News from around the Baltimore region

June 04, 2005

Researcher sues Hopkins, claiming discrimination


Alleging that her academic career and her search for a cancer cure have been illegally cut short, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has filed suit accusing the school and four employees of discriminating against her because of her race and gender.

Young Hee Ko, a Korean-born biochemist and assistant professor whose success in curing liver cancer in rats was described in a Sun article Jan. 8, filed her complaint Wednesday at U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

She alleges that school officials denied her laboratory space needed to qualify for grants to support her work and bring her discoveries to clinical trials, and that others at Hopkins sought to exploit her discoveries for their own advancement.

Her objections brought retaliation and defamation, she alleges, leading to non-renewal of her five-year contract. Named as defendants, in addition to the university, are Dr. Chi Van Dang, vice dean for research; Dr. Jean-Francoise Geschwind, associate professor of radiology; Dr. Jonathan Lewin, radiology chairman, and his predecessor, Dr. Robert W. Gayler.

"We feel the case is totally without merit and we fully expect to be vindicated in the courts," Hopkins spokesman Gary M. Stephenson said yesterday. Ko lost her tenure-track appointment in radiology because she stopped collaborating with other researchers, he said, adding that Ko is "free to seek reappointment in a basic science division suitable for her to pursue her research interests."

"Hopkins is committed to fair and equal treatment of all faculty and employees, and believes it has treated Dr. Ko fairly in this instance," he said.

- Frank D. Roylance


Three recent fires were set intentionally, investigators say

Three fires in eastern Carroll County area in the past month have been determined to be arson, said Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Allen R. Gosnell.

The most recent arson May 31 caused an estimated $175,000 damage to the contents and building of the Lady Baltimore flooring company on Route 140 in Finksburg, he said.

Trooper Edward P. Winkler answered a 5 a.m. burglar alarm and saw smoke when he walked to the rear of the business. He then saw flames shooting out a window, and he doused them with a fire extinguisher in his patrol car, Gosnell said.

A reward is being offered by the insurance company for information about this arson, he said.

The other recent early-morning fires occurred at a vacant house in the 2600 block of Emory Road and at a barn on Saint Paul Road near Hampstead.

The cause of a fourth fire at a home on Cedarhurst Road remains under investigation, he said.

Anyone with information may call the fire marshal's regional office anonymously at (410) 552-0154.

-- Sheridan Lyons


Man stabs two women during fight at a bar

Two women were stabbed by a man during a fight at a bar yesterday morning , police said.

The fight started between two other woman at the House of Rock in the 11000 block of Pulaski Highway about 1:30 a.m., said Officer Shawn Vinson, a county police spokesman. As the fight escalated, the boyfriend of one of those woman pulled out a knife and stabbed Cachet Brown, 26, and Sabrina Gibson, 25, both of Edgewood, Vinson said.

Brown, who was stabbed in the side, was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center with nonlife-threatening injuries and underwent surgery there, Vinson said. Gibson, who was stabbed in the back, was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center for stitches, according to police.

No arrests had been made yesterday, said Vinson.


Hickey School worker charged with second-degree rape

An employee of the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School was arrested yesterday and charged with raping a relative of another employee near the juvenile facility, police and state officials said.

Lawrence Gaskins, 35, of the 1500 Alconbury Court in Essex, was charged with second-degree rape, said Officer Shawn Vinson, a spokesman for the county police. Gaskins was released after posting a $25,000 bond, Vinson said.

Gaskins, a group leader at the facility, has been placed on administrative leave, said LaWanda Edwards, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Juvenile Services.

He is accused of raping a 22-year-old woman who had been visiting a family member on state property just outside the grounds of the Hickey School on June 1, authorities said.


Police await autopsy results in man's death in holding cell

Baltimore County police are awaiting autopsy results as part of their investigation into the death of a 46-year-old man in a holding cell at the department's Franklin precinct.

Glenn Hawkins, of the 2700 block of Ruscombe Lane in Northwest Baltimore, was found unconscious, without a pulse and not breathing, last Saturday, said Officer Shawn Vinson, a county police spokesman. He was taken to Northwest Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead, Vinson said.

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