiovascular research.