Sunday, March 16, 2008
Been Thinking About Your Cerebellum?
How would you like this as your job title:
Chief, Division of Neuropathology
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Such is yours if you are Dr. Alexander R. Judkins, M.D. We know him simply as Bishop Judkins of the Philadelphia 1st Ward. This ward covers a large swath of land in south and southwest Philadelphia. In the 1950s these neighborhoods were full of white Catholics who worked in local factories and worshipped in local parishes. In the 60s and 70s large demographic and economic changes took place. The factories closed down and many of the families moved towards the suburbs. What remains is one of the great challenges for those who still consider America to be the land of opportunity. Poverty, crime, disintegration of the family structure, drugs, unemployment, despair and hopelessness have become the norm for those now living in this area.
For his day job, Dr. Judkins specializes in examining brain tissue of sick children, particularly those with nasty tumors in the cerebellum. If you get way too interested in this, you can check out his research:
1. Judkins AR, Mauger J, Ht A, Rorke LB, Biegel JA.; Immunohistochemical analysis of hSNF5/INI1 in pediatric CNS neoplasms. Am J Surg Pathol. 2004 May;28(5):644-50.
2. Judkins AR, Burger PC, Hamilton RL, Kleinschmidt-DeMasters B, Perry A, Pomeroy SL, Rosenblum MK, Yachnis AT, Zhou H, Rorke LB, Biegel JA.; INI1 protein expression distinguishes atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor from choroid plexus carcinoma. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2005 May;64(5):391-7.
3. Allen JC, Judkins AR, Rosenblum MK, Biegel JA.; Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor evolving from an optic pathway ganglioglioma: case study. Neuro-oncol. 2006 Jan;8(1):79-82.
And away from work he is one of the most remarkable and gifted Church leaders I have yet to meet. He is acutely aware of the challenges and dynamics working both for and against our members, many recently baptized, in these inner-city areas. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ brings the light of hope to all -- if you doubt this, come visit the Philadelphia 1st Ward!
Recently my Assistants, Elders Shupe and Worley, and Joyce and I had lunch with Bishop Judkins at CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia). This fine man who studies the cerebellum has been blessed with a very fine cerebellum of his own!
at 11:14 AM