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Current News Releases - 2014

Current News Releases

2014
Released: September 18, 2014


Johns Hopkins Children’s Center pediatrician Myron Yaster, M.D., has been chosen to receive the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia. Yaster is being honored for his trailblazing work in the field of pediatric anesthesia and pain management.

Released: September 18, 2014

Funded initiatives include cutting-edge microscope that can image at molecular level


Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine alumnus Huntington “Skip” Sheldon, M.D., has committed $15 million to the school of medicine’s Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences (IBBS). Sheldon, who completed his medical education and residency at Johns Hopkins, went on to teach pathology at McGill University for 25 years. He is a longtime benefactor of the university who has served as a trustee for more than two decades.

Released: September 18, 2014


The inspirational and informative "Surviving Survivorship: Living with Cancer" conference, hosted by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center is free for cancer patients and caregivers.

Released: September 17, 2014


In an analysis of genetic information among more than 87,000 men, a global team of scientists says it has found 23 new genetic variants common differences in the genetic code  that increase a man’s risk for prostate cancer. The so-called meta-analysis, believed to be the largest of its kind, has revealed once hidden mutations among men in a broad array of ethnic groups comprising men of European, African, Japanese and Latino ancestry.

Released: September 17, 2014


Two Johns Hopkins neuroscientists have discovered the “molecular brakes” that time the generation of important cells in the inner ear cochleas of mice. These “hair cells” translate sound waves into electrical signals that are carried to the brain and are interpreted as sounds. If the arrangement of the cells is disordered, hearing is impaired.

Released: September 16, 2014


Using a pain clinic as a testing ground, researchers at Johns Hopkins have shown that a management process first popularized by Toyota in Japan can substantially reduce patient wait times and possibly improve the teaching of interns and residents.

Released: September 16, 2014

Technique will likely have applications in forensic science and donor organ monitoring


Researchers at Johns Hopkins have identified a highly sensitive means of analyzing very tiny amounts of DNA. The discovery, they say, could increase the ability of forensic scientists to match genetic material in some criminal investigations. It could also prevent the need for a painful, invasive test given to transplant patients at risk of rejecting their donor organs and replace it with a blood test that reveals traces of donor DNA.

Released: September 15, 2014

Lisa Allen to lead service excellence and patient satisfaction efforts across the academic health care delivery system


Patient service and quality improvement expert Lisa Allen has been named the first chief patient experience officer for Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Released: September 15, 2014


The timing of a toddler’s first steps is an important developmental milestone, but a slight delay in walking is typically not a cause of concern by itself.

Released: September 11, 2014

More research is still needed to test the role of psilocybin in helping people quit


 Johns Hopkins researchers report that a small number of longtime smokers who had failed many attempts to drop the habit did so after a carefully controlled and monitored use of psilocybin, the active hallucinogenic agent in so-called "magic mushrooms,” in the context of a cognitive behavioral therapy treatment program.

Released: September 11, 2014


The Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis Center is the recipient of one of 22 research grants offered to investigators in nine countries by the International Progressive MS Alliance, a worldwide collaborative focused on finding solutions to progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Released: September 10, 2014


Norm Barker, M.A., M.S., a professor of pathology and art as applied medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Lydia Gregg, M.A., an instructor and certified medical illustrator at the school, each received an Award of Excellence in the BioCommunications Association’s 2014 BioImages competition.

Released: September 10, 2014


The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has been named a top medical education program, along with the University of California, San Francisco, by the physician network Doximity and its partner U.S. News & World Report. This is their first comprehensive national study of residency programs. Johns Hopkins placed in the top 10 in 14 specialties and is number one in four specialties: Nuclear Medicine, Otolaryngology, Pathology (Anatomic & Clinical) and Surgery.

Released: September 9, 2014

Seeks to close gender gap in reproductive health care


Compared with women, American men have worse access to reproductive and sexual health care, research shows, a disparity fueled in part by the lack of standard clinical guidelines on the types and timing of exams, tests and treatments that should be offered to all men of reproductive age. 

Released: September 9, 2014


A team of American infectious disease and critical care experts is alerting colleagues caring for Ebola patients that how they remove their personal protective gear can be just as crucial as wearing it to prevent exposure to the deadly virus.

Released: September 4, 2014


Prostate cancer patients whose tumors contain a shortened receptor called AR-V7 are less likely to respond to two widely used drugs for metastatic prostate cancer, according to results of a study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins’ Kimmel Cancer Center and Brady Urological Institute. If large-scale studies validate the findings, the investigators say men with detectable blood levels of AR-V7 should avoid these two drugs and instead take other medicines to treat their prostate cancer. A report on the work is described online Sept. 3 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Released: September 4, 2014


 Three Johns Hopkins Medicine hospitals have been awarded the 2014 Excellence Award for Quality Improvement in Hospitals from the Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care, an independent, nonprofit health care quality improvement organization. The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore and Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., each earned the distinction.

Released: September 3, 2014

New target identified for treatment of abnormal blood vessels and leakage


Working with mice, a multicenter team of researchers has found a new way to reduce the abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage in the eye that accompany some eye diseases. The finding could lead to the development of new drugs for wet macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema 

Released: September 2, 2014


Research at Johns Hopkins has helped a team of scientists elsewhere identify and develop a compound that could directly target a genetic mutation responsible for a common familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and a biologically related memory-robbing disease known as frontotemporal dementia (FTD). 

Released: August 28, 2014

Experts say child’s relapse and two similar cases can pave way to future cure efforts


The news in July that HIV had returned in a Mississippi toddler after a two-year treatment-free remission dashed the hopes of clinicians, HIV researchers and the public at large tantalized by the possibility of a cure.

Released: August 27, 2014

Animal study holds promise for treating diabetic ulcers and burns


A combination of two drugs already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for different applications reduces wound healing time by one-quarter and significantly decreases scar tissue in mice and rats, Johns Hopkins researchers report. If the findings, reported in the September issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, hold true in future human studies, the dual treatment could speed skin healing in people with skin ulcers, extensive burns, surgical wounds and battlefield injuries.

Released: August 27, 2014

Simple genetic test predicts dosage needed


Many African-Americans may not be getting effective doses of the HIV drug maraviroc, a new study from Johns Hopkins suggests. The initial dosing studies, completed before the drug was licensed in 2007, included mostly European-Americans, who generally lack a protein that is key to removing maraviroc from the body. The current study shows that people with maximum levels of the protein — including nearly half of African-Americans — end up with less maraviroc in their bodies compared to those who lack the protein even when given the same dose. A simple genetic test for the gene that makes the CYP3A5 protein could be used to determine what doses would achieve effective levels in individuals, the researchers say.

Released: August 26, 2014

Chemical alterations to genes appear key to tumor development


Regardless of their stage or type, cancers appear to share a telltale signature of widespread changes to the so-called epigenome, according to a team of researchers. In a study of a broad variety of cancers, the investigators say they have found widespread and distinctive changes to chemical marks known as methyl groups attached to DNA. Those marks help govern whether genes are turned “on” or “off,” and ultimately how the cell behaves. Such reversible chemical marks on DNA are known as epigenetic, and together they make up the epigenome.

Released: August 25, 2014

Johns Hopkins Medicine Dean and CEO Paul Rothman and Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality Director Peter Pronovost named to Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare list


Modern Healthcare, a leading industry publication, has named Johns Hopkins Medicine Dean and CEO Paul B. Rothman, M.D., and patient safety expert Peter J. Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., to this year’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare list. The list recognizes individuals deemed by their peers and experts as leaders in the industry.

Released: August 21, 2014

Discovery of changes to cell membranes has wide repercussions for drug developers


Researchers have discovered that three commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, alter the activity of enzymes within cell membranes. Their finding suggests that, if taken at higher-than-approved doses and/or for long periods of time, these prescription-level NSAIDs and other drugs that affect the membrane may produce wide-ranging and unwanted side effects.

Released: August 21, 2014

Additional tool accelerates personalized medicine research


Johns Hopkins stem cell biologists have found a way to reprogram a patient’s skin cells into cells that mimic and display many biological features of a rare genetic disorder called familial dysautonomia. The process requires growing the skin cells in a bath of proteins and chemical additives while turning on a gene to produce neural crest cells, which give rise to several adult cell types. The researchers say their work substantially expedites the creation of neural crest cells from any patient with a neural crest-related disorder, a tool that lets physicians and scientists study each patient’s disorder at the cellular level.

Released: August 21, 2014


Bruce A. Perler, M.D., M.B.A., was named president-elect of the Society for Vascular Surgery, an international medical society with 5,000 members, at the society’s recent annual meeting in Boston.

Released: August 20, 2014


Monthly blood transfusions can substantially reduce the risk of recurrent strokes in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) who have already suffered a silent stroke, according to the results of an international study by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Vanderbilt University and 27 other medical institutions.

Released: August 18, 2014


Internationally renowned pediatric surgeon and scientist David Hackam, M.D., Ph.D., will become the new pediatric surgeon-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

Released: August 18, 2014


A genetic variation linked to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression wreaks havoc on connections among neurons in the developing brain, a team of researchers reports. The study, led by Guo-li Ming, M.D., Ph.D., and Hongjun Song, Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and described online Aug. 17 in the journal Nature, used stem cells generated from people with and without mental illness to observe the effects of a rare and pernicious genetic variation on young brain cells. The results add to evidence that several major mental illnesses have common roots in faulty “wiring” during early brain development.

Released: August 18, 2014

New material developed by Johns Hopkins scientists could someday ease pain


By finding a way to bind a slippery molecule naturally found in the fluid that surrounds healthy joints, Johns Hopkins researchers have engineered surfaces that have the potential to deliver long-lasting lubrication at specific spots throughout the body.

Released: August 18, 2014

Peter Kwiterovich was an early advocate of cholesterol screening in children


Peter O. Kwiterovich Jr., M.D., professor emeritus of pediatrics and medicine at Johns Hopkins, one of the world’s foremost authorities on lipid disorders and a leading advocate for routine cholesterol screening in children, died on Aug. 15 after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 74.

Released: August 14, 2014


Using a deceptively simple set of experiments, researchers at Johns Hopkins have learned why people learn an identical or similar task faster the second, third and subsequent time around. The reason: They are aided not only by memories of how to perform the task, but also by memories of the errors made the first time.

Released: August 14, 2014

One in 10 allergic to milk, eggs or peanuts


Already known for their higher-than-usual risk of asthma and environmental allergies, young inner-city children appear to suffer disproportionately from food allergies as well, according to results of a study led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

Released: August 13, 2014


A modified version of the Clostridium novyi (C. novyi-NT) bacterium can produce a strong and precisely targeted anti-tumor response in rats, dogs and now humans, according to a new report from Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers.

Released: August 12, 2014

Sees opportunity for other conditions, including obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, obsessive compulsive disorder and addiction


Chronic pain, which persists despite the fact that an injury has healed, can last for many months or years and may affect up to 15% of the adult population at any point in time. While it is a condition in its own right, it can be a component of other conditions.

Released: August 8, 2014

Modification doubles available sites of a process that knocks out genes


By modifying an existing “genome editing” technology that allows precise modification of pieces of DNA from chromosomes, Johns Hopkins researchers report they have significantly increased the range of DNA sites that can be efficiently edited by the process. In a description of their novel advance, reported in the Aug. 8 issue of Nature Communications, they say the modified methodology could eventually add efficiency and speed studies of gene function, aid in the development of new cellular models of diseases, and help treat genetic conditions.

Released: August 7, 2014


Cynthia Boyd, an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has been awarded research funding of about $1 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The funding award is one of 33 that PCORI’s board of governors approved last week. The award has been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Released: August 5, 2014


A new Johns Hopkins review of 20 years’ worth of published research suggests that risks linked to long-term use of statins, including muscle toxicity, diabetes and dementia, are very low and that the potential benefit is very high. And although some experts say statins may be overprescribed, the new analysis could provide reassurance of the relative safety of the cholesterol-lowering drugs for the more than 200 million people worldwide who take them.

Released: August 5, 2014

Findings suggest anti-hypertensive drugs could help preserve cognitive function


A review of data from a long-term study of thousands of Americans suggests that a history of high blood pressure in midlife increases the risk of cognitive decline in old age, according to a report on the study led by Johns Hopkins researchers. The findings, the scientists say, indicate a treatable cause — hypertension — for at least some pervasive forms of cognitive deficit.

Released: August 4, 2014


A triple therapy for glioblastoma, including two types of immunotherapy and targeted radiation, has significantly prolonged the survival of mice with these brain cancers, according to a new report by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Released: August 4, 2014


A multicenter team of researchers report that in a phase III clinical trial, a combination drug therapy cures chronic hepatitis C in the majority of patients co-infected with both HIV and hepatitis C.

Released: July 31, 2014


 Studies by vascular biologists at The Johns Hopkins Hospital could lead to new treatments for vascular disease. This work was led by Dan Berkowitz, M.B.B.Ch., and Lewis Romer, M.D., both professors of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The studies focus on the balance between (good) nitric oxide, and (bad) oxidants—both important regulators of the inner lining of blood vessels, called the endothelium.

Released: July 31, 2014


The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center has been awarded three Telly Awards for two educational videos on pediatric and pancreatic cancers.

Released: July 31, 2014


Physicians at Johns Hopkins have developed blood and saliva tests that help accurately predict recurrences of HPV-linked oral cancers in a substantial number of patients. The tests screen for DNA fragments of the human papillomavirus (HPV) shed from cancer cells lingering in the mouth or other parts of the body. A description of the development is published in the July 31 issue of JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery.
Released: July 31, 2014

Mouse research could lead to better treatments for hearing loss


Researchers at Johns Hopkins have mapped the sound-processing part of the mouse brain in a way that keeps both the proverbial forest and the trees in view. Their imaging technique allows zooming in and out on views of brain activity within mice, and it enabled the team to watch brain cells light up as mice “called” to each other. The results, which represent a step toward better understanding how our own brains process language, appear online July 31 the journal Neuron.

Released: July 30, 2014

Alterations to a single gene could predict risk of suicide attempt


Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered a chemical alteration in a single human gene linked to stress reactions that, if confirmed in larger studies, could give doctors a simple blood test to reliably predict a person’s risk of attempting suicide.

Released: July 29, 2014

Designed to bring care closer to home, improve quality of care and better serve communities


ROCKVILLE, Md. — Kaiser Permanente and Johns Hopkins Medicine today announced plans to strengthen the successful collaboration between the two health care organizations. With the new agreement, Kaiser Permanente and Johns Hopkins Medicine will expand ways to deliver quality care by sharing evidence-based best practices, advancing population health programs, collaborating on education and research endeavors, and exploring how the organizations can work together to create better health care models for consumers and their communities.

Released: July 28, 2014

Allows cancer cells to divide even when oxygen-starved


Most cells do not divide unless there is enough oxygen present to support their offspring, but certain cancer cells and other cell types circumvent this rule. Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have now identified a mechanism that overrides the cells’ warning signals, enabling cancers to continue to divide even without a robust blood supply.

Released: July 25, 2014


The Sheikh Zayed Tower at The Johns Hopkins Hospital is home to a brand new, state-of-the-art computed tomography (CT) scanner, thanks to funding support from Toshiba. The Aquilion ONE ViSION Edition scanner will be used by the Division of Cardiology to scan patients’ hearts. Data collected from the scans, as well as a great deal of other data, will help fuel another joint venture between Johns Hopkins and Toshiba: the Toshiba Center for Big Data in Healthcare at Johns Hopkins.

Released: July 16, 2014

Suburban Ranks 15th Among All Maryland Hospitals


The annual U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings are in and Sibley Memorial Hospital and Suburban Hospital are ranked in the top tier among the 56 hospitals in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, coming in at 11th and 13th, respectively.

Released: July 15, 2014


Blood clots occur so rarely in children undergoing spine operations that most patients require nothing more than vigilant monitoring after surgery and should be spared risky and costly anti-clotting medications, according to a new Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study.

Released: July 15, 2014

Named the #1 hospital in Maryland and the only Maryland hospital to be nationally ranked in 15 medical specialties in the Best Hospitals 2014–15 report


The Johns Hopkins Hospital ranked in the top five in 10 specialties and #3 overall in the nation in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of U.S. hospitals. In the magazine’s ranking of hospitals at the state level, the hospital was named first in all specialties in Maryland and #1 in all specialties in Baltimore.

Released: July 15, 2014


Cancer’s no game, but researchers at Johns Hopkins are borrowing ideas from evolutionary game theory to learn how cells cooperate within a tumor to gather energy. Their experiments, they say, could identify the ideal time to disrupt metastatic cancer cell cooperation and make a tumor more vulnerable to anti-cancer drugs.

Released: July 15, 2014


David Valle, M.D., has been named the 2014 recipient of the Victor A. McKusick Leadership Award from the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG). The award recognizes those whose professional achievements have fostered and enriched the development of human genetics as well as its assimilation into the broader context of science, medicine and health.

Released: July 15, 2014


The Johns Hopkins Military and Veterans Health Institute announced its first-ever grant awardees on July 15. The pilot research grants will go to projects aiming to improve the health and health care of service members, veterans and their families. 

Released: July 15, 2014

Process suggests a new type of immunotherapy


A team of researchers has devised a Pac-Man-style power pellet that gets normally mild-mannered cells to gobble up their undesirable neighbors. The development may point the way to therapies that enlist patients’ own cells to better fend off infection and even cancer, the researchers say.

Released: July 11, 2014


Using spider toxins to study the proteins that let nerve cells send out electrical signals, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have stumbled upon a biological tactic that may offer a new way to protect crops from insect plagues in a safe and environmentally responsible way. 

Released: July 10, 2014

Solid leadership, IT and care coordination can mean success


Strong leadership, reliable health care coordination and first-rate information technology are key for academic medical centers seeking to establish successful accountable care organizations, according to a Johns Hopkins study published in the journal Academic Medicine this week.

Released: July 10, 2014

A medical first, the case yielded new insights into HIV behavior


The 4-year-old Mississippi child whose HIV infection was put in remission with pre-emptive anti-viral treatment shortly after birth has shown signs of viral recurrence, according to the team that has been following the patient since birth. That team includes Deborah Persaud, M.D., a pediatric HIV specialist at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, who performed the initial and all subsequent virological analyses on the case; Hannah Gay, M.D., a pediatrician at the University of Mississippi Medical Center who has been treating and following the child since birth; and immunologist Katherine Luzuriaga, M.D., of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who conducted immunological monitoring of the child.

Released: July 8, 2014

More could benefit from lower complication rates linked to the procedures, new study shows


Hospitals across the country vary substantially in their use of minimally invasive surgery, even when evidence shows that for most patients, minimally invasive surgery is superior to open surgery, a new study shows. The finding represents a major disparity in the surgical care delivered at various hospitals, the study’s authors say, and identifies an area of medicine ripe for improvement.

Released: July 3, 2014

Telemedicine could improve access, reduce screening costs


Remote examination of eye scans can be nearly as effective as traditional eye exams in detecting premature newborns with a potentially blinding eye disorder, according to findings from a new federally funded study conducted by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and 12 other institutions.

Released: July 3, 2014

Gene’s absence influences connections between cells, researchers find


Johns Hopkins researchers have begun to connect the dots between a schizophrenia-linked genetic variation and its effect on the developing brain. As they report July 3 in the journal Cell Stem Cell, their experiments show that the loss of a particular gene alters the skeletons of developing brain cells, which in turn disrupts the orderly layers those cells would normally form.

Released: July 2, 2014


Investigators at Johns Hopkins are among researchers at 10 institutions selected to carry out a five-year, $30 million patient-centered study designed to compare strategies for preventing fall-related injuries in older adults.

Released: July 2, 2014

White House honors Pamela Paulk for leadership working with ex-offenders


Johns Hopkins Medicine Senior Vice President for Human Resources Pamela Paulk was recognized at the White House on Monday as a Champion of Change for her work and advocacy in the hiring of ex-offenders.

Released: July 2, 2014

Although deaths are rare, 'weekend effect' raises questions about after-hours glitches


Children who undergo simple emergency surgeries, such as hernia repairs or appendix removals, on weekends are more likely to suffer complications and even die than children getting the same kind of treatment during the week, according to results of a Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study.

Released: July 1, 2014

Find likely to aid drug development


Researchers at Johns Hopkins have spotted a strong family trait in two distant relatives: The channels that permit entry of sodium and calcium ions into cells turn out to share similar means for regulating ion intake, they say. Both types of channels are critical to life. Having the right concentrations of sodium and calcium ions in cells enables healthy brain communication, heart contraction and many other processes. The new evidence is likely to aid development of drugs for channel-linked diseases ranging from epilepsy to heart ailments to muscle weakness.

Released: June 30, 2014


Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center used two relatively simple tactics to significantly reduce the number of unnecessary blood tests to assess symptoms of heart attack and chest pain and to achieve a large decrease in patient charges.

Released: June 26, 2014


A Johns Hopkins-led research team has found that motivational interviewing, along with standard education and awareness programs, significantly reduced secondhand smoke exposure among children living in those households.

Released: June 24, 2014


By analyzing the number of times scientists were cited in others’ papers, the company Thomson Reuters has created a new list of the top 3,215 most highly cited—and therefore most influential— researchers in the world. Seventeen are from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Released: June 23, 2014

Protein, linked to type 2 diabetes, prevents zinc toxicity


Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University report they have deciphered the inner workings of a protein called YiiP that prevents the lethal buildup of zinc inside bacteria. They say understanding YiiP’s movements will help in the design of drugs aimed at modifying the behavior of ZnT proteins, eight human proteins that are similar to YiiP, which play important roles in hormone secretion and in signaling between neurons.

Released: June 19, 2014


Steven S. Hsiao, an internationally renowned researcher whose innovative experiments on how the brain perceives the shape, size and texture of three-dimensional objects could lead to the development of artificial limbs that can feel, died at The Johns Hopkins Hospital on June 16 of lung cancer. He was 59.

Released: June 18, 2014

Some cells in the retina pass off worn out parts to supporting cells for disposal


Biologists have long considered cells to function like self-cleaning ovens, chewing up and recycling their own worn out parts as needed. But a new study challenges that basic principle, showing that some nerve cells found in the eye pass off their old energy-producing factories to neighboring support cells to be “eaten.” The find, which may bear on the roots of glaucoma, also has implications for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other diseases that involve a buildup of “garbage” in brain cells.

Released: June 18, 2014

Star-shaped brain cells “eavesdrop” on neurons, but only when primed


A new study from The Johns Hopkins University shows that the brain cells surrounding a mouse’s neurons do much more than fill space. According to the researchers, the cells, called astrocytes because of their star-shaped appearance, can monitor and respond to nearby neural activity, but only after being activated by the fight-or-flight chemical norepinephrine. Because astrocytes can alter the activity of neurons, the findings suggest that astrocytes may help control the brain’s ability to focus.

Released: June 18, 2014


Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed and tested a vaccine that triggered the growth of immune cell nodules within pancreatic tumors, essentially reprogramming these intractable cancers and potentially making them vulnerable to immune-based therapies.

Released: June 17, 2014


The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Department of Art as Applied to Medicine is hosting the fifth annual Graphic Medicine Conference, to take place June 26 to June 28 in the Preclinical Teaching Building on the Johns Hopkins medical campus.

Released: June 16, 2014


Cancer clinicians and a chaplain at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed a new tool to help doctors, nurses and other health care providers talk to dying patients and families who are, literally, praying for a miracle.

Released: June 10, 2014


Using a type of human stem cell, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have created a three-dimensional complement of human retinal tissue in the laboratory, which notably includes functioning photoreceptor cells capable of responding to light, the first step in the process of converting it into visual images.

Released: June 9, 2014


Two early career physician-scientists, Peter de Blank and Matthew R. Steensma, have been named inaugural winners of the Francis S. Collins Scholars Program in Neurofibromatosis Clinical and Translational Research, sponsored by the Neurofibromatosis Therapeutic Acceleration Program (NTAP) at The Johns Hopkins University. The program will create a community of expert clinician-scientists and groom them to be leaders in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) research and clinical care. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on Tuesday, June 10, at the Whittemore House in Washington, D.C.

Released: June 6, 2014


Infants exposed to rodent and pet dander, roach allergens and a wide variety of household bacteria in the first year of life appear less likely to suffer from allergies, wheezing and asthma, according to results of a study conducted by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and other institutions.
 

Released: June 5, 2014


Utz Quality Foods Inc., Executive Chairman Michael Rice and his wife Jane, a breast cancer survivor, have donated $2 million toward a breast cancer survivorship program at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Released: June 4, 2014

"Transportation" may be at the heart of the disease


By studying laboratory mice, scientists at The Johns Hopkins University have succeeded in plotting the labyrinthine paths of some of the largest nerve cells in the mammalian brain: cholinergic neurons, the first cells to degenerate in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Released: June 1, 2014


Family and cultural pressures to conform to prescribed masculine behaviors create social isolation and distress that may drive young gay black men to seek approval and acceptance through perilous sexual behaviors, according to research led by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

Released: May 30, 2014


A compound in saliva, along with common proteins in blood and muscle, may protect human cells from powerful toxins in tea, coffee and liquid smoke flavoring, according to results of a new study led by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Released: May 29, 2014


A multicenter team of researchers report that a commercial test designed to rule out the presence of genetic biomarkers of prostate cancer may be accurate enough to exclude the need for repeat prostate biopsies in many — if not most — men.

Released: May 29, 2014

Results run counter to most studies comparing outcomes for blacks and whites


In a finding that runs counter to most health disparities research, Johns Hopkins researchers say that while younger black trauma patients are significantly more likely than whites to die from their injuries, black trauma patients over the age of 65 are 20 percent less likely to do so.

Released: May 28, 2014

Important resource for speeding research and diagnostic development


Striving for the protein equivalent of the Human Genome Project, an international team of researchers has created an initial catalog of the human “proteome,” or all of the proteins in the human body. In total, using 30 different human tissues, the team identified proteins encoded by 17,294 genes, which is about 84 percent of all of the genes in the human genome predicted to encode proteins.

Released: May 28, 2014


New Johns Hopkins research suggests that critically ill patients receiving steroids in a hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) are significantly more likely to develop delirium. Results of their research, they say, suggest minimizing the use of steroids could reduce delirium in the ICU.

Released: May 27, 2014

Understanding of mechanism could lead to new drug treatment


A genetic variant linked to sudden cardiac death leads to protein overproduction in heart cells, Johns Hopkins scientists report. Unlike many known disease-linked variants, this one lies not in a gene but in so-called noncoding DNA, a growing focus of disease research. The discovery, reported in the June 5 issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics, also adds to scientific understanding of the causes of sudden cardiac death and of possible ways to prevent it, the researchers say.

Released: May 22, 2014

Mouse studies suggest that blocking aid from white blood cells and stem cells could keep tumors contained


Working with mice, Johns Hopkins researchers report they have identified chemical signals that certain breast cancers use to recruit two types of normal cells needed for the cancers’ spread. A description of the findings appears in the online early May edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Released: May 22, 2014


What: 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. A total of 127 M.D. degrees, 132 Ph.D. degrees and 20 master’s degrees will be conferred.

Released: May 21, 2014


Sinisa Urban, Ph.D., a Howard Hughes Medical Institute early career scientist and an associate professor of molecular biology and genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has been named one of 10 finalists for a new national award for young researchers in the life sciences. The honor recognizes Urban’s work uncovering the mechanism of action for a notoriously difficult-to-study class of enzymes that are important to the functioning of an array of organisms, from bacteria to humans. If chosen, Urban will receive an unrestricted cash prize of $250,000, the largest of its kind for young faculty.

Released: May 20, 2014


Johns Hopkins researchers say they have developed a technique that can predict — with 95 percent accuracy — which stroke victims will benefit from intravenous, clot-busting drugs and which will suffer dangerous and potentially lethal bleeding in the brain.

Released: May 20, 2014

Project REACH earns national award


The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System is one of nine U.S. health care employers recognized May 15 as a 2014 Frontline Healthcare Worker Champion, an award given by CareerSTAT, an initiative of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and Jobs for the Future.

Released: May 20, 2014

Five other Johns Hopkins faculty members inducted into nearly 130-year-old organization


Paul B. Rothman, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, has been named president of the Association of American Physicians, a professional organization started in 1885 by seven doctors, one of whom was William Osler, a founder of The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Released: May 19, 2014


Baltimore-area commercial real estate developer Erwin L. Greenberg and his wife Stephanie Cooper Greenberg have pledged a $15 million gift to create the Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute. Their gift is part of a $45 million co-investment with Johns Hopkins University, which will draw on the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center’s multidisciplinary research teams, and will include faculty from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, the Brady Urologic Institute, and the Departments of Pathology and Surgery. 

Released: May 19, 2014


New animal studies by Johns Hopkins cardiovascular researchers strongly suggest that sildenafil, the erectile dysfunction drug sold as Viagra and now under consideration as a treatment for heart failure, affects males and females very differently.

Released: May 13, 2014

Finding likely to advance research in little-understood disorder


A group of researchers led by Johns Hopkins scientists say they have identified a genetic marker that may be associated with the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), whose causes and mechanisms are among the least understood among mental illnesses.

Released: May 13, 2014

Finding supports hypothesis that the immunological functions of mucous membranes throughout the body engage in cross talk in response to infection


Johns Hopkins researchers have found evidence in mice that a tuberculosis (TB) infection in the lungs triggers immune system signaling to the gut that temporarily decreases the diversity of bacteria in that part of the digestive tract.

Released: May 12, 2014

But don’t put down the Chianti yet: As-yet-unknown compounds in such foods may still be conferring health benefits, researchers say


A study of Italians who consume a diet rich in resveratrol — the compound found in red wine, dark chocolate and berries — finds they live no longer than and are just as likely to develop cardiovascular disease or cancer as those who eat or drink smaller amounts of the antioxidant.

Released: May 12, 2014


Children delivered by cesarean section and those given antibiotics during early infancy appear more prone to developing allergic inflammation of the esophagus — the muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach — according to results of a study by investigators from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and Harvard Medical School.

Released: May 8, 2014


Officials at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center today announced receipt of a $10 million gift from Under Armour Inc. to fund breast cancer, breast health support programs and a women’s wellness center. 

Released: May 8, 2014


Patients whose own red blood cells are recycled and given back to them during heart surgery have healthier blood cells better able to carry oxygen where it is most needed compared to those who get transfusions of blood stored in a blood bank, according to results of a small study at Johns Hopkins.

Released: May 7, 2014


One hundred and twenty-five years ago, on a sunny, pleasant May 7, 1889, a large crowd gathered in the rotunda beneath the great dome of The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Released: May 6, 2014

New building to serve as “entryway” to Kimmel Cancer Center


The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins will use a $65 million gift toward the construction of a new patient care building that will be named for the late Albert P. “Skip” Viragh, Jr., a Maryland mutual fund investment leader and philanthropist. A pancreas cancer patient treated at Johns Hopkins, Mr. Viragh died of the disease in 2003 at age 62.

Released: May 5, 2014

Using test to gauge readiness for discharge could help prevent rapid return to inpatient care, researchers say


Patients freshly discharged from acute care hospitals with low scores on a standard test that measures how well they perform such everyday activities as moving from a bed to a chair are far more likely to need readmission to a hospital within 30 days than those who score better, according to new Johns Hopkins research.

Released: May 5, 2014


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a contract to researchers at The Johns Hopkins University to launch a new center devoted to developing innovative ways to identify and track influenza viruses worldwide.

Released: May 1, 2014

Johns Hopkins research finds subclinical disease in half of those studied, but specialized imaging needed to detect it


Traditional first-line checks of such heart disease risk factors as cholesterol, blood pressure and smoking habits aren’t nearly good enough to identify cardiovascular disease in otherwise healthy, young firefighters, according to results of a small Johns Hopkins study.

Released: May 1, 2014

Long-acting formula reduces frequency of injections


Tests of a new long-acting version of one of the oldest multiple sclerosis (MS) drugs on the market show it worked significantly better than placebo in reducing the number of patient relapses and developments of new or active lesions, researchers report. Most important, they add, the updated version was effective even though injections were given every two weeks instead of every other day, and it appears that fewer patients develop resistance to it.

Released: May 1, 2014

Johns Hopkins researchers use stem cells derived from human body fat to deliver treatment for deadly glioblastoma in mice


Johns Hopkins researchers say they have successfully used stem cells derived from human body fat to deliver biological treatments directly to the brains of mice with the most common and aggressive form of brain tumor, significantly extending their lives.

Released: April 30, 2014

May also lead to new insights into congenital heart defects


A type of cell that builds mouse hearts can renew itself, Johns Hopkins researchers report. They say the discovery, which likely applies to such cells in humans as well, may pave the way to using them to repair hearts damaged by disease — or even grow new heart tissue for transplantation.

Released: April 30, 2014

Enzyme's double-edged sword may soon be sheathed


Johns Hopkins biochemists have figured out what is needed to activate and sustain the virus-fighting activity of an enzyme found in CD4+ T cells, the human immune cells infected by HIV. The discovery could launch a more effective strategy for preventing the spread of HIV in the body with drugs targeting this enzyme, they say.

Released: April 29, 2014

Work in mice advances potential for nanoparticles to treat brain cancer


Working together, Johns Hopkins biomedical engineers and neurosurgeons report that they have created tiny, biodegradable “nanoparticles” able to carry DNA to brain cancer cells in mice.

Released: April 24, 2014


Johns Hopkins researchers report that they have identified a protein essential to the formation of the tiny brain region in mice that coordinates sleep-wake cycles and other so-called circadian rhythms.

Released: April 24, 2014


Johns Hopkins researchers report they have figured out how the aptly named protein Botch blocks the signaling protein called Notch, which helps regulate development. In a report on the discovery, to appear online April 24 in the journal Cell Reports, the scientists say they expect the work to lead to a better understanding of how a single protein, Notch, directs actions needed for the healthy development of organs as diverse as brains and kidneys.
 

Released: April 23, 2014


Better-educated people appear to be significantly more likely to recover from a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), suggesting that a brain’s “cognitive reserve” may play a role in helping people get back to their previous lives, new Johns Hopkins research shows.

Released: April 23, 2014

Damage traced in part to dopamine transport system injury in brain cells


Johns Hopkins scientists report that rats exposed to high-energy particles, simulating conditions astronauts would face on a long-term deep space mission, show lapses in attention and slower reaction times, even when the radiation exposure is in extremely low dose ranges.

Released: April 22, 2014

Molecular inhibitor represents new treatment target for drugs to halt atherosclerosis


Working with mice and rabbits, Johns Hopkins scientists have found a way to block abnormal cholesterol production, transport and breakdown, successfully preventing the development of atherosclerosis, the main cause of heart attacks and strokes and the number-one cause of death among humans. The condition develops when fat builds inside blood vessels over time and renders them stiff, narrowed and hardened, greatly reducing their ability to feed oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle and the brain.

Released: April 18, 2014


Three Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers have been awarded two-year grants for their work on potential treatments for diabetes, Novo Nordisk announced this month.
 

Released: April 18, 2014


 
Men who show signs of chronic inflammation in non-cancerous prostate tissue may have nearly twice the risk of actually having prostate cancer than those with no inflammation, according to results of a new study led by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
Released: April 17, 2014

Studies carry implications for understanding cancer


Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered an unexpected phenomenon in the organs that produce sperm in fruit flies: When a certain kind of stem cell is killed off experimentally, another group of non-stem cells can come out of retirement to replace them.

Released: April 16, 2014

Findings may advance efforts to better manage the infection


A team of scientists led by Johns Hopkins and Stanford University researchers has laid the groundwork for understanding how variations in immune responses to Lyme disease can contribute to the many different outcomes of this bacterial infection seen in individual patients. A report on the work appears online April 16 in PLOS One.

Released: April 16, 2014

Johns Hopkins Children’s Center experts urge new parents to pay attention to baby’s poop color


Fecal color and consistency are well-known markers of digestive health in both children and adults, but paying attention to a newborn’s shade of poop can be a decided lifesaver in babies born with the rare, liver-ravaging disorder biliary atresia, commonly heralded by white or clay-colored stool.
 

Released: April 15, 2014


Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigators report they have designed a blood test that accurately detects the presence of advanced breast cancer and also holds promise for precisely monitoring response to cancer treatment.

Released: April 14, 2014


M. Daniel Lane, a Johns Hopkins biochemist renowned for his groundbreaking studies of the chemical processes within the human body that affect hunger, the feeling of fullness and obesity, as well as for his warmth and brilliance as a scientific mentor to generations of Hopkins researchers—including a future Nobel Prize winner—died at his Baltimore home on April 10 of myeloma. He was 83.

Released: April 10, 2014


Analyzing a national database of hospital inpatient records, a team of researchers reports an expected spike in mortality six days after cardiac surgery, but also a more surprising and potentially troubling jump in deaths at the 30-day mark.

Released: April 10, 2014


In experiments with mice, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have identified an enzyme involved in the regulation of immune system T cells that could be a useful target in treating asthma and boosting the effects of certain cancer therapies.

Released: April 10, 2014


Johns Hopkins-led research into genetic factors that cause kidney disease to progress faster in African-Americans than in whites has been selected as one of the top 10 clinical research achievements of 2013 by the Clinical Research Forum.

Released: April 10, 2014


Working with human neurons and fruit flies, researchers at Johns Hopkins have identified and then shut down a biological process that appears to trigger a particular form of Parkinson’s disease present in a large number of patients. A report on the study, in the April 10 issue of the journal Cell, could lead to new treatments for this disorder.

Released: April 9, 2014


The following announcements are related to awards that have been presented during the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2014, held in San Diego April 5-9, to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Released: April 9, 2014

Ramy El-Diwany is co-founder of the Charm City Clinic in East Baltimore


Ramy El-Diwany, a fifth-year M.D./Ph.D. student at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has won a 2014 Excellence in Public Health Award from the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Physician Professional Advisory Committee for his contributions to community health services.

Released: April 8, 2014

Research linked to stress in mice confirms blood-brain comparison is valid


Johns Hopkins researchers say they have confirmed suspicions that DNA modifications found in the blood of mice exposed to high levels of stress hormone — and showing signs of anxiety — are directly related to changes found in their brain tissues.

Released: April 8, 2014


Research in mice and human cell lines has identified an experimental compound dubbed TTT-3002 as potentially one of the most potent drugs available to block genetic mutations in cancer cells blamed for some forms of treatment-resistant leukemia. 

Released: April 7, 2014


What: Johns Hopkins public health and emergency preparedness experts will host the first national symposium designed to help health care providers and staff better prepare for and react to an “active shooter” in hospitals and other the health care settings. The “Active Shooter Incidents in Hospitals and Healthcare Settings” symposium will explore the legal, moral and ethical obligations of medical institutions and their staff to protect patients when such events occur.

Released: April 7, 2014

Johns Hopkins community to raise Donate Life flag as part of Flags Across Maryland campaign


Throughout the month of April, in celebration of National Donate Life Month, The Johns Hopkins Hospital will fly the Donate Life flag. The Flags Across Maryland campaign is designed to bring greater awareness to the plight of the nearly 3,000 people in Maryland on the waiting list for organ transplants. Donate Life flags will fly at venues across the state as part of a program sponsored by The Living Legacy Foundation, Maryland’s organ procurement organization, and Donate Life Maryland, which promotes the registration of organ donors.

Released: April 7, 2014


The American Association of Plastic Surgeons (AAPS) will give one of its two 2014 Academic Scholarship Awards to Amir Dorafshar, M.B.Ch.B., a  Johns Hopkins plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has helped pioneer facial transplants and rebuild the lives of adults and children disfigured by trauma and disease.

Released: April 4, 2014

Professors are among nine celebrated at Johns Hopkins Institute for Excellence in Education event


Today, the Johns Hopkins Institute for Excellence in Education (IEE) awarded nine educators for their outstanding teaching here at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The awards included the Martin D. Abelhoff Award for Lifetime Achievement in Medical and Biomedical Education, the Lisa J. Heiser Award for Junior Faculty Contribution in Education, and several other teaching awards and grants for educational projects.

Released: April 3, 2014

Many with dizziness and headaches sent home with missed diagnoses


Analyzing federal health care data, a team of researchers led by a Johns Hopkins specialist concluded that doctors overlook or discount the early signs of potentially disabling strokes in tens of thousands of American each year, a large number of them visitors to emergency rooms complaining of dizziness or headaches.

Released: April 2, 2014

Muscle weakness associated with physical impairments two years later


Patients have substantial physical impairments even two years after being discharged from the hospital after a stay in an intensive care unit (ICU), new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

Released: April 1, 2014


Working with mice and human blood and liver samples, scientists from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center have identified a previously unsuspected liver hormone as a critical player in the development of type 2 diabetes, a condition that affects nearly 26 million people in the United States and is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, as well as kidney, nerve and eye damage.

Released: April 1, 2014

Recommended presurgical psychological screening assessments largely ignored


In a report published in the April edition of the Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques, a Johns Hopkins team says that only 10 percent of orthopaedic surgeons and neurosurgeons follow professional guidelines recommending routine psychological screenings of patients prior to major surgery for severe back and leg pain.

Released: March 31, 2014


Men with long-term HIV infections are at higher risk than uninfected men of developing plaque in their coronary arteries, regardless of their other risk factors for coronary artery disease, according to results of a study led by Johns Hopkins researchers. A report on the research appears in the April 1 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Released: March 31, 2014


Johns Hopkins researchers say that an experimental anticancer compound appears to have reversed behaviors associated with schizophrenia and restored some lost brain cell function in adolescent mice with a rodent version of the devastating mental illness.

Released: March 27, 2014


Infectious disease specialists at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center have identified a protein that regulates the body’s immune response to cytomegalovirus (CMV), a common pathogen that causes lifelong infections and can lead to devastating illness in newborns and those with weakened immune systems.

Released: March 27, 2014


Johns Hopkins researchers have devised a computerized process that could make minimally invasive surgery more accurate and streamlined using equipment already common in the operating room.

Released: March 26, 2014

In mice, dietary changes slow down progression of the disease


Working with genetically engineered mice, Johns Hopkins neuroscientists report they have identified what they believe is the cause of the vast disintegration of a part of the brain called the corpus striatum in rodents and people with Huntington’s disease: loss of the ability to make the amino acid cysteine. They also found that disease progression slowed in mice that were fed a diet rich in cysteine, which is found in foods such as wheat germ and whey protein.

Released: March 26, 2014


In a series of studies involving 140 American men and women with liver tumors, researchers at Johns Hopkins have used specialized 3-D MRI scans to precisely measure living and dying tumor tissue to quickly show whether highly toxic chemotherapy – delivered directly through a tumor’s blood supply – is working.

Released: March 26, 2014


 In the immediate aftermath of hurricanes, floods and other disasters, it’s not uncommon for people to turn out in large numbers to assist victims, clear debris and chip in on dozens of other tasks to get a community back on its feet.

Released: March 24, 2014

Despite earlier promise, latency-reversing strategy designed to mop up tiny reservoirs of HIV doesn’t work with current compounds


Scientists at Johns Hopkins report that compounds they hoped would “wake up” dormant reservoirs of HIV inside immune system T cells — a strategy designed to reverse latency and make the cells vulnerable to destruction — have failed to do so in laboratory tests of such white blood cells taken directly from patients infected with HIV.

Released: March 20, 2014

“Overlay” of genetic and epigenetic maps described


Many diseases have their origins in either the genome or in reversible chemical changes to DNA known as the epigenome. Now, results of a new study from Johns Hopkins scientists show a connection between these two “maps.” The findings could help disease trackers find patterns in those overlays that could offer clues to the causes of and possible treatments for complex genetic conditions, including many cancers and metabolic disorders.
 

Released: March 20, 2014

Magnetic pull of MRI shown in zebrafish and in people with common inner-ear disturbance


Expanding on earlier research, Johns Hopkins researchers report that people with balance disorders or dizziness traceable to an inner-ear disturbance show distinctive abnormal eye movements when the affected ear is exposed to the strong pull of an MRI’s magnetic field.

Released: March 20, 2014

Insights at cellular level may explain patterns in developing embryos and how snails learn


Johns Hopkins biologists have discovered that when biological signals hit cells in rhythmic waves, the magnitude of the cells' response can depend on the number of signaling cycles — not their strength or duration. Because such so-called “oscillating signaling cycles” are common in many biological systems, the scientists expect their findings in single-celled organisms to help explain the molecular workings of phenomena such as tissue and organ formation and fundamental forms of learning.

Released: March 19, 2014


Using a powerful data-crunching technique, Johns Hopkins researchers have sorted out how a protein keeps defective genetic material from gumming up the cellular works. The protein, Dom34, appears to “rescue” protein-making factories called ribosomes when they get stuck obeying defective genetic instructions.

Released: March 19, 2014

On Friday, March 21, medical students from Johns Hopkins and around the country will celebrate Match Day and find out where they will launch their careers


The wait is almost over for 126 students who will soon graduate from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine: At noon on Friday, March 21, they will open the envelopes that let them know where they will spend the next chapter of their lives training for careers in the medical fields of their choosing.

Released: March 13, 2014

A novel protein may explain how biological clocks regulate human sleep cycles


In a series of experiments sparked by fruit flies that couldn’t sleep, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a mutant gene — dubbed “Wide Awake” — that sabotages how the biological clock sets the timing for sleep. The finding also led them to the protein made by a normal copy of the gene that promotes sleep early in the night and properly regulates sleep cycles.

Released: March 13, 2014

Research has implications for preventing cancer metastasis


Studying epithelial cells, the cell type that most commonly turns cancerous, Johns Hopkins researchers have identified a protein that causes cells to release from their neighbors and migrate away from healthy mammary, or breast, tissue in mice. They also found that deletion of a cellular “Velcro protein” does not cause the single-celled migration expected. Their results, they say, help clarify the molecular changes required for cancer cells to metastasize.

Released: March 11, 2014


The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine remains among the top medical schools in the United States, according to the 2015 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools.” In addition, The Johns Hopkins University is listed in the top tier of specialty rankings.

Released: March 5, 2014

Unusual process may also explain some dementias


Johns Hopkins researchers say they have found one way that a recently discovered genetic mutation might cause two nasty nervous system diseases. While the affected gene may build up toxic RNA and not make enough protein, the researchers report, the root of the problem seems to be snarls of defective genetic material created at the mutation site.

Released: March 5, 2014

FDA-approved anti-inflammatory drug tested on mice appears to prevent lifelong damage, Johns Hopkins-led research suggests


An inflammatory protein that triggers a pregnant mouse’s immune response to an infection or other disease appears to cause brain injury in her fetus, but not the premature birth that was long believed to be linked with such neurologic damage in both rodents and humans, new Johns Hopkins-led research suggests.

 
Released: March 4, 2014


Johns Hopkins public health and emergency preparedness experts will host the first national symposium designed to help health care providers and staff better prepare for and react to an “active shooter” in hospitals and other the health care settings.

Released: March 4, 2014

Johns Hopkins researchers identify set of genes that can be turned back on and potentially allow for more effective treatment


Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a set of genes that appear to predict which tumors can evade detection by the body’s immune system, a step that may enable them to eventually target only the patients most likely to respond best to a new class of treatment.

Released: March 4, 2014


An experimental drug aimed at restoring the immune system's ability to spot and attack cancer halted cancer progression or shrank tumors in patients with advanced melanoma, according to a multisite, early-phase clinical trial at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and 11 other institutions. All patients had experienced disease progression despite prior systemic therapies, and most had received two or more prior treatments.

Released: March 4, 2014


In a study that began in a pair of infant siblings with a rare heart defect, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a key molecular switch that regulates heart cell division and normally turns the process off around the time of birth. Their research, they report, could advance efforts to turn the process back on and regenerate heart tissue damaged by heart attacks or disease.

Released: February 28, 2014

Increased brain plasticity in motor cortex distinguishes poor sleepers from good ones


Johns Hopkins researchers report that people with chronic insomnia show more plasticity and activity than good sleepers in the part of the brain that controls movement.

Released: February 27, 2014

Jonathan Powell, Nita Ahuja and Chad Gordon recognized for technological advances


Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center Associate Professor Jonathan Powell, M.D., Ph.D., received the BioMaryland LIFE (Leading Innovative Faculty Entrepreneurs) award and $50,000 for his novel type 2 diabetes therapeutic agent at last week's annual Joint Meeting of the Johns Hopkins Alliance for Science and Technology Development and the University of Maryland, Baltimore Commercial Advisory Board. The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine's Nita Ahuja, M.D., an associate professor of surgery, and Chad Gordon, D.O., an assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery, each received an Abell Foundation prize of $50,000.

Released: February 25, 2014

DNA Shed by Tumors Shows Promise for Non-invasive Screening and Prognosis


Certain fragments of DNA shed by tumors into the bloodstream can potentially be used to non-invasively screen for early-stage cancers, monitor responses to treatment and help explain why some cancers are resistant to therapies, according to results of an international study led by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigators.

Released: February 24, 2014

Nanoparticles and magnetic fields train immune cells to fight cancer in mice


Using tiny particles designed to target cancer-fighting immune cells, Johns Hopkins researchers have trained the immune systems of mice to fight melanoma, a deadly skin cancer. The experiments, described on the website of ACS Nano, represent a significant step toward using nanoparticles and magnetism to treat a variety of conditions, the researchers say.

Released: February 20, 2014


Certain fragments of DNA shed by tumors into the bloodstream can potentially be used to non-invasively screen for early-stage cancers, monitor responses to treatment and help explain why some cancers are resistant to therapies, according to results of an international study led by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigators.

Released: February 20, 2014

Survival benefit remains even when cancer returns after successful treatment


People with late-stage cancer at the back of the mouth or throat that recurs after chemotherapy and radiation treatment are twice as likely to be alive two years later if their cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), new research led by a Johns Hopkins scientist suggests.

Released: February 19, 2014

Researchers scanned brains while musicians “traded fours


The brains of jazz musicians engrossed in spontaneous, improvisational musical conversation showed robust activation of brain areas traditionally associated with spoken language and syntax, which are used to interpret the structure of phrases and sentences. But this musical conversation shut down brain areas linked to semantics - those that process the meaning of spoken language, according to results of a study by Johns Hopkins researchers.

Released: February 18, 2014


The antidepressant drug citalopram, sold under the brand names Celexa and Cipramil and also available as a generic medication, significantly relieved agitation in a group of patients with Alzheimer's disease. In lower doses than those tested, the drug might be safer than antipsychotic drugs currently used to treat the condition, according to results of a clinical trial led by Johns Hopkins researchers that included seven other academic medical centers in the United States and Canada.

Released: February 18, 2014


Overweight and obese people who feel their physicians are judgmental of their size are more likely to try to shed pounds but are less likely to succeed, according to results of a study by Johns Hopkins researchers.

Released: February 17, 2014


Robert E. Cooke, M.D., who served for 17 years as the fourth director of the Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, former director of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, died on Feb. 2 at his Martha's Vineyard, Mass., home.

Released: February 14, 2014

Article cites potential to save money on end-of-life care, medical imaging and new drug prices


In a review article published Feb. 14 in The Lancet Oncology, Johns Hopkins experts identify three major sources of high cancer costs and argue that cancer doctors can likely reduce them without harm to patients. The cost-cutting proposals call for changes in routine clinical practice involved in end-of-life care, medical imaging and drug pricing.
Released: February 13, 2014


New research suggests that sedating patients before a nerve block needed to diagnose or treat chronic pain increases costs, risks and unnecessary surgeries, and sedation does nothing to increase patient satisfaction or long-term pain control.

Released: February 12, 2014


Johns Hopkins pediatric cardiologist and geneticist Hal Dietz, M.D., has been awarded the first Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine for his work identifying the cause and a treatment for Marfan syndrome.

Released: February 12, 2014

New Johns Hopkins study suggests test can indicate if intensive care is necessary


A Johns Hopkins study of patients with ischemic stroke suggests that many of those who receive prompt hospital treatment with "clot-busting" tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) therapy can avoid lengthy, restrictive monitoring in an intensive care unit (ICU).

Released: February 11, 2014

JAMA report finds kidney failure much less prevalent in donors than in general population


The risk of a kidney donor developing kidney failure in the remaining organ is much lower than in the population at large, even when compared with people who have two kidneys, according to results of new Johns Hopkins research.

Released: February 10, 2014


An 18-month pilot program that brought resources and counselors to elderly Baltimore residents with dementia and other memory disorders significantly increased the length of time they lived successfully at home, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. Staying at home was a clear preference for most of those who participated in the study.

Released: February 10, 2014

Discovery could advance treatments for obesity and other disorders


Studying a cycle of protein interactions needed to make fat, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered a biological switch that regulates a protein that causes fatty liver disease in mice. Their findings, they report, may help develop drugs to decrease excessive fat production and its associated conditions in people, including fatty liver disease and diabetes.

Released: February 6, 2014

Findings suggest similar origins of some cases of schizophrenia and autism in humans


Johns Hopkins researchers report that fetal mice — especially males — show signs of brain damage that lasts into their adulthood when they are exposed in the womb to a maternal immune system kicked into high gear by a serious infection or other malady. The findings suggest that some neurologic diseases in humans could be similarly rooted in prenatal exposure to inflammatory immune responses.

Released: February 6, 2014


Johns Hopkins scientists have developed three new Web-based software tools designed to help hospital emergency departments, first responder organizations and others model and prepare for major disasters, including flu outbreaks.

Released: February 5, 2014

Visits considered “window of opportunity” to ensure preventive care


Medical associations widely recommend that women visit their obstetricians and primary care doctors shortly after giving birth, but slightly fewer than half make or keep those postpartum appointments, according to a study by Johns Hopkins researchers.

Released: February 4, 2014


The 13th annual Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences was awarded to Gregg Semenza, M.D., Ph.D., for his contribution to discovering how cells sense and respond to low oxygen conditions.

Released: February 4, 2014


People seriously injured by violence are no more likely to die in the years after they are shot, stabbed or beaten than those who are seriously injured in accidents, Johns Hopkins researchers have found.

Released: February 3, 2014


Nearly half of HIV-infected teenagers and young adults forego timely treatment, delaying care until their disease has advanced, which puts them at risk for dangerous infections and long-term complications, according to a study led by the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

Released: February 3, 2014

Innovative approach causes less harm to brain, Johns Hopkins surgeons find


Johns Hopkins surgeons report they have devised a better, safer method to replace bone removed from the skull after lifesaving brain surgery. The new technique, they say, appears to result in fewer complications than standard restoration, which has changed little since its development in the 1890s.

Released: January 30, 2014


Physicians have long known that oxygen deprivation to the brain around the time of birth causes worse damage in boys than girls. Now a study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center conducted in mice reveals one possible reason behind this gender disparity and points to gender-specific mechanisms of brain repair following such injury.

Released: January 29, 2014


Members of the Trinidad and Tobago Health Science Initiative’s Diabetes Outreach Program joined the country’s Minister of Health Fuad Khan Tuesday in Port of Spain to celebrate the program’s achievements in fighting diabetes in Trinidad and Tobago.


 

Released: January 29, 2014


Preliminary results of a small clinical trial show that a vaccine used to treat women with high-grade precancerous cervical lesions triggers an immune cell response within the damaged tissue itself. The Johns Hopkins scientists who conducted the trial said the finding is significant because measuring immune system responses directly in the lesions may be a more accurate way to evaluate so-called "therapeutic" vaccines than by the conventional means of blood analysis.
Released: January 29, 2014


Fewer than one in two children and young adults treated for anxiety achieve long-term relief from symptoms, according to the findings of a study by investigators from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and five other institutions.

Released: January 29, 2014

Epilepsy drug also decreased obesity-related blood sugar levels


Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that valproic acid, a widely prescribed drug for treating epilepsy, has the additional benefits of reducing fat accumulation in the liver and lowering blood sugar levels in the blood of obese mice.

Released: January 28, 2014


Saudi Aramco, a fully integrated global energy and chemicals enterprise, and Johns Hopkins Medicine, a leading U.S. academic health system with extensive experience in elevating care delivery worldwide, today inaugurated a first-of-its-kind health care joint venture in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Released: January 27, 2014


The number of serious traumatic spinal cord injuries is on the rise in the United States, and the leading cause no longer appears to be motor vehicle crashes, but falls, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

Released: January 27, 2014


In normal development, all cells turn off genes they don’t need, often by attaching a chemical methyl group to the DNA, a process called methylation. Historically, scientists believed methyl groups could only stick to a particular DNA sequence: a cytosine followed by a guanine, called CpG. But in recent years, they have been found on other sequences, and so-called non-CpG methylation has been found in stem cells, and in neurons in the brain.

Released: January 23, 2014


Investigators at Johns Hopkins report they have developed human induced-pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) capable of repairing damaged retinal vascular tissue in mice. The stem cells, derived from human umbilical cord-blood and coaxed into an embryonic-like state, were grown without the conventional use of viruses, which can mutate genes and initiate cancers, according to the scientists. Their safer method of growing the cells has drawn increased support among scientists, they say, and paves the way for a stem cell bank of cord-blood derived iPSCs to advance regenerative medicine research.

Released: January 23, 2014

Finding may aid development of less addictive medications


Setting the stage for possible advances in pain treatment, researchers at The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland report they have pinpointed two molecules involved in perpetuating chronic pain in mice. The molecules, they say, also appear to have a role in the phenomenon that causes uninjured areas of the body to be more sensitive to pain when an area nearby has been hurt.

Released: January 23, 2014


Scientists at Johns Hopkins report they have figured out a key step in how “free” calcium — the kind not contained in bones — is managed in the body, a finding that could aid in the development of new treatments for a variety of neurological disorders that include Parkinson’s disease.

Released: January 23, 2014


In laboratory experiments conducted on  human cell lines at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, scientists have shown that people carrying certain mutations in two hereditary cancer genes, BRCA2 and PALB2, may have a higher than usual susceptibility to DNA damage caused by a byproduct of alcohol, called acetaldehyde.

Released: January 22, 2014


Allegheny Health Network and Johns Hopkins Medicine announced today that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to seek to establish a formal affiliation between Allegheny and the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, for clinical collaborations, medical education, and a broad range of cancer research initiatives.  Details of an initial five-year affiliation outlined in the MOU are expected to be finalized within the next few months, officials of the institutions say.

Released: January 22, 2014


Although the brain becomes smaller with age, the shrinkage seems to be fast-tracked in older adults with hearing loss, according to the results of a study by researchers from Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging. The findings add to a growing list of health consequences associated with hearing loss, including increased risk of dementia, falls, hospitalizations, and diminished physical and mental health overall.

Released: January 21, 2014


Using a simple study of eye movements, Johns Hopkins scientists report evidence that people who are less patient tend to move their eyes with greater speed. The findings, the researchers say, suggest that the weight people give to the passage of time may be a trait consistently used throughout their brains, affecting the speed with which they make movements, as well as the way they make certain decisions.

Released: January 15, 2014

Study shows safe and simpler treatment for potentially deadly, liver-damaging disease


Efforts to cure hepatitis C, the liver-damaging infectious disease that has for years killed more Americans than HIV/AIDS, are about to get simpler and more effective, according to new research at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere.

Released: January 13, 2014


Johns Hopkins scientists say a previously known but little studied chemical compound targets and shuts down a common cancer process. In studies of laboratory-grown human tumor cell lines, the drug disrupted tumor cell division and prevented growth of advanced cancer cells.

Released: January 10, 2014


The Johns Hopkins community gathered today to celebrate the civil and human rights and community service legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. A packed Turner Auditorium paid tribute to King’s memory and heard words of inspiration from a leader in the fields of education and civil rights.

Released: January 8, 2014


Producing brightly speckled red and green snapshots of many different tissues, Johns Hopkins researchers have color-coded cells in female mice to display which of their two X chromosomes has been made inactive, or “silenced.”

Released: January 7, 2014


Researchers at Johns Hopkins have zoomed in on what is going on at the molecular level when the body recognizes and defends against an attack of pathogens, and the findings, they say, could influence how drugs are developed to treat autoimmune diseases.
 

Released: January 6, 2014

And could make tarantula bites less painful


Mutations in small proteins that help convey electrical signals throughout the body may have a surprisingly large effect on health, according to results of a new Johns Hopkins study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in December using spider, scorpion and sea anemone venom.  
 

Released: January 6, 2014

He revolutionized the treatment of pediatric epilepsy and advanced the development of modern biomedical ethics


John M. Freeman, an internationally renowned Johns Hopkins pediatric neurologist and medical ethicist whose iconoclastic questioning of established medical practices revolutionized the treatment of pediatric epilepsy and advanced the development of modern biomedical ethics, died on Friday, Jan. 3, of cardiovascular disease. He was 80.
 

Released: January 6, 2014

Johns Hopkins research suggests meditation may reduce symptoms


Some 30 minutes of meditation daily may improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, a new Johns Hopkins analysis of previously published research suggests.

Released: January 6, 2014


Johns Hopkins will host the 32nd annual commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy in civil rights and community service this Friday, Jan. 10, at noon in Turner Auditorium on the East Baltimore campus.
 

Released: January 6, 2014

Ludwig Center at Johns Hopkins to receive $90 million in new funding


Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center will receive $90 million in new funding as part of a $540 million gift from Ludwig Cancer Research, on behalf of its founder Daniel K. Ludwig, to six U.S. institutions. The new award is among the largest for a single private gift to cancer research.

Released: January 2, 2014


Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigators have genetically engineered a new mouse that mimics a common form of leukemia in humans. Studying the model could lead to new understanding of the disease, they say.

Released: January 2, 2014


Seven pediatricians from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center have been elected to the prestigious Society for Pediatric Research (SPR) for their contributions to the study of childhood disease.

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