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Campaign, Cont.

In late October, Johns Hopkins raised its $2 billion Knowledge for the World campaign goal to $3.2 billion and extended the drive, which began in 2000, to the end of 2008. What does this mean for Hopkins Medicine? JHM’s goal, originally $1 billion, now stands at $2 billion. Among the priorities: brain sciences, support of young investigators, and especially, the new clinical buildings. “That is our single biggest priority,” said Steve Rum, head of development for Hopkins Medicine. The goal for the buildings now is $300 million, up from $275 million originally. “We have about $65 million,” Rum said shortly after the announcement. “It’s a challenge that will be fueled by our ability to generate interest through our grateful patient program.”

Stem Cell Center

In a novel effort to simplify and speed up safe human stem cell research, Johns Hopkins has set up a “one-stop shop” to preserve, create, supply and test high-quality cell lines for its own researchers now and the greater scientific community later. The Stem Cell Resource Center, privately funded with a small portion of a $100 million anonymous gift, is housed for now within the Institute for Cell Engineering. An eight-person, embryonic stem cell research oversight committee, led by Jeremy Sugarman, of the Berman Bioethics Institute, and Carol Greider, director of Molecular Biology and Genetics, has been appointed to ensure that all human stem cell experiments conducted at the University are safe. 

New IRB Policy

Effective Jan. 1, all new applications for human subjects research must be submitted to the Hopkins Medicine institutional review boards (IRBs) via the electronic IRB, a tool that supports on-line submission of protocols. The eIRB allows researchers with an Internet connection to access and track their applications 24/7 from anywhere in the world. Beginning in 2001, human subjects protocols were reviewed by the Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB). Currently, however, the WIRB reviews only studies with commercial funding support over $10,000, and it doesn’t conduct reviews any more quickly than Hopkins’ own IRBs. Dan Ford, vice dean for clinical investigation, says Hopkins’ home-grown system offers easy access and transparency about methods and criteria. Info: or the IRB office, 410-955-3008.

Worthwhile Web

“Building Our New Home,” now live on the Children’s Center Web site, presents a multifaceted look at the new children’s tower. Designed for multiple audiences—clinicians and staff, community pediatricians, donors, media, patients and families—it includes a brief history of the Children’s Center, renderings of the new tower, articles describing the forces that drove its design, as well as news and events. In the future, look for interviews with families, findings from focus groups, virtual tours and continually updated photos of ongoing construction.



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