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Current News Releases - 2011
Current News Releases
Martin Luther King III, a noted civil rights and community leader who spoke at Hopkins’ first commemoration in 1982, will serve as keynote speaker at this year’s milestone event honoring his father, slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The theme is “Peace, Love and Dignity: King’s Ultimate Challenge.” In what has become a much-anticipated annual tradition, Johns Hopkins Medicine will remember and honor Dr. King with tributes, music and community service awards. The celebration, which will take place on Friday, Jan. 6, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Turner Auditorium, is only for employees and not the general public.
Nation’s top hospital welcomes patients in 1.6-million-square-foot facility on April 29, 2012
A new era will begin at the nation’s top hospital in April 2012, when The Johns Hopkins Hospital opens its new $1.1 billion patient care building. The 1.6 million-square-foot facility erected on five acres is believed to be one of the nation’s largest hospital construction projects. It includes two 12-story patient towers, 560 private patient rooms, 33 state-of-the-art, spacious operating rooms, and expansive new adult and pediatric emergency departments. The facility will also feature the most sophisticated diagnostic imaging equipment, such as an intraoperative MRI scanner and high-speed, low-dose CT scanners.
Search on for genetic roots of diseases that disproportionately afflict blacks, especially asthma
A Johns Hopkins-led team of experts in genetics, immunology, epidemiology and allergic disease has embarked on a four-year effort to map the genetic code, or whole genome, of 1,000 people of African descent, including men and women from Baltimore.
Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHI), the international arm of Johns Hopkins Medicine of Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and the Ministry of Health of Kuwait (MOH) have signed a five-year agreement that calls for JHI to assist Kuwait in improving health care delivery at four of Kuwait’s five secondary care public hospitals and developing in?country talent in hospital administration and clinical care. The agreement was signed on December 25, 2011, by His Excellency Mustafa Gasim Al Shamali, Kuwait’s Minister of Finance and Minister of Health, and Steve Thompson CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine International.
A team of cancer imaging experts at Johns Hopkins has embarked on a five-year research initiative to speed development of early diagnostic tests and new treatments for breast, prostate and other common cancers.
New report includes guidelines on whom and when to test
Johns Hopkins researchers key part of team recognized for its scientific findings
The finding of a team of researchers - including several members from Johns Hopkins - that HIV treatment with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) can actually prevent transmission of the virus from an infected person to his or her uninfected partner has been named "Breakthrough of the Year" for 2011 by the journal Science.
Six Johns Hopkins researchers have been elected by their peers as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Barry Zirkin of the Bloomberg School of Public Health; Kit Hansell Bowen and Sarah Woodson of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences; Andrew Feinberg and Min Li of the School of Medicine; and Paula Pitha-Rowe of the Kimmel Cancer Center are among 539 new fellows from around the world. Election as an AAAS fellow honors scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.
Paul B. Rothman, a distinguished physician, scientist, educator and academic health care leader, was appointed today as the 14th dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and second chief executive officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine, a $6.5 billion academic medical center and a health system with a global reach.
Work focuses on SIRT1, a gene linked to aging
Working with genetically engineered mice, Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that a gene (SIRT1) linked to slowing the aging process in cells also appears to dramatically delay the onset of Huntington’s disease (HD) and slow the progression of the relentless neurodegenerative disorder.
G. Daniel Shealer Jr. has been appointed vice president and general counsel of The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation and The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He succeeds Joanne Pollak, who assumed the duties of chief of staff to the Office of Johns Hopkins Medicine, this past July
Working with guinea pigs, tuberculosis experts at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere have closely mimicked how active but untreated cases of the underlying lung infection lead to permanent eye damage and blindness in people.
Systems Integration, Virtual Simulation to Guide Study of Complex Health Care Setting
The Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality of Johns Hopkins Medicine is collaborating with the Lockheed Martin Corporation, a global security and technology company, to create a safer and more efficient hospital intensive care unit (ICU) model. The two organizations will work to streamline complex and fragmented clinical systems and processes to reduce medical errors and improve the quality of care for critically ill patients.
Carrying single DNA letter changes from two different genes together may increase the risk of developing schizophrenia, Johns Hopkins researchers reported in the November 16 issue of Neuron.
Kidney disease patients treated at for-profit dialysis centers are 20 percent less likely to be informed about transplant options and referred for the potentially lifesaving operation than those at nonprofit centers, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Johns Hopkins-led study suggests imaging studies add no value for patients getting epidural steroid injections
Johns Hopkins-led research suggests that routine MRI imaging does nothing to improve the treatment of patients who need injections of steroids into their spinal columns to relieve pain. Moreover, MRI plays only a small role in a doctor’s decision to give these epidural steroid injections (ESIs), the most common procedure performed at pain clinics in the United States
Looking for ways to halt the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells, scientists at Johns Hopkins have found that a new class of drugs, called PARP inhibitors, may block the ability of pre-leukemic cells to repair broken bits of their own DNA, causing these cells to self-destruct. Results of their experiments, expected to be presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology in San Diego, Dec. 12, have already prompted clinical trials of the drugs in patients with aggressive pre-leukemic conditions, who have few treatment options.
People within the Johns Hopkins community have long known that Lillie Shockney is an amazing nurse. Now she’s got the moniker to prove it. Shockney, administrative director of the Johns Hopkins Avon Breast Center since 1997, was selected as this year’s “Amazing Nurse” in a national contest to celebrate and reward nurses’ value, sponsored by the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future. Shockney’s work with breast cancer patients was recognized by Johnson & Johnson during the 2011 CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute show in Los Angeles on December 11.
Critically ill patients who recover from a potentially deadly syndrome known as acute lung injury frequently emerge with new, apparently long-lasting depressive symptoms and new physical impairments that make them unable to perform many daily tasks, Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Program gives PepsiCo employees access to top surgeons specializing in cardiac and joint replacement operations
Johns Hopkins announced today that PepsiCo, the world’s second-largest food and beverage business, will offer its employees the option to travel to Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore for cardiac and complex joint replacement surgeries.
Having both ovaries removed before age 45 is strongly associated with low-bone mineral density and arthritis in later years, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins oncologists and epidemiologists. The analysis covered several thousand women who took part in a U.S. government-sponsored, multiyear national health study, and excluded women whose ovaries were removed due to cancer.
Working with human breast cells, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have shown how the inactivation of a single copy of the breast cancer gene BRCA1 leaves breast cells vulnerable to cancer by reducing their ability to repair DNA damage, causing genetic instability. An inherited mutation in BRCA1 is the leading risk factor for hereditary breast cancer, prompting preventive mastectomies or close monitoring. The new findings may aid development of drugs to prevent hereditary breast cancer and tools to identify women who benefit most from prophylactic treatments.
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists report that sharp rises in levels of reactive oxygen molecules, and the inflammation that results, trigger biochemical changes that silence genes in a pattern often seen in cancer cells. The researchers confirmed this gene-silencing effect in mice that develop inflammation-induced colon cancer.
Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHI), the international arm of Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, USA, and Lima, Peru-based Pacifico Salud, a subsidiary of Credicorp Ltd. (NYSE : BAP), the leading financial services holding company in Peru, that operates several health care facilities, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to improve patient care and management at the medical facilities recently acquired by the Peruvian company.
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have surveyed the DNA in four common types of pancreatic cysts, and have determined that each type bears a distinct pattern of gene mutations. Pancreatic cysts are present in about two percent of U.S. adults, and can, in some cases, require surgical removal and microscopic analysis to determine their type and likelihood of turning cancerous.
A small study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and Duke University shows that eating higher doses of milk protein in the form of dry powder substantially outperforms lower-dose therapy — a few drops of liquid milk extract under the tongue — for treatment of food allergies.
For additional information: http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/Milk-Powder-Better-than-Liquid-Drops-to-Treat-Milk-Allergies.aspx
$16M to solve unknown causes of inherited diseases
The McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine has been named one of three Mendelian Disorders Genome Centers by the National Human Genome Research Institute and will receive $16 million over the next four years to identify causes of genetic disease. The new center will be called the Baylor-Hopkins Center for Mendelian Genomics; the other two centers will be at University of Washington and Yale University.
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who recently reported the design and creation of a man-made yeast chromosome have now signed on some international collaborators at BGI, a genomics company headquartered in Beijing, China. The newly formed relationship brings together the Johns Hopkins project with some of the world’s experts in so-called next generation genome sequencing in an effort to speed the understanding of how genomes are built and organized and how they function.
Removing organs for transplant unless person explicitly opts out of donation before death not best way to address scarcity, raises sticky ethical questions
Changing the organ donation process in this country from opt-in — by, say, checking a box on a driver’s license application— to opt-out, which presumes someone’s willingness to donate after death unless they explicitly object while alive, would not be likely to increase the donation rate in the United States, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
A team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Vanderbilt University and elsewhere have demonstrated that high blood pressure and anemia together put children with sickle cell disease (SCD) at serious danger for symptomless or so-called “silent” strokes, although either condition alone also signaled high risk.
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Collaborations between Johns Hopkins and National Taiwan University researchers have successfully manipulated the life span of common, single-celled yeast organisms by figuring out how to remove and restore protein functions related to yeast aging.
Condition prevalent among those with heart disease and obesity
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common condition associated with obesity and heart disease long thought to undermine health and longevity. But a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests the condition does not affect survival.
Coronary calcium in heart arteries provides important clues about risk, even among younger and elderly patients and those without traditional risk factors, according to new studies.
Olive oil and nuts boost insulin action, reduce heart disease risks
A team of Johns Hopkins researchers has uncovered further evidence of the benefits of a balanced diet that replaces white bread and pasta carbohydrates with unsaturated fat from avocados, olive oil and nuts — foods typical of the so-called “Mediterranean diet.”
Johns Hopkins researchers find nearly one in four patients readmitted within 90 days at a cost of $300 million a year
Nearly one-quarter of privately insured colon surgery patients are readmitted to the hospital within three months of discharge at a cost of roughly $9,000 per readmission, according to Johns Hopkins researchers, who’ve identified a major area for quality improvement and cost reduction in health care.
Infertility is common among obese women, but the reasons remain poorly understood and few treatments exist. Now a team of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center scientists, conducting experiments in mice, has uncovered what they consider surprising evidence that insulin resistance, long considered a prime suspect, has little to do with infertility in women with type-2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and metabolic syndrome, all obesity-related conditions in which the body becomes desensitized to insulin and loses the ability to regulate blood sugar.
For additional information: http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/Animal-Study-Finds-Surprising-Clues-to-Obesity-Induced-Infertility.aspx
Coronary calcium test proves to be key indicator of low risk compared with other risk factors
If your doctor says you have a negative stress test, or that your cholesterol or blood pressure are normal, how assured can you be that you're not likely to have a heart attack in the next seven to 10 years? Assessing traditional risk factors, such as age, high blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking and family history can estimate a person's risk, but the picture is not always clear-cut. Some newer tests can be offered to provide reassurance or guidance about the need for medications or further testing.
Earliest North American human predecessors may have been tree-dwellers
Johns Hopkins researchers have identified the first ankle and toe bone fossils from the earliest North American true primate, which they say suggests that our earliest forerunners may have dwelled or moved primarily in trees, like modern day lemurs and similar mammals.
Johns Hopkins research finds two programs for obese patients lead to significant, sustainable weight loss
Obese patients enrolled in a weight-loss program delivered over the phone by health coaches and with website and physician support lost weight and kept it off for two years, according to new Johns Hopkins research. The program was just as effective as another weight-loss program that involved in-person coaching sessions
New nationally representative estimate shows wide scope of problem
Nearly a fifth of all Americans 12 years or older have hearing loss so severe that it may make communication difficult, according to a new study led by Johns Hopkins researchers and published in the Nov. 14 Archives of Internal Medicine. The findings, thought to be the first nationally representative estimate of hearing loss, suggest that many more people than previously thought are affected by this condition.
National study led by Johns Hopkins cardiologist compared safety of procedures at hospitals with and without cardiac surgery backup
Hospitals that do not have cardiac surgery capability can perform nonemergency angioplasty and stent implantation as safely as hospitals that do offer cardiac surgery. That is the finding of the nation’s first large, randomized study to assess whether patients do just as well having nonemergency angioplasty performed at smaller, community hospitals that do not offer cardiac surgery.
Johns Hopkins research finds racial, gender disparities among those living 10 years after surgery
White heart transplant patients under the age of 18 are more than twice as likely to be alive a decade after surgery as their African-American counterparts, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Event marks major milestone for the new Sheikh Zayed Tower and The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center
The Johns Hopkins Hospital becomes the official owner of the new 1.6 million-square- foot facility that will house the Sheikh Zayed Tower and The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center. At 12:30 p.m., construction company officials will hand over a ceremonial key to Edward D. Miller, dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System. The new buildings will open to patients on April 29, 2012.
A new type of therapy aimed at reversing the gene-silencing that promotes cancer-cell growth has shown promising results in a small clinical trial conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Forty-five late-stage lung cancer patients who received a two-drug combination designed to restore anti-cancer gene activity survived about two months longer than the expected four months, and two patients showed complete or near-complete responses despite having progressive disease after multiple standard therapies.
On Nov. 10, Johns Hopkins Medicine is bringing together community members to develop a communications campaign to engage patients, health care professionals and legislators in the fight against sickle cell disease (SCD).
Friends and family of people with mental illness, mental health advocates, philanthropists, and members of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries will join Johns Hopkins University officials and research scientists on Thursday, Nov. 10, to celebrate the opening of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development. The evening event will be held in the university’s historic George Peabody Library.
Study shows resistance is reversible
In dozens of experiments in mice and in human cancer cells, a team of Johns Hopkins scientists has closely tied production of a cancer-causing protein called TWIST to the development of estrogen resistance in women with breast cancer. Because estrogen fuels much breast cancer growth, such resistance — in which cancers go from estrogen positive to estrogen negative status — can sabotage anticancer drugs that work to block estrogen and prevent disease recurrence after surgery. Estrogen resistance develops in over half of women taking estrogen-blocking medications, such as tamoxifen, and exists from the start in many other women.
A study of the long-term consequences of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center shows repeated bouts of the disease can double a woman’s risk of infertility and quadruple her risk of chronic pelvic pain. Teenage girls with recurrent PID also face dire consequences, the researchers found, including a fivefold risk of chronic pelvic pain and alarming rates of infertility.
For additional information: http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/Recurrent-PID-Serious-Threat-for-Teens-Doubles-Risk-of-Infertility-in-Women.aspx
And that digitalis can reduce lung metastases
The spread of breast cancer is responsible for more than 90 percent of breast cancer deaths. Now, the process by which it spreads -- or metastasizes -- has been unraveled by researchers at Johns Hopkins.
Potential target for chemoprevention
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists report that sharp rises in levels of reactive oxygen molecules, and the inflammation that results, trigger biochemical changes that silence genes in a pattern often seen in cancer cells. The researchers confirmed this gene-silencing effect in mice that develop inflammation-induced colon cancer.
Johns Hopkins researchers uncover how light causes the eye to react
You’ve seen it on television: A doctor shines a bright light into an unconscious patient’s eye to check for brain death. If the pupil constricts, the brain is OK, because in mammals, the brain controls the pupil. Or does it? Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that in most mammals, in fact in most vertebrates, the pupil can constrict without any input from the brain.
Johns Hopkins’ Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality has been awarded $10 million for a project designed to reduce surgical-site infections and other major complications of colon surgery.
Researchers say healthy people over 70 can safely donate
Kidney transplants performed using organs from live donors over the age of 70 are safe for the donors and lifesaving for the recipients, new Johns Hopkins research suggests. The study shines new light on a long-ignored potential source of additional organs that could address a profound national shortage.
For the 16th straight year, The Johns Hopkins Hospital has received the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation (NRC), a firm that specializes in health care performance measurement and improvement.
$50,000 Award Recognizes Research with Potential for Rapid Clinical Use and Commercialization
A Johns Hopkins breast cancer researcher is the recipient of a $50,000 award designed to encourage rapid translation of her basic research on biomarkers into a commercially available test that could predict the best treatment options for some women with breast cancer.
Johns Hopkins researchers find potential for huge cost savings
Switching hospitalized patients able to take medication by mouth from intravenous to pill forms of the same drugs could safely save millions of dollars a year, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Renee-Nicole Douceur, the engineer rescued from a research station at the South Pole after experiencing a medical emergency, will discuss her experience and current medical situation alongside her Johns Hopkins physician, Paul Nyquist, M.D., during a press event.
A Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study comparing perceptions of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) among teen girls and parents has found that parents seriously underestimate the emotional and medical impact this sexually transmitted disease has on teenagers.
For additional information, visit: http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/Parents-Misjudge-Impact-of-Pelvic-Inflammatory-Disease-on-Teenage-Girls.aspx
Area above jawbone, below cheekbone, proves handy new route to skull base
A technique developed by Johns Hopkins surgeons is providing a new route to get to and remove tumors buried at the base of the skull: through the natural hole behind the molars, above the jawbone and beneath the cheekbone.
Delivering anticancer drugs into breast ducts via the nipple is highly effective in animal models of early breast cancer, and has no major side effects in human patients, according to a report by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers in Science Translational Medicine on Oct. 26. The results of the study are expected to lead to more advanced clinical trials of so-called intraductal treatment for early breast cancer.
Physicians and experts in nursing, hospital management, patient safety, risk management, and other areas from the UAE, Turkey, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Lebanon attended the 2011 Johns Hopkins Partners Forum earlier this month. This year, Clemenceau Medical Center (CMC) of Lebanon welcomed representatives of some of the world’s leading health care institutions.
Johns Hopkins scientists have revealed a new way that cells respond to the challenge of low oxygen. A report on the discovery about how the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe regulates its genes in hypoxic conditions appears online October 20 in Molecular Cell.
While most studies have concluded that a cold climate led to the short lower legs typical of Neandertals, researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that lower leg lengths shorter than the typical modern human’s let them move more efficiently over the mountainous terrain where they lived. The findings reveal a broader trend relating shorter lower leg length to mountainous environments that may help explain the limb proportions of many different animals.
The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) has entered into a drug-discovery research collaboration with Eisai, a pharmaceutical company based in Tokyo, to develop proprietary small-molecule drugs for a range of brain conditions such as schizophrenia, pain, brain tumors and Alzheimer’s disease.
Three preeminent researchers from Johns Hopkins — experts in memory, vision and patient safety — today were recognized for outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service with election to membership in the Institute of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. Richard Huganir, Ph.D., Jeremy Nathans, M.D., Ph.D., and Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., were among 65 new members from the United States honored at the organization's 41st annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Industry and Academia Leaders Seek Solutions at Oct. 18 Symposium
A symposium to be hosted by the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute (BSi) on Oct. 18 at the Baltimore Convention Center will bring together the pharmaceutical industry and academic-based research institutions with the common goal of exploring how the two can best work together to enhance and facilitate the discovery of new drugs.
Results Also Shed Light on Value of Whole Body Cooling to Prevent Brain Damage
Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that increased blood levels of a protein specific to central nervous system cells that are vital to the brain’s structure can help physicians identify newborns with brain injuries due to lack of oxygen.
Troops evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan with headaches unlikely to return to duty; heavy helmets a major factor
Headaches, a virtually universal human complaint at one time or another, are among the top reasons for medical evacuation of military personnel from Iraq and Afghanistan, and for ongoing depletion of active-duty ranks in those countries, according to research led by Johns Hopkins specialists. Just one-third of soldiers sent home because of headaches return to duty in either place, the research shows.
Limited decision-making ability of individual cells is bolstered in masses
Researchers from Johns Hopkins have quantified the number of possible decisions that an individual cell can make after receiving a cue from its environment, and surprisingly, it’s only two.
Doctors at Johns Hopkins have shown that during an increasingly popular type of breast-reconstruction surgery, they can safely preserve the internal mammary artery, in case it is needed for future cardiac surgery.
In rats, Johns Hopkins technique eliminates need for lifelong anti-rejection drugs after liver transplantation
Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a way to stimulate a rat’s stem cells after a liver transplant as a means of preventing rejection of the new organ without the need for lifelong immunosuppressant drugs. The need for anti-rejection medicines, which carry serious side effects, is a major obstacle to successful long-term transplant survival in people
Johns Hopkins research suggests brain-injured patients on the cholesterol-lowering medication much more likely to survive
Older patients who happened to have been taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs when admitted to the hospital with serious head injuries were 76 percent more likely to survive than those not taking the drugs, according to results of a Johns Hopkins study.
The Johns Hopkins US Family Health Plan (USFHP), a Department of Defense-sponsored managed care plan, was ranked by Consumer Reports as the best private health insurer in Maryland, while Priority Partners, a joint venture between Johns Hopkins HealthCare LLC and the Maryland Community Health System, placed as the state’s top Medicaid health plan. In addition, Johns Hopkins Employer Health Programs (EHP) — a self-funded health plan currently serving over 50,000 members in Maryland, Southern Pennsylvania and Northern Virginia — was ranked the state’s fourth best out of a total of 14 insurers listed by Consumer Reports.
Experts urge parents to make decisions based on medical evidence
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), an important diagnostic test, has traditionally been off limits to more than 2 million people in the United States who have an implanted pacemaker to regulate heart rhythms or an implanted defibrillator to prevent sudden cardiac death. Now, in a study published in the October 4 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, cardiologists at Johns Hopkins report that a protocol they developed has proved effective in enabling patients with implanted cardiac devices to safely undergo an MRI scan.
Interactive video games, already known to improve motor function in recovering stroke patients, appear to safely enhance physical therapy for patients in intensive care units (ICU), new research from Johns Hopkins suggests.
"Too busy," and "too complicated." These are the typical excuses one might expect when medical professionals are asked why they fail to use online error-reporting systems designed to improve patient safety and the quality of care. But Johns Hopkins investigators found instead that the most common reason among radiation oncologists was fear of getting into trouble and embarrassment.
Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute Awards $15,000 to Newborn Holistic Ministries
The Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute announced on Saturday that Newborn Holistic Ministries is the winner of the inaugural Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award. Named in honor of Henrietta Lacks, the award recognizes and supports Baltimore community organizations that are collaborating with The Johns Hopkins University to improve the health and well-being of the city of Baltimore.
Johns Hopkins-led research suggests levels of certain fats in blood might predict rate of cognitive decline
A team of scientists, led by Johns Hopkins researchers, say they may have found a way to predict how quickly patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) will lose cognitive function by looking at ratios of two fatty compounds in their blood. The finding, they say, could provide useful information to families and caregivers, and might also suggest treatment targets for this heartbreaking and incurable neurodegenerative disorder.
--Five-year, $2 million annual grant expected for Hopkins’ Proteome Center
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has chosen Johns Hopkins as one of five centers to participate in a coordinated effort to develop a catalog of proteins created by cancer cells. The information, which will be made available to other researchers, could be used to develop new ways to detect cancer and treat the disease
Hospital Punta Pacifica (HPP) in Panama City, Panama, has been awarded the official accreditation of Joint Commission International (JCI). Johns Hopkins Medicine International — the Baltimore, Maryland, USA-based international arm of Johns Hopkins Medicine — assisted Hospital Punta Pacifica in its preparation for the JCI accreditation review by providing rigorous training for the HPP staff in quality, patient safety, infection control, leadership, nursing and human resource management, and by conducting assessments and mock surveys.
Finding has implications for treatment of wide range of diseases
Johns Hopkins scientists investigating chemical modifications across the genomes of adult mice have discovered that DNA modifications in non-dividing brain cells, thought to be inherently stable, instead underwent large-scale dynamic changes as a result of stimulated brain activity. Their report, in the October issue of Nature Neuroscience, has major implications for treating psychiatric diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, and for better understanding learning, memory and mood regulation.
A combination of an oral drug, called sorafenib, and a method for injecting microbeads of chemotherapy directly into tumors has been proven safe for liver cancer patients and may improve outcomes for those who have these fast-growing, deadly tumors whose numbers are on the rise in the United States.
Johns Hopkins study of ingredient in “magic mushrooms” found participants exhibited more “openness”
A single high dose of the hallucinogen psilocybin, the active ingredient in so-called “magic mushrooms,” was enough to bring about a measureable personality change lasting at least a year in nearly 60 percent of the 51 participants in a new study, according to the Johns Hopkins researchers who conducted it.
Harvard Surgeon, Author to Deliver Lecture on Unconscious Bias
The Johns Hopkins Centers to Reduce Health Disparities and the Office of Diversity and Cultural Competence will host a symposium on unconscious bias and disparities in health care featuring renowned Harvard orthopedic surgeon and author Augustus A. White III, M.D., and leaders from Johns Hopkins disparities centers. White, who is the author of Seeing Patients: Unconscious Bias in Health Care, is the first African-American department chief at Harvard's teaching hospitals.
Using a patient’s own stem cells, researchers at Johns Hopkins have corrected the genetic alteration that causes sickle cell disease (SCD), a painful, disabling inherited blood disorder that affects mostly African-Americans. The corrected stem cells were coaxed into immature red blood cells in a test tube that then turned on a normal version of the gene.
Study demonstrates “proof of principle” in new way to restore normal heart rhythm
Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 people have a cardiac defibrillator implanted in their chest to deliver a high-voltage shock to prevent sudden cardiac death from a life-threatening arrhythmia. While it’s a necessary and effective preventive therapy, those who’ve experienced a defibrillator shock say it’s painful, and some studies suggest that the shock can damage heart muscle.
Nerve degeneration detected with skin biopsies
Oxaliplatin, a platinum-based anticancer drug that’s made enormous headway in recent years against colorectal cancer, appears to cause nerve damage that may be permanent and worsens even months after treatment ends. The chemotherapy side effect, described by Johns Hopkins researchers in the September issue of Neurology, was discovered in what is believed to be the first effort to track oxaliplatin-based nerve damage through relatively cheap and easy punch skin biopsies.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have modified HIV in a way that makes it no longer able to suppress the immune system. Their work, they say in a report published online September 19 in the journal Blood, could remove a major hurdle in HIV vaccine development and lead to new treatments.
Researchers working with adult mice have discovered that learning and memory were profoundly affected when they altered the amounts of a certain protein in specific parts of the mammals’ brains.
Machine’s magnetic field pushes fluid in the inner ear’s balance organ
A team of researchers says it has discovered why so many people undergoing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), especially in newer high-strength machines, get vertigo, or the dizzy sensation of free-falling, while inside or when coming out of the tunnel-like machine.
Unusual repeated segment responsible for more than a third of familial ALS cases worldwide
A team led by scientists from Johns Hopkins and the National Institutes of Health has discovered a genetic mutation for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and a related disease called frontotemporal dementia (FTD) that appears to account for more than a third of all inherited cases of these diseases.
New study provides strategy for deciding which patients have greatest need for implanted defibrillator as a preventive measure
Johns Hopkins experts in arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) have defined a set of criteria that could be used to assess a patient’s need for an implanted defibrillator to prevent sudden death. In a study to be published in the September 27 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that is now online, the researchers report that using those criteria, they were able to separate the patients at high risk for a life-threatening irregular heart rhythm from those with low risk.
Johns Hopkins researchers find ‘dramatic’ results in small preliminary study
A small group of veterans with spinal cord injuries who underwent a four-day scuba- diving certification saw significant improvement in muscle movement, increased sensitivity to light touch and pinprick on the legs, and large reductions in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.
He trained generations of physicians in the art and science of interviewing patients
James Patrick Connaughton, M.D., professor emeritus of psychiatry and pediatrics, a superbly talented clinician who treated and cared for some of East Baltimore’s most vulnerable children, died on Sept. 11 at the age of 80. Connaughton passed away at his Woodbrook home. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer, for which Connaughton was treated at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center where he received outstanding medical care, family members say.
Johns Hopkins researchers create man-made system with built-in diversity generator
In the quest to understand genomes—how they’re built, how they’re organized and what makes them work—a team of Johns Hopkins researchers has engineered from scratch a computer-designed yeast chromosome and incorporated into their creation a new system that lets scientists intentionally rearrange the yeast’s genetic material. A report of their work appears September 14 as an Advance Online Publication in the journal Nature.
Findings could lead to new “pacemaker in a bottle” drug or genetic therapies
Heart specialists at Johns Hopkins have figured out how a widely used pacemaker for heart failure, which makes both sides of the heart beat together to pump effectively, works at the biological level. Their findings, published in the September 14 issue of Science Translational Medicine, may open the door to drugs or genetic therapies that mimic the effect of the pacemaker and to new ways to use pacemakers for a wider range of heart failure patients.
First concurrent full-time Hopkins’ faculty member selected to lead society
W. P. Andrew Lee, M.D., 54, professor and director of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a nationally heralded hand transplant surgeon and researcher, was recently elected president of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH). JOHNS
Spinal angiography also rules out misdiagnosis of inflammation, transverse myelitis
Medical imaging experts at Johns Hopkins have reviewed the patient records of 302 men and women who had a much-needed X-ray of the blood vessels near the spinal cord and found that the procedure, often feared for possible complications of stroke and kidney damage, is safe and effective.
- Shhhh! Healing in Progress!
Shannon Swiger, a public relations professional from Charlotte, N.C., has joined the Johns Hopkins Medicine Marketing and Communications team as a senior communications specialist. In her new role, Swiger will write for internal publications and manage media relations on a number of topics of great importance to Hopkins, including patient safety, diversity and technology.
Researchers discover dozens of genetic variants associated with increased risk of hypertension, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases
A study involving more than 200,000 people worldwide has identified 29 DNA sequence variations in locations across the human genome that influence blood pressure. These genes, whose sequence changes are associated with alterations in blood pressure and are linked to heart disease and stroke, were found with the help of decades' worth of population data that were pooled and analyzed by a large international consortium, including Johns Hopkins researchers.
Johns Hopkins urologist Patrick Walsh, M.D., who pioneered nerve-sparing prostate removal surgery to reduce the chance of impotence and incontinence, will deliver the keynote address at a fundraising dinner on the Johns Hopkins medical campus on Sept. 14. The event is in advance of Prostate Cancer Awareness Week, Sept. 18-24.
No, this isn't Jurassic Park. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with help from an amateur fossil hunter in College Park, Md., have described the fossil of an armored dinosaur hatchling. It is the youngest nodosaur ever discovered, and a founder of a new genus and species that lived approximately 110 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous Era. Nodosaurs have been found in diverse locations worldwide, but they've rarely been found in the United States. The findings are published in the September 9 issue of the Journal of Paleontology.
Infectious disease and disaster preparedness experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine say the premise of the soon-to-be-released Hollywood movie Contagion, in which a lethal airborne virus spreads quickly around the globe, is realistic and should serve as a reminder that the United States has much work to do to prepare for a serious national emergency posed by a deadly virus that spreads quickly.
Johns Hopkins study suggests medical students may “learn” to treat nonwhite patients differently than white patients
New Johns Hopkins research shows that medical students — just like the general American population — may have unconscious if not overt preferences for white people, but this innate bias does not appear to translate into different or lesser health care of other races.
Johns Hopkins researchers say data show aging alone, not hormonal impact of menopause, explains increasing number of deaths as women age
Contradicting the long-held medical belief that the risk of cardiovascular death for women spikes sharply after menopause, new research from Johns Hopkins suggests instead that heart disease mortality rates in women progress at a constant rate as they age.
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have developed a formula to predict which heart transplant patients are at greatest risk of death in the year following their surgeries, information that could help medical teams figure out who would benefit most from the small number of available organs.
As a public service, the Johns Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine is providing doctors, nurses and paramedics to staff medical tents at the Baltimore Grand Prix, slated for Sept. 2-4, at the request of Baltimore City officials and event organizers.
Nerve cells that regulate everything from heart muscle to salivary glands send out projections known as axons to their targets. By way of these axonal processes, neurons control target function and receive molecular signals from targets that return to the cell body to support cell survival. Now, Johns Hopkins researchers have revealed a molecular mechanism that allows a signal from the target to return to the cell body and fulfill its neuron-sustaining mission.
Johns Hopkins study suggests unfamiliarity with surroundings may contribute to more frequent serious medication errors
Temporary staff members working in a hospital’s fast-paced emergency department are twice as likely as permanent employees to be involved in medication errors that harm patients, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Many resort to emergency department for minor medical needs that could have been cared for in outpatient clinic
Providing access to an outpatient clinic isn’t enough to keep some trauma patients who have been discharged from the hospital from returning to the emergency department (ED) for follow-up care, even for such minor needs as pain medication refills and dressing changes, according to new Johns Hopkins research.
Doctors can peer inside the human body to look for tumors, detect a blockage in an artery or see a crack in a bone, but common afflictions like bacterial and viral infections are far more difficult to track, and even the most sophisticated imaging devices can only offer a less-than-definitive answer.“Although CT scans and MRIs can spot disease, they can’t always reliably tell a physician if that suspicious shade they see on the screen is a tumor or a hotbed of bacteria,” says imaging innovator and infectious disease specialist Sanjay Jain, M.D., of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
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A $30 million gift from the Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research has enabled the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center to establish a Center for Personalized Cancer Medicine. The gift from the Richmond, VA- based foundation, will be used to support research and the development of new technologies that pinpoint the novel genetic characteristics of each patient’s cancer. Hopkins scientists and officials say this will speed the development of therapies based on an individual cancer patient’s genetic “fingerprint.”
Acclaimed checklist program gives tenfold return on investment
A quality improvement program that saves lives by dramatically reducing potentially lethal bloodstream infections in hospital intensive-care units across the state of Michigan also saves those hospitals an average of $1.1 million a year, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Jane C. Shivnan, MScN, RN, AOCN, has been named executive director of clinical quality and nursing at Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHI), the international arm of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Shivnan has more than 20 years of health care leadership experience, including service as executive director of the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing and as the director of the Institute’s Office of Global Nursing. In her new role, Shivnan will provide strategic oversight and leadership in JHI’s clinical, consulting and knowledge transfer activities. She will also continue to serve the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing as executive director, which will create synergy to further leverage the expertise of Hopkins nurses.
Plastic surgeons say they have developed a new surgical technique for complex skull reconstruction that could improve functional and aesthetic outcomes in cases that have previously been deemed impossible or unsafe and left patients with unsightly skull deformities requiring them to wear a helmet.
Current teaching structure hasn’t changed in 30 years
Leaders in biomedical education at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine are calling for a radical new approach to post-graduate training in the life sciences to address significant challenges, including an avalanche of new discoveries in the last decade and the need to transcend traditional departmental boundaries to understand biological processes at multiple levels.
The presence of calcium in coronary arteries is a much better predictor of heart attack and stroke than C-reactive protein among people with normal levels of LDL cholesterol, according to a study of more than 2,000 people led by a Johns Hopkins heart specialist.
Project to Fund Systematic Review of Chronic Wound Treatment Research to Identify Wound Care Best Practices
An estimated $25 billion is spent annually on treating chronic wounds on patients in the United States. These chronic wounds deeply affect the quality of life of more than six million people who have them. The most common types of chronic skin wounds and skin ulcers are related to venous disease (conditions related to or caused by veins that become diseased or abnormal). Many treatment options are available, but the quality of evidence showing which treatments work better than others is often lacking. It is hard to prove which treatments are effective and should be the standards of care.
For additional information, go to: http://www.hopkinsbayview.org/news/110817lazaruswoundstudy.html
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have found a protein normally involved in blood pressure regulation in a surprising place: tucked within the little “power plants” of cells, the mitochondria. The quantity of this protein appears to decrease with age, but treating older mice with the blood pressure medication losartan can increase protein numbers to youthful levels, decreasing both blood pressure and cellular energy usage. The researchers say these findings, published online during the week of August 15, 2011, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may lead to new treatments for mitochondrial–specific, age-related diseases, such as diabetes, hearing loss, frailty and Parkinson’s disease.
JAMA paper could reverse longstanding guidelines and advice for African-American patients with kidney disease
For years, medical studies have reached the same conclusion: African-American patients do better on kidney dialysis than their white counterparts. But new Johns Hopkins research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that younger blacks — those under the age of 50 — actually do much worse on dialysis than equally sick whites who undergo the same blood-filtering process.
While the battle over the legality of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate requiring most individuals to purchase health insurance continues to be fought, its impact on the quality and cost of care and what it would mean for patients and their physicians has been largely overlooked.
Diet and genetics dictate adult jaw shape
Researchers at Johns Hopkins found that use over time and not just genetics informs the structure of jaw bones in human populations. The researchers say these findings may be used to predict the diet of an ancient population, even if little evidence exists in the fossil record. It can also make it easier for scientists to pinpoint the genetic relationship between fossils.
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have completed a comprehensive map of genetic mutations occurring in the second-most common form of brain cancer, oligodendroglioma. The findings, reported in the Aug. 4 issue of Science, also appear to reveal the biological cause of the tumors, they say.
A combination of several well-known safety procedures could greatly reduce patient-harming errors in the use of radiation to treat cancer, according to a new study led by Johns Hopkins researchers.
Smoke-free homes still the best choice
A Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study of Baltimore City children who have asthma and live with smokers shows that indoor air cleaners can greatly reduce household air pollution and lower the rates of daytime asthma symptoms to those achieved with certain anti-inflammatory asthma drugs. Although the air cleaners improved the overall air quality in homes, they did not reduce air nicotine levels and did not counter all ill effects of second-hand smoke, the researchers warn.
-Five-year research project will be funded by the NIH
Johns Hopkins scientists have launched a pioneering research program to create, for the first time, human platelet cells from stem cells in order to study inherited blood clotting abnormalities ranging from clots that cause heart attacks and stroke to bleeding disorders. The study is funded by a $9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of a nationwide initiative to examine how genetic variations cause heart, lung and blood diseases.
A national transplant policy change designed to give African-American patients greater access to donor kidneys has sliced in half the racial disparities that have long characterized the allocation of lifesaving organs, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Potential uses include facial reconstruction for soldiers’ blast injuries
Biomedical engineers at Johns Hopkins have developed a new liquid material that in early experiments in rats and humans shows promise in restoring damaged soft tissue relatively safely and durably. The material, a composite of biological and synthetic molecules, is injected under the skin, then “set” using light to form a more solid structure, like using cold to set gelatin in a mold. The researchers say the product one day could be used to reconstruct soldiers' faces marred by blast injuries.
One in three meth users reports sex with an HIV-infected person
A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and elsewhere shows that methamphetamine use can fuel HIV infection risk among teenage boys and young men who have sex with men (MSM), a group that includes openly gay and bisexual men as well as those who have sex with men but do not identify themselves as gay or bisexual.
Stent makes "coiling" surgery more promising option
The addition of a simple stent can help prevent potentially lethal blood vessel bulges in the brain from recurring after they are repaired in a minimally invasive "coiling" procedure, according to new research by Johns Hopkins physicians.
Powerful new technologies that zoom in on the connections between human genes and diseases have illuminated the landscape of cancer, singling out changes in tumor DNA that drive the development of certain types of malignancies such as melanoma or ovarian cancer.
Now several major biomedical centers have collaborated to shine a light on head and neck squamous cell cancer. Their large-scale analysis has revealed a surprising new set of mutations involved in this understudied disease.
In back-to-back papers published online July 28 in Science, researchers from the Broad Institute, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have confirmed genetic abnormalities previously suspected in head and neck cancer, including defects in the tumor suppressor gene known as p53. But the two teams also found mutations in the NOTCH family of genes, suggesting their role as regulators of an important stage in cell development may be impaired.
Findings help explain tamoxifen resistance in some breast cancers
Using human breast cancer cells and the protein that causes fireflies to glow, a Johns Hopkins team has shed light on why some breast cancer cells become resistant to the anticancer effects of the drug tamoxifen. The key is a discovery of two genetic "dimmer switches" that apparently control how a breast cancer gene responds to the female hormone estrogen.
Female patients make up most of those who could benefit
Hard-to-match kidney transplant candidates who receive a treatment designed to make their bodies more accepting of incompatible organs are twice as likely to survive eight years after transplant surgery as those who stay on dialysis for years awaiting compatible organs, new Johns Hopkins research finds.
When The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore opens a new, 1.6 million square-foot patient care building with two 12-story towers in April 2012, an ultra-modern, 30,000 square-foot kitchen expansion will serve the food and nutrition needs of patients, visitors and employees. The addition will double the hospital’s kitchen and be a state-of-the-art facility where the staff will prepare almost 12,000 meals daily for inpatients and customers in the cafeteria and other food venues.
Landon S. King, M.D., the David Marine Professor of medicine and biological chemistry and director of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine has been named the next vice dean for research at Johns Hopkins Medicine, effective Sept. 1.
Johns Hopkins scientists have developed a gene-based test to distinguish harmless from precancerous pancreatic cysts. The test may eventually help some patients avoid needless surgery to remove the harmless variety. A report on the development is published in the July 20 issue of Science Translational Medicine.
The investigators estimate that fluid-filled cysts are identified in more than a million patients each year, most of whom have undergone CT or MRI scans to evaluate non-specific symptoms, such as abdominal pain and swelling.
For the 21st year in a row, The Johns Hopkins Hospital has taken the top spot in U.S.News & World Report’s annual rankings of American hospitals, placing first in five medical specialties and in the top five in 10 others.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine program teaches medicine and art
Eo Trueblood will graduate with a degree from medical school, but instead of caring for patients or doing research, his job will be to create artwork to convey concepts in medicine that are difficult to describe in words or capture in photographs. Along with the five other students in his class, Trueblood will graduate in 2012 with a Master of Arts degree in Medical and Biological Illustration from the Johns Hopkins Department of Art as Applied to Medicine. The department celebrates its 100th anniversary on July 20. It was the first and is the oldest such program in the world, and is one of only five such accredited programs in North America.
A team of AIDS experts at Johns Hopkins and other institutions have embarked on a joint five-year research initiative to cure HIV disease by finding ways to completely purge the virus from the body in people already successfully suppressing the virus with antiretroviral drug therapy.
Johns Hopkins expert calls for testing and mandatory reporting
A Johns Hopkins infectious disease expert is calling for all sexually active American women age 40 and older to get tested for the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis after new study evidence found that the sexually transmitted disease (STD) is more than twice as common in this age group than previously thought. Screening is especially important because in many cases there are no symptoms.
In a large and comprehensive investigation into the underlying causes of sudden cardiac death (SCD) -- a surreptitious killer of hundreds of thousands annually in the United States -- researchers have discovered a variation in the genome's DNA sequence that is linked to a significant increase in a person's risk of SCD.
New device is designed for elderly and high-risk patients with severe aortic disease
Heart experts at Johns Hopkins have begun testing a new device designed to replace blocked aortic valves in patients for whom traditional open-heart surgery is considered too risky, such as elderly patients and those with other serious medical conditions. The testing is part of a nationwide study to evaluate the device, which is deployed in a minimally invasive way. The first two Maryland patients to receive the device had it put in place by Johns Hopkins doctors on July 8, 2011.
New Programs of Excellence to study sugar molecules
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded two groups at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine each approximately $2.3 million a year for seven years to establish two Programs of Excellence in Glycosciences. Gerald Hart, Ph.D., director of biological chemistry and Ronald Schnaar, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences, will lead these independent efforts to better understand the roles of sugars in the molecular mechanisms of disease, particularly lung and heart diseases.
Johns Hopkins and South African scientists have further compelling evidence that new, simpler and shorter treatments with antibiotic drugs could dramatically help prevent tens of millions of people worldwide already infected with the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis, and especially those co-infected with HIV, from developing full-blown TB. That population includes as many as 22 million in sub-Saharan Africa who are already HIV positive and at high risk of also picking up TB, which is endemic to the region, plus another 50,000 in the United States who are similarly HIV positive and at high risk of catching the lung infection.
Identifying a suitable donor for leukemia and lymphoma patients who need bone marrow transplants may be far easier now that results of two clinical trials show transplant results with half-matched bone marrow or umbilical cord blood are comparable to fully matched tissue, thanks in large part to the availability of effective antirejection drugs and special post-transplant chemotherapy. The finding means that nearly all patients in need of a transplant can find donors, according to Johns Hopkins scientists who participated in the trials.
Freeze-dried gene therapy system avoids virus, potential complications
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have developed a technique that delivers gene therapy into human brain cancer cells using nanoparticles that can be freeze-dried and stored for up to three months prior to use.
Popular antismoking drug increases chance of serious cardiac event by 72 percent compared to people on placebo, study finds
Healthy, middle-aged smokers who take the most popular smoking cessation drug on the market have a 72 percent increased risk of being hospitalized with a heart attack or other serious heart problems compared to those taking a placebo, a Johns Hopkins-led study suggests.
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have provided more clues to one of the least understood phenomena in some cancers: why the “ends caps” of cellular DNA, called telomeres, lengthen instead of shorten. In a study published online June 30 in Science Express, the Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified two genes that, when defective, may cause these telomere elongations.
Johns Hopkins researchers find disparity in outcomes after elective plastic surgery
Obese patients are nearly 12 times more likely to suffer a complication following elective plastic surgery than their normal-weight counterparts, according to new research by Johns Hopkins scientists.
Team reconstituted stem cells’ “family tree”
A Johns Hopkins team has discovered in young adult mice that a lone brain stem cell is capable not only of replacing itself and giving rise to specialized neurons and glia – important types of brain cells – but also of taking a wholly unexpected path: generating two new brain stem cells.
Current drug standards may lead to under- and overdosing
Generic anti-epilepsy drugs, pharmaceutical products similar to brand-name versions, save consumers billions of dollars each year, but some are different enough from branded formulations that they may not be effective, particularly if patients switch between two generic drugs, a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests. A report on the study, published online and in an upcoming issue of Annals of Neurology, raises questions about whether some generic products are safe and effective when a narrow dose range separates patients from help and harm.
Becker’s Hospital Review magazine has selected Edward D. Miller, M.D., dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, as one of 65 prominent Physician Leaders of Hospitals and Health Systems in America. The award is based on the physician leaders’ “arrays of experience in medicine and management” along with their strong clinical and financial backgrounds.
Timely surgery can halt facial deterioration
Findings reveal chaos in biochemical alterations of cancer cells
Using the latest gene sequencing tools to examine so-called epigenetic influences on the DNA makeup of colon cancer, a Johns Hopkins team says its results suggest cancer treatment might eventually be more tolerable and successful if therapies could focus on helping cancer cells get back to normal in addition to strategies for killing them.
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who use inhaled corticosteroids to improve breathing for more than six months have a 27 percent increased risk of bone fractures, new Johns Hopkins-led research suggests.
Tomaselli will be the seventh Johns Hopkins faculty member to serve as AHA president.
Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D., professor and director of the Division of Cardiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, will become president of the American Heart Association (AHA), the nation’s leading voluntary health organization focused on cardiovascular disease and stroke, on July 1.
Johns Hopkins researchers identify a potential new way of blocking activity of gene that causes HD
Johns Hopkins researchers have identified a natural mechanism that might one day be used to block the expression of the mutated gene known to cause Huntington’s disease. Their experiments offer not an immediate cure, but a potential new approach to stopping or even preventing the development of this relentless neurodegenerative disorder.
A team led by Johns Hopkins researchers has found that a hereditary colon cancer syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), is associated with abnormally dense blood vessel growth in the skin lining the mouth.
Julie A. Freischlag, M.D., becomes first woman named to post; on track to become society president in 2014
Julie A. Freischlag, M.D., the director of the Department of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and surgeon in chief at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, has been elected the first female vice president of the Society for Vascular Surgery.
Johns Hopkins Medicine International, the international arm of Johns Hopkins Medicine, has elected Christopher W. Kersey, M.D., M.B.A., to become its new chairman of the board.
Johns Hopkins researchers have found a likely explanation for the slow growth of the most common childhood brain tumor, pilocytic astrocytoma. Using tests on a new cell-based model of the tumor, they concluded that the initial process of tumor formation switches on a growth-braking tumor-suppressor gene, in a process similar to that seen in skin moles.
--Results may provide new strategy to prevent amputations
Blood vessels and supporting cells appear to be pivotal partners in repairing nerves ravaged by diabetic neuropathy, and nurturing their partnership with nerve cells might make the difference between success and failure in experimental efforts to regrow damaged nerves, Johns Hopkins researchers report in a new study.
--Two Johns Hopkins researchers argue many measures contain "surveillance bias"
With an increased emphasis on grading hospitals and a push to withhold payments from hospitals who don't meet certain standards, two Johns Hopkins researchers argue that more attention needs to be paid to the quality of the measurement tools used to praise and punish.
People who use a mist inhaler to deliver a drug widely prescribed in more than 55 countries to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be 52 percent more likely to die, new Johns Hopkins-led research suggests.
Johns Hopkins researchers uncover the source of the visual system’s “false alarms”
On rare occasion, the light-sensing photoreceptor cells in the eye misfire and signal to the brain as if they have captured photons, when in reality they haven’t. For years this phenomenon remained a mystery. Reporting in the June 10 issue of Science, neuroscientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered that a light-capturing pigment molecule in photoreceptors can be triggered by heat, as well, giving rise to these false alarms.
Findings also solve long-standing paradox
Cells grow abundant when oxygen is available, and generally stop when it is scarce. Although this seems straightforward, no direct link ever has been established between the cellular machinery that senses oxygen and that which controls cell division. Now, in the June 10 issue of Molecular Cell, researchers at Johns Hopkins report that the MCM proteins, which promote cell division, also directly control the oxygen-sensing HIF-1 protein.
Patient safety expert Peter J. Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has been named director of the newly established Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins.
Johns Hopkins researchers solve mystery of Warburg effect
It's long been known that cancer cells eat a lot of sugar to stay alive. In fact, where normal, noncancerous cells generate energy from using some sugar and a lot of oxygen, cancerous cells use virtually no oxygen and a lot of sugar. Many genes have been implicated in this process and now, reporting in the May 27 issue of Cell, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered that this so-called Warburg effect is controlled.
Revealing another part of the story of muscle development, Johns Hopkins researchers have shown how the cytoskeleton from one muscle cell builds finger-like projections that invade into another muscle cell’s territory, eventually forcing the cells to combine.
The oral antifungal drug itraconazole, most commonly used to treat nail fungus, may keep prostate cancer from worsening and delay the need for chemotherapy in men with advanced disease. Details of the finding, from a clinical trial led by Johns Hopkins experts, are scheduled for presentation on Saturday, June 4 at the 2011 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting (abstract #4532).
Overweight and obese people looking to drop some pounds and considering one of the popular low-carbohydrate diets, along with moderate exercise, need not worry that the higher proportion of fat in such a program compared to a low-fat, high-carb diet may harm their arteries, suggests a pair of new studies by heart and vascular researchers at Johns Hopkins.
Johns Hopkins Children’s Center scientists have found that having a regular outpatient mental health provider may not be enough to prevent children and teens with behavioral problems from repeatedly ending up in the emergency room. The study is published in the June 1 issue of the journal Psychiatric Services.
Surprising’ finding shows no impact of presumed surgeon fatigue at night
Despite concerns that surgeon fatigue is leading to dangerous complications for patients and data showing worse outcomes for many patients who undergo surgery at night, new Johns Hopkins research suggests that — in the case of heart and lung transplants — time of day has no affect on patient survival.
Network Increases Research Opportunities for Patients Throughout the Region
Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) in Salisbury, Md., is the latest health system to join the Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network (JHCRN). Developed by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), JHCRN is designed to establish a network of academic and community-based clinical researchers who provide new opportunities for research collaborations and accelerate the transfer of new diagnostic, treatment and disease-prevention advances from the research arena to patient care.
Recognizing the urgent need to advance the science of reducing preventable harm and improve health care quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine is announcing the establishment of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, an organization whose work will benefit not only Johns Hopkins patients but those around the world.
Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) and Walgreens (NYSE, NASDAQ:WAG) today announced they have entered into a wide-ranging agreement designed to promote collaboration on population-based research and to jointly review and develop protocols to improve outcomes of patients with chronic diseases. In addition, JHM and Walgreens will together explore the development of new models for improving care for individuals. This will include the creation of new educational and training programs for Walgreens 70,000 health care service providers.
Johns Hopkins team discovers brain defense in mice and a possible new strategy for treating neurologic disorders
Johns Hopkins scientists say that a newly discovered "survival protein" protects the brain against the effects of stroke in rodent brain tissue by interfering with a particular kind of cell death that's also implicated in complications from diabetes and heart attack.
Study led by Johns Hopkins heart specialist to be published online in Archives of Internal Medicine
Coronary computed tomographic (CT) angiography, which can detect plaque buildup in heart vessels, is sometimes used as a screening tool to assess the risk for a heart attack. However, the usefulness of the test on low-risk patients who do not have coronary symptoms, such as chest pain, has been unclear.
Johns Hopkins researchers identify genes linked to worsening of cystic fibrosis
Johns Hopkins Institute for Genetic Medicine researchers working as part of the North American Cystic Fibrosis Consortium have discovered two regions of the genome that affect the severity of cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition that causes scarring throughout the body, affecting most notably the pancreas and lungs. Reporting online this week in Nature Genetics, the team describes the first-ever study to identify genetic variations that are associated with more severe cases of CF.
Generates enough material for several tests, improving choice of implanted embryos
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have devised a new technique, which helps couples that are affected by or are carriers of genetic diseases have in vitro fertilized babies free of both the disease in question and other chromosomal abnormalities. The results were reported in the April issue of Fertility and Sterility.
A new institute dedicated to international medical education has been inaugurated at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. The inauguration ceremony for the medical school and teaching hospital, named for Malaysian physician, businessman and donor Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Mohan Swami, was held at the Johns Hopkins University Medicine School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 19, 2011. It was attended by Dato Sri Haji Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, prime minister of Malaysia, and other dignitaries.
A distinguished group of 224 graduates will embark on their future careers as physicians and scientists at the 116th convocation ceremony of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine on May 24. The graduation ceremony will be held at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall at10:30 a.m. A total of 100 M.D. degrees, 110 Ph.D. degrees and 20 master’s degrees will be conferred. Six of the graduates will receive both an M.D. and a Ph.D. degree.
More than 20 nationally recognized experts in neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, neuropsychology, critical care, rehabilitation medicine and trauma surgery are gathering at Johns Hopkins to discuss advances in traumatic brain injury (TBI) research
Johns Hopkins research shows hospital websites use industry-provided content and overstate claims of robotic success
An estimated four in 10 hospital websites in the United States publicize the use of robotic surgery, with the lion’s share touting its clinical superiority despite a lack of scientific evidence that robotic surgery is any better than conventional operations, a new Johns Hopkins study finds.
Network Increases Research Opportunities for Patients Throughout the Region
The five-hospital Inova Health System based in Northern Virginia has joined the Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network (JHCRN). Developed by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), JHCRN is designed to bring together community-based clinical researchers to provide new opportunities for research collaborations and accelerate the transfer of new diagnostic, treatment, and disease-prevention advances from the research arena to patient care.
Altered gene involved in both faulty cholesterol regulation and pregnancy hormone production
A variation in a gene involved in regulating cholesterol in the bloodstream also appears to affect progesterone production in women, making it a likely culprit in a substantial number of cases of their infertility, a new study from Johns Hopkins researchers suggests.
Johns Hopkins researchers discover losartan protects against loss of old or damaged muscle
Using geriatric mice, a Johns Hopkins research team has shown that losartan, a commonly used blood pressure drug, not only improves regeneration of injured muscle but also protects against its wasting away from inactivity.
Harry C. “Hal” Dietz, III, M.D., the Victor A. McKusick Professor of Genetics and Medicine at the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is one of 72 new members of the National Academy of Sciences, an honorary society that advises the government on scientific matters.
Johns Hopkins researchers have demonstrated that human liver cells derived from adult cells coaxed into an embryonic state can engraft and begin regenerating liver tissue in mice with chronic liver damage.
Work in flies and mice has implications for regeneration therapies
Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered how two closely related proteins guide projections from nerve cells with exquisite accuracy, alternately attracting and repelling these axons as they navigate the most miniscule and frenetic niches of the nervous system to make remarkably precise connections.
Older, sicker heart-transplant recipients are significantly more likely to be alive a year after their operations if they have their transplants at hospitals that do a large number of them annually, new Johns Hopkins research suggests. These patients fare less well at low-volume centers, the research shows.
Study shows need for judicious use of drugs to curb antibiotic resistance
Short courses of antibiotics appear just as effective as longer ones — and a great deal safer — in treating respiratory infections that might cause pneumonia in children on temporary breathing devices, according to a Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study published online May 3 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Chicago-based publications Becker’s Hospital Review and its Ambulatory Surgery Center Review have named The Johns Hopkins Hospital as one of the 100 best places to work in health care in the United States for 2011. Johns Hopkins also made Becker’s listing in 2010.
Johns Hopkins researchers transform inert white fat into brown fat to burn off calories and weight
By knocking down the expression of a protein in rat brains known to stimulate eating, Johns Hopkins researchers say they not only reduced the animals' calorie intake and weight, but also transformed their fat into a type that burns off more energy. The finding could lead to better obesity treatments for humans, the scientists report.
A small Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study of children and teens with cystic fibrosis (CF) shows that simple exercise, individually tailored to each patient’s preference and lifestyle, can help improve lung function and overall fitness. The findings were reported on May 3 at the 2011 annual meeting of Pediatric Academic Societies in Denver, Colo.
Young black men who have sex with men (MSM) get infected with HIV nearly five times more often than MSM from other races, even though they don’t have more unprotected sex.
Extremely premature babies fed human donor milk are less likely to develop the dangerous intestinal condition necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) than babies fed a standard premature infant formula derived from cow’s milk, according to research by investigators at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and elsewhere.
Pediatricians from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and elsewhere have discovered a link between low levels of vitamin D and anemia in children. The findings, presented on May 1 at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Denver, Colo., show that vitamin D deficiency may play an important role in anemia.
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have shown in laboratory experiments in mice that blocking the action of a signaling protein deep inside the heart’s muscle cells blunts the most serious ill effects of high blood pressure on the heart. These include heart muscle enlargement, scar tissue formation and loss of blood vessel growth.
Even mild blast exposure damages nerve cells in mice, study shows
Stronger and tougher body armor to shield the chest, abdomen and back may be just what soldiers fighting in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars need to better protect their brains from mild injuries tied to so-called “shell shock,” results of a Johns Hopkins study in mice suggests. Such mild trauma, resulting from the initial shock of exploding mines, grenades and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) now accounts for more than 80 percent of all brain injuries among U.S. troops. Some 160,000 American veteran men and women are estimated to have sustained this kind of trauma.
Hospitals and physician practices that form care-coordinating networks called "Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)," under provisions of the new health-care law could reap cost-savings and other benefits. Experts at Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania warn, however, that such networks could potentially be designed to exclude minorities and widen disparities in health care.
A discovery by Johns Hopkins scientists about how a single-celled fungus survives in low-oxygen settings may someday help humans whose immune systems are compromised by organ transplants or AIDS.
A Johns Hopkins University dean, a vice dean and a professor are among the 212 fellows named to the 231st class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Jack Griffin, an internationally acclaimed and admired expert on diseases of the peripheral nervous system, founding director of the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute, and former director of Hopkins School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology, died Saturday, April 16, after a long battle with bladder cancer. He was 69.
Repeated unnecessary 911 calls are a common drain on the manpower and finances of emergency medical services, but a pilot program that identified Baltimore City’s top 911 callers and coupled them with a case worker has succeeded in drastically cutting the number of such calls while helping callers get proper care.
Newly revealed process has implications for understanding cancers, psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases
Using human kidney cells and brain tissue from adult mice, Johns Hopkins scientists have uncovered the sequence of steps that makes normally stable DNA undergo the crucial chemical changes implicated in cancers, psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. The process may also be involved in learning and memory, the researchers say.
Work in mice has implications for treating autism, post-traumatic stress
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered in mice a molecular wrecking ball that powers the demolition phase of a cycle that occurs at synapses -- those specialized connections between nerve cells in the brain -- and whose activity appears critical for both limiting and enhancing learning and memory.The newly revealed protein, which the researchers named thorase after Thor, the Norse god of thunder, belongs to a large family of enzymes that energize not only neurological construction jobs but also deconstruction projects.
Compounds helped nerve extensions re-grow faster in mouse studies
Drugs already in development to treat Alzheimer’s disease may eventually be tapped for a different purpose altogether: re-growing the ends of injured nerves to relieve pain and paralysis. According to a new Johns Hopkins study, experimental compounds originally designed to combat a protein that builds up in Alzheimer’s-addled brains appear to make crushed or cut nerve endings grow back significantly faster, a potential boon for those who suffer from neuropathies or traumatic injuries.
A Johns Hopkins study of 769 men from across the United States recently diagnosed with low-grade prostate cancer shows that forgoing immediate surgery to remove the tumor or radiation poses no added risk of death. Delaying treatment is fine, the results show, so long as the cancer’s progression and tumor growth are closely monitored through “active surveillance” and there is no dramatic worsening of the disease over time.
Benefits sustained after program’s end with “problem-solving” approach
An intensive program that taught low-income, poorly educated diabetics to better manage their disease resulted in significantly improved long-term blood sugar control, according to Johns Hopkins researchers who designed and implemented the program.
Johns Hopkins scientists have developed a simplified, cheaper, all-purpose method they say can be used by scientists around the globe to more safely turn blood cells into heart cells. The method is virus-free and produces heart cells that beat with nearly 100 percent efficiency, they claim.
The recent flurry of highly publicized cases of young athletes dying suddenly on the playing field has prompted Johns Hopkins Children's Center cardiologists to discuss the medical significance of a child's sudden death for the rest of the family. Because most cases of sudden cardiac death in young athletes stem from an underlying heart condition, a child's sudden death or resuscitation from cardiac arrest should always prompt medical evaluation for the whole family, starting with parents and siblings and, possibly, extending to other family members.
Johns Hopkins patient safety expert argues that current “metrics” don’t paint clear picture of quality
With a push to make hospitals and doctors more accountable for health care quality, more attention must be paid to the accuracy and reliability of measures used to evaluate caregivers, says a prominent Johns Hopkins patient safety expert.
The United States should pay close attention to how the United Kingdom carries out plans to assess a new drug's worth using factors that go beyond clinical and cost effectiveness, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. In a commentary to appear in tomorrow's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the bioethicists detail and discuss a new "value-based pricing" policy proposed by the British government.
With the help of two sets of brothers with autism, Johns Hopkins scientists have identified a gene associated with autism that appears to be linked very specifically to the severity of social interaction deficits. The gene, GRIP1 (glutamate receptor interacting protein 1), is a blueprint for a traffic-directing protein at synapses — those specialized contact points between brain cells across which chemical signals flow.
Johns Hopkins researchers report the discovery of a molecular switch that regulates the behavior of a protein that, when altered, is already known to increase human susceptibility to schizophrenia and mood disorders.The findings, published online in the journal Nature, expand the possibility of creating biomarkers that can better diagnose those with mental illnesses and track their treatment.
All Children’s Hospital, in St. Petersburg, Fla., is now a part of the Johns Hopkins Health System (JHHS) and a fully integrated member of Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM). All Children’s is the first U.S. hospital outside of the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., region to become integrated with JHM, which includes the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System.
Johns Hopkins scientists and their colleagues paired laboratory and epidemiologic data to find that men using the cardiac drug, digoxin, had a 24 percent lower risk for prostate cancer. The scientists say further research about the discovery may lead to use of the drug, or new ones that work the same way, to treat the cancer.
Old-fashioned, manual faucets work better, study shows; Hopkins is removing new ones
A study of newly installed, hands-free faucets at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, all equipped with the latest electronic-eye sensors to automatically detect hands and dispense preset amounts of water, shows they were more likely to be contaminated with one of the most common and hazardous bacteria in hospitals compared to old-style fixtures with separate handles for hot and cold water.
Hospitals can reduce the risk of life-threatening bloodstream infections in children with peripherally inserted central venous catheters by assessing daily the patient’s progress and removing the device as early as possible, according to a new Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study published online March 31 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Johns Hopkins researchers argue for reversing ban on transplanting infected organs and making them available to HIV-infected patients
If Congress reversed its ban on allowing people with HIV to be organ donors after their death, roughly 500 HIV-positive patients with kidney or liver failure each year could get transplants within months, rather than the years they currently wait on the list, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Johns Hopkins Medicine is pleased that out of more than 85 hospitals in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, all five of its hospitals were included in the new rankings by U.S. News & World Report of “best hospitals” in various metro areas. The five hospitals rated in their areas are The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medical Bayview Center and Howard County General Hospital for the Baltimore region and Suburban Hospital and Sibley Memorial Hospital for the Washington, D.C., region.
Government-sponsored analysis led by Johns Hopkins bioethics scholar published today in Pediatrics.
State laws and policies governing the storage and use of surplus blood samples taken from newborns as part of the routine health screening process range from explicit to non-existent, leaving many parents ill-informed about how their babies' left over blood might be used, according to a team led by a member of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Utah. A report on their analysis is published March 28 in the journal Pediatrics.
Findings could lead to new avenues of treatment research
A study of thousands of people with bipolar disorder suggests that genetic risk factors may influence the decision to attempt suicide.
Delays in Diagnosis Common
Once a medical rarity in children, inflammatory bowel disease today is increasingly common in kids, but many of them may not be diagnosed in a timely manner, according to experts from the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Johns Hopkins Children’s.
--New Role for Short Telomeres
New evidence has emerged from studies in mice that short telomeres or “caps” at the ends of chromosomes may predispose people to age-related diabetes, according to Johns Hopkins scientists.
Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) and Anne Arundel Health System (AAHS) are announcing plans to expand health services in western Anne Arundel County by jointly developing a 60,000-square-foot medical office building in Odenton, Md. The building is scheduled to open by the end of 2012 or early 2013. The $14 million project will augment primary care and specialty services already provided by both institutions in the Odenton and Fort Meade area. In addition, it is envisioned that an urgent care center will be developed adjacent to the new medical building.
Coupling an electronic prescription drug ordering system with a computerized method for reporting adverse events can dramatically reduce the number of medication errors in a hospital’s psychiatric unit, suggests new Johns Hopkins research.
Scientists use new technique to reprogram cells with risk gene for major mental illness
Using skin cells from adult siblings with schizophrenia and a genetic mutation linked to major mental illnesses, Johns Hopkins researchers have created induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) using a new and improved "clean" technique.
The Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) is advising that people in the United States should not take potassium iodide as a preventive medication for possible radiation fallout from Japan's evolving nuclear plant crisis.
Using a light-triggered chemical tool, Johns Hopkins scientists report that they have refined a means of moving individual molecules around inside living cells and sending them to exact locations at precise times. This new tool, they say, gives scientists greater command than ever in manipulating single molecules, allowing them to see how molecules in certain cell locations can influence cell behavior and to determine whether cells will grow, die, move or divide. A report on the work was published online December 13 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine continues to be recognized as one of the top medical schools in the nation. In the new 2012 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools, Johns Hopkins is ranked #3 overall among U.S. medical schools, in addition to receiving top-tier rankings in specialty areas.
Johns Hopkins researchers believe they have uncovered the molecular switch for the secretion of insulin -- the hormone that regulates blood sugar -- providing for the first time an explanation of this process. In a report published online March 1 in Cell Metabolism, the researchers say the work solves a longtime mystery and may lead to better treatments for type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease.
Johns Hopkins medical students will find out where their careers as doctors will begin
Johns Hopkins medical students will find out where their careers as doctors will begin. The suspense will end precisely at noon on March 17, when 97 Johns Hopkins University medical students will learn where they will begin their careers as doctors after graduation this spring. Surrounded by family members, classmates and professors, fourth-year students at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine will open official letters to find out the hospital where they have been accepted for their residency.
Providing clues into why the severity of a common parasitic infection can vary greatly from person to person, a new Johns Hopkins study shows that each one of three strains of the cat-borne parasite Toxoplasma gondii sets off a unique reaction in the nerve cells it invades.
Johns Hopkins researchers examine newest medications, find they come up short
An inexpensive type 2 diabetes drug that has been around for more than 15 years works just as well and has fewer side effects than a half-dozen other, mostly newer and more expensive classes of medication used to control the chronic disease, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
A light-sensing receptor that's packed inside the eye's photoreceptor cells has an altogether surprising role in cells elsewhere in the body, Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered. Using fruit flies, they showed that this protein, called rhodopsin, also is critical for sensing temperature.
Findings expected to affect surgical approach
Johns Hopkins Children’s Center researchers have discovered that most children with severe cerebral palsy have starkly asymmetric pelvic bones. The newly identified misalignment can affect how surgeries of the pelvis, spine and surrounding structures are performed, the researchers say.
The study was posted on March 18th in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics.
Ellen Beth Levitt, an award-winning media relations and health care communications leader, has joined Johns Hopkins Medicine as a senior communications specialist.
Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered that PARIS — the protein — facilitates the most common form of Parkinson’s disease (PD), which affects about 1 million older Americans. The findings of their study, published March 4 in Cell, could lead to important new targets for treatment.
Long journey of organelles to feet and hands leads to dysfunction, pain
The burning, tingling pain of neuropathy may affect feet and hands before other body parts because the powerhouses of nerve cells that supply the extremities age and become dysfunctional as they complete the long journey to these areas, Johns Hopkins scientists suggest in a new study. The finding may eventually lead to new ways to fight neuropathy, a condition that often accompanies other diseases including HIV/AIDS, diabetes and circulatory disorders.
Johns Hopkins researchers find mineral deficiency increases disease risk
Lower potassium levels in the blood may help explain why African-Americans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as whites, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers.
In a commentary published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a leading patient safety expert argues that failure to integrate new electronic equipment in modern hospital operating rooms and intensive care units results in diagnostic mistakes, failures to identify deteriorating patients, communication errors and inefficient work.
Viruses that are natural part of human genome may be culprit
A retrovirus that inserted itself into the human genome thousands of years ago may be responsible for some cases of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The finding, made by Johns Hopkins scientists, may eventually give researchers a new way to attack this universally fatal condition.
Becker's Hospital Review magazine has selected The Johns Hopkins Hospital as one of the “50 Best Hospitals in America.” The award is based on reputation among M.D. specialists and analysis from the publication’s editorial team, who scored and weighted data from outside sources examining patient safety, clinical outcomes and reputation. After reviewing these national rankings, the team performed additional research and sought insight from industry sources before determining final selections.
Discovery of molecular mechanism reveals antitumor possibilities
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have discovered that a natural product isolated from a traditional Chinese medicinal plant commonly known as thunder god vine, or lei gong teng, and used for hundreds of years to treat many conditions including rheumatoid arthritis works by blocking gene control machinery in the cell. The report, published as a cover story of the March issue of Nature Chemical Biology, suggests that the natural product could be a starting point for developing new anticancer drugs.
A colon cancer expert at Johns Hopkins says that a colonoscopy remains underused by Americans but remains the test of choice for preventing the number-two cancer killer overall.
An inexpensive, routine blood test could hold the key to why some patients with congestive heart failure do well after being discharged from the hospital and why others risk relapse, costly readmission or death within a year, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Blacks at lesser risk
Nearly two-thirds of Americans age 70 and older have hearing loss, but those who are of black race seem to have a protective effect against this loss, according to a new study led by Johns Hopkins and National Institute on Aging researchers. These findings, published online Feb. 28 in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, provide what is believed to be the first nationally representative survey in older adults on this often ignored and underreported condition.
Abnormal chromosomes have long been detected in children with leukemias and lymphomas, and now, research by Johns Hopkins scientists has linked such abnormalities with a molecular clock that controls the timing of a high-stakes genetic exchange inside dividing immune system cells.
A team of heart experts at Johns Hopkins has found that dual lab tests of blood clotting factors accurately predict the patients whose blood vessels, in particular veins implanted to restore blood flow to the heart during coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), are more likely to fail or become clogged within six months. One test gauges the speed of blood platelet clumping and the other measures the level of a clumping chemical byproduct.
-Hopkins Children’s study suggests antibiotics may not always be best therapy
When it comes to curing skin infected with the antibiotic-resistant bacterium MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), timely and proper wound cleaning and draining may be more important than the choice of antibiotic, according to a new Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study. The work is published in the March issue of Pediatrics.
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Harvey Cushing’s records show copious acknowledgement of medical errors that helped fuel advancements
The current focus on medical errors isn’t quite as new as it seems. A Johns Hopkins review of groundbreaking neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing’s notes, made at the turn of the last century, has turned up copious documentation of his own surgical mishaps as well as his suggestions for preventing those mistakes in the future.
Study shows ways to reduce hospitals' carbon footprint, save money.
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified practical strategies to implement environmentally friendly practices in operating rooms and other hospital facilities that could result in vastly reduced health care costs and pose no risk to patient safety.
Relatively lenient regulations regarding human subjects protections in the 1950s played an important role in pediatric oncology being the first field of medicine in which doctors simultaneously treated patients and carried out clinical research, according to a pediatric hematologist-oncologist at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.
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Brian Gragnolati, president/CEO of Suburban Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, has been named senior vice president of the Johns Hopkins Health System (JHHS). In his new position, Gragnolati will head Johns Hopkins Medicine’s (JHM) Community Division, a newly established office designed to ensure greater system-wide clinical integration. The effective date of the appointment is March 1, 2011
Johns Hopkins team finds “dramatic and unprecedented reduction” in most lethal hospital-associated infection
Cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia — the most lethal and among the most common of all hospital-associated infections — dropped by more than 70 percent in Michigan hospitals where medical staff used a simple checklist designed by Johns Hopkins researchers. Such pneumonias kill an estimated 36,000 Americans each year.
Overall health, location of implant matter
Children with hip and thigh implants designed to help heal a broken bone or correct other bone conditions are at risk for subsequent fractures of the very bones that the implants were intended to treat, according to new research from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Baltimore School of Law will jointly launch what is believed to be the nation’s first academic center for medicine and law that focuses on the health care provider.
Civilians with noncombat injuries appear more motivated than soldiers to agree to medical evacuation and return to jobs in war zones
After analyzing data on 2,155 private contractors, diplomats and other civilians supporting war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan who were medically evacuated out of combat zones, researchers have found they are more likely to be evacuated for noncombat-related injuries, but more likely to return to work in-country after treatment for these conditions.
Seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing, a study by Johns Hopkins and National Institute on Aging researchers suggests. The findings, the researchers say, could lead to new ways to combat dementia, a condition that affects millions of people worldwide and carries heavy societal burdens.
Muscle, aptly enough, is born of cellular bullying, and not mutual consent.
In fact, according to new research from Johns Hopkins, the fusion of muscle cells is a power struggle that involves a smaller mobile antagonist that points at, pokes and finally pushes into its larger, stationary partner using a newly identified finger-like projection.
www.iwantthekit.org encourages screening and treatment
Infectious disease experts at Johns Hopkins say new research clearly shows that screening teens and young adults for sexually transmitted infections may best be achieved by making free, confidential home-kit testing available over the Internet. From a public health standpoint, the project is a clear winner, the experts say.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a private, nonprofit organization that accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations, has recognized Johns Hopkins Community Physicians’ (JHCP) Canton Crossing and the Wyman Park Internal Medicine offices for excellent patient-centered care and for achieving high marks in their Patient-Centered Medical Home Program (PCMH).
Motorcycle helmets, long known to dramatically reduce the number of brain injuries and deaths from crashes, appear to also be associated with a lower risk of cervical spine injury, new research from Johns Hopkins suggests.
RIPs are alive and well — and moving — in the human genome
An ambitious hunt by Johns Hopkins scientists for actively “jumping genes” in humans has yielded compelling new evidence that the genome, anything but static, contains numerous pesky mobile elements that may help to explain why people have such a variety of physical traits and disease risks.
Andrew Ewald, Ph.D., who studies how cells build organs and how these same cellular processes can contribute to breast cancer metastasis, will receive the American Association of Anatomists’ 2011 Morphological Sciences Award for his “outstanding contributions to the field of epithelial morphogenesis.” He will present an award lecture at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Anatomists, Sunday, Apr. 10, in Washington, D.C.
Academic Medical Centers (AMCs) must adjust and adapt to the new health care reform laws or risk marginalization in the new health care arena, according to a New England Journal of Medicine Perspective article published online February 2.
Former Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), John Michael Colmers, 57, has been named Johns Hopkins Medicine vice president for health care transformation and strategic planning.
Teenage girls and young women infected with HIV get pregnant more often and suffer pregnancy complications more frequently than their HIV-negative peers, according to new research led by Johns Hopkins investigators.
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Current system provides few incentives for them to do so, Johns Hopkins experts argue
Efforts to keep hospital patients safe and continually improve the overall results of health care can’t work unless medical centers figure out a way to get physicians more involved in the process.
Michael E. Zenilman, M.D., who was until recently the chairman of the department of surgery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, has been appointed vice chair and regional director of surgery for Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and NARSAD announce new grants
Nine Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine postdoctoral fellows recently were awarded fellowships. Rita Strack, Ph.D., received one of 12 total Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation fellowships, and Bagrat Abazyan, M.D., Robert H. Cudmore, Ph.D., Mi-Hyeon Jang, Ph.D., Shinichi Kano, Sun-Hong Kim, Ph.D., M.D., Ph.D., Minae Niwa, Ph.D., Frederick Charles Nucifora Jr., Ph.D., D.O., M.H.S., and Emily G. Severance, Ph.D., were among the 214 recipients of the NARSAD: The Brain and Behavior Research Fund Young Investigator fellowship.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found a better way to create induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells—adult cells reprogrammed with the properties of embryonic stem cells—from a small blood sample. This new method, described last week in Cell Research, avoids creating DNA changes that could lead to tumor formation.
A Johns Hopkins-led safety checklist program that virtually eliminated bloodstream infections in hospital intensive-care units throughout Michigan appears to have also reduced deaths by 10 percent, a new study suggests. Although prior research showed a major reduction in central-line related bloodstream infections at hospitals using the checklist, the new study is the first to show its use directly lowered mortality.
The Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition and its sister group the D.C. Breastfeeding Coalition have recognized the Johns Hopkins’ East Baltimore Medical Campus as the region’s top workplace for supporting breastfeeding mothers.
All Children’s Hospital (ACH) and Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) are pleased to announce another step in the progression toward their planned integration. On January 27, 2011, the All Children’s Health System Board voted favorably on the Johns Hopkins integration.
A team of scientists at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere has discovered that a single alteration in the genetic code of about a fourth of African-Americans helps protect them from coronary artery disease, the leading cause of death in Americans of all races.
A study of more than 14,000 men and women whose hearts stopped suddenly suggests that the chances of survival are very high if such cardiac arrests are witnessed in large public venues, including airports, sports arenas or malls. The reasons, researchers say, are that almost four out of five such cases appear to be due to a survivable type of heart rhythm disruption and that big places with lots of people are more likely to have an automated external defibrillator, or AED device, handy, along with those who can apply it as well as CPR.
Johns Hopkins researchers say failure to consider existing evidence is both unscientific and unethical
The vast majority of already published and relevant clinical trials of a given drug, device or procedure are routinely ignored by scientists conducting new research on the same topic, a new Johns Hopkins study suggests.
University-wide effort will target Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and autism.
The Johns Hopkins Brain Sciences Institute has funded a total of $5 million to 12 different research groups at Hopkins to launch the new Synapses, Circuits and Cognitive Disorders Program. The new BSi program aims to understand the fundamentals of brain function by focusing on the synapse — the point of contact between two nerve cells — to better understand cognitive disorders.
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have deciphered the genetic code for a type of pancreatic cancer called neuroendocrine or islet cell tumors. The work, described online in the Jan. 20 issue of Science Express, shows that patients whose tumors have certain coding "mistakes" live twice as long as those without them.
Nitroxoline blocks new blood vessel growth and starves tumors in mice
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered that nitroxoline, an antibiotic commonly used around the world to treat urinary tract infections, can slow or stop the growth of human breast and bladder cancer cells by blocking the formation of new blood vessels. The results, appearing in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, suggest that nitroxoline shows promise as a potential therapeutic agent.
Medical students should have basic knowledge of common medication errors before they begin seeing patients at the hospital, and researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center report that allowing them to play detective by watching, spotting and analyzing medical errors as they occur can go a long way toward helping prevent potentially fatal mistakes in their future practices.
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Breast cancer patients are nearly 50 percent more likely to die of any cause if they also have diabetes, according to a comprehensive review of research conducted by Johns Hopkins physicians.
An international team of lung experts has new evidence from a study in shantytowns near Lima, Peru, that teens living immediately next to a busy roadway have increased risk of allergies and asthma. The odds can go up by 30 percent for developing allergies to dust mites, pet hairs and mold, and can double for having actual asthma symptoms, such as wheezing and using medications to help them breathe.
The Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute (BSi) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OMJPI) to advance the development of novel therapeutics for neurological and psychiatric diseases.
As a response to a 2007 episode in which four patients in Chicago were transplanted with organs from a single donor unknowingly infected with HIV — the only such episode in 20 years — one-third of transplant surgeons in the United States “overreacted” and began routinely using fewer organs from high-risk donors, new research from Johns Hopkins finds.
Assessment designed to educate, not diagnose, but could aid in early intervention
A quick online assessment tool developed by Johns Hopkins researchers can help worried seniors find out if they are at risk of developing dementia and determine whether they should seek a comprehensive, face-to-face diagnosis from a physician, according to a new study.
Donors may no longer need to travel long distances to participate in kidney exchanges
Kidney transplants using organs from live donors work just as well if the kidneys are shipped — be it across town or across the country — as when the donors and recipients are operated on at the same hospital, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Five Johns Hopkins researchers have been elected by their peers as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Johns Hopkins study shows residency redesign needed to ready doctors for outpatient care
Doctors who have completed training in internal medicine are in general poorly prepared for jobs as primary care physicians, most notably lacking the knowledge to best care for patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Lab studies show that combining drugs that target a variety of developmental cell signaling pathways may do a better job of killing deadly brain tumors than single drugs that target one pathway at a time, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers. The combined therapy approach apparently reduces tumor resistance to chemotherapy, they say.
The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issueshas appointed two faculty experts at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics to senior staff positions that will support the advisory panel in its ongoing work to provide the White House with expertise and guidance on matters such as emerging technologies and human subjects protections.
Steven J. Thompson has been named chief executive officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine International, the arm of Johns Hopkins Medicine that enters into international agreements and manages Johns Hopkins Medicine’s rapidly growing international enterprises.
Hospitalizing teen girls with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) costs six times as much as treating them in the emergency room, and up to 12 times more than treating them in an outpatient clinic, according to a small study conducted at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
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Johns Hopkins researchers find pre-hospital procedure may cause more harm than good
Severely injured patients who are routinely given IV fluids by paramedics before transport to the nearest trauma center are significantly more likely to die than similarly injured patients who don’t get the time-consuming IV treatment before hospitalization, new Johns Hopkins-led research suggests.
Few things are more startling to parents than the sight of a child’s bright red-colored urine. Yet, blood in the urine — especially microscopic blood found during routine well-child visits — is fairly common, usually temporary and rarely a cause for concern, say experts at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.