Thursday, June 26, 2008

Getting to know....Dr. Leonard Zon

Dr. Zon is a renowned stem-cell researcher and principal trumpet of the Longwood Symphony. On Saturday, June 21st, Dr. Zon flew directly to Boston from Delaware where he watched his son's soccer team in the regional semi-finals. Instead of heading home, he changed terminals and met up with the rest of the LSO as we prepared for our flight to London. For him, the trip represented a great opportunity to share science, medicine and music with others and to raise funds for cancer care through his music.

On Monday June 23rd, Dr. Zon joined his LSO colleagues as part of the LSO's "Artful Innovations in Cancer Care" symposium. He shared his ground-breaking work in embryonic stem cell research using zebrafish as the animal model. Using this knowledge, he is working on new models of tissue regeneration and cancer therapies.

In the evening, Dr. Zon switched gears to perform the Albinoni concerto for piccolo trumpet, a work that he loves . The Great Hall at St. Bartholomew's Hospital was the perfect venue for the work: the sound was fantastic, ringing and reverberating from the ancient walls.

An interesting side note: in preparation for this performance, Dr. Zon took his trumpet to get it acid-washed, or cleaned at a local shop in Boston. While he was there, a Japanese news crew asked to record him-the group was quite impressed, and now Dr. Zon will appear on Japanese TV!

After his quick visit to the UK, Dr. Zon boarded a flight back to Boston on Tuesday in order to join 1200 colleagues at the 2008 Zebrafish Development and Genetics meeting in Madison, Wisconsin by Wednesday morning!

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