School of Medicine
M.D. & Ph.D. Students Partnering Toward Discovery
Students of the M.D. and Ph.D. programs gathered on September 17 for the inaugural Partnering Toward Discovery: Conversations on Research and Medicine seminar to address one of the toughest problems in medicine: the cure and prevention of HIV infections.
The goal of this seminar series is create synergy between the student communities and contribute to their professional development that will ultimately enhance science and medicine.
“When chocolate and peanut butter collide, something magical occurs,” said Dr. Roy Ziegelstein, Vice Dean of Education. “Here at Hopkins, we have an unbelievable opportunity to connect chocolate and peanut butter: basic research and clinical medicine.”
Fifth-year Ph.D. student Deidre Ribbens was excited about the opportunity to meet with peers in the M.D. program. “We spend so much time with other basic scientists. Having someone to talk to about the same research problems really gives you a new perspective,” she said. “This is the type of atmosphere that’s going to foster collaboration and the exchange of ideas.”
Third-year M.D. student Kate Miele agreed. “While we can definitely change the world independently, the impact will be much greater if we work together. Being aware that so much is happening on similar projects in such close proximity helps us to do more.”
The Partnering Toward Discovery series is monthly and will continue to showcase the research and patient care challenges of other topics in medicine. The next seminar is Conquering Cancer Treatment Resistance through Genetics.
To watch a video of the inaugural seminar or hear what students had to say about it, go here.
Bjornsson, Med '07, to receive prestigious Early Independence Award from NIH
Hans Tomas Bjornsson, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of genetics and pediatrics in the School of Medicine, has been chosen to receive a prestigious National Institutes of Health grant allocated for biomedical research projects that face significant challenges, but could lead to major health care payoffs. Bjornsson is among 78 grant recipients announced on September 20, 2013 under the High Risk-High Reward Program supported by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund.
Based in the School of Medicine’s McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Bjornsson's research group studies genetic disorders with epigenetic consequences. These disorders often affect proteins known as histones, which associate with DNA and can affect whether genes are turned “off” or “on.” The group’s particular focus is a rare disorder called Kabuki syndrome, which causes intellectual disability, immunological problems and distinctive facial features. Bjornsson is looking for ways to treat the disease by correcting a problem with chemical groups added to the histone tails.
“I’m very honored to have my group’s work supported by one of the High Risk-High Reward grants,” Bjornsson said. “These funds will further our study of Kabuki syndrome, which we hope may lead to treatments for other causes of intellectual disability as well.”
More information on the NIH High Risk-High Reward Research Program can be found here.
2013 Stethoscope Ceremony and Reception
On September 24, the Class of 2017 gathered to receive a welcoming gift - an engraved stethoscope. The ceremony, proudly sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Medical & Surgical Association (JHM&SA), sets the tone for the rest of their experience at Johns Hopkins. Alumni and faculty joined the celebration to share stories of their medical school experiences. One hundred nineteen students attended this event where they also had the chance to meet Paul Rothman, M.D., Dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dean Rothman congratulated each student after receiving their stethoscope and they took that opportunity to share a few words and chat with him as well.
In addition to Dean Rothman, the other speakers for the event were Roy Ziegelstein, M.D., Vice Dean for Education; Ralph Hruban, Med '85, President of the JHM&SA; Eileen (Patti) Vining, Med '72, Immediate Past President of JHM&SA; and Iredell Iglehart III, Med '83, JHM&SA Councilor. Also in attendance were Matthew Gornet, Med '87, and Valerie Ratts, Med '87, who were able to present their daughter with her stethoscope.
4 M.D.-Ph.D. students write to the editor of The Sun
U.S. must restore biomedical research funding
Effects of the sequester are devastating for young researchers and delay life-saving medical advances
The federal government is the main financier of biomedical research in America, and Congress is reneging its obligation to its constituents by cutting research funds. What this means for you, the taxpayers, is that fewer researchers may be studying and curing the diseases that affect you and your families, not just now, but also in the upcoming decades. We encourage you to urge your representatives to restore federal biomedical research funding.
To read the full article by Bipasha Mukherjee-Clavin, Carolina Montaño, Neil M. Neumann and Wan R. Yang, all MD-PhD students in the Hopkins Medical Scientist Training Program, click here.
To support biomedical research at the School of Medicine during this time of financial need, visit www.hopkinsmedicine.org/som/alumni/support.