Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
The official portrait of MIT First Lady Rebecca M. Vest was unveiled at a small reception in the Emma Rogers Room on Friday attended by three of her predecessors: Catherine M. Stratton, Elizabeth W. Johnson and Priscilla K. Gray.
"In our 12 years at MIT, nothing has pleased me more than seeing Becky recognized in this manner," said President Charles M. Vest.
The portrait, by Pennsylvania artist Jeffrey Martin, joins those of former first ladies Laya W. Weisner, Johnson and Gray in the Rogers Room. The late Mel Robbins painted the others.
Martin, who has done portraits of elected officials, judges, businessmen, actors and athletes, was chosen by Mrs. Vest after she reviewed his portfolio and met with him in January. Martin took photographs of Mrs. Vest and submitted two sketches in March. The final painting combines elements of both sketches.
Members of the community are invited to view the portrait at the next open meeting of the MIT Women's League on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Emma Rogers Room (10-340). Mrs. Vest will be there.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 6, 2002.