Reasons for Hope

Published in Hopkins Medicine - Winter 2022

In the dark days of winter, as we grind into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic in a world that on some days feels paralyzed by polarization, it is more important than ever, I have found, to be intentional in seeking out reasons for hope.

This issue — with feature articles about advances in tissue regeneration and the power that community health workers hold to improve the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors — should aid in that quest.

And, of course, there is nothing like the promise of new life to give us optimism for the future — emblemized by courageous patients like Alexandra Piselli, whose medical journey is captured in our cover story, and by the dozens of prepubertal girls who have frozen their ovarian tissue at Johns Hopkins over the last decade before embarking upon cancer treatment. As you’ll learn in “Timely Preservation,” fertility specialists including Johns Hopkins’ Mindy Christianson have now begun, in her words, “the next exciting step” — which is transplanting the tissue back in these young women.

Talk about a reason for hope!

To end on a further upbeat note, I’m pleased to share that Hopkins Medicine magazine has been honored with a bronze award for excellence from the Association of American Medical Colleges’ annual awards competition, in the periodicals category. The judges praised the magazine for “honest, transparent stories [that] are truly fascinating,” and noted, “This magazine is a model for informing your own community but also doing so in ways that are of interest to those beyond.”

Sue De Pasquale


In “Johns Hopkins Medicine at 25” (Fall), we incorrectly described Ronald Peterson’s tenure as president of the Johns Hopkins Health System. He remained president of the Health System through 2017. The magazine regrets the error.

Bridging the Divide

Could community health workers prove key to providing more effective health care to people living in racially minoritized communities? Lisa Cooper, Chidinma Ibe, Fabian Johnston and other leaders in health disparities research at Johns Hopkins offer a resounding “Yes!”

Tiffany Scott, left and Chidinma Ibe, right

Fresh Start

From growing replacement facial bones in the lab to creating cardiac tissues on a microchip, Johns Hopkins teams are moving ever closer to regenerating damaged body parts and equipping our bodies to fight off deadly diseases.

Illustration of a skull inside the outline of a head.

Timely Preservation

Johns Hopkins’ new Fertility Preservation Innovation Center offers patients everything from IVF and sperm banking to cutting-edge treatments like ovarian tissue freezing and reimplantation — options that are giving Alexandra Piselli and others hope for a fertile future.

Photo of a Piselli looking over a man's shoulder.