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Current News Releases - 2007

Current News Releases

2007
Released: December 19, 2007

Medicare payment plans are a factor


New research from Johns Hopkins specialists suggests that obese kidney disease patients face not only the usual long odds of a tissue match and organ rejection, but also are significantly less likely than normal-weight people to receive a kidney transplant at all.

Released: December 17, 2007


Noncombat-related acute and recurrent chronic pain are the leading causes of soldier attrition in modern war, with the return-to-duty rate as low as 2 percent when these soldiers are treated outside the theaters of operation. However, that rate jumps to 95 percent when troops and officers are treated and managed for pain in the field of instead of being sent elsewhere for therapy, according to a new study from a Johns Hopkins anesthesiologist.

Released: December 17, 2007

Rifapentine is already approved for use in humans


It has no current market, not even a prescription price.  Its makers stopped commercial production years ago, because demand was so low.  But an antibiotic long abandoned as a weak, low-dose treatment for tuberculosis (TB) may have found renewed purpose, this time as a potent, high-dose fighter against the most common and actively contagious form of the lung disease.

Released: December 13, 2007


Johns Hopkins scientists have by chance discovered that a widely used means of illuminating cancer cells could undermine studies of the potential value of experimental anti-cancer drugs because the natural “pump” that cells use to clear out the chemical light source alters their chemistry.

Released: December 11, 2007


Surrounding the small islands of genes within the human genome is a vast sea of mysterious DNA. While most of this non-coding DNA is junk, some of it is used to help genes turn on and off. As reported online this week in Genome Research, Hopkins researchers have now found that this latter portion, which is known as regulatory DNA and contributes to inherited diseases like Parkinson’s or mental disorders, may be more abundant than we realize.

Released: December 10, 2007


Researchers from Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania have uncovered another reason why one of the most commonly activated proteins in cancer is in fact so dangerous. As reported in Nature Genetics this week, the Myc protein can stop the production of at least 13 microRNAs, small pieces of nucleic acid that help control which genes are turned on and off.

Released: December 10, 2007


Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that cancers arising from epigenetic changes - in this case the inappropriate activation of a normally silent gene - develop by becoming addicted to certain growth factors. Reporting online in next week’s Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, the team shows that blocking this “addiction” can greatly prevent cancer growth.

Released: December 4, 2007


A team of Johns Hopkins scientists has catalogued chemical tags attached to more than 800 genes from 76 human brain samples and collected the first evidence of how these special, inherited epigenetic “marks” might account for different brain functions. The results appear in the December issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics.

Released: November 26, 2007

Device safely images whole heart or brain, as well as tiny blood vessels


The first 320-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner in North America, the most powerful X-ray imaging machine in its class, has been installed and is in operation at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Released: November 20, 2007

Findings could have wide-reaching effects for other blood tests in the seriously overweight


The extra blood volume produced in the obese may so dilute levels of a telltale protein produced by prostates that the popular PSA test may be significantly less effective for diagnosing prostate cancer in men carrying extra pounds, a new study in The Journal of the American Medical Association suggests.

Released: November 19, 2007

Grant will fund research to find new uses for "old" FDA-approved drugs


The Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins announced today that it has received a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Cinque Foundation.  The money will support the screening of thousands of drugs already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and on the market for their potential value in treating people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

Released: November 9, 2007


World Diabetes Day is Nov. 14. If you are planning a story on diabetes, a disease that affects more than 20 million Americans, please consider calling on experts from the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Diabetes Center. With diabetes specialists ranging from clinical endocrinologists to nutritionists to scientists who perform basic research, the Diabetes Center can provide you with unique sources who can answer your questions about this ever-growing disease.

Released: November 8, 2007

Study reveals a subset of mature neurons that can retain a youthful form of plasticity


It’s a general belief that the circuitry of young brains has robust flexibility but eventually gets "hard-wired" in adulthood. As Johns Hopkins researchers and their colleagues report in the Nov. 8 issue of Neuron, however, adult neurons aren’t quite as rigidly glued in place as we suspect.

Released: November 6, 2007


In a bid to clean up misleading institutional safety comparisons and go further to fix safety problems, Johns Hopkins experts are proposing standard guidelines to be used as hospital safety rating tools.

Released: November 6, 2007


Heart surgeons at Johns Hopkins say people who need heart transplants can largely avoid transplant failure due to elevated blood pressure in their lungs with the help of proper drug treatment.

Released: November 5, 2007

Good-Samaritan access to "shock" devices doubles survival from sudden heart attack


Heart experts at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere have evidence that at least 522 lives can be saved annually in the United States and Canada by the widespread placement of automated external defibrillators, the paddle-fitted, electrical devices used to shock and revive people whose hearts have suddenly stopped beating.

Released: November 5, 2007

Study suggests treatment of vascular diseases might lessen memory loss


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may progress more rapidly in people with high blood pressure or a form of irregular heartbeat, atrial fibrillation, according to results of a Johns Hopkins study published in the Nov. 6, 2007, issue of Neurology. The findings suggest that treating these conditions may also slow memory loss in people with AD.

Released: November 5, 2007

Catheterization still gold standard~ but 64-slice scanners are coming on strong


A study by an international team of cardiac imaging specialists, led by researchers at Johns Hopkins, concludes that sophisticated computed tomography (CT) scans of the heart and its surrounding arteries are almost as reliable and accurate as more invasive procedures to check for blockages.

Released: November 4, 2007

Study defines precisely why age is a risk factor for heart failure


Researchers at Johns Hopkins have evidence to explain why the supposedly natural act of aging is by itself a very potent risk factor for life-threatening heart failure.

Released: November 1, 2007


The Johns Hopkins Heart Institute today announced a $1.5 million gift from the Mirowski Family Foundation for cardiovascular research. The Michel Mirowski, M.D. Discovery Fund, named in honor of Mirowski and his wife, Anna, will support researchers pursuing novel ideas not yet eligible for traditional sources of funding.

Released: October 31, 2007


Brain scientists at Johns Hopkins have discovered how cells in the developing ear make their own noise, long before the ear is able to detect sound around them. The finding, reported in this week’s Nature, helps to explain how the developing auditory system generates brain activity in the absence of sound. It also may explain why people sometimes experience tinnitus and hear sounds that seem to come from nowhere.

Released: October 31, 2007


The Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant to Roger H. Reeves, Ph.D., a professor of physiology and member of the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins. Reeves and his research team will extend their current studies on a potential drug to see if its positive effects can improve brain development in mouse models of Down syndrome.

Released: October 31, 2007

An estimated 22000 preventable deaths result


Emergency departments across the nation are failing to meet national goals in treating many heart attack and pneumonia patients, according to a study by Johns Hopkins researchers published in the October issue of Academic Emergency Medicine. 

Released: October 30, 2007

Hereditary link to heart disease puts male sibs at higher risk, but sisters not off the hook


The genetic family ties that bind brothers and sisters also link their risk for developing clogged arteries and having potentially fatal heart attacks, scientists at Johns Hopkins report.  And according to researchers, brothers bear the brunt of the burden.

Released: October 29, 2007


Some Baltimore traditions just keep getting bigger and better. That's certainly the case with this year's Johns Hopkins Best Dressed Sale and Boutique 2007, now celebrating it’s 40th anniversary.   Exclusive designer dresses and shoes, chic contemporary fashions, classic accessories and enduring vintage clothing will be on the racks, waiting for a favored place in the closets of bargain-conscious - but demanding - shoppers.

Released: October 26, 2007


Six Johns Hopkins University researchers have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science by their peers. Jef Boeke, Ph.D., Sc.D., Paul D. Feldman, Ph.D., Nirbhay Kumar, Ph.D., Thomas C. Quinn, M.D., Theresa A.B. Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D., and David Valle, M.D., are among 471 new fellows around the world. Election as a fellow honors their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

Released: October 24, 2007


Outstanding researchers in cardiovascular medicine will be honored in The Johns Hopkins Hospital Houck Lobby at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 24, as part of the Johns Hopkins Heart Institute’s annual awards ceremony named to commemorate the late Hopkins physician Stanley L. Blumenthal, B.A. ’39 and M.D. ’43.

Released: October 24, 2007

Hopkins patient will participate in AHA Heart Walk on Saturday, Oct. 27, in Baltimore


Jose Vargas could not understand why completing the exercise portion of his Army training in 2002 was so difficult.  He was exhausted after running, had lost his appetite and was increasingly lethargic.  For the seemingly healthy 24-year-old, the symptoms were mysterious and troubling.

Released: October 22, 2007


A team of Johns Hopkins scientists reports in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that humans can be protected against the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation - the most abundant cancer-causing agent in our environment - by topical application of an extract of broccoli sprouts.

Released: October 22, 2007

Method could improve healthcare, education in developing countries


Simply informing the poor about government-provided health, educational, and social services they are entitled to could empower them to take greater advantage of free or low-cost public services, a study in India suggests. The finding, reported in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association, could be an overlooked, relatively easy way to boost health and well-being in developing countries around the world.

Released: October 22, 2007


Johns Hopkins researchers and colleagues have found a previously unrecognized role for tiny hair-like cell structures known as cilia: They help form our sense of touch.

Released: October 22, 2007

Most detailed look at genetic contributions to date


Researchers at Johns Hopkins’ McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine today are releasing newly generated genetic data to help speed autism research. The Hopkins data, coordinated with a similar data release from the Autism Consortium, aims to help uncover the underlying hereditary factors and speed the understanding of autism by encouraging scientific collaboration. These data provide the most detailed look to date at the genetic variation patterns in families with autism.

Released: October 16, 2007


College of Notre Dame of Maryland and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine will announce formal agreement to provide Notre Dame undergraduate students research opportunities in Johns Hopkins labs.

Released: October 15, 2007

potential to track the disease at a fraction of the cost of current test


A five-minute eye exam might prove to be an inexpensive and effective way to gauge and track the debilitating neurological disease multiple sclerosis, potentially complementing costly magnetic resonance imaging to detect brain shrinkage - a characteristic of the disease’s progression.

Released: October 11, 2007

Represents next major step in cancer genome sequencing


One year after completing the first large-scale report sequencing breast and colon cancer genes, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have studied the vast majority of protein-coding genes which now suggest a landscape dominated by genes that each are mutated in relatively few cancers.

Released: October 8, 2007


Six Johns Hopkins University researchers have been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine. Ron Brookmeyer, Ph.D., Frederick M. Burkle Jr., M.D., M.P.H., Aravinda Chakravarti, Ph.D., Kay Dickersin, Ph.D., Andrew Feinberg, M.D., M.P.H., and Lynn R. Goldman, M.D., M.P.H., are among 65 new members nationwide. Election to this prestigious body affirms their remarkable contributions to medical science, health care and public health, as well as to the education of generations of physicians. It is one of the highest honors for those in the biomedical profession.

Released: October 5, 2007


Carol Greider, Ph.D., the Daniel Nathans Professor and director of molecular biology and genetics in the Johns Hopkins Institute of Basic Biomedical Sciences, and one of the world’s pioneering researchers on telomeres, the structures capping the ends of chromosome, will share the 2007 Horwitz Prize with Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco and Joseph G. Gall, Ph.D., of the Carnegie Institution. The awardees, who were recognized by the Lasker Foundation last year, are again honored for their work contributing to the understanding of telomeres and their role in cancer and stem cell failure.

Released: October 4, 2007


Johns Hopkins scientists have developed a potentially novel way to fight colorectal cancer using tiny molecules to deliver potent barrages of radiation inside cancer cells, unlike current treatments that bind to the surface of cells and attack from the outside and cause unwanted side effects.

Released: October 4, 2007

Mouse experiments reveal "flight or fight" hormone's role


Both extensive psychological research and personal experiences confirm that events that happen during heightened states of emotion such as fear, anger and joy are far more memorable than less dramatic occurrences. In a report this week in Cell, Johns Hopkins researchers and their collaborators at Cold Spring Harbor and New York University have identified the likely biological basis for this: a hormone released during emotional arousal “primes” nerve cells to remember events by increasing their chemical sensitivity at sites where nerves rewire to form new memory circuits.

Released: October 3, 2007


Johns Hopkins researchers say they have figured out how human and all animal cells tune in to a key signal, one that literally transmits the instructions that shape their final bodies. It turns out the cells assemble their own little radio antenna on their surfaces to help them relay the proper signal to the developmental proteins “listening” on the inside of the cell.

Released: October 2, 2007


David Linden, Ph.D., will be reading, leading a discussion and signing copies of his recently published book The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God

Released: October 2, 2007

"Neuroscience and Bio-Behavioral Technologies"


Sessions to prepare judges to better manage cases involving complex science and medical issues

Released: October 1, 2007

finding may lead to changes in androgen deprivation therapy


A popular prostate cancer treatment called androgen deprivation therapy may encourage prostate cancer cells to produce a protein that makes them more likely to spread throughout the body, a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests.

Released: October 1, 2007

findings could explain mental decline in some older adults


Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that high-normal uric acid (UA) levels may cause barely detectable mini strokes that potentially contribute to mental decline in aging adults.

Released: October 1, 2007


The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center has received a $50,000 grant from the National Breast Cancer Foundation for providing free mammograms to underserved women in Baltimore. The grant is provided through Colgate-Palmolive and will be presented to the Kimmel Cancer Center on Wednesday at 12 noon, as part of their “String of Life” campaign to raise awareness of the importance of early detection and getting a yearly mammogram.

Released: September 26, 2007


To honor the career and scientific contributions of Dr. Joseph Thomas August.
Six world-renowned scientists presenting the latest research in immunology and vaccine development to an audience of hundreds of research scientists.

Released: September 26, 2007


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has given one of its handful of annual awards for fair and equal employment practices to The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation (JHHS).

Released: September 25, 2007

Two Events, Art Contest to Mark Social Work Centennial


Grinding poverty, splintered families, tuberculosis, syphilis, typhoid and polio were daily realities for the poor in 19th century Baltimore. For many, their only help was provided by the fledging social worker services of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. More than a century later, the need - and the mission - remain remarkably similar for Johns Hopkins social workers, and new problems have been added to the urban mix: widespread drug abuse, immigration, an aging population, crime and homelessness. It is this urgent and abiding need that defines the role of the Hopkins social worker.

Released: September 25, 2007


Elliot McVeigh, Ph.D., has been named the new director of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University.

Released: September 25, 2007

Lisa Cooper_ M.D._ M.P.H._ recognized for landmark studies on racial barriers to care


Lisa Cooper, M.D., M.P.H., a Liberian-born Johns Hopkins internist and epidemiologist who conducts landmark studies designed to understand and overcome racial and ethnic disparities in medical care and research, has been named a 2007 fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  The fellowship comes with a $500,000 “genius grant” that Cooper may use in any way she chooses.

Released: September 25, 2007


Johns Hopkins’ McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine is one of two gene-hunting facilities in the nation to win a new $11.7 million four-year federal grant to rigorously sort out how such environmental factors as diet, exercise, stress and addictions interact with people’s individual genetic makeup to affect their risk for disorders as wide-ranging as cancer, diabetes, tooth decay and heart disease.

Released: September 24, 2007


Johns Hopkins University’s newly formed Brain Science Institute (BSI) and pharmaceutical development company Biogen Idec have agreed to collaborate on the development of new therapies for such neurodegenerative diseases as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Released: September 20, 2007


Scientists at Johns Hopkins recently discovered that a chemical chain reaction that controls organ size in animals ranging from insects to humans could mean the difference between normal growth and cancer. The study, published in the Sept. 21 issue of Cell, describes how organs can grow uncontrollably huge and become cancerous when this chain reaction is perturbed.

Released: September 18, 2007


A team of tuberculosis experts at Johns Hopkins and in Brazil have evidence that substituting the antibiotic moxifloxacin in the regimen of drugs used to treat the highly contagious form of lung disease could dramatically shorten the time needed to cure the illness from six months to four.

Released: September 18, 2007


The Johns Hopkins University announced today that it has received an award of more than $100 million spread over five years to initiate the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR). The ICTR will be tasked with enabling Johns Hopkins researchers to hasten and improve the process of getting promising research from the lab to the clinic and eventually to the community.

Released: September 17, 2007


For the 12th straight year, National Research Corporation has given The Johns Hopkins Hospital its Consumer Choice Award for the Baltimore region. The award is based on ratings from Maryland health care consumers, who named Johns Hopkins the top quality hospital in the Baltimore area.

Released: September 14, 2007


Martin D. Abeloff, M.D., the chief oncologist and director of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center for the past 15 years, died Sept. 14 of leukemia. Abeloff, 65, was an international authority on the treatment of breast cancer.

Released: September 10, 2007


Scientists at Johns Hopkins have developed a mouse model for schizophrenia in which a mutated gene linked to schizophrenia can be turned on or off at will.

Released: September 10, 2007

An unexpected antioxidant mechanism is at play, researchers say


Nearly 30 years after Nobel laureate Linus Pauling famously and controversially suggested that vitamin C supplements can prevent cancer, a team of Johns Hopkins scientists have shown that in mice at least, vitamin C - and potentially other antioxidants - can indeed inhibit the growth of some tumors, just not in the manner suggested by years of investigation.

Released: September 7, 2007

disc1 makes protein that helps new neurons integrate into our neural network


How the gene that has been pegged as a major risk factor for schizophrenia and other mood disorders that affect millions of Americans contributes to these diseases remains unclear. However, the results of a new study by Hopkins researchers and their colleagues, appearing in Cell this week, provide a big clue by showing what this gene does in normal adult brains.

Released: September 6, 2007


The Johns Hopkins Hospital has again received the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers’ (AAHP) American Hospital of Choice Award. The award is made for excellence in four areas of a patient’s experience with a hospital: security, comfort, convenience, and caring. JHH, the only hospital in Maryland to win this year’s award.

Released: September 5, 2007


Mandatory classes that aim to improve the quality of medical care seem to successfully teach doctors new concepts but don’t necessarily improve patient outcomes, suggests a thorough review of articles that examine quality improvement (QI) curricula.

Released: September 4, 2007


Officials at Johns Hopkins report that a stolen computer containing patient information has been recovered and returned to the institution, where an intense preliminary investigation over the Labor Day weekend concluded it is highly unlikely that any information was accessed or compromised.

Released: August 30, 2007


A drug that shuts down a critical cell-signaling pathway in the most common and aggressive type of adult brain cancer successfully kills cancer stem cells thought to fuel tumor growth and help cancers evade drug and radiation therapy, a Johns Hopkins study shows.

Released: August 30, 2007


A father-son research team working from separate laboratory benches across the country has discovered a new use for lasers — zapping viruses out of blood.  The technique, which holds promise for disinfecting blood for transfusions, uses a low-power laser beam with a pulse lasting just fractions of a second.

Released: August 29, 2007


The Johns Hopkins scientist who first showed that the absence of the protein myostatin leads to oversized muscles in mice and men has now found a second protein, follistatin, whose overproduction in mice lacking myostatin doubles the muscle-building effect.

Released: August 29, 2007


Working with embryonic mouse brains, a team of Johns Hopkins scientists seems to have discovered an almost-too-easy way to distinguish between "true" neural stem cells and similar, but less potent versions. Their finding, reported this week in Nature, could simplify the isolation of stem cells not only from brain but also other body tissues.

Released: August 29, 2007


Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have found a genetic signature for aggressive melanomas.

Released: August 29, 2007

Outbreaks mostly affect health care workers


A review of measures taken to address a 2004 outbreak of the highly infectious Norwalk virus at The Johns Hopkins Hospital has provided the first solid documentation of expenses and efforts in the United States to stop the infection from spreading among patients, staff and visitors.  Total hospital costs for the three-month outbreak - including extra cleaning supplies, staff sick leave, diagnostic tests, replacement staff, and salaries and lost revenue from closed beds - were estimated at more than $650,000.

Released: August 28, 2007

Cell machinery sniffs out gene damage by trying on DNA for size


Errors in the genetic code can give rise to cancer and a host of other diseases, but finding these errors can be more difficult than looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. Now, scientists at Johns Hopkins have uncovered how the tiny protein-machines in cells tasked to search for such potentially life-threatening genetic damage actually recognize DNA errors.

Released: August 27, 2007


Christen Brownlee, who holds a master’s degree in science and environmental reporting, has joined the staff at Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Division of Media Relations and Public Affairs as a senior media relations representative. Brownlee, who has nearly a decade of experience as a science writer, author, editor and media relations professional, most recently served as an editor of a startup science and social studies magazine for middle school students published by National Geographic.

Released: August 25, 2007


Some biochemical processes, especially those in bacteria, have been so well studied it’s assumed that no discoveries are left to be made. Not so, it turns out, for Johns Hopkins researchers who have stumbled on the identity of an enzyme that had been a mystery for more than 30 years. The report appears in the May 15 issue of Structure.

Released: August 24, 2007


Johns Hopkins scientists have found yet another reason why you should listen to your mother when she tells you to eat your vegetables. Sulforaphane, a chemical present at high levels in a precursor form in broccoli and related veggies (cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.), helps prevent the severe blistering and skin breakage brought on by the rare and potentially fatal genetic disease epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS).

Released: August 6, 2007


Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found a way to overcome a major stumbling block to developing successful insulin-cell transplants for people with type I diabetes.

Released: August 6, 2007

Tests in chinchillas show promise for treating long-term unsteadiness and blurry vision


Hearing and balance experts at Johns Hopkins report successful testing in animals of an electrical device that partly restores a damaged or impaired sense of balance.

Released: August 2, 2007


Johns Hopkins researchers have genetically engineered the first mouse that models both the anatomical and behavioral defects of schizophrenia, a complex and debilitating brain disorder that affects over 2 million Americans.

Released: August 2, 2007


When quizzed about their knowledge in diagnosing tuberculosis and deciding on the best treatment, medical residents in Baltimore and Philadelphia get almost half the answers wrong, according to a survey by TB disease experts at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere.

Released: August 2, 2007


Routine annual TB screening of staff at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in mid-March has revealed that a nonmedical employee of the hospital has contracted tuberculosis (TB).

Released: July 30, 2007


The Johns Hopkins Medicine community mourns the untimely death of John Griffith, M.D., M.P.H., who was killed Saturday while bicycling south of Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. Griffith, 44, was a full-time assistant professor in The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Fibroid Center for the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins.

Released: July 24, 2007


A type 2 diabetes drug taken orally and in widespread use for more than a decade has been found to have distinct advantages over nine other, mostly newer medications used to control the chronic disease, according to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins.

Released: July 20, 2007


In a strategic move designed to strengthen both institutions while enhancing the access of patients in the North Central Maryland region to a wide range of clinical specialty programs, Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) and the Greater Baltimore Medical Center today have entered into a master affiliation agreement.

Released: July 19, 2007

persistent changes in "slow" nerve currents may also link memory and addiction


Our experiences -the things we see, hear, or do-can trigger long-term changes in the strength of the connections between nerve cells in our brain, and these persistent changes are how the brain encodes information as memory. As reported in Neuron this week, Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered a new biochemical mechanism for memory storage, one that may have a connection with addictive behavior.

Released: July 17, 2007


Johns Hopkins researchers have added to the growing mound of evidence that many of the genetic bits and pieces that drive evolutionary changes do not confer any advantages or disadvantages to humans or other animals.

Released: July 16, 2007

Discovery explains why anticancer vaccines mostly fail


Scientists at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere say they have mapped out an escape route that cancers use to evade the body’s immune system, allowing the disease to spread unchecked.

Released: July 13, 2007


The Johns Hopkins Hospital has again earned the top spot in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of American hospitals, placing first in four medical specialties and high in 11 others.

Released: June 20, 2007

Study identified risks for co-infected patients about taking entecavir


Cross-resistance alarms raised earlier this year by Johns Hopkins researchers about a widely used antiviral therapy for hepatitis B liver infections have prompted swift treatment revisions by the drug's maker and governmental agencies.
Released: June 8, 2007


Johns Hopkins researchers have found a way to directly observe cell migration -- in real time and in living tissue. In a report in the June 5 issue of Developmental Cell, the scientists say their advance could lead to strategies for controlling both normal growth and the spread of cancer, processes that depend on the programmed, organized movement of cells across space.

Released: June 5, 2007

Seven-story building planned for west side of Broadway at Orleans Street


The historic and top ranked Wilmer Eye Institute will break ground June 6 for a new, $100 million, 200,00-square foot structure to house additional research and clinical facilities across the street from The Institute’s current landmark facility adjacent to the major Johns Hopkins “dome.”

Released: June 4, 2007


Like hobos on a train, HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, uses a pre-existing transport system to leave one infected cell and infect new ones, Hopkins scientists have discovered. Their findings, published in the June issue of Plos Biology, counter the prevailing belief that HIV and other retroviruses can only leave and enter cells by virus-specific mechanisms.

Released: June 1, 2007


A team of biomedical engineers has developed a computer model that makes use of more or less predictable "guesstimates" of human muscle movements to explain how the brain draws on both what it recently learned and what it’s known for some time to anticipate what it needs to develop new motor skills.

Released: May 31, 2007


Scientists at Johns Hopkins have discovered one way the p53 gene does what it's known for-stopping the colon cancer cells. Their report will be published in the June 8 issue of Molecular Cell.

Released: May 30, 2007


The simple notion of copying the bodys own natural waste disposal chemistry to mop up potentially toxic nitrogen has saved an estimated 80 percent of patients with urea cycle disorders --- most of them children - according to a report in this weeks New England Journal of Medicine summarizing a quarter century of experience with the treatment.

Released: May 24, 2007

Hopkins study shows adult-born nerves experience brief period of child-like learning


You may not be able to relive your youth, but part of your brain can. Johns Hopkins researchers have found that newly made nerves in an adult brain’s learning center experience a one-month period when they are just as active as the nerves in a developing child. The study, appearing this week in Neuron, suggests that new adult nerves have a deeper role than simply replacing dead ones

Released: May 15, 2007

Graduates include F-16 fighter pilot, musical composer, girl who never rode a bike


Atul Atmaram Gawande, M.D., M.P.H., a prominent surgeon, best-selling author of  “Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science” and New Yorker staff writer, is the guest speaker at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s 111th diploma award ceremony Thursday, May 17, at 2:30 p.m. in the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore, Md.

Released: May 14, 2007

-- Technology, developed for surgery after nasal cancers, used in multiple reconstructive operations on 23-year-old whose face was disfigured -- Surgeons praise soldier's "courage"


It took only seconds for the Humvee to flip over and crash on a highway near Camp Bucca in southern Iraq in August 2005.  The force of impact was blunted by the body armor protecting Senior Airman Michael Fletcher.  But his gear was not strong enough to stop the wreck from crushing the rest of him.  His left arm was gone, and along with it a sizeable chunk of his midface, including his nose.

Released: May 13, 2007


SHORT CHROMOSOMES PUT CANCER CELLS IN FORCED REST A Johns Hopkins team has stopped in its tracks a form of blood cancer in mice by engineering and inactivating an enzyme, telomerase, thereby shortening the ends of chromosomes, called telomeres.

Released: May 7, 2007


Studying a rare inherited syndrome, researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that cancer cells can reprogram themselves to turn down their own energy-making machinery and use less oxygen, and that these changes might help cancer cells survive and spread.

Released: May 7, 2007


Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered to their surprise that nerves in the mammalian brain’s white matter do more than just ferry information between different brain regions, but in fact process information the way gray matter cells do.

Released: May 1, 2007

"Transformational" contribution to support new clinical tower and research at the Baltimore institution


Johns Hopkins officials today announced a significant financial commitment to Johns Hopkins Medicine from His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Most of the gift, made in honor of Sheikh Khalifa’s late father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, will support construction of The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s new cardiovascular and critical care tower, currently under construction on the East Baltimore campus.

Released: April 30, 2007

-- Department Voted #1 in Nation; Elliot K. Fishman, M.D., -- Hopkins Professor of Radiology and Oncology, Voted Top U.S. Radiologist. -- Other Hopkins Radiologists Listed in Top 10


The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science at Johns Hopkins and one of its faculty, Elliot Fishman, M.D., were ranked the nation’s best by 600 readers of Medical Imaging Magazine in its second annual survey of the specialty field.

Released: April 29, 2007


Hopkins researchers have identified a backup supply of stem cells that can repair the most severe damage to the nerves responsible for our sense of smell. These reservists normally lie around and do nothing, but when neighboring cells die, the scientists say, the stem cells jump into action. A report on the discovery will appear online next week in Nature Neuroscience.

Released: April 26, 2007


Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that the same ingredient used in dandruff shampoos to fight the burning, itching and flaking on your head also can calm overexcited nerve cells inside your head, making it a potential treatment for seizures. Results of the study can be found online in Nature Chemical Biology.

Released: April 26, 2007


For his work on how proteins on cell surfaces enable cells to communicate with each other, Solomon H. Snyder, M.D., Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has been honored with the 2007 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. Snyder shares the $500,000 prize with Robert J. Lefkowitz of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and Ronald M. Evans of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif.

Released: April 26, 2007


Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered to their surprise that a drug commonly used to treat toenail fungus can also block angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels commonly seen in cancers. The drug, itraconazole, already is FDA approved for human use, which may fast-track its availability as an antiangiogenesis drug.

Released: April 25, 2007


A Johns Hopkins team has stopped in its tracks a form of blood cancer in mice by engineering and inactivating an enzyme, telomerase, thereby shortening the ends of chromosomes, called telomeres.

Released: April 23, 2007

New information about old proteins offers researchers shortcuts to study disease


Researchers at Johns Hopkins took advantage of a new technique that reads the makeup of proteins to identify nearly all chemical changes nature makes by adding phosphate to proteins manufactured in human cells.

Released: April 20, 2007

Co-authors Frederick K. Goodwin, M.D., and Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., will discuss the new edition of "Manic Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression."


The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine will hold its 21st annual Mood Disorders Symposium titled "Bipolar Revisited: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going," at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, April 24, to draw attention to new findings in basic and clinical research on depression and bipolar disorder.

Released: April 18, 2007

"Molecules in Motion: The Art and Science of Cell Dynamics"


Nine experts in cell biology present their current findings to an audience of more than 200 key scientists.

Released: April 17, 2007

May Help Decide Who Should Get Early Screening


People with a family history of pancreas cancer now have a way to accurately predict their chance of carrying a gene for hereditary pancreas cancer and their lifetime risk of developing the disease.

Released: April 17, 2007

30th Annual Celebration Recognizes Talents of Students and Fellows


How we listen to ourselves when we talk, the underlying defect in a rare neurological disorder and a plan for identifying potential drugs faster and cheaper are a few of many research projects that will be honored this year at the 30th annual Young Investigators' Day at Johns Hopkins. Eleven students and seven fellows will be celebrated, along with all young investigators in the School of Medicine.

Released: April 16, 2007

Safety study triggered decision to go beyond standard monitoring and testing schedules


Infection control and critical care experts at The Johns Hopkins Hospital have ordered testing for the two most common hospital superbugs for every child admitted to its pediatric intensive care unit.

Released: April 16, 2007


A Johns Hopkins study of adult patients admitted to The Johns Hopkins Hospital showed that patients who resided in nursing homes or other kinds of long-term care facilities at any time within the last six months were far more likely than other adult patients to carry or be infected with a drug-resistant superbug.

Released: April 10, 2007

Without it, muscle cells "refuse to fuse"


Working with fruit flies, scientists at Johns Hopkins have discovered a protein required for two neighboring cells to fuse and become one super cell.

Released: April 6, 2007

Johns Hopkins Medicine engineers announce plastic, air-and light-driven device more precise than human hand


Engineers at the Johns Hopkins Urology Robotics Lab report the invention of a motor without metal or electricity that can safely power remote-controlled robotic medical devices used for cancer biopsies and therapies guided by magnetic resonance imaging. The motor that drives the devices can be so precisely controlled by computer that movements are steadier and more precise than a human hand.

Released: April 5, 2007

Markedly lower frequency of sepsis in dialysis patients observed


Researchers at Johns Hopkins may have discovered an unintended benefit in the drugs millions of Americans take to lower their cholesterol: The medications, all statins, seem to lower the risk of a potentially lethal blood infection known as sepsis in patients on kidney dialysis. The study is published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Released: April 5, 2007

Senator Barbara A. Mikulski press conference


Senator Barbara A. Mikulski will visit Johns Hopkins to discuss stem cell research and the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007.

Released: April 5, 2007


Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered how cells fine-tune their oxygen use to make do with whatever amount is available at the moment.

Released: March 30, 2007


In the attached letter, the Dean of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine thanks faculty and staff for helping maintain the School of Medicine’s position as # 2 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the nation’s 125 accredited medical schools. The accompanying letter provides detailed information about that ranking as well as information regarding the top-10 placement of Johns Hopkins’ medical specialty programs.

Released: March 28, 2007


Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center have been awarded $12.6 million in additional funding from its original namesake, the Las Vegas-based Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, to continue studies into the causes of sudden cardiac death. More than 300,000 Americans die each year when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood, triggered by an electrical disturbance in the heart.

Released: March 27, 2007

Study limits role of race in explaining high rates of disease among African Americans


Diabetes and high blood pressure, two conditions rooted in genetics and environmental surroundings, play a much greater role than race alone in determining who is mostly likely to develop heart failure, according to the latest study from cardiologists at Johns Hopkins. Each year, nearly 300,000 Americans die from heart failure.

Released: March 26, 2007


Johns Hopkins internist and epidemiologist Neil R. Powe, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., who has trained hundreds of fellow clinical researchers and medical students in the past two decades, has been named the 2007 Distinguished Educator by the National Association of Clinical Research Training.

Released: March 26, 2007

Device can image whole hearts or brain- and tiny vessels safely


Johns Hopkins Medicine has installed for three months of initial safety and clinical testing a 256-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner, believed to be the world’s most advanced CT imaging software and machinery.

Released: March 26, 2007

Racial differences may explain risk levels


Generally healthy African Americans may be at higher risk of heart failure because of racial variations in heart muscle’s pumping ability, a Johns Hopkins study suggests.

Released: March 26, 2007

Total shoulder replacements as safe as swapping out hips and knees, according to Hopkins researchers


Contrary to widespread belief, total surgical replacement of arthritic shoulder joints carries no greater risk of complications than replacement of other major joints, a Johns Hopkins study suggests.

Released: March 25, 2007


In a first of its kind study, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have developed a new technique that transports therapeutic stem cells in a multilayer microcapsule that not only protects the cells from being attacked by the body's immune system but also enables them to be seen on X-ray

Released: March 22, 2007


Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and their colleagues have found that mice simply expressing a human light receptor in addition to their own can acquire new color vision, a sign that the brain can adapt far more rapidly to new sensory information than anticipated.

Released: March 20, 2007


Scientists’ inability to follow the whereabouts of cells injected into the human body has long been a major drawback in developing effective medical therapies. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins have developed a promising new technique for noninvasively tracking where living cells go after they are put into the body. The new technique, which uses genetically encoded cells producing a natural contrast that can be viewed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), appears much more effective than present methods used to detect injected biomaterials.

Released: March 19, 2007

New Report Outlines Threat to Medical Progress in Combating Cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, Spinal Cord Injuries and Other Conditions


Johns Hopkins University and a consortium of seven other leading U.S. scientific and medical institutions today warned Congress that persistent flat funding of biomedical research could thwart advances in treatments for such diseases as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, and erode U.S. dominance in science.

Released: March 6, 2007


The governing board of Johns Hopkins Medicine today unanimously voted to throw its support behind Maryland legislators’ efforts to ban smoking in all indoor public spaces in the state.

Released: March 6, 2007


Johns Hopkins emergency medicine specialists have developed a tool to help hospitals prepare for disasters with the potential to overwhelm services.

Released: March 1, 2007


Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Academic Surgeons is a celebration of the contributions of African-American academic surgeons. It tells the stories of four pioneering African-American surgeons and educators, like those at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who exemplify excellence in their fields and believe in continuing the journey of excellence through the education and mentoring of young African Americans pursuing medical careers. 

Released: February 28, 2007

Hopkins experts have notified FDA and caution co-infected patients about taking entecavir


A Johns Hopkins study has proven false established medical practice that an antiretroviral drug widely used to treat hepatitis B liver infections was safe to use on its own in patients co-infected with HIV.  Their findings demonstrate that treatment with entecavir leads to cross-resistance to other antiviral drugs used to treat the AIDS virus.

Released: February 27, 2007

Media Advisory


The Junior Girl Scout Troop of Ellicott City, Md., will visit and tour the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Hopkins to donate money they have raised through cookie sales over the last two years to fund a cleft-repair surgery sponsored by the Smile Train. Ethylin Wang Jabs, M.D., a member of the Smile Train medical advisory board and director of the Center for Craniofacial Development and Disorders at Hopkins, will accept the funds on behalf of the Smile Train. The Smile Train provides free cleft-related training for local doctors and medical professionals in developing countries and free cleft-repair surgery for millions of poor children.

Released: February 20, 2007

Publisher of 'America's Top Doctors' to honor Johns Hopkins urologist


Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., the publishing company behind the well-known medical directory America’s Top Doctors, has named Johns Hopkins urologist Patrick C. Walsh, M.D., one of three honorees to receive the organization’s "Physician of the Year" award. Walsh was selected from a pool of more than 600,000 physicians from around the country.

Released: February 20, 2007


In the first genome-wide search for the genetic roots of the most common form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Johns Hopkins scientists have newly identified 34 unique variations in the human genetic code among 276 unrelated subjects with ALS.

Released: February 20, 2007

King Faisal award honors Johns Hopkins urologist for prostate cancer research


Patrick C. Walsh, M.D., University Distinguished Service Professor of Urology who served for 30 years as the director of the Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute, has been honored by the Saudi Arabian-based King Faisal Foundation for his pioneering work in the area of prostate cancer research.

Released: February 19, 2007


A Johns Hopkins-led study has found evidence that a genetic tendency toward suicide has been linked to a particular area of the genome on chromosome 2 that has been implicated in two additional recent studies of attempted suicide.

Released: February 16, 2007

Regulator of cholesterol production identified


By first probing the way primitive yeast make cholesterol, a team of scientists has discovered a long-sought protein whose human counterpart controls cholesterol production and potentially drug metabolism.

Released: February 14, 2007

Device the size of a "shoebox" will be about right


Biomedical scientists at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have won a $750,000 NASA grant to design the prototype for a mini mass spectrometer that fits on a Mars Rover and can analyze the chemicals of life as it crawls over the Red Planet’s dust.

Released: February 13, 2007


Human nerve stem cells transplanted into rats’ damaged spinal cords have survived, grown and in some cases connected with the rats’ own spinal cord cells in a Johns Hopkins laboratory, overturning the long-held notion that spinal cords won’t allow nerve repair.

Released: February 13, 2007

Family history and blood C-reactive protein should be added to traditional risk factors for all older women


Johns Hopkins cardiologists are calling for an expansion of the criteria widely used by physicians to detect and assess a postmenopausal woman’s chances of developing cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death among women in the United States.

Released: February 12, 2007


Johns Hopkins brain scientists have hit on how and why some powerful drugs used for treating mental illnesses cause patients to gain so much weight that they often develop life-threatening complications such as diabetes and heart disease.

Released: February 5, 2007

Blood test developed to detect problems long before middle age


Millions of middle-aged and older men experience the symptoms of an enlarged prostate multiple times during the day and night. What they may not know is that the disease known as BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia), marked by urgency and frequent urination, is not one but at least a pair of disorders, and that one of the pair, tied to a newly identified gene, has far more serious implications.

Released: January 30, 2007


Results of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) suggest that at least 81 million Americans experience dry, itchy or scaly skin during the winter months due to blasts of colder, dryer air, winter sun exposure and over-heated homes and offices.

Released: January 29, 2007

Hopkins study suggests rates challenge Alzheimer's and stroke dementia worldwide


An international study led by Johns Hopkins suggests that the rate of HIV-associated dementia is so high in sub-Saharan Africa that HIV dementia along with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia from strokes may be among the most common forms of dementia in the world.

Released: January 23, 2007


A study of Johns Hopkins surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses suggests that hospital policies requiring a brief preoperation "team meeting" to make sure surgery is performed on the right patient and the right part of the body could decrease errors.

Released: January 21, 2007

Clinical promise grows out of new twists on Marfan syndrome research


Researchers at Johns Hopkins have shown that a drug commonly used to lower blood pressure reverses muscle wasting in genetically engineered mice with Marfan syndrome and also prevents muscle degeneration in mice with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The results are reported online this week at Nature Medicine.

Released: January 18, 2007

STATIN PLUS CANCER DRUG DELIVER COMBO PUNCH TO BRAIN CANCER CELLS


Drugs play on output of genes linked to “cell-signaling” proteins Building on newly discovered genetic threads in the rich tapestry of biochemical signals that cause cancer, a Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center team has dramatically killed brain cancer cells by blocking those signals with a statin and an experimental antitumor drug.

Released: January 17, 2007


Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered how our anti-infection machinery turns itself down and limits the sniffles, congestion and fevers that are a side effect of the campaign against invading viruses. The discovery seems to solve part of the mystery of why the misery of the common cold lasts only so long.

Released: January 17, 2007


Think the heavy eating season is over? Some sources say Super Bowl Sunday is ranked as the number two "food consumption event" of the year, second only to Thanksgiving, and experts at Johns Hopkins have developed a game plan for dieters wary of packing on more pounds on Feb. 4.

Released: January 16, 2007

Media Advisory


Maya Angelou, author, poet, actress and one of America’s most influential civil rights activists, will be the featured speaker at this year’s annual event honoring civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and marking community and civil rights service by Johns Hopkins employees.

Released: January 9, 2007


The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins has been named the primary recipient of the 2006 grants from Curing Kids’ Cancer, the charity that raises money for leading edge pediatric cancer research through kids’ sports teams and school children. A $100,000 grant was given to Johns Hopkins for research into new targeted therapies for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common childhood cancer.

Released: January 4, 2007


Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that a tiny piece of genetic code apparently goes where no bit of it has gone before, and it gets there under its own internal code.

Released: January 3, 2007


Frederick Heldrich, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins, and a master diagnostician who taught generations of fledgling pediatricians the art and science of solving medical puzzles, died Jan. 2 in Baltimore. He was 82.

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