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Richard J. Johns was born in Pendleton, Oregon. He received his B.S. in 1947 from the University of Oregon and his M.D. in 1948 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. After serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, he returned to Johns Hopkins, where he spent the rest of his career. At Johns Hopkins, he first held positions as instructor, assistant professor, and associate professor in the department of medicine. In 1966, he was appointed the first professor and chairman of the new sub-department of biomedical engineering. In 1970, when biomedical engineering was established as a full department in the university, Johns was named its director and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1991. Under his leadership the department expanded to encompass research in speech and hearing, cardiovascular control, and myocardial mechanics. He also helped develop a revolutionary three-dimensional radiography system during the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to his success in developing the biomedical engineering department, Johns played a major role in expanding research and training programs for medical students and postdoctoral scientists.

Scope and Content

The Richard Johns Collection covers his tenure as chairman of the department of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins. It consists of correspondence and reference documents arranged as subject files. Johns lead numerous working groups studying research and technology-related issues; therefore, this collection is an important resource for the study of nearly two decades of science and technology policy at Johns Hopkins. This collection is also a major resource for the study of teaching and research in biomedical engineering.

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