Current News Releases - 2013
Current News Releases
Abu Dhabi’s Corniche Hospital, which is managed by Johns Hopkins Medicine International, has received its third consecutive accreditation by the Joint Commission International (JCI), the global health care quality control body that ensures uniform patient safety and clinical care standards in hospitals across the world. A JCI accreditation, which involves an elaborate and lengthy review of hospital procedures and protocols, is the organization’s official stamp of approval denoting that an institution has met these rigorous standards.
Cells' adaptations to low oxygen conditions inside tumors promote breast cancer’s spread
Biologists at The Johns Hopkins University have discovered that low oxygen conditions, which often persist inside tumors, are sufficient to initiate a molecular chain of events that transforms breast cancer cells from being rigid and stationary to mobile and invasive. Their evidence, published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Dec. 9, underlines the importance of hypoxia-inducible factors in promoting breast cancer metastasis.
Coronary artery calcium testing trumps cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and other risk factors in predicting heart attacks and deaths
A new study shows that coronary artery calcium (CAC) screening, an assessment tool that is not currently recommended for people considered at low risk, should play a more prominent role in helping determine a person's risk for heart attack and heart disease-related death, as well as the need for angioplasty or bypass surgery. CAC screening provides a direct measure of calcium deposits in heart arteries and is easily obtained on a computed tomography (CT) scan.
123 new accountable care organizations join program to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries
Johns Hopkins Medicine Alliance for Patients has been selected as one of 123 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in Medicare, providing approximately 1.5 million more Medicare beneficiaries with access to high-quality, coordinated care across the United States, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital will host a news conference with Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, on Monday, Dec. 23, at 10 a.m. to celebrate an innovative partnership that has helped many East Baltimore single mothers transition off of public assistance and go back to work.
Researchers blame lack of education about advances in preventive care
Despite recent advances in prevention and treatment of most vision loss attributed to diabetes, a new study shows that fewer than half of Americans with damage to their eyes from diabetes are aware of the link between the disease and visual impairment, and only six in 10 had their eyes fully examined in the year leading up to the study.
Johns Hopkins study finds robotic colon surgery just as effective as laparoscopy but more expensive
In a study of national data on colon surgery, Johns Hopkins researchers found that while patients who undergo either minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery or the high-tech robotic approach have similar outcomes, robotic surgery is significantly more expensive.
Study reports substantial unmet medical, safety and supportive care needs for patients and caregivers alike
Most people with dementia who live at home have multiple unmet health and welfare needs, any number of which could jeopardize their ability to remain home for as long as they desire, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Life-threatening blood clots occur so rarely in children that the condition, known as venous thromboembolism (VTE), is often not on pediatricians’ mental radar screens — an absence that can lead to woefully delayed recognition and treatment.
Cell biologists at Johns Hopkins have identified a unique class of breast cancer cells that lead the process of invasion into surrounding tissues. Because invasion is the first step in the deadly process of cancer metastasis, the researchers say they may have found a weak link in cancer's armor and a possible new target for therapy.
Johns Hopkins researchers use FDA-approved lung cancer medication to slow the growth of chordoma in mice
Johns Hopkins researchers say that a drug approved to treat lung cancer substantially slowed the growth of tumors, in mice, caused by a rare form of bone cancer.
Johns Hopkins surgeons say skipping one commonly taken step during a routine procedure to insert a wire mesh stent into a partially blocked carotid artery appears to prevent patients from developing dangerously low blood pressure, an extremely slow heart rate or even a stroke or heart attack.
Decreased energy metabolism in heart cells found to be a significant independent risk factor
Johns Hopkins researchers have identified a new way to predict which heart failure patients are likely to see their condition get worse and which ones have a better prognosis. Their study is one of the first to show that energy metabolism within the heart, measured using a noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test, is a significant predictor of clinical outcomes, independent of a patient's symptoms or the strength of the heart's ability to pump blood, known as the ejection fraction.
When floods, hurricanes, mass shootings and other disasters occur, the first place many people turn to for help are local houses of worship. But those cornerstones of aid and comfort can be affected, too, and the religious leaders who staff them may not be prepared to respond or meet the needs of their communities.
Study helps explain why “survival gap” persists for African-Americans
A team of scientists at Johns Hopkins and in Texas has identified a handful of genetic mutations in black Americans, in addition to some chemical alterations affecting gene activity, which may help explain why the death rate among African-Americans from the most common form of head and neck cancer continues to hover some 18 percent higher above the death rate of whites with the same cancer.
New insights may explain difficulty of finding drugs for infectious disease
For what is believed to be the first time, researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have illuminated the inner workings of an important class of enzymes located inside the outer envelopes of cells. Much to their surprise, they report, these protein cutters, called rhomboid proteases, are entirely different than nearly every other type of enzyme studied, showing no attraction to the proteins they cut and being extremely slow in making their cuts.
Using a powerful gene-hunting technique for the first time in mammalian brain cells, researchers at Johns Hopkins report they have identified a gene involved in building the circuitry that relays signals through the brain. The gene is a likely player in the aging process in the brain, the researchers say. Additionally, in demonstrating the usefulness of the new method, the discovery paves the way for faster progress toward identifying genes involved in complex mental illnesses such as autism and schizophrenia — as well as potential drugs for such conditions.
Findings could reshape research on cancer origins and treatment of other autoimmune diseases
Johns Hopkins scientists have found evidence that cancer triggers the autoimmune disease scleroderma, which causes thickening and hardening of the skin and widespread organ damage.
In mice with a rodent form of multiple sclerosis (MS), vitamin D appears to block damage-causing immune cells from migrating to the central nervous system, offering a potential explanation for why the so-called “sunshine vitamin” may prevent or ease symptoms of the neurodegenerative disease, according to results of a study at Johns Hopkins.
Patients fare equally well at half the cost, study shows
Adding to evidence that "high-volume" specialty care in busy teaching hospitals leads to efficiencies unavailable in community hospitals, a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers finds that patients undergoing repair of traumatic eye socket injuries at its busy academic medical center fared just as well at far less cost than those treated at all other Maryland hospitals.
Findings advance opportunities for a “pacemaker in a bottle”
Johns Hopkins heart researchers are unraveling the mystery of how a modified pacemaker used to treat many patients with heart failure, known as cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), is able to strengthen the heart muscle while making it beat in a coordinated fashion. In a new study conducted on animal heart cells described in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the scientists show that CRT changes these cells so they can contract more forcefully. The researchers also identified an enzyme that mimics this effect of CRT without use of the device.
Protein could prove a promising new drug target
Researchers have identified a protein that causes loss of function in immune cells combatting HIV. The scientists report in a paper appearing online Dec. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that the protein, Sprouty-2, is a promising target for future HIV drug development, since disabling it could help restore the cells’ ability to combat the virus that causes AIDS.
The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund will hold its sixth annual Maryland Stem Cell Research Symposium on the Johns Hopkins medical campus on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013.
Prenatal exposure to high-fat diets mitigated in offspring
Rats whose mothers were fed a high-fat diet during pregnancy and nursing were able to stave off some of the detrimental health effects of obesity by exercising during their adolescence, new Johns Hopkins research shows.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has announced that the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s L. Mario Amzel, Ph.D., of the Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry; Philip Cole, M.D., Ph.D., of the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences; Valina Dawson, Ph.D., of the Department of Neurology; and the Johns Hopkins University’s Stephen Murray, Ph.D., of the Department of Physics and Astronomy are among 388 new fellows from around the world. AAAS fellows are elected by their peers and honored for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.
Johns Hopkins research helps overturn government ban on transplanting HIV-infected organs
A bill scheduled to be signed into law today by President Obama paves the way to reverse the longtime ban on letting HIV-infected people donate their organs for transplantation after death, a move that offers hope to thousands of HIV patients on transplant waiting lists.
Using a new method to catch elusive “jumping genes” in the act, researchers have found two human proteins that are used by one type of DNA to replicate itself and move from place to place. The discovery, described in the Nov. 21 issue of Cell, breaks new ground, they say, in understanding the arms race between a jumping gene driven to colonize new areas of the human genome and cells working to limit the risk posed by such volatile bits of DNA.
Johns Hopkins-led study suggests physicians check for heart rhythm disturbance in those with orthostatic hypotension
Results of a Johns Hopkins-led study have identified a possible link between a history of sudden drops in blood pressure and the most common form of irregular heartbeat.
Study Data from 16 hospitals in eight countries are published in the European Heart Journal
An ultrafast, 320-detector computed tomography (CT) scanner that shows both anatomy within coronary arteries and blood flowcan accurately sort out which people need - or don't need - an invasive procedure to identify coronary blockages, according to an international study. The researchers say their findings could potentially save millions of people worldwide from having an unnecessary cardiac catheterization.
Results of a Johns Hopkins study may explain why a chemotherapy drug called cyclophosphamide prevents graft-versus-host (GVHD) disease in people who receive bone marrow transplants. The experiments point to an immune system cell that evades the toxic effects of cyclophosphamide and protects patients from a lethal form of GVHD.
Findings follow previous study showing that commonly used equation underestimates heart disease danger for many at high risk
Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a more accurate way to calculate low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the so-called "bad" form of blood fat that can lead to hardening of the arteries and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. If confirmed and adopted by medical laboratories that routinely calculate blood cholesterol for patients, the researchers say their formula would give patients and their doctors a much more accurate assessment of LDL cholesterol.
Findings call for a rethinking of cancer genetics
Johns Hopkins researchers report that the deletion of any single gene in yeast cells puts pressure on the organism’s genome to compensate, leading to a mutation in another gene. Their discovery, which is likely applicable to human genetics because of the way DNA is conserved across species, could have significant consequences for the way genetic analysis is done in cancer and other areas of research, they say.
A Johns Hopkins undergraduate biomedical engineering student team that devised a two-part system to improve the way life-saving shocks are delivered to hearts earned first-prize in the undergraduate division of a national Collegiate Inventors Competition. In the graduate-level competition, Isaac Kinde, a Johns Hopkins medical student, received third-place honors for developing a test to detect ovarian and endometrial cancers as part of a team at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
Prompt treatment can lower risk of permanent vision loss
A type of high-power blue laser toy readily available over the Internet and increasingly popular among male teens and young adults can cause serious, sometimes irreversible, eye damage, according to a report by investigators from Saudi Arabia’s King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital (KKESH) and Johns Hopkins Medicine. The two institutions have collaborated on clinical care, medical education and research since 2010.
A new study highlights the importance of exercise and physical fitness among people with stable coronary artery disease. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Henry Ford Hospital found that higher levels of physical fitness lower the risk of having heart attacks and increase survival in those with coronary artery disease, whether or not they have had a procedure to open up their blocked arteries.
Experts in HIV/AIDS at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine and the university’s Bloomberg School of Public Health have been awarded more than $5 million by the Fogarty International Center’s HIV Research Training Program to foster health and medical research skills in India, Uganda, Ethiopia and Malawi. The training funds, to be spread over five years, focus on places hard hit by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, currently estimated to infect some 33.4 million people worldwide.
A new study led by Johns Hopkins Children’s Center investigators shows that clinicians can reduce the risk of dangerous bloodstream infections in newborns with central venous catheters by ending use of the device as soon as possible, rather than waiting for signs of infection.
Implications for treating neurodegenerative disease, mental illness
A specialized type of brain cell that tamps down stem cell activity ironically, perhaps, encourages the survival of the stem cells' progeny, Johns Hopkins researchers report.
Using scores obtained from cognitive tests, Johns Hopkins researchers think they have developed a model that could help determine whether memory loss in older adults is benign or a stop on the way to Alzheimer’s disease.
Meanwhile, United States has much higher medical costs and worse outcomes than other developed countries
Over the last decade, the biggest driver of the high health care costs in the United States has been neither the aging of the population nor the large numbers of tests and treatments being prescribed.
Lab tests show it protects cells from UV radiation, inflammation and oxidative damage
Exemestane, a synthetic steroid drug widely prescribed to fight breast cancers that thrive on estrogens, not only inhibits the production of the hormone, but also appears to protect cells throughout the body against damage induced by UV radiation, inflammation and other assaults, according to results of research by Johns Hopkins scientists.
tPA found underused; getting it depends on where patients are treated
Stroke patients treated at hospitals with neurology residency programs are significantly more likely to get life-saving clot-busting drugs than those seen at other teaching or non-teaching hospitals, new Johns Hopkins-led research suggests.
Investigators at Johns Hopkins have found a known genetic pathway to be active in many difficult-to-treat pediatric brain tumors called low-grade gliomas, potentially offering a new target for the treatment of these cancers.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has presented the 2013 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award to Roy Ziegelstein, M.D., M.A.C.P., vice dean for education at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
On Friday, November 1, 2013, Johns Hopkins announced that it is working to attempt to resolve the litigation brought by those claiming damages caused by Dr. Nikita Levy, the obstetrician/gynecologist accused of having secretly photographed his patients and potentially others, through a conditional class action settlement.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital has once again achieved Magnet® designation in recognition of its nursing excellence. The designation comes from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Only about 7 percent of the nation’s hospitals have met the criteria to earn this prestigious designation for providing the highest quality patient care, teamwork, professionalism and innovation in nursing practice.
Implications for language development, autism, epilepsy
Researchers at Johns Hopkins say they have found that a gene already implicated in human speech disorders and epilepsy is also needed for vocalizations and synapse formation in mice. The finding, they say, adds to scientific understanding of how language develops, as well as the way synapses — the connections among brain cells that enable us to think — are formed.
Discovery aids in understanding the organization of parts of the eye, brain
Our vision depends on exquisitely organized layers of cells within the eye’s retina, each with a distinct role in perception. Johns Hopkins researchers say they have taken an important step toward understanding how those cells are organized to produce what the brain “sees.” Specifically, they report identification of a gene that guides the separation of two types of motion-sensing cells, offering insight into how cellular layering develops in the retina, with possible implications for the brain’s cerebral cortex.
Results of a Johns Hopkins study published today in the journal Diabetes Care found that young and middle-aged women with type 2 diabetes are at much greater risk of coronary artery disease than previously believed.
Discovery suggests new paths to treatments that stall or reverse protein modifications involved in the autoimmune disease
Experiments by scientists at Johns Hopkins and in Boston have unraveled two biological mechanisms as the major cause of protein citrullination in rheumatoid arthritis. Protein citrullination is suspected of sparking the immune system and driving the cascade of events leading to the disease.
Recognition cites high-performance use of “best practices” 95 percent of the time
The Joint Commission is honoring three Johns Hopkins Medicine hospitals in its 2012 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures program. The Top Performer designation is reserved for accredited hospitals that consistently and at a very high level follow best practices for treating people who require surgery or suffer heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, pneumonia or other serious conditions.
Johns Hopkins gastroenterologist Steven Brant, M.D., has received a corporate in-kind grant to further his research into the genetics of Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disorder that tends to run in families and afflicts an estimated 500,000 Americans.
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Oct. 22-26, Boston, Mass.
Discovery of a larger than expected latent reservoir of HIV confounds “shock and kill” cure strategy
Just when some scientists were becoming more hopeful about finding a strategy to outwit HIV’s ability to resist, evade and otherwise survive efforts to rid it from the body, another hurdle has emerged to foil their plans, new research from Johns Hopkins shows.
Could speed mass intervention in developing countries
Johns Hopkins researchers have demonstrated that levels of certain proteins in the bloodstream may be used to estimate levels of essential vitamins and minerals without directly testing for each nutritional factor. The team's use of a new strategy allowed them to indirectly measure amounts of multiple nutrients in multiple people at the same time, an advance that should make it possible in the future to rapidly detect nutritional deficiencies of an entire population, apply remediation efforts and test their worth within months instead of years.
Researchers and physicians at The Johns Hopkins University will collaborate with Belgian nanoelectronics research center imec to advance silicon applications in health care, beginning with development of a point-of-care device to enable a broad range of clinical tests to be performed outside the laboratory. The collaboration, announced today, will combine the Johns Hopkins clinical and research expertise with imec’s technical capabilities.
The Johns Hopkins University will receive $72 million over the next four years to bolster its clinical research program at its Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, or ICTR. With this funding, Johns Hopkins aims to increase the number and improve the efficiency and value of clinical trials conducted at Johns Hopkins over the next few years.
A 3-year-old Mississippi child born with HIV and treated with a combination of antiviral drugs unusually early continues to do well and remains free of active infection 18 months after all treatment ceased, according to an updated case report published Oct. 23 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Currently, disease usually found too late to save lives
Reporting on a small preliminary study, Johns Hopkins researchers say a simple blood test based on detection of tiny epigenetic alterations may reveal the earliest signs of pancreatic cancer, a disease that is nearly always fatal because it isn’t usually discovered until it has spread to other parts of the body.
Johns Hopkins researchers say ‘etiquette-based’ communications needed to improve medical outcomes
Johns Hopkins investigators have found that doctors-in-training are unlikely to introduce themselves fully to hospitalized patients or sit down to talk to them eye-to-eye, despite research suggesting that courteous bedside manners improve medical recovery along with patient satisfaction.
Clarified role of signal-relay proteins may help explain spread of cancer
Cell biologists at The Johns Hopkins University have teased apart two integral components of the machinery that causes cells to move. Their discovery shows that cellular projections, which act as hands to help a cell "crawl," are apparently always initiated by a network of message-relaying proteins inside the cell. It was already known that in directional movement, the network is activated by sensor proteins on the cell's surface in response to external cues. They now know that in random movement, the messenger network is also causative: It can self-activate spontaneously.
Johns Hopkins researchers used suction to learn that individual “molecular muscles” within cells respond to different types of force, a finding that may explain how cells “feel” the environment and appropriately adapt their shapes and activities.
Low levels of the “sunshine” vitamin D appear to increase a child’s risk of anemia, according to new research led by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. The study, published online Oct. 10 in the Journal of Pediatrics, is believed to be the first one to extensively explore the link between the two conditions in children.
A study of 69,000 Medicare patient records led by Johns Hopkins researchers shows that people with spine compression fractures who undergo operations to strengthen back bones with cement survive longer and have shorter overall hospital stays than those who stick with bed rest, pain control and physical therapy.
Thomas D. Kirsch, M.D., M.P.H., a Johns Hopkins emergency physician who was among key responders to the Sept. 11 attacks on the New York World Trade Center and the 2010 Haitian earthquake, is the inaugural recipient of a new national award for outstanding achievement and excellence in the field of disaster medicine.
Johns Hopkins researchers identify biomarkers in spinal fluid
Johns Hopkins researchers say that by measuring levels of certain proteins in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), they can predict when people will develop the cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s disease years before the first symptoms of memory loss appear.
Stem cell-based approach manipulates brain cells in test tube studies
Johns Hopkins scientists have developed new drugs that — at least in a laboratory dish — appear to halt the brain-destroying impact of a genetic mutation at work in some forms of two incurable diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and dementia.
A Johns Hopkins-led analysis of data previously gathered on more than 3,000 elderly Americans strongly suggests that taking certain blood pressure medications to control blood pressure may reduce the risk of dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
The following are summaries of selected presentations from among 32 prepared by Johns Hopkins faculty physicians for the 19th annual “A Woman’s Journey” (AWJ) symposium, slated for Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Hilton Baltimore located at 401 West Pratt Street Baltimore, Md. 21201. To cover the symposium, set up interviews or get further details, call John M. Lazarou at 410-502-8902 or email email@example.com.
Findings contradict long-standing beliefs about caregiver stress
Contradicting long-standing conventional wisdom, results of a Johns Hopkins-led analysis of data previously gathered on more than 3,000 family caregivers suggests that those who assist a chronically ill or disabled family member enjoy an 18 percent survival advantage compared to statistically matched non-caregivers.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have succeeded in making flattened, football-shaped artificial particles that impersonate immune cells. These football-shaped particles seem to be better than the typical basketball-shaped particles at teaching immune cells to recognize and destroy cancer cells in mice.
Using mice, lab-grown cells and clues from a related disorder, Johns Hopkins researchers have greatly increased understanding of the causes of systemic sclerosis, showing that a critical culprit is a defect in the way certain cells communicate with their structural scaffolding. They say the new insights point the way toward potentially developing drugs for the disease, which affects approximately 100,000 people in the United States.
Johns Hopkins researchers pinpoint a key area for “upright perception” in the human brain
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have pinpointed a site in a highly developed area of the human brain that plays an important role in the subconscious recognition of which way is straight up and which way is down.
Program gives employees of Walmart and Lowe’s access to top Johns Hopkins experts
In an effort to provide excellent knee and hip replacement care for their employees while gaining more predictability in their costs, Walmart, Lowe’s and other large employers have joined the Pacific Business Group on Health Negotiating Alliance to launch a National Employers Centers of Excellence Network. Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center is the only hospital on the East Coast selected to be part of the network.
Johns Hopkins researchers, working with elderly mice, have determined that combining gene therapy with an extra boost of the same stem cells the body already uses to repair itself leads to faster healing of burns and greater blood flow to the site of the wound.
A team of pediatric neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center has developed a way to minimize dangerous radiation exposure in children with a condition that requires repeat CT scans of the brain. The experts say they reduced exposure without sacrificing the diagnostic accuracy of the images or compromising treatment decisions.
Public encouraged to donate items for the event
The biggest and best clothing sales of the year in Baltimore is “right around the corner.” The 2013 Best Dressed Sale & Boutique, a fundraising project of The Women’s Board of Johns Hopkins Hospital, now in its 46th year, to benefit patient care. As in past years, the event takes place at The Carriage House at Evergreen, located at 4545 N. Charles St.
The Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality has been awarded a $2.1 million contract to develop, implement and study a program that better supports people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) following hospitalization — a period when patients are especially prone to re-hospitalization. The three-year project will be funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
For the fourth year in a row, the iconic dome atop The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s historic building on Broadway will be lit pink to mark national breast cancer awareness month and to remind women and their loved ones about breast health issues. Look for the pastel hue during nighttime hours throughout the month of October. Contact John Lazarou at 410-502-8902 or firstname.lastname@example.org if assistance is needed to set up live or taped shots.
Dr. Gary H. Gibbons, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, will deliver the fourth annual Henrietta Lacks Memorial Lecture. In addition to honoring the legacy of Mrs. Lacks, Dr. Gibbons will discuss the importance of community support in the field of scientific research.
Johns Hopkins researchers, working with mice, say they have identified a chemical compound that reduces the risk of dangerous, potentially stroke-causing blood vessel spasms that often occur after the rupture of a bulging vessel in the brain.
Johns Hopkins researchers reviewed dozens of high-quality studies on cognitive effects
A review of dozens of studies on the use of statin medications to prevent heart attacks shows that the commonly prescribed drugs pose no threat to short-term memory, and that they may even protect against dementia when taken for more than one year. The Johns Hopkins researchers who conducted the systematic review say the results should offer more clarity and reassurance to patients and the doctors who prescribe the statin medications.
Two Johns Hopkins faculty members have been chosen to receive prestigious National Institutes of Health grants allocated for biomedical research projects that face significant challenges, but could lead to major health care payoffs.
Findings in bacteria, yeast, mice show how flawed transport gene contributes to the condition
Researchers say it’s clear that some cases of autism are hereditary, but have struggled to draw direct links between the condition and particular genes. Now a team at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has devised a process for connecting a suspect gene to its function in autism.
Like the plastic caps at the end of shoelaces, telomeres protect -- in their case -- the interior-gene containing parts of chromosomes that carry a cell's instructional material. Cancer cells are known to have short telomeres, but just how short they are from cancer cell to cancer cell may be a determining factor in a prostate cancer patient's prognosis, according to a study led by Johns Hopkins scientists.
Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center has recognized Duojia “DJ” Pan, Ph.D., as one of this year’s winners of the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, an award for those aged 45 years or younger who are furthering our understanding of cancer.
Study shows how deadly Candida albicans might be rendered harmless
Candida albicans is a double agent: In most of us, it lives peacefully, but for people whose immune systems are compromised by HIV or other severe illnesses, it is frequently deadly. Now a new study from Johns Hopkins and Harvard Medical School shows how targeting a specific fungal component might turn the fungus from a lion back into a kitten.
The Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality has been awarded a three-year, $7.3 million contract from the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality to bring its proven checklist for reducing ventilator-associated pneumonia — the most lethal of all hospital-acquired infections — to hospitals nationwide.
Certain pediatric surgeries carry such low risk of serious blood loss that clinicians can safely forgo expensive blood typing and blood stocking before such procedures, suggest the results of a small study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
The goal is to prevent sudden cardiac death among Baltimore student athletes and others attending home and away sporting events
Johns Hopkins Medicine has teamed up with a local philanthropic foundation to provide automated external defibrillators (AEDs), to 10 Baltimore City middle schools for use, if needed, during sporting events and practices. The portable devices, which are used to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm, can save the life of a student athlete, coach or spectator who collapses during practice or a game due to a heart rhythm disorder that causes sudden cardiac arrest.
Working with mice, Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that weeks of treatment with a repurposed FDA-approved drug halted the growth of — and ultimately left no detectable trace of — brain tumor cells taken from adult human patients.
Johns Hopkins researchers find, in mice, that common preservative may thwart pain and damage of peripheral neuropathy
Working with cells in test tubes and in mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that a chemical commonly used as a dog food preservative may prevent the kind of painful nerve damage found in the hands and feet of four out of five cancer patients taking the chemotherapy drug Taxol.
Johns Hopkins analysis suggests saline shots may do just as well
New research from Johns Hopkins suggests that it may not be the steroids in spinal shots that provide relief from lower back pain, but the mere introduction of any of a number of fluids, such as anesthetics and saline, to the space around the spinal cord.
Michael J. Caterina, M.D., Ph.D., has been named inaugural director of the Neurosurgery Pain Research Institute at Johns Hopkins, a center developed to fund research into controlling, preventing and eliminating pain.
Higher death rates in centers treating more minority patients may be due to financial strains
Nearly 80 percent of trauma centers in the United States that serve predominantly minority patients have higher-than-expected death rates, according to new Johns Hopkins research. Moreover, the research shows, trauma patients of all races are 40 percent less likely to die — regardless of the severity of their injuries — if they are treated at hospitals with lower-than-expected mortality rates, the vast majority of which serve predominantly white patients.
The benefits of hydroxyurea treatment in people with sickle cell disease are well known — fewer painful episodes, fewer blood transfusions and fewer hospitalizations. Now new research from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and other institutions reveals that by preventing such complications, the drug can also considerably lower the overall cost of medical care in children with this condition.
Pilot “Sully” Sullenberger and patient safety expert Peter Pronovost, M.D., to deliver keynote presentations
What can health care organizations and clinicians learn from submarine warfare and industries as varied as nuclear power, aerospace, education and hospitality? That’s a question the inaugural Forum on Emerging Topics in Patient Safety, presented by the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and the World Health Organization, seeks to answer.
Similarities found between HIV-associated brain damage and impairment from genetic fat-storage disease
Johns Hopkins scientists have found that levels of certain fats found in cerebral spinal fluid can predict which patients with HIV are more likely to become intellectually impaired.
The protein “arranges” other protein interactions to control growth and prevent cancer
Johns Hopkins researchers have figured out the specific job of a protein long implicated in tumors of the nervous system. Reporting on a new study described in the Sept. 12 issue of the journal Cell, they detail what they call the “matchmaking” activities of a fruit fly protein called Merlin, whose human counterpart, NF2, is a tumor suppressor protein known to cause neurofibromatosis type II when mutated.
An international study led by a Johns Hopkins pulmonary expert finds that the drug tiotropium (marketed as the Spiriva brand), can be delivered safely and effectively to people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in both "mist" and traditional "dry powder" inhalers.
U.S. Army Col. James R. Ficke, M.D., a nationally renowned expert on the treatment of complex foot and ankle injuries and amputees, has been named the new director of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and orthopaedist-in-chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Ficke will take on his new role as the director of the department later this month.
The Johns Hopkins Dome Goes Blue
For the fourth year in a row, the signature dome atop The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s historic building on Broadway will be lit blue to mark national prostate cancer awareness month and to remind men and their loved ones about prostate health issues. Look for the blue during nighttime hours throughout the month of September. A hi-res still photo from 2011 is available upon request.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins and the National Institutes of Health have identified a compound that dramatically bolsters learning and memory when given to mice with a Down syndrome-like condition on the day of birth. As they report in the Sept. 4 issue of Science Translational Medicine, the single-dose treatment appears to enable the cerebellum of the rodents’ brains to grow to a normal size.
--Preliminary study needs further confirmation
Johns Hopkins scientists have identified a molecular marker called “Mig 6” that appears to accurately predict longer survival -- up to two years -- among patients prescribed two of the most widely used drugs in a class of anticancer agents called EGFR inhibitors.
“Haphazard” system of reporting yields misleading picture of safety
Despite widespread adoption by hospitals of surgical robot technology over the past decade, a “slapdash” system of reporting complications paints an unclear picture of its safety, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.
Study in mice shows verapamil enhances isoniazid plus rifampin antibiotic therapy
Infectious disease experts at Johns Hopkins have found, in studies in mice, that a drug better known as a treatment for high blood pressure and headaches effectively speeds up treatment of TB when added to the standard, daily antibiotic regimen. Test animals were cured in four months instead of the usual six.
Specific protein found in nearly all high-grade meningiomas
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have found a specific protein in nearly 100 percent of high-grade meningiomas — the most common form of brain tumor — suggesting a new target for therapies for a cancer that does not respond to current chemotherapy.
Enhancements in clinical care and patient safety, medical research and nursing initiatives are at the core of a new affiliation agreement signed on Aug. 27 by Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHI), Baltimore, USA, and Hospital Moinhos de Vento (HMV) of Porto Alegre, one of Brazil’s leaders in health care delivery and innovation.
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (formerly known as NARSAD, or the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) has announced 10 new grants totaling $600,000 to Johns Hopkins University researchers Ashley M. Blouin, Solange P. Brown, Jennifer M. Coughlin, Yongjun Gao, Jia-Hua Hu, Pan Li, Keri Martinowich, Rashelle J. Musci, Frederick C. Nucifora and Juan Song. The 10 are among this year’s 200 total recipients.
“Helper cells” improve survival rate of transplanted stem cells, mouse study finds
Like volunteers handing out cups of energy drinks to marathon runners, specially engineered “helper cells” transplanted along with stem cells can dole out growth factors to increase the stem cells’ endurance, at least briefly, Johns Hopkins researchers report. Their study, published in the September issue of Experimental Neurology, is believed to be the first to test the helper-cell tactic, which they hope will someday help to overcome a major barrier to successful stem cell transplants.
Andrew J. Satin, M.D., has been selected as the new director and Dorothy Edwards Professor of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He will officially take on his new role Sept. 1, 2013.
Discovery increases diagnostic certainty and opportunity for individualized drug therapy
Of the over 1,900 errors already reported in the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis (CF), it is unclear how many of them actually contribute to the inherited disease. Now a team of researchers reports significant headway in figuring out which mutations are benign and which are deleterious. In so doing, they have increased the number of known CF-causing mutations from 22 to 127, accounting for 95 percent of the variations found in patients with CF.
Compounds already exist to potentially treat both inherited and non-inherited cases
Researchers at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere have brought new clarity to the picture of what goes awry in the brain during Parkinson’s disease and identified a compound that eases the disease’s symptoms in mice. Their discoveries, described in a paper published online in Nature Neuroscience on August 25, also overturn established ideas about the role of a protein considered key to the disease’s progress.
Good news: Risk factors linked to death may be reversible
People with severe encephalitis — inflammation of the brain — are much more likely to die if they develop severe swelling in the brain, intractable seizures or low blood platelet counts, regardless of the cause of their illness, according to new Johns Hopkins research.
The small size and abnormal anatomy of children born with heart defects often force doctors to place lifesaving defibrillators entirely outside the heart, rather than partly inside — a less-than-ideal solution to dangerous heart rhythms that involves a degree of guesstimating and can compromise therapy.
Time-release coating allows drug for macular degeneration to last longer
Johns Hopkins biomedical engineers have teamed up with clinicians to create a new drug-delivery strategy for a type of central vision loss caused by blood vessel growth at the back of the eye, where such growth should not occur. In addition to testing a new drug that effectively stops such runaway vessel growth in mice, the team gave the drug a biodegradable coating to keep it in the eye longer. If proven effective in humans, the engineers say, it could mean only two or three needle sticks to the eye per year instead of the monthly injections that are the current standard of care.
Young Greek physicians and biomedical researchers will soon have the opportunity to further develop their research capabilities and medical expertise through a new program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, which will be funded by the international business organization the Libra Group.
Study shows isoniazid therapy should be considered for millions of HIV-infected people globally
As part of the largest international research effort ever made to combat tuberculosis, a team of Johns Hopkins and Brazilian experts has found that preventive antibiotic therapy for people with HIV lowers this group’s chances of developing TB or dying. Specifically, they found in men and women already infected with HIV that taking isoniazid reduced deaths and new cases of active TB disease by 31 percent, while new cases of TB alone decline by 13 percent.
Women of childbearing age, Asian patients may require alternative medications
A study by Johns Hopkins researchers shows that a fifth of U.S. neurologists appear unaware of serious drug safety risks associated with various anti-epilepsy drugs, potentially jeopardizing the health of patients who could be just as effectively treated with safer alternative medications.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have uncovered a protein switch that can either increase or decrease memory-building activity in brain cells, depending on the signals it detects. Its dual role means the protein is key to understanding the complex network of signals that shapes our brain’s circuitry, the researchers say.
Black patients preoccupied with racial concerns have higher blood pressure than those who aren’t, according to results of new Johns Hopkins-led research. The findings suggest that heightened race consciousness could at least in part account for the disproportionately high rate of hypertension in black Americans — the highest prevalence of any group in the United States and one of the highest rates in the world.
Johns Hopkins researchers suggest neural stem cells may regenerate after anti-cancer treatment
Scientists have long believed that healthy brain cells, once damaged by radiation designed to kill brain tumors, cannot regenerate. But new Johns Hopkins research in mice suggests that neural stem cells, the body’s source of new brain cells, are resistant to radiation, and can be roused from a hibernation-like state to reproduce and generate new cells able to migrate, replace injured cells and potentially restore lost function.
DNA mutation "signature" identified in cancers linked to birthwort herb
Genomic sequencing experts at Johns Hopkins partnered with pharmacologists at Stony Brook University to reveal a striking mutational signature of upper urinary tract cancers caused by aristolochic acid, a plant compound contained in herbal remedies used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments such as arthritis, gout and inflammation. Their discovery is described in the Aug. 7 issue of Science Translational Medicine.
Study could help yield new drugs for brain disorders
Johns Hopkins biophysicists have discovered that full activation of a protein ensemble essential for communication between nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord requires a lot of organized back-and-forth motion of some of the ensemble’s segments. Their research, they say, may reveal multiple sites within the protein ensemble that could be used as drug targets to normalize its activity in such neurological disorders as epilepsy, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Compared to open bypass, stenting keeps circulation flowing longer in some patients, small study concludes
New Johns Hopkins research suggests that people who undergo minimally invasive placement of stents to open clogged leg arteries are significantly less likely than those who have conventional bypass surgery to need a second treatment for the condition within two years.
One of 14 universities nationwide to receive federal funding set aside for research efforts to improve the independence of older Americans
The federal government has awarded investigators at The Johns Hopkins University’s schools of medicine and public health a multimillion-dollar, five-year grant to continue research designed to identify the causes of frailty in older adults, and speed the development of interventions to slow or stop it.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign for its commitment to provide equal care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients and for its inclusive environment for employees in the LGBT community. The hospital has been listed in the organization’s 2013 Healthcare Equality Index.
Children with invasive bloodstream infections treated with a single antibiotic are just as likely to overcome their infections as those who get two-drug therapy, but at half the risk of drug-induced kidney damage, according to results of a Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study.
Johns Hopkins-led research finds larger lungs associated with 30 percent increase in survival at one year
Transplant teams have long tried to match the size of donor lungs to the size of the recipient as closely as possible, concerned that lungs of the wrong size could lead to poor lung function and poor outcomes. But new Johns Hopkins-led research suggests that oversized donor lungs may instead be the best option for patients, finding they are associated with a 30 percent increased chance of survival one year after the operation.
A team of researchers says it has solved the longstanding puzzle of why a key protein linked to learning is also needed to become addicted to cocaine. Results of the study, published in the Aug. 1 issue of the journal Cell, describe how the learning-related protein works with other proteins to forge new pathways in the brain in response to a drug-induced rush of the “pleasure” molecule dopamine. By adding important detail to the process of addiction, the researchers, led by a group at Johns Hopkins, say the work may point the way to new treatments.
Stuart Erdman’s role will be filled by two long-term finance directors beginning in 2014
Johns Hopkins Children’s Center begins fecal transplants in children with a type of drug-resistant diarrhea
Call it therapeutic poop, if you will, but the best hope yet for an effective treatment of childhood infections with the drug-resistant bacterium C. difficile may come straight from the gut, according to recent research.
In the hope of clarifying any questions about the congresswoman’s unique medical situation, Johns Hopkins Medicine is providing this additional information below.
Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler was referred to Johns Hopkins after her fetus was diagnosed with bilateral renal agenesis, which means that her child was developing without any kidneys.
The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has named the Johns Hopkins Institute of Genetic Medicine’s Aravinda Chakravarti, Ph.D., professor in the departments of Medicine, Pediatrics and Molecular Biology and Genetics and Department of Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, as the 2013 recipient of the annual William Allan Award. The award, which recognizes Chakravarti’s many contributions to the field of human genetics, will be given on Oct. 25 during ASHG’s 63rd annual meeting in Boston. The ASHG’s top honor, it includes an engraved medal and cash prize.
Pediatric cancer patients whose central lines are used to treat them at home develop three times as many dangerous bloodstream infections from their devices than their hospitalized counterparts, according to the results of a new Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study.
Genetic pathway also known for its role in Loeys-Dietz, Marfan syndromes
Newly published research by investigators at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and the Johns Hopkins Institute of Genetic Medicine reveals that a faulty genetic pathway already known for its role in some connective tissue disorders is also a potent player in many types of allergies.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital is the first in Maryland to have its stroke center recognized as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.
$1 billion a year wasted on unnecessary imaging tests and hospital workups, researchers say
A new Johns Hopkins research report says emergency room visits for severe dizziness have grown exponentially in recent years, with costs topping $3.9 billion in 2011 and projected to reach $4.4 billion by 2015. The investigators say roughly half a billion a year could be saved immediately if emergency room physicians stopped the routine and excessive use of head CT scans to search for stroke in dizzy patients, and instead used simple bedside physical exams to identify the small group of patients that truly needs imaging.
Johns Hopkins study is first to show that the amount and intensity of exercise raise the risk among healthy individuals with the mutation
A Johns Hopkins study finds that healthy people who carry a genetic mutation for arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C) are at much higher risk of developing the symptoms of the life-threatening heart disease if they participate in endurance sports and frequent exercise. The study also suggests that those carriers who significantly cut back on their exercise regimen may reduce their risk or delay the onset of symptoms.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital has regained 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 six in 10 others.
Johns Hopkins had, until last year, been ranked #1 for 21 years in a row by the publication, when Massachusetts General Hospital took top honors. This year’s rankings mark the 22nd time in the publication’s 24-year history of surveying hospitals that Johns Hopkins has held the esteemed position.
People with pre-diabetes who lose roughly 10 percent of their body weight within six months of diagnosis dramatically reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next three years, according to results of research led by Johns Hopkins scientists. The findings, investigators say, offer patients and physicians a guide to how short-term behavior change may affect long-term health.
Vessels grown from pluripotent stem cells able to function inside mice
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have coaxed stem cells into forming networks of new blood vessels in the laboratory, then successfully transplanted them into mice. The stem cells are made by reprogramming ordinary cells, so the new technique could potentially be used to make blood vessels genetically matched to individual patients and unlikely to be rejected by their immune systems, the investigators say.
Neil M. Bressler, M.D., the James P. Gills Professor of Ophthalmology and chief of the Retina Division at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Medicine, was recently appointed the ninth editor of JAMA Ophthalmology, the journal formerly known as the Archives of Ophthalmology. The monthly publication is internationally acknowledged as an influential peer-reviewed ophthalmology and visual science periodical.
“It’s not fair that where you live so vastly affects your ability to get a transplant”
Using the same type of mathematical formulas used to draw political redistricting maps, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have developed a model that would allow for the more equitable allocation of livers from deceased donors for transplantation
Johns Hopkins researchers link positive outlook to reduction in cardiac events such as heart attacks
People with cheerful temperaments are significantly less likely to suffer a coronary event such as a heart attack or sudden cardiac death, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Discovery promises new targets for cancer drug design
Genetic mutations aren’t the only thing that can keep a protein called PTEN from doing its tumor-suppressing job. Johns Hopkins researchers have now discovered that four small chemical tags attached (reversibly) to the protein’s tail can have the same effect, and they say their finding may offer a novel path for drug design to keep PTEN working.
Johns Hopkins cancer scientists have discovered that a little-described gene known as FAM190A plays a subtle but critical role in regulating the normal cell division process known as mitosis, and the scientists’ research suggests that mutations in the gene may contribute to commonly found chromosomal instability in cancer.
"Could play a big role” in gastroparesis treatment
Physicians at Johns Hopkins say they are encouraged by early results in three patients of their new treatment for gastroparesis, a condition marked by the failure of the stomach to properly empty its contents into the small intestine. In an article published online today in the journal Endoscopy, they describe how the placement of a small metal stent in the stomach can improve life for people who suffer from severe bouts of nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting that accompany the condition.
Katie Couric to Headline This Year’s Event
Registration for this year’s A Woman’s Journey (AWJ) symposium in Baltimore, featuring Katie Couric, will start at 8:30 a.m., on Monday, July 1. To register for the event, you can visit http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/awomansjourney/baltimore/ or call 410-955-8660.
Research suggesting genetic elements from plants make it into eater’s bloodstream turns out to be a “false positive”
In 2011 and 2012, research from China’s Nanjing University made international headlines with reports that after mice ate, bits of genetic material from the plants they’d ingested could make it into their bloodstreams intact and turn the animals’ own genes off. The surprising results from Chen-Yu Zhang’s group led to speculation that genetic illness might one day be treated with medicinal food, but also to worry that genetically modified foods might in turn modify consumers in unanticipated ways.
A Johns Hopkins study of more than 1,800 men ages 52 to 62 suggests that African-Americans diagnosed with very-low-risk prostate cancers are much more likely than white men to actually have aggressive disease that goes unrecognized with current diagnostic approaches. Although prior studies have found it safe to delay treatment and monitor some presumably slow-growing or low-risk prostate cancers, such “active surveillance” (AS) does not appear to be a good idea for black men, the study concludes.
New Provider to Advance World-Class Clinical Care, Research and Education
Saudi Aramco and Johns Hopkins Medicine International, L.L.C. (JHI), the international arm of Johns Hopkins Medicine, have signed a joint venture agreement to establish a new health care provider for Saudi Aramco.
An investigative team of infectious disease experts who traveled to Saudi Arabia during an outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus reports that the virus poses a serious risk to hospitals because it is easily transmitted in health care settings.
Johns Hopkins Medicine has been selected by IDG’s Computerworld magazine as one of the nation’s 100 Best Places to Work in Information Technology (IT) for 2013.
Study Among People With HIV
People with HIV are more likely to keep their scheduled medical appointments — and their disease under control — if they feel their physician listens, explains things clearly and knows them as a person, not just a “case,” new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Johns Hopkins researchers see 21-fold increase in a single day
A social media push boosted the number of people who registered themselves as organ donors 21-fold in a single day, Johns Hopkins researchers found, suggesting social media might be an effective tool to address the stubborn organ shortage in the United States.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins report that hospitalized patients do not receive more than one in 10 doses of doctor-ordered blood thinners prescribed to prevent potentially lethal or disabling blood clots, a decision they say may be fueled by misguided concern by patients and their caregivers.
Her gift will launch transformative research and establish the Kenneth Jay Pollin Professorship in Cardiology
Irene Pollin, a passionate health advocate and founder of a national organization devoted to heart disease prevention in women, has made a $10 million gift to the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. Her donation also establishes the Kenneth Jay Pollin Professorship in Cardiology and will launch pivotal research on heart disease prevention.
An anonymous donor has given $500,000 to conduct large-scale clinical trials and laboratory research on the “PapGene” test, a genomic-based screening test that detects ovarian and endometrial cancers in cervical fluid.
Fruit fly’s salt taste sensation strategy may apply to other animals, including humans
As anyone who’s ever mixed up the sugar and salt while baking knows, too much of a good thing can be inedible. What hasn’t been clear, though, is how our tongues and brains can tell when the saltiness of our food has crossed the line from yummy to yucky — or, worse, something dangerous.
Study in animals lays groundwork for new prevention strategies in brain TB
A team of Johns Hopkins researchers working with animals has developed a vaccine that prevents the virulent TB bacterium from invading the brain and causing the highly lethal condition TB meningitis, a disease that disproportionately occurs in TB-infected children and in adults with compromised immune system.
Older adults with hearing loss are more likely than peers with normal hearing to require hospitalization and suffer from periods of inactivity and depression, according to results of a new study by experts at Johns Hopkins.
A Johns Hopkins expert in brain imaging, Dean F. Wong, M.D., Ph.D., has been honored with the prestigious 2013 Paul C. Aebersold Award for his contributions over the past 30 years in applying basic science to the field of nuclear medicine.
The National Institute of Mental Health, part of the National Institutes of Health, has again awarded a team of seven Johns Hopkins neuroscientists a $9.5 million grant over the next five years and designated them as a Silvio A. Conte Center for Neuroscience Research.
In what has become a much-anticipated biennial tradition, the JHU Alumni Association will honor 11 Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine faculty members at a special ceremony June 7. The honorees include a Nobel Laureate, a Lasker Award winner, numerous current or former department directors, and other senior Johns Hopkins Medicine directors and leaders. The University Alumni Association awards for both university and medical faculty started in 1973 and honor alumni and other faculty whose distinguished careers and unselfish contributions to society have added luster and prestige to the University and its School of Medicine, according to association officials.
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 president of the Society for Vascular Surgery.
Reasons for variation unclear, but elective procedures linked to better outcomes everywhere
Johns Hopkins researchers have documented huge and somewhat puzzling interstate variations in the percentage of emergency versus elective bowel surgeries. Figuring out precisely why the differences occur is critical, they say, because people forced to undergo emergency procedures are far more likely to die from their operations than those able to plan ahead for them.
If people are unable to perceive their own errors as they complete a routine, simple task, their skill will decline over time, Johns Hopkins researchers have found — but not for the reasons scientists assumed. The researchers report that the human brain does not passively forget our good techniques, but chooses to put aside what it has learned.
Study shows clear benefits of a healthy diet, exercise, maintaining normal weight and not smoking
A large, multi-center study led by Johns Hopkins researchers has found a significant link between lifestyle factors and heart health, adding even more evidence in support of regular exercise, eating a Mediterranean-style diet, keeping a normal weight and, most importantly, not smoking.
Spouses and long-term partners of patients with mouth and throat cancers related to infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV) appear to have no increased prevalence of oral HPV infections, according to results of a multicenter, pilot study led by Johns Hopkins investigators. The study’s results suggest that long-term couples need not change their sexual practices, say the scientists.
Training Advances Access to Minimally Invasive Surgery for Gynecologic Cancers
Two Johns Hopkins gynecologic surgeons are among the first in the nation to perform a robotic hysterectomy using a single, small incision.
Assessment developed for elderly useful for dialysis patients of all ages
Johns Hopkins scientists report that a 10-minute test for “frailty” first designed to predict whether the elderly can withstand surgery and other physical stress could be useful in assessing the increased risk of death and frequent hospitalization among kidney dialysis patients of any age.
Jeremy Nathans, M.D., Ph.D., a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, has won the Arthur Kornberg and Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biomedical Sciences from the Stanford University Medical Center Alumni Association. Nathans earned his Ph.D. and M.D. at Stanford.
Johns Hopkins meta-analysis finds standard strategies to prevent dangerous blood clots are more effective
The temporary placement of umbrella-like, metal mesh filters in abdominal veins to stop potentially lethal blood clots from traveling to the lungs during and after weight loss surgery may actually increase the risk of death in morbidly obese patients, according to new Johns Hopkins research.
Genome-wide analysis suggests “no single genetic recipe” for the mental disorder
Using a novel method of analyzing genetic variations in families, researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that individually harmless genetic variations affecting related biochemical processes may team up to increase the risk of schizophrenia. They say their findings, reported May 28 in Translational Psychiatry, bring some clarity to the murky relationship between genetics and schizophrenia, and may lead to a genetic test that can predict which medications will be effective for individual patients.
This year, the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission awarded 24 of its 31 grants to Johns Hopkins researchers. The grants will support projects to study the basic principles of how stem cells work, as well as to develop potential therapies for conditions ranging from sickle cell disease to diabetes to epilepsy. This year's grants will total $10.4 million; the commission will announce the amounts of each grant later.
The 279 school of medicine graduates come from throughout the United States and more than 20 countries
A distinguished group of 279 graduates will embark on their future careers as physicians and scientists at the convocation ceremony of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine on May 23, 2013, at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have unraveled the molecular foundations of cocaine’s effects on the brain, and identified a compound that blocks cravings for the drug in cocaine-addicted mice. The compound, already proven safe for humans, is undergoing further animal testing in preparation for possible clinical trials in cocaine addicts, the researchers say.
Move designed to reflect “revolution” in surgical techniques and save money
Johns Hopkins researchers have developed new guidelines — the first in more than 35 years — to govern the amount of blood ordered for surgical patients. The recommendations, based on a lengthy study of blood use at The Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH), can potentially save the medical center more than $200,000 a year and improve patient safety, researchers say.
Finding could lead to earlier diagnosis and new, more aggressive treatment for worst cases
In a series of lab experiments designed to unravel the workings of a key enzyme widely considered a possible trigger of rheumatoid arthritis, researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that in the most severe cases of the disease, the immune system makes a unique subset of antibodies that have a disease-promoting role.
Private insurers rather than hospitals would reap the most savings by supporting programs to prevent these avoidable complications
Johns Hopkins researchers report that hospitals may be reaping enormous income for patients whose hospital stays are complicated by preventable bloodstream infections contracted in their intensive care units.
Repeatedly changing primary care providers linked to more ER trips, study finds
Overweight and obese patients are significantly more likely than their normal-weight counterparts to repeatedly switch primary care doctors, a practice that disrupts continuity of care and leads to more emergency room visits, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Alteration of two genes, detectable by simple blood test during pregnancy, foretold illness with 85 percent certainty in small study
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered specific chemical alterations in two genes that, when present during pregnancy, reliably predict whether a woman will develop postpartum depression.
New screening and diagnostic tool designed for early detection of breast cancer
The Johns Hopkins Department of Radiology is expanding its breast imaging services with the use of a new technology, tomosynthesis or 3-D mammography.
If successful in humans, joint replacement surgery might be avoidable
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have turned their view of osteoarthritis (OA) inside out. Literally. Instead of seeing the painful degenerative disease as a problem primarily of the cartilage that cushions joints, they now have evidence that the bone underneath the cartilage is also a key player and exacerbates the damage. In a proof-of-concept experiment, they found that blocking the action of a critical bone regulation protein in mice halts progression of the disease.
Hugh Calkins, M.D., has been elected president of the Heart Rhythm Society, an international organization of more than 5,800 specialists in heart rhythm disorders from 72 countries. Calkins was elected during the organization’s 34th Annual Scientific Sessions in Denver.
Frederick L. Brancati, M.D., M.H.S., an internationally recognized expert on the epidemiology and prevention of type 2 diabetes, and longtime director of the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, died Tuesday after a long struggle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He was 53.
Insurance coverage for annual screening likely one reason for persistence
Women in their 40s continue to undergo routine breast cancer screenings despite national guidelines recommending otherwise, according to new Johns Hopkins research.
Network increases research opportunities throughout the region
Reading Hospital, an affiliate member of Reading Health System in Reading, Pa., is the latest regional independent medical center to become a member of Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network (JHCRN).
Experiments at Johns Hopkins have unearthed clues about which protein signaling molecules are allowed into hollow, hair-like “antennae,” called cilia, that alert cells to critical changes in their environments.
Men especially affected
People with higher levels of cadmium in their urine — evidence of chronic exposure to the heavy metal found in industrial emissions and tobacco smoke — appear to be nearly 3.5 times more likely to die of liver disease than those with lower levels, according to a study by Johns Hopkins scientists.
Cells aid in scar formation after injury to central nervous system
By monitoring the behavior of a class of cells in the brains of living mice, neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins discovered that these cells remain highly dynamic in the adult brain, where they transform into cells that insulate nerve fibers and help form scars that aid in tissue repair.
The National Institutes of Health has announced that Janice E. Clements, Ph.D., is among 10 experts selected to advise the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on policies and activities of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI). The panel makes recommendations on research in important areas of emerging scientific opportunities, rising public health challenges, or knowledge gaps that deserve special emphasis or would otherwise benefit from strategic planning and coordination.
Award-winning journalist, best-selling author, well-known cancer advocate and talk-show host Katie Couric will be the keynote speaker at Johns Hopkins Medicine’s 19th annual A Woman’s Journey (AWJ) symposium Saturday, Nov. 16, in Baltimore. She also will receive the Johns Hopkins Medicine Distinguished Service Award for her commitment to building public awareness about colorectal cancer screening, raising funds for research to find better treatments for all cancers, and supporting patient care.
An international team of researchers, led by physician-scientists at Johns Hopkins, reports that a once-daily tablet containing a high dose of a key ragweed pollen protein effectively blocks the runny noses, sneezes, nasal congestion and itchy eyes experienced by ragweed allergy sufferers.
To improve patient safety, hospitals should randomly test physicians for drug and alcohol use in much the same way other major industries in the United States do to protect their customers. The recommendation comes from two Johns Hopkins physicians and patient safety experts in a commentary published online April 29 in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Johns Hopkins researchers believe they may have discovered an explanation for the sleepless nights associated with restless legs syndrome (RLS), a symptom that persists even when the disruptive, overwhelming nocturnal urge to move the legs is treated successfully with medication.
Allergy shots are commonly used to treat children with severe environmental allergies and asthma, but under-the-tongue drops may offer yet another beneficial - and stick-free - option for pediatric allergy sufferers, according to a Johns Hopkins Children's Center review of existing scientific evidence.
Six Johns Hopkins nurses have been named finalists in the 2013 Nurse.com Nursing Excellence GEM (Giving Excellence Meaning) awards program for Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Practice Will Accept Patients for Family Medicine
Johns Hopkins Community Physicians (JHCP) will open its newest practice on Monday, May 6, at 8160 Maple Lawn Blvd. in Fulton, Md. It will be located in the heart of the Maple Lawn Business District.
Steven J. Thompson, CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHI), has won one of the World Trade Center Institute’s Annual International Business Leadership Awards for 2013. The award, which recognizes Thompson’s accomplishments as an entrepreneurial international business leader during a period of rapid growth and change institutionally and in the marketplace, was presented on May 2, 2013 at The Jim Rouse Visionary Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
Blocking a single gene renders tumors less aggressive, Johns Hopkins researchers find
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have identified a gene that, when repressed in tumor cells, puts a halt to cell growth and a range of processes needed for tumors to enlarge and spread to distant sites. The researchers hope that this so-called “master regulator” gene may be the key to developing a new treatment for tumors resistant to current drugs.
Johns Hopkins' Mary Armanios, M.D.; L. Ebony Boulware, M.D., M.P.H.; Andrea Cox, M.D., Ph.D.; Kelly Gebo, M.D., M.P.H.; and Sherita Golden, M.D., M.H.S., have been inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). The five were among 80 new members inducted at the ASCI's annual meeting on April 26 in Chicago. Founded in 1908, ASCI is an honor society for physician-researchers.
Benefits in healthy adults wear off at higher doses, research suggests
In recent years, healthy people have been bombarded by stories in the media and on health websites warning about the dangers of too-low vitamin D levels, and urging high doses of supplements to protect against everything from hypertension to hardening of the arteries to diabetes.
The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Amsterdam, with the Spinoza Foundation Amsterdam, has awarded the 2013 Spinoza Chair in medicine to Andrew Feinberg, M.D., M.P.H., Gilman Scholar and director of the Center for Epigenetics in the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Jef Boeke, Ph.D., a professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, is one of the 84 new members elected this year to the National Academy of Sciences. Membership in the academy, which advises the government on scientific matters, is a top honor for U.S. scientists. Boeke will be inducted into the academy next April during its 151st annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Still, study suggests, efforts needed to reduce errors that lead to claims
Efforts to lower health care costs in the United States have focused at times on demands to reform the medical malpractice system, with some researchers asserting that large, headline-grabbing and “frivolous” payouts are among the heaviest drains on health care resources. But a new review of malpractice claims by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests such assertions are wrong.
A small survey of U.S. obstetrics and gynecology residents finds that fewer than one in five receives formal training in menopause medicine, and that seven in 10 would like to receive it.
Johns Hopkins research in mice unravels mystery behind sex disparities in drug-induced hepatitis
A Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study in mice may help explain why women are more prone than men to a form of liver damage by implicating the female sex hormone estrogen in the development of autoimmune hepatitis.
Time magazine has named Johns Hopkins Children’s Center HIV expert Deborah Persaud, M.D., one of the world’s 100 most influential people for 2013. A virologist and an infectious disease specialist, Persaud is being recognized for her research and clinical work in pediatric HIV and AIDS.
Peter Pronovost, a world-renowned patient safety leader and researcher who’s devoted his career to making hospitals and health care safer for patients by reducing medical errors and preventable patient harm, ranked fifth on this year’s list of the “50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare.”
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) has elected Johns Hopkins researcher Geraldine Seydoux as part of its class of 2013. Founded in 1780, the AAAS has a long history of bringing together leading scholars from every discipline to study the complex policy problems facing our world. This year’s new members will be announced on April 24 and inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 12 at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.
Paul S. Lietman, M.D., Ph.D., a specialist in bacterial and viral infections who was the longtime chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and an influential teacher and mentor to generations of Hopkins medical students and scientists, died at his Baltimore home on April 20 of congestive heart failure. He was 79.
In reviewing 25 years of U.S. malpractice claim payouts, Johns Hopkins researchers found that diagnostic errors — not surgical mistakes or medication overdoses — accounted for the largest fraction of claims, the most severe patient harm, and the highest total of penalty payouts. Diagnosis-related payments amounted to $38.8 billion between 1986 and 2010, they found.
New members recognized for discoveries that advance medicine
The Association of American Physicians (AAP) has elected Johns Hopkins researchers Stephen Desiderio, Hal Dietz, Drew Pardoll, Jeremy Sugarman and David Valle as new members. Founded in 1885, the nonprofit, professional organization works to advance medical research and its application to practice. The names of this year’s new members will be announced April 26 at AAP’s annual joint meeting with the American Society for Clinical Investigation in Chicago.
Time with patients seems “squeezed out” of training, investigator says
Medical interns spend just 12 percent of their time examining and talking with patients, and more than 40 percent of their time behind a computer, according to a new Johns Hopkins study that closely followed first-year residents at Baltimore’s two large academic medical centers. Indeed, the study found, interns spent nearly as much time walking (7 percent) as they did caring for patients at the bedside.
Lack of empathy may lead to ineffective care, disregarded weight-loss counseling, and patient dissatisfaction
In a small study of 39 primary care doctors and 208 of their patients, Johns Hopkins researchers have found that physicians built much less of an emotional rapport with their overweight and obese patients than with their patients of normal weight.
The Warburton Family Foundation, based in Hudson, Ohio, has donated $1 million to the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at The Johns Hopkins University. The gift will be combined with a donation from urology professor emeritus Hugh Judge Jewett, M.D., to create the Warburton Family Foundation and Dr. Hugh Judge Jewett Fellowship in Urologic Oncology.
More convenient recycling credited for the drop
Officials at The Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) report a 200,000-pound decrease in the amount of trash produced each month — a 17 percent drop in just the first five months of a campaign begun in October 2012.
Pioneering research led by Johns Hopkins scientists on the use of partially matched bone marrow transplants to wipe out sickle cell disease has been selected as one of the Top 10 Clinical Research Achievements of 2012 by the Clinical Research Forum. The success of a preliminary clinical trial of the so-called haploidentical transplants has the potential to bring curative transplants to a majority of sickle cell patients who need them, eliminating painful and debilitating symptoms and the need for a lifetime of pain medications and blood transfusions.
Keeping patients happy should be a priority, but not a stand-in for measuring quality
Patient satisfaction is an important indicator of a hospital’s service quality, but new Johns Hopkins research suggests that it doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of the surgical care patients receive.
Research has implications for understanding memory and imagination
Studying rats’ ability to navigate familiar territory, scientists found that the hippocampus uses remembered spatial information to imagine routes the rats then follow. Their discovery has implications for understanding why damage to the hippocampus disrupts specific types of memory and learning in people with Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline. And because these mental trajectories guide the rats’ behavior, this research model may be useful in future studies on higher-level tasks, such as decision-making.
Research at Johns Hopkins suggests that if hospitals would show physicians the price of some diagnostic laboratory tests at the time the tests are ordered, doctors would order substantially fewer of them or search for lower-priced alternatives.
Presentations will highlight progress in understanding genetic disease
Johns Hopkins genetics researchers Aravinda Chakravarti, Ph.D., and David Valle, M.D., will each present at the joint conference of the Human Genome Meeting 2013 and the 21st International Congress of Genetics. The conference, which will take place in Singapore April 13-18, 2013, will focus on the genetics and genomics of world health and sustainability.
Findings highlight physician uncertainty about hospitalization
A Johns Hopkins Children’s Center survey of 102 clinicians who treat teenage girls with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) has found that official guidelines designed to inform decisions about hospitalization versus outpatient care leave some clinicians scratching their heads.
Discovery in mice may help quest to restore function in damaged insulin cells
A team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center has found that a protein long believed to have a minor role in type 2 diabetes is, in fact, a central player in the development of the condition that affects nearly 26 million people in the United States alone and counts as one of the leading causes of heart disease, stroke and kidney, eye and nerve damage.
Johns Hopkins scientists have created a free, Web-based tool to help patients decide whether it's best to accept an immediately available, but less-than-ideal deceased donor kidney for transplant, or wait for a healthier one in the future.
Amanda Nickles Fader, M.D., a widely published and internationally recognized surgeon with a specialty in minimally invasive women’s cancer surgery and obesity and cancer, has joined Johns Hopkins Medicine as director of the Kelly Gynecologic Oncology Service and director of the Minimally Invasive Surgery Center in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
Honorees at AACR Annual Meeting 2013 include Johns Hopkins cancer scientists.
We’re all fatheads. That is, our brain cells are packed with fat molecules, more of them than almost any other cell type. Still, if the brain cells’ fat content gets too high, they’ll be in trouble. In a recent study in mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins pinpointed an enzyme that keeps neurons’ fat levels under control, and may be implicated in human neurological diseases.
Repair of Protein Pump Possible
Johns Hopkins scientists have found out how a gout-linked genetic mutation contributes to the disease: by causing a breakdown in a cellular pump that clears an acidic waste product from the bloodstream. By comparing this protein pump to a related protein involved in cystic fibrosis, the researchers also identified a compound that partially repairs the pump in laboratory tests.
Award recognizes contributions to understanding of muscle wasting
On April 3, South Korea’s Ho-Am Foundation announced that Johns Hopkins researcher Se-Jin Lee, M.D., Ph.D., has won this year’s Ho-Am Prize in Medicine. The prize, established in 1990 by the Samsung Corporation in honor of Samsung’s founder, recognizes outstanding accomplishments in medical research that pave the way to conquering disease. It is awarded each year to an ethnic Korean, and is sometimes referred to as “Korea’s Nobel.”
He is also honored for his research on swallowing disorders at scientific society meeting
Jeffrey B. Palmer, M.D., director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, was recently appointed editor-in-chief of a new scientific journal, Current Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports.
Paul B. Rothman, M.D., the dean/CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, has appointed Roy Ziegelstein, M.D., an acclaimed cardiologist and award-winning teacher, as the new vice dean for education at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Role of cells other than motor neurons much larger than anticipated
Johns Hopkins scientists say they have evidence from animal studies that a type of central nervous system cell other than motor neurons plays a fundamental role in the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal degenerative disease.
Liquid smoke, black and green teas and coffee produced levels of cell DNA damage comparable to chemo drugs
In a laboratory study pairing food chemistry and cancer biology, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center tested the potentially harmful effect of foods and flavorings on the DNA of cells. They found that liquid smoke flavoring, black and green teas and coffee activated the highest levels of a well-known cancer-linked gene called p53.
First-place winner will receive a $25,000 cash prize at the event on April 3, and a total of nearly $50,000 will be awarded.
Five Johns Hopkins students and trainees have been selected as finalists in a competition to find creative new approaches to treating metastatic cancer.
A 24-year-old hearing-impaired baseball fan from Annapolis, Md., hopes to raise $1 million to help others facing hearing loss, so they too can experience in what he calls his "miracle," the cochlear implant performed at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1999 that restored much of his hearing when he was 10 years old.
Researchers suggest a different method of assessing risk after examining data on 1.3 million Americans
In what promises to be an eye-opener for many doctors and patients who routinely depend on cholesterol testing, a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that the standard formula used for decades to calculate low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels is often inaccurate.
A scientific review of 63 published studies affirms that putting small amounts of purified grasses, ragweed, dust mites, pollen and mold, in liquid drops under the tongue is a safe and effective alternative to weekly injections of those allergens or the use of other medications, in treating symptoms of allergies and allergic asthma in some people.
Johns Hopkins researchers say more evidence is needed to understand additional impact of reductions on patient safety and quality of training
Limiting the number of continuous hours worked by medical trainees failed to increase the amount of sleep each intern got per week, but dramatically increased the number of potentially dangerous handoffs of patients from one trainee to another, new research from Johns Hopkins suggests.
Population at high risk for obesity-related mortality able to make healthy lifestyle changes
Through a program that teaches simple nutrition messages and involves both counseling and regular exercise classes, people with serious mental illness can make healthy behavioral changes and achieve significant weight loss, according to new Johns Hopkins research.
The Wilmer Eye Institute is the first place in Maryland to implant the Implantable Miniature Telescope (IMT) since its approval by the FDA.
Novel modification of structural protein implicated
Studying a protein that gives structure to the nucleus of cells, Johns Hopkins researchers stumbled upon mutations associated with familial partial lipodystrophy (FPLD), a rare disease that disrupts normal patterns of fat distribution throughout the body.
Johns Hopkins-led research could offer a biomarker for tracking treatment response
In a small, preliminary study of regular migraine sufferers, scientists have found that measuring a fat-derived protein called adiponectin (ADP) before and after migraine treatment can accurately reveal which headache victims felt pain relief.
Location, location, location. A new Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study shows the real-estate mantra also holds true when it comes to choosing correct catheter placement in children.
Tool lets any clinician contribute information about patients for analysis
A new online database combining symptoms, family history and genetic sequencing information is speeding the search for diseases caused by a single rogue gene. As described in an article in the May issue of Human Mutation, the database, known as PhenoDB, enables any clinician to document cases of unusual genetic diseases for analysis by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine or the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. If a review committee agrees that the patient may indeed have a previously unknown genetic disease, the patient and some of his or her family members may be offered free comprehensive genetic testing in an effort to identify the disease culprit.
Pseudotumor cerebri condition marked by excessive pressure in skull, most common in obese, premenopausal women between the ages of 18 and 40
A team of interventional neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons at Johns Hopkins reports wide success with a new procedure to treat pseudotumor cerebri, a rare but potentially blinding condition marked by excessive pressure inside the skull, caused by a dangerous narrowing of a vein located at the base of the brain.
A small study of 20 people with Parkinson’s disease suggests that "virtual house calls" using Web-based video conferencing provide clinical benefits comparable to in-person physician office visits, while saving patients and their caregivers time and travel.
On March 18, YouTube sensation and Disney recording artist Savannah Outen will sing her newly-recorded song “Brave and True” to 16 year-old Bo Oliver, a cancer patient at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
Graduating medical students at Johns Hopkins and throughout the nation will find out where they will go for their residency to launch their careers
After years of studying, deciding what type of doctor they want to be and applying to numerous residency programs, 113 graduating Johns Hopkins medical students — and thousands of others across the nation — will find out precisely at noon on March 15 where they will launch their careers as doctors.
Johns Hopkins researchers use a type of stem cells from human adipose tissue to chase migrating cancer cells
In laboratory studies, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have found that stem cells from a patient’s own fat may have the potential to deliver new treatments directly into the brain after the surgical removal of a glioblastoma.
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine remains among the top medical schools in the United States, according to the 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools. In addition, Johns Hopkins is listed in the top tier of specialty rankings.
An extra 1,000 transplants could be done every year, Johns Hopkins study suggests
An additional 1,000 patients could undergo kidney transplants in the United States annually if hospitals performed more transplants using paired kidney exchanges, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.
Johns Hopkins study provides key insight into how cells fuse
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have established a high-efficiency cell-cell fusion system, providing a new model to study how fusion works. The scientists showed that fusion between two cells is not equal and mutual as some assumed, but, rather, is initiated and driven by one of the fusion partners. The discovery, they say, could lead to improved treatments for muscular dystrophy, since muscle regeneration relies on cell fusion to make muscle fibers that contain hundreds or even thousands of nuclei.
Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute’s new office in Bethesda, Md., at the Air Rights Center (West Tower) is now welcoming patients.
Small Johns Hopkins-led study finds portable device diagnoses stroke with 100 percent accuracy
A bedside electronic device that measures eye movements can successfully determine whether the cause of severe, continuous, disabling dizziness is a stroke or something benign, according to results of a small study led by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers.
Johns Hopkins research on obese mice finds that the impact of dieting and losing weight benefits the heart health of the young, but not the older ones
In a study of the impact of weight loss on reversing heart damage from obesity, Johns Hopkins researchers found that poor heart function in young obese mice can be reversed when the animals lose weight from a low-calorie diet.
The training of next-generation clinical investigators in China is at the core of a new collaboration between Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU) and its affiliated hospitals in Guangzhou, China, and The Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine International in Baltimore, USA.
A small study from Johns Hopkins adds to the growing body of evidence that red blood cells stored longer than three weeks begin to lose the capacity to deliver oxygen-rich cells where they may be most needed.
A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Medical School describe the first case of a so-called “functional cure” in an HIV-infected infant. The finding, the investigators say, may help pave the way to eliminating HIV infection in children.
Strains of potentially deadly, antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria show seasonal infection preferences, putting children at greater risk in summer and seniors at greater risk in winter, according to results of a new nationwide study led by a Johns Hopkins researcher.
One in three diabetes patients at the Penal Health Center, located in the Penal region of Trinidad and Tobago, fail to take the medications their physicians prescribe for high blood sugar, blood pressure or cholesterol.
Researchers identify 25 human proteins that may be crucial for HIV-1 infection and survival
Studying HIV-1, the most common and infectious HIV subtype, Johns Hopkins scientists have identified 25 human proteins “stolen” by the virus that may be critical to its ability to infect new cells. HIV-1 viruses capture many human proteins from the cells they infect but the researchers believe these 25 proteins may be particularly important because they are found in HIV-1 viruses coming from two very different types of infected cells. A report on the discovery, published online in the Journal of Proteome Research on Feb. 22, could help in building diagnostic tools and novel treatment strategies to fight HIV infection.
People who take the newest class of diabetes drugs to control blood sugar are twice as likely as those on other forms of sugar-control medication to be hospitalized with pancreatitis, Johns Hopkins researchers report.
BioMaryland LIFE and Abell Foundation awards confer funds for research translation
Johns Hopkins' John Wong, Ph.D., has won a BioMaryland LIFE Award, and Ronald Berger, M.D., Ph.D., and Hien Nguyen, M.D., were awarded funds from the Abell Foundation, the researchers learned last week. Each of the winners will receive $50,000 to help develop their discoveries for clinical use.
Condition long linked to war veterans found in one in three ventilated patients
One in three people who survived stays in an intensive care unit (ICU) and required use of a mechanical ventilator showed substantial post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms that lasted for up to two years, according to a new Johns Hopkins study of patients with acute lung injury.
Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University and Yale University have discovered that a specialized receptor, normally found in the nose, is also in blood vessels throughout the body, sensing small molecules created by microbes that line mammalian intestines, and responding to these molecules by increasing blood pressure. The finding suggests that gut bacteria are an integral part of the body’s complex system for maintaining a stable blood pressure.
Only hospital in Maryland to receive federal funding set aside for premature birth research
The federal government has awarded the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine a $2 million grant to advance methods of preventing premature births.
Protein uses multiple means to help cells cope when oxygen runs low
A protein known for turning on genes to help cells survive low-oxygen conditions also slows down the copying of new DNA strands, thus shutting down the growth of new cells, Johns Hopkins researchers report. Their discovery has wide-ranging implications, they say, given the importance of this copying — known as DNA replication — and new cell growth to many of the body’s functions and in such diseases as cancer.
Omalizumab therapy could soon replace other, more toxic treatments
An international team of researchers has found that a once-a-month, high-dose injection of a commonly used asthma drug is highly effective in treating teens and adults chronically afflicted with hives and severe, itchy rash.
Delirium can lead to short- and long-term confusion and memory problems
A hospital is not the best place to get a good night’s sleep, especially in a noisy intensive care unit.
Bert Vogelstein, M.D., co-director of the Ludwig Center at Johns Hopkins and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator has been awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. He was selected for his landmark work in cancer genomics and tumor suppressor genes.
An expansion of collaborative projects involving Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá (FSFB), one of Colombia’s premier health care institutions, and Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHI) will continue for another 10 years under an agreement signed Feb. 18, 2013, in Baltimore, USA.
Johns Hopkins is one of the first hospitals in the United States to offer the customized graft.
An abdominal aortic aneurysm - a bulge in the large artery that carries blood away from the heart - can be immediately life-threatening if it grows large enough to rupture.
Findings may prompt development of new approach to improve function in diseased lungs.
In a study of mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins have identified a new molecular pathway involved in the growth of tiny air sacs called alveoli that are crucial for breathing.
-- Patient-specific cancer cell lines designed to predict chemotherapy sensitivity
In laboratory studies, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed a way to personalize chemotherapy drug selection for cancer patients by using cell lines created from their own tumors.
Results spell need for more effective therapies, earlier intervention
Nine out of 10 young children with moderate to severe attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) continue to experience serious, often severe symptoms and impairment long after their original diagnoses.
World-class standards for clinical outcomes and patient safety are at the core of a landmark affiliation agreement signed today between Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHI) and Pacífico S.A. Entidad Prestadora de Salud (Pacífico Salud).
Discovery shows how therapies activate stem cells in the brain
Through a series of investigations in mice and humans, Johns Hopkins researchers have identified a protein that appears to be the target of both antidepressant drugs and electroconvulsive therapy. Results of their experiments explain how these therapies likely work to relieve depression by stimulating stem cells in the brain to grow and mature. In addition, the researchers say, these experiments raise the possibility of predicting individual people’s response to depression therapy, and fine-tuning treatment accordingly. Reports on separate aspects of the research were published in December on the Molecular Psychiatry website, and will also appear in the Feb. 7 issue of Cell Stem Cell.
In an update to previous research, Johns Hopkins neurologists say minimally invasive delivery of the drug tPA directly into potentially lethal blood clots in the brain helped more patients function independently a year after suffering an intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), a deadly and debilitating form of stroke.
Study described in The New England Journal of Medicine is the first to show cause-and-effect relationship between a gene variant and calcium deposits on the aortic valve
Researchers have found a genetic variant that doubles the likelihood that people will have calcium deposits on their aortic valve.
Researchers devise way to safely see whether replacement cells are still alive
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have devised a way to detect whether cells previously transplanted into a living animal are alive or dead, an innovation they say is likely to speed the development of cell replacement therapies for conditions such as liver failure and type 1 diabetes. As reported in the March issue of Nature Materials, the study used nanoscale pH sensors and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines to tell if liver cells injected into mice survived over time.
Study findings suggest physical and pharmacological solutions for human stroke victims
Johns Hopkins researchers have found that mice can recover from physically debilitating strokes that damage the primary motor cortex, the region of the brain that controls most movement in the body, if the rodents are quickly subjected to physical conditioning that rapidly "rewires" a different part of the brain to take over lost function.
Lab model of an inherited, life-threatening disease known as ARVD/C allows researchers to study the condition and find ways to treat it
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in California have created a laboratory-grown cell model of an inherited heart condition known as arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C).
Lack of such adaptations could explain why humans are more vulnerable to neck injury
Medical illustrators and neurological imaging experts at Johns Hopkins have figured out how night-hunting owls can almost fully rotate their heads without damaging the delicate blood vessels in their necks and heads, and without cutting off blood supply to their brains.
Last month, a surgical team led by Johns Hopkins physicians performed The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s first bilateral arm transplant, together with an innovative treatment to prevent rejection of the new limbs.
Daily baths with an ordinary antibacterial cleanser can safely reduce the risk of dangerous bloodstream infections in critically ill children.
Hospitalists nationwide suggest daily workload may be adversely impacting the safety and quality of patient care.
Nationwide, more than one-quarter of hospital-based general practitioners who take over for patients’ primary care doctors to manage inpatient care say their average patient load exceeds safe levels multiple times per month, according to a new Johns Hopkins study.
Discovery may help distinguish indolent from lethal cancers
In a genome-wide analysis of 13 metastatic prostate cancers, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center found consistent epigenetic “signatures” across all metastatic tumors in each patient. The discovery of the stable, epigenetic “marks” that sit on the nuclear DNA of cancer cells and alter gene expression, defies a prevailing belief that the marks vary so much within each individual’s widespread cancers that they have little or no value as targets for therapy or as biomarkers for treatment response and predicting disease severity.
Test ordering decisions the same with or without knowledge of price
In a study designed to see if doctors who are told the exact price of expensive medical tests like MRIs in advance would order fewer of them, Johns Hopkins researchers got their answer: No.
Older adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop problems thinking and remembering than older adults whose hearing is normal, according to a new study by hearing experts at Johns Hopkins.
Research has implications for understanding memory formation and Alzheimer’s disease
In experiments on rats outfitted with tiny goggles, scientists say they have learned that the brain’s initial vision processing center not only relays visual stimuli, but also can “learn” time intervals and create specifically timed expectations of future rewards. The research, by a team at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, sheds new light on learning and memory-making, the investigators say, and could help explain why people with Alzheimer’s disease have trouble remembering recent events.
Johns Hopkins study links one family’s rare gene mutation to brain cell abnormality and mental illness
Johns Hopkins researchers have identified a rare gene mutation in a single family with a high rate of schizophrenia.
Studies suggest new approach to treating HIV
A team of researchers based at Johns Hopkins has decoded a system that makes certain types of immune cells impervious to HIV infection. The system's two vital components are high levels of a molecule that becomes embedded in viral DNA like a code written in invisible ink, and an enzyme that, when it reads the code, switches from repairing the DNA to chopping it up into unusable pieces. The researchers, who report the find in the Jan. 21 early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, say the discovery points toward a new approach to eradicating HIV from the body.
Johns Hopkins scientists identify epigenetic changes that referee genetic risk
In one of the first genome-wide studies to hunt for both genes and their regulatory “tags” in patients suffering from a common disease, researchers have found a clear role for the tags in mediating genetic risk for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an immune disorder that afflicts an estimated 1.5 million American adults. By teasing apart the tagging events that result from RA from those that help cause it, the scientists say they were able to spot tagged DNA sequences that may be important for the development of RA. And they suspect their experimental method can be applied to predict similar risk factors for other common, noninfectious diseases, like type II diabetes and heart ailments.
Findings could have implications in human depression and psychosis
Working with mice, Johns Hopkins researchers have established a link between elevated levels of a stress hormone in adolescence - a critical time for brain development - and genetic changes that, in young adulthood, cause severe mental illness in those predisposed to it.
Johns Hopkins research suggests routine preventive measures won’t stop all clots
Despite receiving blood thinners and other clot prevention treatment, some patients still develop potentially lethal blood clots in the first month after their operations.
Keith Hill, a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Secret Service, has been named vice president of corporate security for the Johns Hopkins Institutions.
Proof-of-concept clinical trial in 18 patients shows improved tissue growth
In a small study, researchers reported increased healthy tissue growth after surgical repair of damaged cartilage if they put a “hydrogel” scaffolding into the wound to support and nourish the healing process. The squishy hydrogel material was implanted in 15 patients during standard microfracture surgery, in which tiny holes are punched in a bone near the injured cartilage. The holes stimulate patients’ own specialized stem cells to emerge from bone marrow and grow new cartilage atop the bone.
Solomon H. Snyder, M.D., has won the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Award in Neurosciences, and King-Wai Yau, Ph.D., has won the Alexander Hollaender Award in Biophysics, the NAS has announced. Both of these prestigious awards are offered only once every three years. Snyder and Yau will receive the awards on Sunday, April 28, during the Academy's 150th annual meeting.
Study refutes financial concerns that offering early rehabilitation to critically ill patients raises costs
In a study evaluating the financial impact of providing early physical therapy for intensive care patients, researchers at Johns Hopkins found that the up-front costs are outweighed by the financial savings generated by earlier discharges from the intensive care unit and shorter hospital stays overall.
Using cervical fluid obtained during routine Pap tests, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed a test to detect ovarian and endometrial cancers. In a pilot study, the “PapGene” test, which relies on genomic sequencing of cancer-specific mutations, accurately detected all 24 (100 percent) endometrial cancers and nine of 22 (41 percent) ovarian cancers. Results of the experiments are published in the Jan. 9 issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.
These outpatient practices achieved Level 3 recognition, which means they meet the highest level of patient-focused, coordinated care
Five additional offices of Johns Hopkins Community Physicians (JHCP) are now recognized as Patient-Centered Medical Homes by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
Insect research yields insights for muscle control and nerve disorders in mammals, including humans
Working with fruit flies, Johns Hopkins scientists have decoded the activity of protein signals that let certain nerve cells know when and where to branch so that they reach and connect to their correct muscle targets. The proteins’ mammalian counterparts are known to have signaling roles in immunity, nervous system and heart development, and tumor progression, suggesting broad implications for human disease research. A report of the research was published online Nov. 21 in the journal Neuron.
Men can easily calculate their risk by using the revised “Partin Tables” website tool
Prostate cancer experts at Johns Hopkins have developed an updated version of the Partin Tables, a tool to help men diagnosed with prostate cancer and their doctors to better assess their chance of a surgical cure.
Much of the DNA that makes up our genomes can be traced back to strange rogue sequences known as transposable elements, or jumping genes, which are largely idle in mammals. But Johns Hopkins researchers report they have identified a new DNA sequence moving around in bats — the first member of its class found to be active in mammals. The discovery, described in a report published in December on the website of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers a new means of studying evolution, and may help in developing tools for gene therapy, the research team says.
A study by Johns Hopkins researchers has shown that a widely accepted model of long-term memory formation — that it hinges on a single enzyme in the brain — is flawed. The new study, published in the Jan. 2 issue of Nature, found that mice lacking the enzyme that purportedly builds memory were in fact still able to form long-term memories as well as normal mice could.
Johns Hopkins scientists uncover itch-specific nerve cells in skin
Johns Hopkins researchers have uncovered strong evidence that mice have a specific set of nerve cells that signal itch but not pain, a finding that may settle a decades-long debate about these sensations, and, if confirmed in humans, help in developing treatments for chronic itch, including itch caused by life-saving medications.