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Current News Releases

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

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

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


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

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 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


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


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 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 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

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 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 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: 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: 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.

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