Somerville farmer Charles Tufts was asked what he planned to do with a hill he
owned in Medford, he replied that he would put a light on it. Tufts University,
founded in 1852, serves as a beacon on that hill today with four campuses, eight
schools, and more than 8,000 students in a variety of liberal arts and professional
Graduates Lawrence Marshall and Vannevar Bush (later a professor
of electrical engineering at MIT) founded American Appliance in 1922 (Raytheon,
page 53). In 1996 Neil Birnberg founded Mercury Therapeutics, Inc. to develop
treatments for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In 2002 Tufts University researchers
engineered the first "custom-made" human knee ligaments from adult stem cells.
Neuroscientists John Kauer and Josh White are devising an electronic nose which
will detect chemical particles used to make explosives. Nutrition professor Jose
Ordovas has pioneered "Nutrigenomics" or the study of how diet is related to predisposition
to disease. Today Charles Tufts' quiet gift of a hilltop is a busy focus for pioneering
students and scientists.
History: Tufts University, MA by Anne Sauer, 2001 |