The concept of graduate study in America originated with the founding of Johns Hopkins in 1876, and marked the beginnings of an enterprise that would unite a university, medical school, and teaching hospital for the first time in this country. Intrinsic to this new concept was the idea that discourse between various specialties is integral to advancing the science of medicine. The dynamic atmosphere created by this belief continues today, and has kept Hopkins continually in the forefront of biological research, medical education and clinical medicine for more than a century.
The Institute of Basic Biomedical Sciences (IBBS) was created in December 2000 to form a cohesive infrastructure for the nine basic science departments. The IBBS links the departments of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences and Physiology on the medical campus.
The entire medical campus is expanding: the Johns Hopkins Hospital is now is Phase II of a $950 million construction project to be completed by the spring of 2011; a new education building is opening in the fall of 2009; plans for renovating the Basic Science quad are now being developed; and a 31 –acre Science & Technology Park is under construction now – the first of the Biotech park buildings opened in 2008. The Science & Technology Park project includes 1.1 million square feet of lab and office space. The research park will eventually house 30 – 50 companies. It will provide traditional lab and office space for incubator programs for cutting edge science and networking opportunities with Hopkins 630 primary researchers, 2000 postdoctoral fellows and 800 graduate students. The project builds upon the great community that already exists in East Baltimore, with opportunities for residents as well as newcomers. As part of its 31-acre development the Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership is constructing over 800 units of affordable, moderate and market-rate residential housing to include sale and rental properties, as well as graduate student housing. There will also be up to 80,000 square feet of retail space and 3 acres of open space.
A typical list of lectures, symposia, readings, and films given at Johns Hopkins over the course of one year ranges from the sublime to the unusual. The University's Office of Special Events sponsors many of these through its Wednesday Noon Series. Lectures feature speakers who give thought-provoking presentation on a variety of topics. In East Baltimore, the Office of Cultural Affairs draws a wide audience with programs featuring classical music, films, and guest speakers.