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Elizabeth King's "Thing"
Love Affair with Books
PATIENCE AND CARE—Dr. Elizabeth King, who does burn research during the
day at Duke University IViedical Center, follows the ancient art of bookbinding at
night. Here she teaches Clark Luikhart, a graduate student in adult education at
U.N.C., how to sew “signatures" together. (Photo by David Williamson)
Dr. Elizabeth King has a love affair
going with books.
She spends her days in Dr. Nicholas
Georgiade’s Plastic Surgery Research
Laboratory conducting studies on burn
infections and burn victim treatment,
and she has a family to care for at
But in the quiet moments she has
reserved for herself, she spends time
It's not unusual for someone to find
satisfaction in books. As the saying
goes, they tell of far away places with
strange sounding names. They teach
how to tend house plants and how to fly
airplanes, how to cook stew beef and
how to build your own home. They spin
duke univcRsity mcdicM ccntcR
VOLUME 21, NUMBER 42
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA
Levy, Day, McCord and Roses Selected
MS Society Announces Grants
Between the ages of 20 and 40,
during the critical years in career and
family building, thousands of young
adults in the United States learn from
their physicians each year that they
have multiple sclerosis.
A chronic, crippling disease of the
central nervous system, MS currently
afflicts more than 500,000 Americans.
At present there is no known cause
and no known cure.
In an effort to learn more about the
causes of MS, the National Multiple
Sclerosis Society has awarded four
researchers at the medical center
grants totaling $81,030.
Announcement came today from Dr. R.
P. Moore, chairman of the Triangle
North Carolina Chapter of the Society
and a faculty member at N. C. State
Drs. Nelson L. Levy, assistant
professor of immunology. Eugene D.
Day, professor of immunology, Joe M.
McCord, associate in biochemistry and
medicine, and Allen D. Roses, assistant
professor of neurology, have received
grants of $37,366, $23,369, $15,000
and $5,295, respectively.
The awards range from six months to
a year and a half and will count toward
Duke’s $162 million Epoch Campaign,
a fund-raising effort i)egun in
November. 1973. which already totals
more than $50 million.
The major aim of Levy’s research is
to identify a possibly unique MS
antigen (protein not normally found in
the body) which may relate to the
cause of the disease. In preliminary
studies, the investigator found
combinations or "complexes” of
antigens and antibodies (substances
which the body’s immune system
produces in reaction to antigens) in the
spinal fluid of some MS patients.
He also hopes to see if the presence
of these “complexes” is useful in the
diagnosis and classification of multiple
Day and his associates plan to study
antibodies associates with
encephalomyelitis (EAE) in rats. EAE
is a disease that can be induced in
laboratory animals and bears some
resemblences to multiple sclerosis. It is
produced in the rat by innoculations of
a basic protein extracted from nerves
in the animal’s brain and spinal cord.
Using different methods from those
previously employed for separating
diseased brain tissues, Day hopes to
preserve the structural integrity of
cellular and subcellular membranes.
He believes the methods he is
attempting to develop for examining
brain antibodies in rats may
subsequently be directly applicable to
a search for similar antibodies in the
blood and spinal fluid of patients with
McCord has been engaged in
research on a chemical known as
superoxide dismutase since his
participation in its discovery in 1968.
This enzyme, produced by the body to
“scavenge" or neutralize superoxide (a
potentially harmful by-product of
oxygen metabolism), is less prevalent
in the spinal fluid of multiple sclerosis
victims than in the spinal fluid of
With the aid of the society’s grant,
(Continued on page 2}
yarns of yesteryear and today, about
rich men and poor men. saints and
scoundrels, good times and bad.
Dr. King, however, carries her
interest in books a bit further than most
She takes injured books and makes
them well again.
Dr. King practices the ancient art of
bookbinding, a profession which
predates the printing press by many
centuries. She has been a binder of
books for the past five years, and she’s
taken lessons in the craft from Edward
McLean, a master bookbinder who
created fine bindings for many of the
volumes in the university’s Rare Book
"Books are just my thing,’’ the
researcher and mother of four boys
said. “I'm in love with them. I always
wanted to have a fine library with
leather-bound books of my own, but I
’ knew I ’d never be able to afford one, so
I started binding them myself,” she
But as luck would have it, Dr. King’s
skills have brought a host of requests
from friends, and she spends a large
part of her hobby time binding the
books of others. Also, she repairs
books in the medical school library’s
valuable Trent Collection.
"My own library isn’t growing very
fast at this rate, ” the Duke alumna
admitted with a smile.
Bookbinding in the old style
consumes a lot of time. A complete job
of binding takes anywhere from 10 to
15 hours of actual work, she explained,
and then depending on the weather
and humidity, perhaps a week or so to
You need a fair amount of equipment
to do it properly, and the imported
Nigerian goatskin most popular in
bindings runs about $5 a square foot.
Since Dr. King can’t possibly charge a
firm hourly rate for each of her
creations, she isn't getting rich in this
line of work either.
(Continued on page 2)
BIRD S EYE VIEW OF WHERE YOU WORK—For employees of the medical center, each day brings the sight of corridors, offices,
clinics and laboratories, not to mention patients and fellow employees. INTERCOM editor David Williamson, who has just
completed work toward a commercial balloon pilot license, flew over the medical center last week and got a different
perspective of what it all looks like. For an idea of how the main quadrangle, the Chapel. Bell BIdg. and the new Seeley G.
Mudd Library and Communications Center appear to feathered creatures making their way south for the winter, please turn to