Hub Headlines from the Johns Hopkins news network Hub Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:07:00 -0500 JHU president releases statement on retirement of Md. Sen. Barbara Mikulski <p>Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels released a statement today about the career of Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who <a href="">announced this morning that this, her fifth term as a U.S. senator, would be her last</a>.</p> <p>Mikulski, 78, is a native of Baltimore's Highlandtown neighborhood and the longest-serving woman in the history of Congress, having been elected to the House of Representatives in 1976 before winning a Senate seat in 1987. She would have been up for re-election in 2016.</p> <p>Daniels praised Mikulski's "unshakable belief in the importance of supporting education, discovery, and innovation."</p> <p>His complete statement:</p> <blockquote> <p>"For more than four decades, Barbara Mikulski has worked with charisma, pragmatism, and relentless resolve on causes that range from quality education to the future of the national space program," Daniels said. "This city, this state, and this country have all benefitted from her hard work and practical approach to complicated policy issues.</p> <p>"Today, Maryland research institutions stand at the vanguard of their fields, in no small part because of Sen. Mikulski's unshakable belief in the importance of supporting education, discovery, and innovation. The results of this critical support will continue to unfold in extraordinary ways for years after she leaves office.</p> <p>"In a career that broke longstanding barriers, Sen. Mikulski never lost touch with her Baltimore roots or the people and institutions she represented in Congress. This state is lucky to have her as a forceful advocate on so many critical issues."</p> </blockquote> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:30:00 -0500 JHU Dance Marathon raises more than $44,000 for Johns Hopkins Children's Center <p>This weekend, hundreds of Johns Hopkins students hit the dance floor in the Glass Pavilion and raised more than $44,000 to support the <a href="">Johns Hopkins Children's Center</a> in the process.</p> <p>Dancers pledged to stay on their feet for an eight-hour dance marathon lasting into the morning hours of Saturday for the fifth annual <a href="">JHU Dance Marathon</a>, which had a theme of "Mission Possible." Their fundraising total—$44,407—surpassed last year's total of of $35,000 and will be used to fight pediatric illnesses.</p> <p>DJs, dancers, and an a cappella group provided spirited entertainment for the night, and a silent auction and raffle promised exciting prizes for the participants. Patients from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center danced alongside the students, and everyone on the dance floor anxiously awaited the reveal of the final fundraising total as the event drew to a close at 2 a.m.</p> <p>The proceeds from Dance Marathon will support a Child Life Specialist who will work in the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, a local branch of the Children's Miracle Network. Donations <a href="">can still be made online</a>; 100% of all contributions go to the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.</p> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 12:52:00 -0500 Men's lacrosse: No. 12 Johns Hopkins rallies, falls to Princeton in OT <p>The Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse team overcame a seven-goal first-quarter deficit to lead by two goals with less then eight minutes to play but <a href="">fell 16-15 in overtime against Princeton</a> in a wild, back-and-forth game at Homewood Field on Saturday afternoon.</p> <p>The No. 12 Blue Jays (2-3) surrendered the game's first seven goals and trailed 7-0 after 10 minutes of play. But JHU countered with a six-goal run of its own to get within 10-7 at halftime and took its first lead, at 13-12, with 9:16 to play on Ryan Browns third goal of the day. Joel Tinney pushed the Hopkins edge to two goals a minute and a half later, but the No. 18 Tigers rallied to force overtime on Ryan Ambler's score with seven seconds left.</p> <p>Princeton (3-0) got the game-winner from Gavin McBride with 1:07 remaining in the first overtime period, handing the Blue Jays their third loss in four games.</p> <p>Patrick Fraser paced a balanced attack with four goals for Johns Hopkins, which also got three goals apiece from Brown, Tinney, and Holden Cattoni. Wells Stanwick and John Crawley each had a goal and three assists.</p> <p>The Tigers got four goals from Kip Orban and three apiece from Ambler, McBride, and Mike MacDonald.</p> <p>JHU returns to action Saturday against Navy at Homewood Field at noon.</p> <p><strong>Also see:</strong> <a href="">Box score</a></p> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:08:00 -0500 Johns Hopkins ophthalmologist explains the science behind The Dress <p>Blue and black, or white and gold? That is the question, apparently.</p> <p>Yes, we are still talking about <a href="">The Dress</a>, if you can believe it (even though we are secretly convinced that the white/gold camp is just having a laugh at our expense—it's clearly blue and black).</p> <p>To (ahem) shed some light on this great color caper, we turned to <a href="">Neil Miller</a>, an ophthalmologist at the <a href="">Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute</a> (<a href="">HT @HopkinsMedicine</a>). His answer:</p> <blockquote> <p>"It has to do with the individual's color perception. Presumably, the cones—the photoreceptors in the retina—that see the primary colors (red, blue, and green) either are functioning differently in different individuals or the information that gets to the area of the brain that interprets color (V4) is interpreted differently by different individuals.</p> <p>"What is interesting in either regard is that apparently people see the dress either as black/blue or white/gold—nothing in between. Thus, there must be a very consistent difference between these two groups, whether at the retinal level or at the level of the cerebral cortex."</p> </blockquote> <p>So there you have it—it's all in the eye of the beholder, which means we're all correct! Go us!</p> <p>Oooh, look—<a href="">more llama videos</a>!</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>What Colors Are This Dress?&#10;<a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) <a href="">February 26, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script> <p><script type="text/javascript" src=""></script><a class="OPP-powered-by" href="" style="text-decoration:none;"></p> survey solutions <p></a></p> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:10:00 -0500 Johns Hopkins student's photography explores South Pacific's 'vanishing islands' <p>Johns Hopkins University's Milton S. Eisenhower Library hosts a new photography exhibition in its Q-level gallery entitled <em>In Wake: Rising Seas, Vanishing Islands</em>. The photographs, taken by senior Justin Falcone, document the rapidly changing human geography of the southern Pacific Ocean.</p> <p>Falcone says he is dedicated to furthering an understanding of the past and present implications of environmental change and has long been interested in the advocacy applications of photography and geospatial technologies. He sailed between Tahiti, the Marquesas, Kiribati, and Hawaii in the spring of 2013 and investigated the sociocultural implications of water scarcity on island communities as part of his research for JHU's <a href="">Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program</a>. The program awards $10,000 in funding each year to select freshmen in the School of Arts and Sciences to pursue a four-year research project of the student's design.</p> <p>The exhibition, which will be on display through mid-March, challenges traditional conceptions of the South Pacific as paradise. Instead, the photos depict the dynamic reality of living by the ocean as sea levels rise as a result of environmental change.</p> <p>"There is a certain irony in statistically representing environmental change, in sanitizing for public consumption places that are left off many maps—and will be left off every map should sea levels continue to rise as projected," Falcone says.</p> <p>Indeed, Pahoa, Hawaii, where he worked on an organic farm for several months, has already been dramatically altered by the Kilauea volcano.</p> <p>"Living in the shadow of other volcanoes, Etna and Vesuvius, I've found images that capture the poetics of volcanic destruction powerful in distilling a sense of the quite literally explosive relationship humans can have with the environment," he adds.</p> <p>Falcone's exhibition references French post-impressionist Paul Gauguin, whose paintings depict indigenous cultures in the South Pacific in the late 19th century. Although the exhibition title refers to the rising seas, it also plays on the troublesome anthropological trope of the "vanishing native." Recognizing the history of the South Pacific to be one of movement and migration, Falcone attempts to re-characterize the South Pacific in the wake of Gauguin's iconic paintings, which depict the region as an exotic tourist destination.</p> <p>Falcone took a particular interest in the island nation of Kiribati during his research. Many geologists and environmental scientists estimate that by the year 2050 the island nation will be completely submerged.</p> <p>Falcone's project was exemplary in its "study of those communities particularly at risk due to climate change and rising sea levels," says Ami Cox, administrator of the Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program.</p> <p>"'In the Wake' is a powerful expression of Justin's journey and allows viewers to experience the beauty, the heartbreak, and the hope he has discovered along the way."</p> <p>When Falcone returned home from his expedition, he launched <a href="">Project Kiribati</a>, the first international initiative designed to support a sustainable clean water infrastructure for the low-lying island nation. The group worked to supply medical equipment, vitamins, and water purification tablets to individuals living in Kiribati. The effort is an offshoot of the <a href="">Alliance for Clean Water</a> (ACWa), a Johns Hopkins student group founded by Falcone that is dedicated to the protection of clean water in natural and urban environments.</p> <p>Falcone, who is currently studying environmental archaeology and minoring in global environmental change, is also the recipient of a 2014 Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which awards grant funding for future graduate study to 59 nominees nationally. He was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to utilize GIS mapping and satellite imagery analysis in the study of coastal environmental change at the USC Wrigley Institute of Environmental Studies on Catalina Island.</p> <p>This past winter, he joined Johns Hopkins archaeologist Michael Harrower on a NASA-funded project in Oman investigating the water histories of southern Arabia, and has also investigated water scarcity in the Mediterranean region. This research, advised by Harrower, forms his departmental honors thesis. <em>In the Wake</em> is a component of his thesis in the Humanities Center Honors Program. He is also developing a patented environmental technology with the <a href="">Social Innovation Lab</a>.</p> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:35:00 -0500 Dedication, defense lift Blue Jays men's basketball team to new heights <p>Last season, the Johns Hopkins men's basketball team made T-shirts that read "Anticipate and Suffocate."</p> <p>The pithy slogan encapsulated and reinforced the team's new defensive philosophy, which asks each player to hyper-focus on the ball and worry less about the man he's guarding. In the system, defenders rotate to ball movement and then "suffocate" the opponent in possession in an attempt to stymy the other team's offensive options and create turnovers. The system, says its chief architect Jeff Eakins, is largely built on trust.</p> <p>"It's basically a help defense where you jump to the ball, and you're counting on your teammate to make the right rotation and choke off passing lanes," says Eakins, the team's defensive coordinator who previously coached in the NBA Development League for the Idaho Stampede, then affiliated with the Portland Trail Blazers. "I told [the players] to think of it like five against the ball, where you know where the ball is at all times."</p> <p>Eakins and JHU head coach Bill Nelson say the team suffered some growing pains as the players learned to implement the new principles. The Blue Jays started last season losing six of it first 10 games. Players missed assignments and perhaps reacted a hair too slow. But then it all clicked. The team went 13-4 the rest of the way, earning a bid to the Division III NCAA tournament for the first time in seven years.</p> <p>The winning ways spilled over to the current season, in which the Blue Jays hold a 22-3 record and are currently ranked 11th in the nation among Division III teams. Defensively, the Blue Jays are 10th in DIII in points allowed, permitting just 59.2 points per game heading into this weekend's Centennial Conference tournament. Host Johns Hopkins, the tournament's top seed, will take on Gettysburg (15-11) at 8 p.m. Friday at Goldfarb Gym. Dickinson (20-5) and Franklin & Marshall (20-5) will square off in the first semifinal at 6 p.m., and the winners will meet Saturday at 7 p.m. to determine the conference tournament champion.</p> <p>Nelson, now in his 29th year as JHU's coach, attributes the team's success this season to the players' continued commitment to tenacious defense and a special solidarity among the members of an experienced roster full of upperclassmen. The Blue Jays have four seniors and six juniors, and guard Jimmy Hammer and forward George Bugarinovic—arguably JHU's two best players—have played together for four years.</p> <p>"Our team has improved each year as this group has matured," Nelson says. "At this level, you often win with juniors and seniors. Sure, at a place like Kentucky you can win with elite-level young players, but this is a different animal. We also have an extremely close-knit group, and they're clearly having fun playing with each other."</p> <p>Nelson says it's not unusual for players to stay late after practice to play pickup games and just enjoy one another's company. The seniors in particular, Nelson has noticed, dig a little deeper during practice.</p> <p>Nelson pointed to an early season home loss to rival Franklin & Marshall as a turning point in the team's season. In the 60-51 loss, sophomore forward Ryan Curran came off the bench and made an immediate impact, scoring nine points and grabbing three steals in 18 minutes.</p> <p>"That was a telling change for us, where we decided to stick Ryan in the starting rotation," Nelson says.</p> <p>The Blue Jays then went on a school-record 17-game winning streak, picking off three nationally ranked teams in the process, including a 50-46 victory against then-16th-ranked Franklin & Marshall on the Diplomats' home court.</p> <p>The streak came to an end on Feb. 14 with a heartbreaking 59-57 road loss to ninth-ranked Dickinson. The game featured 11 lead changes and went down to the final seconds. With the score tied at 57 and less than 30 seconds remaining, Nelson wanted to play for the last shot and called a timeout to set up the offense. But an ensuing turnover gave the ball to Dickinson, which hit two free throws for a two-point win.</p> <p>"I'll take [the blame] for that one," Nelson says. "I called perhaps the worst timeout in my life to screw things up down the stretch. It was a disappointment, but the team responded well, winning the next two games to finish out the season."</p> <p>Nelson says the current roster is perhaps his most talented group since the 2006-2007 season, when the Blue Jays won a school-record 24 games and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.</p> <p>In recent years, Nelson says he's adjusted his coaching methods some. Of note, he shortened practice, and the team rarely scrimmages. He wants to keep his players healthy and their legs fresh for games. The freshness has come in handy with the team's defensive approach, which requires a committed effort.</p> <p>Nelson says that when longtime assistant coach Bob McCone resigned, he saw an opportunity to try something different. He came across the website for the International Basketball Academy, a training program run by Eakins and his father, "Jumbo" Jim Eakins, who played a combined 10 years in the ABA and NBA.</p> <p>Nelson says he originally just wanted to pick Eakins' brain for new ideas, but the two quickly hit it off.</p> <p>"Jeff has brought to the team a different approach," he says. "We've always had a strong defense, now we're just doing it in a different way."</p> <p>Nelson says the team has also relied on the leadership of plays like Hammer, the team's leading scorer at 15.1 points per game who recently became the program's all-time leader in career three-pointers, passing Andy Enfield.</p> <p>Hammer says he senses more urgency in this year's team coupled with an enhanced work ethic.</p> <p>"Our offseason workouts were a lot more competitive," he says. "In practice, we compete that much harder. I know I've gotten bigger and stronger. I was like 106 pounds my freshman year, so I had to get bigger to be able to battle with everyone else, and this is a very physical conference."</p> <p>Hammer agrees with Nelson that the players have gotten better individually. He mentions the stellar play of teammate George Bugarinovic, who was recently named a third team Academic All-American and is a three-time All-Centennial Conference selection. Bugarinovic leads the team in rebounds (7.2), field goals made (135), and free throw attempts (96), and he ranks second in scoring (13.6), field goal percentage (.549), steals (32), and blocks (21). He has also posted six double-doubles this season, with four of those coming in the last six games.</p> <p>As for the team's high-energy defense, Hammer says the extra conditioning has paid off. Now he wants to put an exclamation mark on his collegiate basketball career.</p> <p>"I realize this is all coming to an end, so I want to go out with a bang and win the conference championship and make a deep run in the NCAAs," Hammer says.</p> <p>He says the team found a new level of confidence when it upset the 4th-ranked Dickinson Red Devils 67-54 at home.</p> <p>"We had a very happy locker room after that one," he says. "And we've been excited to see ourselves moving up in the top 25 standings."</p> <p>Nelson says the team has put itself into a great position to win an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, but he's hoping to earn an automatic bid and a high seed.</p> <p>"We don't want to look beyond the next game," he says.</p> <p>He's hoping for a few more games to anticipate and suffocate.</p> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:15:00 -0500 Refreshingly offbeat selections headline 19th Johns Hopkins Film Festival <p>Julia Gunnison and Ian McMurray won't say anything about one particular film in the <a href="">2015 Johns Hopkins Film Festival</a>.</p> <p>Both Gunnison and McMurray, the co-directors of the <a href="">Johns Hopkins Film Society</a> and chief curators of the festival, name the film their favorite, the one they both agreed <em>had</em> to be in the festival. All they will say is that it's a short film from British writer/director Ben Steiner, an up-and-coming horror auteur whose 2008 short <a href=""><em>The Flea</em></a> offers one of the more unsettling and tense ways to spend eight minutes. McMurray, a senior <a href="">film and media studies</a> major, says Steiner's 2015 HFF entry, <em>The Stomach</em>, is "like a supernatural crime sort of thing." (<a href="">Watch the trailer</a>).</p> <p>Steiner's short is included in the "A Death in the Family" shorts program, a new entry in this 19th edition of the festival, which kicks off Thursday at the Charles Theatre with Charlie Chaplin's silent film <em>The Kid</em> and runs through Sunday at Shriver Hall.</p> <p>Last year the film festival <a href="">moved up to February</a> from its previous April runs, and the curators used a Valentine's Day start date as inspiration for a love and romance theme. This year, Gunnison says, organizers wanted the submitted films to complement the 35-mm retrospective films that anchor each festival night. What they came up with is an engaging and novel look back at classic Hollywood eras, with the festival submissions providing a snapshot of film's present and future.</p> <p>"One thing that is special about our fest is that we try to get films from filmmakers that are starting out in their careers," says Gunnison, a sophomore film and media studies major. "Maybe it's their first film or first feature. So when we're trying to think of a way that we could integrate the submissions that we received into a theme, at first, I thought 'the birth of film.' That sounds kind of silly, and then would we just show a bunch of silent movies."</p> <p>In all, they received 120 shorts and features, narrative and documentary, live action and animation, from all over the world. They accepted 26 films for the festival—mostly shorts, plus a narrative feature (the comedy <a href=""><em>Progression</em></a>, which will be screened at 4 p.m. Sunday) and a few feature-length documentaries. And starting with <em>The Kid</em>, each 35-mm retrospective film in the lineup represents a filmmaking era: silent films, golden age Hollywood (David Lean's <em>Lawrence of Arabia</em>, 6 p.m., Friday), new Hollywood (John Boorman's <em>Deliverance</em>, 9 p.m., Saturday), and the 1990s explosion of independent filmmaking (Paul Thomas Anderson's <em>Magnolia,</em> Sunday, 6 p.m.). A <a href="">full schedule</a> is available online.</p> <p>It's a refreshingly offbeat approach to film history's familiar narrative. Choosing a Chaplin film to represent the silent era isn't exactly cavalier, but going with <em>The Kid</em> (1921) over the usual <em>City Lights</em>, <em>Modern Times</em>, or <em>The Gold Rush</em> provides the opportunity to see Chaplin's feature debut as his iconic Tramp character.</p> <p>That idiosyncratic approach runs through the retrospective curatorial choices.</p> <p>"We wanted to not choose the most obvious examples," Gunnison says, mentioning they brought up <em>Singin' in the Rain</em> for golden age Hollywood before going with the more visually stunning <em>Lawrence of Arabia</em>. "It looks amazing on the big screen, and it's probably underseen at this point, especially by college students. I think the same goes for <em>Deliverance</em>. It looks amazing and it's especially startling."</p> <p>"We're really excited about [these films] because the point of showing films on the film medium and on the big screen is because that's where they look and sound their best," McMurray adds, pointing out that the dark and edgy <em>Deliverance</em> often gets overlooked in the 1960s and 1970s new Hollywood era in favor of usual signposts such as <em>Bonnie and Clyde</em> or <em>The Graduate</em>. "We were trying to think of films that were made in these eras that couldn't have been made in different eras."</p> <p>The approach frames the fest's submitted shorts and features as examples of filmmaking's sprawling current era. The lineup includes two much-talked-about documentaries—<a href="">Billie Mintz's</a> <em>Jesus Town, USA</em> (Saturday, 2:30 p.m.), a look at the people of a small Oklahoma town that has staged an annual Passion Play since 1926, and Melissa Donovan's <a href=""><em>Zemene</em></a> (Sunday, 11:30 a.m.), a portrait of a young Ethiopian girl dealing with a spinal condition.</p> <p>Films come from as far away as Europe (Madrid-based Belgian filmmaker <a href="">Jean-Julien Collette's</a> short <em>Electric Indigo</em>) and Australia (Melbourne filmmaker Mark Day's narrative short <em>The Suburbs Go On Forever</em>), as well as from Baltimore (Khalid Ali's documentary <em>Kung Fu Lesson</em>). The films have been feted abroad (Oren Gerner's <em>Greenland</em> <a href="">earned a prize</a> at the San Sebastian International Film Festival), and some are making big splashes with seemingly very little (22-year-old Iranian director <a href="">Saman Hosseinpuor's</a> short <em>1-0</em> occupies all of one minute of screen time).</p> <p>And some, like Steiner's <em>The Stomach</em>, Gunnison and McMurray just want people to see.</p> <p>"This is an opportunity to see a different kind of film," Gunnison says, pointing out that in this day and age it's too easy to assume all media lives somewhere online. Most of these films don't. "People who come to our festival won't see these films any other way."</p> <p><em>The Johns Hopkins Film Festival runs Thursday through Sunday. Single screening tickets $5, day pass $10, weekend pass $20; admission is free for Johns Hopkins students, faculty, and employees with valid Hopkins I.D. for all films except Chaplin's</em> The Kid <em>at the Charles.</em></p> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:01:00 -0500 Researchers look to Twitter to better understand vaccine refusal <p>A Johns Hopkins computer scientist is part of a team of researchers that has developed a new way to understand vaccine refusal by studying an unlikely resource: Twitter.</p> <p>The researchers will combine Twitter analyses with traditional survey techniques to study why people refuse vaccines and how these reasons vary among communities. The focus on vaccination is particularly timely, with a severe flu season underway and recent well-publicized outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses, including a measles outbreak that has sickened people in 17 states and Washington, D.C., and several cases of mumps among National Hockey League players.</p> <p><a href="">Mark Dredze</a>, assistant research professor in the <a href="">Department of Computer Science</a> at Johns Hopkins University, will develop new computer algorithms to support the team's research.</p> <p>"We hope to gain insights into people's reasoning about vaccines by automatically processing millions of Twitter messages," Dredze said.</p> <p>Dredze has previously worked on studies that analyzed tweets to help track flu outbreaks and mental illness trends. He will use similar techniques to help researchers from two other universities—George Washington and Georgia—gather data on messages mentioning concerns about vaccines.</p> <p>"People really do tweet about everything, and conversations about vaccines are no exception," said David Broniatowski, assistant professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the George Washington University, who will co-lead the study on vaccine refusal patterns. "Parents and patients freely share their fears and concerns about vaccines. While it typically takes years to collect meaningful information about why people refuse vaccines, using surveys and searching Twitter brings immediate results."</p> <p>Added Karen Hilyard, assistant professor in the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia, who also will lead the study: "Survey data tend to draw from older, white, rural households, whereas younger, urban minorities are overrepresented on Twitter. These two techniques complement each other perfectly."</p> <p>Since receiving a grant last month, Broniatowski, Hilyard, and Dredze have already analyzed millions of tweets to gather information on sentiment toward flu vaccinations. The team identified tweets, geo-located the messages, and compared their findings to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System. Their results show that states with a higher number of residents who received the flu shot had a higher number of vaccine-positive messages on Twitter.</p> <p>"This was really surprising and exciting," Hilyard said. "It shows that we can get this type of information from Twitter faster, cheaper, and more easily. Frankly, it's a game changer when it comes to health surveys, especially as we dig deeper to examine more complex attitudes and beliefs among different demographic groups."</p> <p>Using social media to reveal thinking about vaccines in real time will help health officials to better respond to the next outbreak, saving lives and keeping people healthy. It will also be a boon for science, helping researchers quickly home in on those tough questions that need further examination.</p> <p>"The dream would be to get ahead of the next outbreak," Broniatowski said. "How can we take what we learn here and better educate parents about the merits of vaccines and other public health decisions that seem risky? If we could do that, then hopefully we'd be able to prevent the next measles outbreak."</p> <p>Other researchers in the study include co-investigators Eili Klein, assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Joshua Epstein, professor of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins; and a consultant, Sandra Quinn, professor of family science at the University of Maryland. The award was funded by a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.</p> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 10:43:00 -0500 Scientists trap electron twisters to keep supercurrents flowing at top speed <p>Superconductor materials are prized for their ability to carry an electric current without resistance, but this valuable trait can be crippled or lost when electrons swirl into tiny tornado-like formations called vortices. These disruptive mini-twisters often form in the presence of magnetic fields, such as those produced by electric motors.</p> <p>To keep supercurrents flowing at top speed, Johns Hopkins scientists have figured out how to constrain troublesome vortices by trapping them within extremely short, ultra-thin nanowires. Their discovery was <a href="">reported last week in the journal <em>Physical Review Letters</em></a>.</p> <p>"We have found a way to control individual vortices to improve the performance of superconducting wires," said <a href="">Nina Markovic</a>, an associate professor in the <a href="">Department of Physics and Astronomy</a> in the university's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.</p> <p>Many materials can become superconducting when cooled to a temperature of nearly 460 below zero F, which is achieved by using liquid helium.</p> <p>The new method of maintaining resistance-free current within these superconductors is important because these materials play a key role in devices such MRI medical scanners, particle accelerators, photon detectors, and the radio frequency filters used in cell phone systems. In addition, superconductors are expected to become critical components in future quantum computers, which will be able to do more complex calculations than current machines.</p> <p>Wider use of superconductors may hinge on stopping the nanoscopic mischief that electron vortices cause when they skitter from side to side across a conducting material, spoiling the zero-resistance current. The Johns Hopkins scientists say their nanowires keep this from happening.</p> <p>Markovic, who supervised the development of these wires, said other researchers have tried to keep vortices from disrupting a supercurrent by "pinning" the twisters to impurities in the conducting material, which renders them unable to move.</p> <p>"Edges can also pin the vortices, but it is more difficult to pin the vortices in the bulk middle area of the material, farther away from the edges," she said. "To overcome this problem, we made a superconducting sample that consists mostly of edges: a very narrow aluminum nanowire."</p> <p>These nanowires, Markovic said, are flat strips about one-billionth as wide as a human hair and about 50 to 100 times longer than their width. Each nanowire forms a one-way highway that allows pairs of electrons to zip ahead at a supercurrent pace.</p> <p>Vortices can form when a magnetic field is applied, but because of the material's ultra-thin design, "only one short vortex row can fit within the nanowires," Markovic said. "Because there is an edge on each side of them, the vortices are trapped in place and the supercurrent can just slip around them, maintaining the resistance-free speed."</p> <p>The ability to control the exact number of vortices in the nanowire may produce additional benefits, physics experts say. Future computers or other devices may someday use vortices instead of electrical charges to transmit information, they say.</p> <p>The lead author of the <em>Physical Review Letters</em> article was Tyler Morgan-Wall, a doctoral student in Markovic's lab. Along with Markovic, the co-authors were Benjamin Leith, who was an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins when the research took place; Nikolaus Hartman, a graduate student; and Atikur Rahman, who was a postdoctoral fellow in Markovic's lab.</p> <p>This research was support by National Science Foundation grants.</p> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 08:40:00 -0500 Johns Hopkins mourns death of Peabody Institute undergraduate student <p>The Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute is mourning the death of an undergraduate student who was studying recorder at the school.</p> <p>Christine Chen, a native of Taiwan, was found dead Sunday in her dorm room on the conservatory's campus in Baltimore's Mount Vernon neighborhood, Dean Fred Bronstein wrote in a message to the Peabody community on Sunday afternoon. She was 22.</p> <p>Bronstein said he had been in contact with Chen's family members in Taiwan and with an aunt and uncle who live in the United States.</p> <p>"This loss comes as a great shock to the entire Peabody community, and our deepest sympathies are extended to Christine's family, her friends, and her colleagues in the Early Music department," he wrote. "Christine had many friends at Peabody and around the world. Devoted to music and to her studies here, she recently performed a solo recital in her hometown of Kao-Hsiung, Taiwan. She is remembered for her kindness, her enthusiasm, and her ready smile."</p> <p>Peabody officials are working with the police as a matter of standard practice, and with the Medical Examiner's office and JHU health experts to determine the cause of death and ensure the safety of students.</p> <p>"I am deeply saddened to have lost one of our Peabody family, too soon," Bronstein added. "I know that this loss will be a difficult one for us all to bear, and I know that we as a community will be helpful and supportive of each other in the days and weeks ahead."</p> Sun, 22 Feb 2015 13:03:00 -0500 Men's lacrosse: No. 9 Johns Hopkins can't catch up at No. 4 UNC <p>North Carolina senior attackmen Jimmy Bitter and Joey Sankey each scored the 100th goals of their careers, and the fourth-ranked <a href="">Tar Heels held on for a 13-11 win against Johns Hopkins on Saturday afternoon in Chapel Hill, N.C.</a>.</p> <p>Bitter and Sankey combined for seven goals and four assists for the Tar Heels (4-0), who built leads of 5-1 and 12-7 before a late JHU rally.</p> <p>The No. 9 Blue Jays (2-2) got three goals from Ryan Brown and two apiece from Shack Stanwick and John Crawley. Goalkeeper Eric Schneider made eight saves for Johns Hopkins, which outshot UNC 42-38 and owned a 38-33 edge in ground balls.</p> <p>JHU returns to action Saturday against Princeton at 1 p.m. at Homewood Field.</p> <p><strong>Also see:</strong> <a href="">Box score</a></p> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 15:45:00 -0500 Featured events <h5>March 7</h5> <p>The Hopkins Symphony Orchestra presents the Hubble-inspired <em>Cosmic Dust</em>, a piece it co-commissioned (see story, in the March/April issue of <em>The Gazette</em>), Ravel's <em>Mother Goose</em> Suite, and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor. Clipper Erickson is the guest pianist; Jed Gaylin conducts. $12, $10 seniors, non-JHU students, and JHU faculty/staff/alums, free for JHU students; <a href=""></a>. 8 p.m. Shriver Hall, Homewood.</p> <h5>March 3</h5> <p>Author and architect Charles Belfoure will read from and discuss his debut novel, <em>The Paris Architect</em>, which takes place during the German occupation of France and centers on a successful architect who accepts a commission to build a hiding place for a wealthy Jew. 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble Johns Hopkins.</p> <h5>March 10</h5> <p>April Ryan, chief White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, reads from her book <em>The Presidency in Black and White</em>, a look at race relations in America from her vantage point in the White House, her beat since 1997. 7 p.m. Barnes & Noble Johns Hopkins.</p> <h5>March 28</h5> <p>The start of spring brings the first session of a five-part gardening class presented by Gertrude's chef John Shields and farm manager Jon Carroll. Hands-on gardening workshops, cooking demonstrations, a chef's tour of the Waverly farmers' market, and a fall harvest luncheon at Gertrude's are planned. $110, $90 museum members; details and registration at 410-516-0341. 9:30 a.m. Evergreen Museum & Library.</p> <h5>March 31</h5> <p>Novelist, short story writer, and essayist Aleksander Hemon, author of <em>The Book of My Lives, The Question of Bruno, Nowhere Man, The Lazarus Project,</em> and <em>Love and Obstacles</em>, speaks as part of the President's Reading Series: <em>Literature of Social Import</em>. Hemon grew up in Sarajevo but has lived in the United States since his country came under siege in 1992 while he was visiting the U.S. as a tourist. 6:30 p.m. 26 Mudd, Homewood.</p> <h5>April 12</h5> <p>A concert titled "Around the World With the Pipe Organ" with John Walker pairs works by composers from different countries: Bach (Germany) and Fela Sowande (Nigeria), Franck (France) and Georgi Muschel (Russia), Paul Halley (England) and Jan Pieterszoon Sweeliinck (Holland). $15, $10, $5; tickets at 410-234-4800. 4 p.m. Leith Symington Griswold Hall, Peabody.</p> <h5>April 13</h5> <p>David Plouffe, a political strategist best known for his work with Barack Obama's presidential campaigns (and now senior vp for policy and strategy at Uber), speaks in the Foreign Affairs Symposium. He is the author of <em>The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama's Historic Victory</em>. 8 p.m. Shriver Hall, Homewood.</p> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 15:45:00 -0500 Peabody Dance leaps into its second century <p>When Peabody Dance celebrates its centennial March 26 to 29, it's not only marking 100 years of offering dance instruction at Peabody Preparatory, the community school for the performing arts housed at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. It's advancing its unique ability to provide young dancers with the tools to become creative artists.</p> <p>Collaborations have been part of Peabody Dance's process since its inception, and last summer students and faculty worked out ideas that will debut during the centennial weekend, which includes a conference, historical exhibition, films, and a pair of performances.</p> <p>The collaborative piece <em>Dear Mother</em> premieres that weekend, and some of its choreography grew out of Constance Dinapoli's intensive classes. Dinapoli, the artistic coordinator of contemporary dance at the Preparatory, asked her students to recall their earliest memory; maybe it was of walking, or falling, or laughing. She invited those students to consider how that memory made them feel, and how they might express that emotion with their bodies. "They made a short [physical] phrase that reflects that [emotion] in movement," Dinapoli says. "I looked at their movement, and I helped them arrange it into more of a dance phrase."</p> <p>Peabody Dance is one of the oldest dance training centers in the country, offering technical training in classical ballet and modern dance. Today, it also strives to give its students opportunities to work with other artists, not just learn from them. Melissa Stafford, its director, says that the first dance class that the Peabody Institute offered, in December 1914, was eurythmics, a way to teach musicians and music teachers about music through movement.</p> <p>That first class "put us on an innovative path and led to a collaborative production of <em>Orpheus and Eurydice</em> in 1922 that had 200 dancers, musicians, and singers," Stafford says.</p> <p>Ever since, Peabody Dance has embraced collaborative projects that bring student dancers into creative contact with not only dance professionals but musicians and visual artists—and the occasional scientist. Stafford mentions <em>The Chemical Ballet</em>, a 1939 collaboration between Carol Lynn and a Johns Hopkins University chemistry professor, Donald H. Andrews, in which dancers portrayed different chemicals and their reactions. (That was nearly 50 years before Peabody became a division of Johns Hopkins.) The dance was performed at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Baltimore and was covered in the April 17, 1939, issue of <em>Life</em> magazine.</p> <p>Lynn brought this interest in collaboration with her when, in 1947, she was appointed Peabody Dance department chair, a position she held until 1970. She was an early proponent of filming performances, a practice she began during her summers as associate director of Jacob's Pillow Dance, the western Massachusetts center founded by dance pioneer Ted Shawn. Jacob's Pillow became a crucible for modern American dance—Alvin Ailey, Jack Cole, Martha Graham, and José Limón all trained or performed there—and Lynn rubbed shoulders with the dancers who passed through, such as revered ballet dancer and choreographer Antony Tudor, and invited them to Peabody.</p> <p>Lynn fostered Peabody's long-standing relationships with noted training centers and figures in American dance. Some dancers who trained with her as kids would return as teachers, among them Jane Ward Murray, who studied under George Balanchine, danced with a precursor company of New York City Ballet, and in 1947 joined the Peabody Dance faculty. Others—including modern dancer Dale Sehnert, Spanish dancer Maria Morales, and tap dancer Mary Jane Brown—helped launch new programs at Peabody.</p> <p>One of Lynn's and Sehnert's students was a young Baltimore girl named Martha Clarke, who matured into a seminal multidisciplinary artist who combined dance with elements of theater and music. And when Carol Bartlett, Peabody Dance director from 1988 until her death in 2012, was looking for a choreographer collaborator to create a program to celebrate the Peabody Institute's 2007 sesquicentennial, she invited Clarke to become Peabody Dance's first artist-in-residence.</p> <p>The collaborative showcase they created, <em>New Work</em>, included a piece set to music composed by Angel Lam, then a Peabody Conservatory doctoral student. Bartlett tapped Lam again for <em>Meander</em>, a 2008 collaboration between the choreographer, the composer, and MICA faculty artist Pat Alexander. Bartlett had this creative team in mind when she began planning in 2010 for Peabody Dance's centennial, but her death prevented that piece from progressing beyond the idea stage.</p> <p>When Dinapoli joined the faculty in 2013, she met with Alexander and Lam to carry on what they had started with Bartlett. And Dinapoli, a former Paul Taylor Dance Company member, comes from a similar creative mindset as Bartlett, who often created performances in collaboration with her students. "I care about making my studio a student-centered room, even my technique classes," Dinapoli says. "I want [students] to grow as artists as well as dancers. They have a voice, and I want to help develop their voice. It's a collaborative process, teacher-student. That is what life is like as a professional."</p> <p>These collaborative opportunities make Peabody Dance unique among training centers, Stafford says. "My brother and sister have professional dance careers, and we had world-class ballet training, but we never had the opportunity to become part of the collaborative process while still students," Stafford says. "Our students work with choreographers, répétiteurs, visual artists, composers, and musicians, and learn how artists negotiate the creative process. And that's something that's happened at Peabody from the very beginning."</p> <p><em>For a full schedule of Peabody Dance centennial events, go to <a href=""></a>.</em></p> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 15:45:00 -0500 Star-struck: Hubble telescope inspires symphony <p>When the space shuttle <em>Discovery</em> lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on April 24, 1990, many things weren't around that are today: a commercial Internet, smartphones, Justin Bieber. We also didn't know a single planet outside our Milky Way solar system (today, astronomers have identified thousands). We didn't know how old the universe was (about 13 billion to 14 billion years, turns out). And we didn't know that flattened disks of gas and space dust form the building blocks of everything—planets, matter, us.</p> <p>Those scientific clarifications and findings are in part or whole thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope, which <em>Discovery</em> placed in orbit.</p> <p>Two upcoming concerts celebrate Hubble's 25th anniversary this year with music pieces inspired by the telescope's discoveries and by human drive that seeks to know more. On March 7, Jed Gaylin leads the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra through Los Angeles–based composer Russell Steinberg's <em>Cosmic Dust</em> at Homewood's Shriver Hall in a program that includes Ravel's <em>Mother Goose</em> Suite and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor with soloist Clipper Erickson. And on March 29, <em>To See the Stars</em>, a multimedia song cycle composed by Fay Chiao, a DMA composition student at the Peabody Institute, will be debuted at the Maryland Science Center's Davis Planetarium.</p> <p>Humans have always been inspired by the heavens, but "what has become more powerful with modern science is that we now actually know for a fact that we literally are stardust, that all of the elements that are in our bodies were forged in the nuclear furnace of stars," says Mario Livio, a senior astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which operates Hubble, during an interview in his office on Johns Hopkins' Homewood campus. Livio, who was joined for the interview by HSO music director Jed Gaylin, will give a talk about the science of stars before the March 7 HSO concert, and he points out that artists have been inspired by space for centuries, and that elements of mythology have been mapped onto the sky.</p> <p>"When the universe started, there were only hydrogen, helium, and a trace of light elements," Livio continues. "All the other elements, including everything that is in us—carbon, iron, oxygen—were formed inside of some stars. And when those stars die, they either explode or eject their layers, and those materials are returned into interstellar medium, and new stars and planets and humans form from those."</p> <p>Understanding this origin of everything initially inspired Steinberg to compose <em>Cosmic Dust</em>. He had heard a rabbi speak about death, pointing out that because we say "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" at burials, we might assume it means returning to the earth. "But he said the idea of dust is about our origins; it's about coming into contact with what we've always been—stars," Steinberg says by phone. "And when he said that, it just clicked for me about how profound those Hubble images have been."</p> <p><em>Cosmic Dust</em> debuted last year in Los Angeles in a performance by the New West Symphony, which had commissioned it along with the HSO and the Bay-Atlantic Symphony. Steinberg considers it a 14-minute symphony that evokes our fascination with the cosmos, and its performance is paired with images of space, many of which come from Hubble. "I think what's so profound about this realization that we're part of [the cosmos] is one of the reasons I believe we're so infatuated with the work the Hubble has done," Steinberg says, adding that when he looked over the list of projects associated with Hubble, he was struck by how many of them pursue some human connection.</p> <p>"Like the search for exoplanets," he says. "What are we looking for? We're not looking for any types of rocks. We're looking for rocks that could support life, that could hold human beings in the future. We're looking for a human connection to something that's so outside our regular understanding of time that it almost makes us cower it's so powerful. We're trying to find a way that we can really connect this with our humanity."</p> <p>Exploring that emotional connection with the unfathomable is one way that art complements scientific discovery. "To me, scientists and artists try to do the same thing but from a very different perspective," Livio says. "For scientists, it is to understand why and how things work. Artists try to give their emotional response to the same things that scientists do."</p> <p>Gaylin agrees. "Creativity, whether in art or in science, involves a fierce dedication, a pushing and pushing and pushing," he says. "That kind of perseverance, that kind of willingness to fail in the arts and sciences is part of what it is. It reminds me of that line attributed to [pianist and Peabody faculty member] Leon Fleisher about Leonard Bernstein—he brought you to the edge of the abyss and sometimes you fell in there with him, but didn't you want to know what it looked like?"</p> <p>The human curiosity to see what's in the abyss or the outer reaches of the universe is what inspired Chiao. Her <em>To See the Stars</em> is a celebration of the coordinated human labor behind Hubble, the drive to seek answers to new questions. Last year she had the chance to interview a number of people who work on Hubble, including Holland Ford, a professor in the Johns Hopkins Department of Physics and Astronomy and an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute; and Ken Sembach, the mission head of Hubble, and she was struck by their common sense of purpose.</p> <p>"Each one of them really talked about how they go into work every day with a strong sense of mission," Chiao says. "That really inspired me, this sense of being part of this huge endeavor dedicated to study beyond what we already know. I latched onto this aspiration: What compels people to look at a body of knowledge, to understand that there are questions that can't be answered in their lifetime, and to say, I'm going to go for it anyway"?</p> <p>Chiao tapped a number of her Johns Hopkins peers for <em>To See the Stars</em>. The libretto was penned by Dara Weinberg, who received an MFA from the Krieger School's Writing Seminars, and will be performed by the Lunar Ensemble, the Baltimore-based new music group co-founded by, and filled out with, Peabody alumni, graduate students, and faculty members. The roughly 45-minute piece is divided into two parts with an instrumental interlude, a structure Chia says is somewhat informed by how technological advances, such as Hubble, catalyze huge jumps in knowledge.</p> <p>Those huge jumps come about through human labor, and gaining an understanding of the mammoth collaboration that went into starting and sustaining Hubble left an impression on Chiao. She says that during her interviews, she asked Sembach if working on Hubble prevented him from pursuing more of his own research. "And he said, 'Yeah, but I don't mind that I publish less papers if this can succeed,'" she says. "That really inspired me, so I wanted to try to contribute to their mission in my own way."</p> <p>And for Livio, the public accessibility of Hubble makes it unique among science experiments. For 25 years now, the telescope has captured images that reach and captivate the lay person, providing the opportunity to appreciate the epic human achievement behind our tiny place in time. "We have learned in some sense that our physical existence is very small," Livio says. "We live on a rather small planet around a rather ordinary star in an ordinary galaxy. And with Hubble we now know, even in just the observable universe, there are hundreds of billions of galaxies like ours.</p> <p>"So in physical terms we appear to be insignificant, but in terms of what we have learned, our knowledge has basically expanded just as fast as we say our universe expanded," Livio continues. "Before we discovered that we are on this small planet, we didn't know any of that—everything I just told you is a discovery of humans. That puts us in a different perspective. Physically, we're not that important, but from an intellectual perspective, we are very important because we know all this—we have learned all of this."</p> <p><em>The HSO performs</em> Cosmic Dust <em>twice at Homewood's Shriver Hall: at 8 p.m. on March 7 and at 3 p.m. on March 8 in the free 22nd Annual Concert for Children and Families. The Lunar Ensemble performs</em> To See the Stars <em>at 2:30 p.m. on March 29 at the Maryland Science Center.</em></p> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 15:45:00 -0500 Home, sweet home: Johns Hopkins baseball team returns to campus <p>There was no home field advantage for the Johns Hopkins baseball team last year. The Blue Jays had no home field. A modern stadium was under construction on the site of the field the team had used for decades.</p> <p>"We practiced in the gym, and all of our games were road games," says Coach Bob Babb, now in his 36th year of managing Blue Jays baseball.</p> <p>Returning sophomore shortstop Conor Reynolds—a Loyola High School graduate who worked off-season to improve his batting eye, hoping not to let so many fastballs go by—adds, "Not many of our fans came to see us last year because games were always played away."</p> <p>The year ended in a respectable but disappointing 22 wins and 18 losses in the Centennial Conference, one of the Blue Jays' poorer performances under Babb since he began running the team in 1980. But all has changed for the 2015 season. When the team takes its positions on Feb. 24 for the home opener against Alvernia of Reading, Pennsylvania, it will stand proud on Babb Field, part of a spanking new $5 million baseball complex known as Stromberg Stadium.</p> <p>(Part of the facility is a 20-foot net extending above the right field fence to stop well-hit balls—likely to be launched by seniors Colin McCarthy, Craig Hoelzer, and Chris Casey—before they land on University Parkway.)</p> <p>"It's now one of the top college venues in the country—designed strictly for baseball. The whole team is excited," says Babb, noting that most of the starting pitching staff is returning, along with the entire infield from last year.</p> <p>"All we have to do to win this year is play to our ability," he says. "No team in the league has the depth we have."</p> <p>Bill Stromberg, Class of 1981—the first JHU player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame—led the drive to build the stadium and was keen to keep the field on the Homewood campus. Babb coached Stromberg in both baseball and football.</p> <p>"I thought my advocacy and some money would drive the project forward," says Stromberg, the head of equity at T. Rowe Price. "I told them I had money to help whether the new field was on campus or off campus, but I had more money if it stayed on."</p> <p>Babb says he believes that the 2015 pitching staff is the best he's coached in nearly four decades.</p> <p>"We have four starting right-handers, each of them between 6'3" and 6'6", and all of them throw hard," says Babb, referencing senior Jake Enterlin and juniors Carter Burns, Trevor Williams, and Colin Friedman. "Three of the four bullpen pitchers from last year are also coming back."</p> <p>"Our starting rotation will be our strength," agrees Reynolds, who admits to having been "nervous" his first year, though recognized by Babb as the team's best freshman in 2014.</p> <p>Especially unfortunate last year, says the shortstop, "was a lot of one-run games we lost."</p> <p>The Blue Jays' biggest competition in 2015, says Babb, will be Haverford, which last year won the Centennial Conference. Hopkins, which has captured the conference title a dozen times under Babb, meets the Haverford Fords away on March 28 for a doubleheader.</p> <p>A highlight from the challenge of last year was Coach Babb's 1,000 career baseball win for JHU, a victory over St. Joseph of Long Island on March 20.</p> <p>Typically, Babb spread the praise and credit around—thanking assistant coaches, players, and parents willing to be part of "the Hopkins way"—but Bill Stromberg sees it through the eyes of a guy who played his heart out for the coach.</p> <p>"Bob has done an enormous amount for me and others like me over a long period of time," says Stromberg.</p> <p>"The biggest thing I've taken away from my years with Bob is do whatever you do with enthusiasm and a desire to compete at the highest level," he says. "He is quietly very competitive and encourages everybody to run their life that way."</p> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 15:45:00 -0500 Cheers <h4>Bloomberg School of Public Health</h4> <p><strong>Susan Baker,</strong> a professor in Health Policy and Management, has received the first Pioneer Award from the Injury Free Coalition for Kids. The award was created to honor an individual in the field of injury prevention who "blazes trails where there have been none, one who does not remain silent when needs are not met." Baker was the first director of Johns Hopkins' Center for Injury Research and Policy, and has joint appointments in Environmental Health Sciences in the Bloomberg School and Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine in the School of Medicine.</p> <p><strong>Robert W. Blum,</strong> the William H. Gates Sr. Professor and chair of the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, received the Martha May Eliot Award at the American Public Health Association's 142nd Annual Meeting and Exposition. The award honors "extraordinary health service to mothers and children."</p> <p><strong>Renan Castillo</strong> has been promoted to associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management.</p> <p><strong>Daniela Drummond–Barbosa,</strong> an associate professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.</p> <p><strong>D.A. Henderson,</strong> dean emeritus, received the Prince Mahidol Award from the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation. The award is given in two categories—Medicine and Public Health—and the winner in each receives a medal, a certificate, and $100,000. The international award was established by royal permission in honor of His Royal Highness Prince Mahidol of Songkla, Thailand.</p> <p><strong>Joanne Katz,</strong> a professor and associate chair of International Health, was awarded one of two Data for Life Prizes from CappSci. Katz will use her $50,000 prize money to study the use of portable ultrasound for expectant mothers in rural Nepal.</p> <p><strong>Yenny Webb-Vargas,</strong> a graduate student in Biostatistics, received a 2015 Student Paper Competition award from the American Statistical Association's Survey Research Methods, Government Statistics, and Social Statistics sections. Webb-Vargas will present her paper at the ASA's Joint Statistical Meetings, to be held in Seattle in August.</p> <h4>Johns Hopkins Medicine International</h4> <p><strong>Pamela Paulk</strong> has been named president of Johns Hopkins Medicine International, effective March 1. She most recently served as senior vice president of human resources for Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Health System. During the early period of JHI's formation, Paulk, then vice president of HR for the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, served as vice president of global services for JHI, leading the team to identify new collaborations. Over the past 17 years, the organization has entered into more than 50 collaborations in nearly every region of the world. These collaborations are designed to leverage Johns Hopkins' expertise in medicine, nursing, public health, medical education, research, and health care administration while tailoring the knowledge to local needs and culture in a way that advances health care in the region. Before joining Johns Hopkins in 1998, Paulk held various leadership and consulting positions in the areas of health care administration and business development. She holds an MBA from Johns Hopkins and a master's degree in social work and a bachelor's degree in science from Florida State University.</p> <h4>Krieger School of Arts and Sciences</h4> <p><strong>David E. Kaplan,</strong> a professor of physics and astronomy, a theoretical particle physicist, and a documentary producer, received a 2015 Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award in Journalism for his contributions to the production of <em>Particle Fever</em>, a feature-length documentary about the identification of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva in 2012.</p> <p><strong>Stephen G. Nichols,</strong> the James M. Beall Professor Emeritus of French and Humanities, has been awarded a Humboldt Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Recipients are invited to spend up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues at a research institution in Germany. Nichols is studying medieval manuscript holdings at the Free University of Berlin and throughout Germany.</p> <p><em>Ayya's Accounts: A Ledger of Hope in Modern India</em> by <strong>Anand Pandian,</strong> an associate professor of anthropology, received second place in the annual juried competition for the Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing. The award was presented in December at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Washington, D.C. Co-authored with his grandfather M.P. Mariappan, whom he calls Ayya, the book depicts a century of change in modern India.</p> <h4>Multidisciplinary</h4> <p><strong>Johns Hopkins</strong> has been recognized by the Corporation for National and Community Service for its role in addressing community challenges through service. The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, launched in 2006, annually recognizes hundreds of institutions of higher education that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes. Johns Hopkins was recognized for the first time this year in the General Community Service category. In its application for recognition, the university highlighted its Community Impact Internships Program, which pairs undergraduates with community-focused nonprofits and social service agencies; the Tutorial Project, in which student volunteers provide tutoring in reading and math to Baltimore City elementary school students; and the Student Outreach Resource Center's Service Scholars Program, which gives students an opportunity to make a long-term commitment to a Baltimore community organization. The Community Impact Internships Program and Tutorial Project operate under the auspices of Homewood's Center for Social Concern. SOURCE runs volunteer programs on the East Baltimore campus.</p> <h4>Peabody Institute</h4> <p>Washington's <em>City Paper</em> named Washington Renaissance Orchestra, led by jazz faculty artist <strong>Nasar Abadey,</strong> as the Best Large Ensemble.</p> <p>Faculty artist <strong>Leon Fleisher</strong>'s CD <em>All The Things You Are</em> was named one of NPR's 50 Favorite Albums of 2014.</p> <p>Two CDs featuring faculty artist <strong>Michael Formanek,</strong> <em>Thumbscrew</em> and <em>Palo Colorado Dream</em>, were listed on's Best of 2014 list of Favorite Jazz Albums. The Thumbscrew trio's self-titled CD was also No. 21 on the 2014 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll and <em>The Wire</em>'s Top 50 Albums of 2014, noteworthy because few jazz recordings are on this list of all genres.</p> <p>Faculty artist <strong>Joel Puckett</strong> was commissioned to write an opera for the Minnesota Opera as part of its New Works Initiative. <em>The Black Sox Scandal</em> will premiere as part of the opera company's 2018–19 season.</p> <p>The Minnesota Opera in March will stage the premiere of <em>The Manchurian Candidate</em> by faculty artist <strong>Kevin Puts,</strong> supported by a $75,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant.</p> <h4>SAIS</h4> <p><strong>Daniel S. Markey</strong> has been appointed academic director of the new Master of Arts in Global Policy Program, which blends theory and practice in a 16-month program that allows rising professionals to immediately apply knowledge from the classroom to their workplace. Markey was formerly the senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations.</p> <h4>School of Medicine</h4> <p><strong>Julie Brahmer,</strong> an associate professor of oncology and an expert in the use of immunotherapies to treat lung cancer, has been named director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at the Kimmel Cancer Center, where she will lead a multidisciplinary team developing new treatments for lung and esophageal cancer and mesothelioma. She also will oversee a $35 million investment in the program and the opening of the new Thoracic Center of Excellence at Bayview Medical Center, as well as laboratory research and clinical trials. Brahmer has been a faculty member at Johns Hopkins since 2001 and is the author of more than 90 scholarly articles and book chapters. She is an active leader in national efforts to drive and support better research and treatment for lung cancer.</p> <p><strong>Steven Cohen,</strong> an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine and director of medical education for the Pain Management Division, has received the 2014 Donlin M. Long Award for advancing the standards of pain care. The award, administered by the school's Blaustein Pain Research Fund, is named for the director of the Department of Neurosurgery, from 1973 to 2000, who is internationally acclaimed for his research in, and innovative treatments for, chronic pain.</p> <p><strong>Catherine D. DeAngelis,</strong> a Distinguished Service Professor Emerita and former <em>JAMA</em> editor, will receive the American Pediatric Society's 2015 Howland Medal, one of the highest awards in pediatric medicine, given annually for distinguished service in the field as a whole. Also a professor emerita of pediatrics, as well as of health policy and management in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, DeAngelis has received seven honorary degrees and numerous awards for humanitarianism and medical excellence, including a lifetime achievement award from the American Association of Medical Colleges.</p> <p><strong>Ziya Gokaslan,</strong> a professor of neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, and oncology; vice director of the Department of Neurosurgery; and head of the Neurosurgical Spine Center, has received the North American Spine Society's 2014 Leon Wiltse Award, which recognizes excellence in leadership and/or clinical research in spine care. Gokaslan is recognized worldwide as an innovative expert in the surgical treatment of spinal column, spinal cord, and sacral tumors, and as a prolific researcher whose hundreds of published papers and lectures have helped define spinal oncology as a distinct subspecialty.</p> <p><strong>Felicia Hill-Briggs,</strong> an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, will serve as an at-large board member for the American Diabetes Association for 2015. Hill-Briggs is a core faculty member of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research.</p> <p><strong>Elizabeth Jaffee,</strong> a pioneer in the field of vaccine therapy for pancreatic cancer and an internationally recognized leader in immunology research, has been appointed deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Jaffee, the Dana and Albert "Cubby" Broccoli Professor of Oncology, has been a faculty member since 1992. She succeeds Stephen Baylin, the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research, who is stepping down as deputy director after a decade in the post, and who will return to his full-time research role and his position as director of the Division of Cancer Biology. Jaffee also co-directs the Skip Viragh Center for Pancreatic Cancer and is associate director for translational research and co-director of the Immunology Program in the Kimmel Cancer Center, and deputy director of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute for the School of Medicine. She is a member of the National Cancer Institute's national cancer advisory board and of the American Association for Cancer Research's board of directors.</p> <p><strong>Nagi Khouri,</strong> an internationally recognized leader in breast imaging who introduced image-guided breast biopsies in Maryland, has been named the inaugural Carol Ann Flanagan Professor in Breast Imaging in the Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences.</p> <p><strong>Thomas Koenig,</strong> an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and associate dean for student affairs, has been elected vice chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges' Group on Student Affairs. Election by his peers to this post begins a five-year succession of leadership roles that will include the chairmanship of the group, which is the largest professional development body for medical student affairs officers in the country.</p> <p><strong>Marikki Laiho,</strong> a professor of radiation oncology, molecular radiation sciences, and oncology, and chief of the Division of Molecular Radiation Sciences, is one of 11 physician/scientists in the nation to receive a 2014 Harrington Scholar–Innovator Grant worth at least $100,000 annually over a two-year period. The grant from the Harrington Discovery Institute at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland will enable Laiho to pursue her groundbreaking research on the relevance and implications of cellular DNA damage due to cancer and help her apply her findings to clinical care.</p> <p><strong>Elizabeth Nance,</strong> a postdoctoral student in Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, was named by <em>Forbes</em> to its 30 Under 30 list of the top scientists and health care entrepreneurs who are "bringing physics to medicine, discovering new planets, and deciphering the genomes of humans and other organisms." Nance is developing nanoparticles that can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, with the goal of treating brain diseases in humans as young as newborn babies.</p> <p><strong>David Roth,</strong> a professor of geriatric medicine and gerontology and director of the Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health, has been named the principal investigator at the new Johns Hopkins Roybal Center. Part of the congressionally authorized Edward R. Roybal Centers for Research on Applied Gerontology, the Johns Hopkins center was created with a five-year $1.8 million grant from the National Institute on Aging.</p> <p><strong>James Segars</strong> has joined Johns Hopkins as the inaugural professor and director of Reproductive Science and Women's Health Research, a newly established division of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Previously, he was head of the Unit on Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Segars is an internationally recognized leader in reproductive endocrinology and infertility whose research focuses on identifying proteins that modify, mediate, and augment estrogen action in reproductive tissues and on clarifying clinical disorders contributing to infertility in women.</p> <p><strong>Lillian Shockney,</strong> Distinguished Service Assistant Professor of Breast Cancer and administrative director of both the Johns Hopkins Breast Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins Cancer Survivorship programs, has received the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship's 2014 Catherine Logan Award for Service to Survivorship. Named for the NCCS' founder, the award recognizes individuals who work for cancer survivors at the grassroots level.</p> <h4>School of Nursing</h4> <p><strong>Laura Gitlin,</strong> a professor in Community-Public Health, is the recipient of the M. Powell Lawton Award from the Gerontological Society of America, the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging. An applied research sociologist, Gitlin is internationally recognized for nonpharmacological approaches in dementia care, family caregiving, functional disability, and aging in place. She is founding director of the school's Center for Innovative Care in Aging and has joint appointments in the School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology.</p> <h4>Sheridan Libraries</h4> <p><strong>Jennifer Hill,</strong> a distance education librarian and electronic resources manager, presented "A Tree in the Forest: Using Tried-and-True Assessment Methods From Other Industries" at the Association of College & Research Libraries 2015 meeting in Portland, Oregon.</p> <p><strong>Lei Pei,</strong> Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Heritage Science for Conservation Program, presented on his work using chemical vapor deposition to strengthen brittle cultural heritage papers at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver.</p> <p><strong>Tamsyn Rose-Steel,</strong> CLIR/Mellon Fellow in medieval data curation and a member of the Digital Research and Curation Center, has been awarded a Mellon Foundation microgrant to develop a pedagogical hub for medieval studies. Called Apricot (A Peer-Reviewed Interdisciplinary Collection of Objects for Teaching), it will be a forum where instructors can exchange teaching materials and provide feedback to one another. The site is being designed to give instructors access to metrics on the use of their material that may be relevant for job applications and tenure committees. A proof-of-concept site is scheduled to be launched in June.</p> <h4>Whiting School of Engineering</h4> <p><strong>Amitabh Basu,</strong> an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, and <strong>Jaafar El-Awady,</strong> an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, have been awarded prestigious National Science Foundation Career awards, which recognize the highest level of excellence in early-stage researchers. The five-year award will support Basu's efforts to break new ground in the fundamentals of discrete optimization, which provides solution methods for solving large-scale decision-making problems where a combination of discrete and non-discrete choices have to be made to optimize an objective, like minimizing costs or maximizing profits. El-Awady's five-year grant will support his research into the underlying deformation mechanism in materials. As founder of the school's Computational and Experimental Materials Engineering Laboratory, he strives to enhance the field of "materials of design" by moving from empirical, trial-and-error development techniques to a combination of state-of-the-art multiscale computational methods and experimental techniques that streamline the process of developing reliable materials with superior performance.</p> <p>Sharon Gerecht, an associate professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has received an American Heart Association Established Investigator Award.
The five-year grant supports midcareer investigators with "unusual promise" and "an established track record of accomplishments" who have demonstrated commitment to cardiovascular or cerebrovascular science. Gerecht has also been named Johns Hopkins' first Kent Gordon Croft Investment Management Faculty Scholar. The award provides select faculty with flexible financial support over three years to promote their innovative research, teaching activities, and entrepreneurial thinking. A pioneer in her field, Gerecht is the first investigator to regulate tissue morphogenesis in a completely synthetic biomaterial, and her development of a new class of oxygen-controlling hydrogels has potential applications ranging from energy to biomedical uses.</p> <p>Evan Ma, a professor of materials science and engineering, has been selected by the Materials Research Society as an MRS Fellow, a title given to select society members to recognize their distinguished research accomplishments and outstanding contributions to the field of materials science. Ma was selected for his contributions to the advancement of metastable alloys, in particular, the foundational understanding of atomic-level structure and structure-property relations in metallic glasses, and the deformation behavior of nanostructured metals and alloys.</p> <p>Vicky Nguyen, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been selected by the ASME's Applied Mechanics Division as the recipient of the 2015 Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator Award. The award, which includes a medal, a plaque, and an honorarium, recognizes researchers under the age of 40 who have made special achievements in applied mechanics. </p> <p>Sri Sarma, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the Institute of Computational Medicine, has been awarded the 2014 Krishna Kumar Young Investigator Award by the North American Neuromodulation Society. Sarma accepted the award in December at the society's 18th annual meeting in Las Vegas, where she delivered the Krishna Kumar Memorial Lecture titled "On the Therapeutic Mechanisms of Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease: Why High Frequency?"</p> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 15:45:00 -0500 Johns Hopkins has role in new Ken Burns cancer documentary <p>Cancer comes in many forms, and it doesn't discriminate. White, black, young or old. Abnormal cells grow inside you, out of control and at the wrong time and place. The disease can spread slowly or swiftly, and wantonly kill. It's the second-leading cause of death in the United States and touches nearly every family.</p> <p>Throughout recorded history, mankind has confronted the disease that derives its name from the Greek word for crab. Today, the struggle continues, but decades worth of breakthroughs have brought hope and promise to millions. Some believe we're on the cusp of a cure as we begin to unravel the causes of cancer at the cellular and genetic levels.</p> <p>The multihued story of cancer—from its ancient roots to the latest in gene therapy and immunotherapy, and all the discoveries and setbacks in between—will be told in an upcoming three-part, six-hour PBS documentary series executive produced by Ken Burns and directed by Emmy Award–winning filmmaker and writer Barak Goodman. The series, <em>Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies</em>, is based on the Pulitzer Prize–winning book of the same name by Siddhartha Mukherjee, a cancer specialist at Columbia University. It premieres on Monday, March 30, on PBS affiliates, and will be shown over three consecutive nights.</p> <p>The series will weave in the historical narrative of cancer, from the time of the pharaohs, to the "war on cancer" unofficially launched with the National Cancer Act of 1971, to the present day.</p> <p>For the segments that focus on patients' stories, the production team filmed primarily at the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Charleston (West Virginia) Area Medical Center. Film crews, which arrived in Maryland just after Hurricane Sandy hit the area, embedded themselves at the Kimmel Center for 18 months to document the hopeful and sometimes heartbreaking narratives of its patients, clinicians, scientists, and staff.</p> <p>The documentary team filmed in various locations at Johns Hopkins, including the Kimmel Center's Pancreas Multidisciplinary Cancer Clinic, the Lung Cancer Program at Bayview Medical Center, and the pediatric oncology wing of the Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center. They interviewed patients newly diagnosed and those going through clinical trials, palliative care programs, marrow transplants, and myriad therapies.</p> <p>Goodman says his chief aim for the series was to give people hope, and lay bare a disease where progress is being made, despite the many challenges. "We're at a tremendous moment in this story of cancer, as we're on the threshold of huge breakthroughs," he says. "Everyone we spoke with was an optimist."</p> <p>Goodman says the production team chose Johns Hopkins because it wanted a leading, cutting-edge hospital on the forefront of cancer treatment and research. Johns Hopkins also has valued experience with film crews, he says, as it was the location for two ABC documentaries, <em>Hopkins 24/7</em> (2000) and its sequel, <em>Hopkins</em> (2008).</p> <p>By embedding crews for such an extended time, Goodman says, the film team was able to follow and complete many story arcs, and provide a more insightful and honest portrayal of care.</p> <p>Patrick Brown, an associate professor of pediatric oncology at the School of Medicine and director of the Kimmel Center's Pediatric Leukemia Program, says that camera crews spent months around his unit, and that he was frequently filmed on rounds when he would talk with patients and their family members. In the trailer for the series, Brown visits a child to deliver news that her kidney tumor has been significantly reduced thanks to recent chemotherapy treatments. The dramatic before-and-after X-ray images he shows her of the tumor lead to claps of joy from her mother, sitting at her bedside.</p> <p>Brown says he initially had reservations about the intrusion of cameras into such personal moments.</p> <p>"I was a bit nervous. I thought the crews could be obstacles or somehow get in the way of us doing our job well," he says. "But [the production team] was amazing and as unobtrusive as possible. Eventually, you get used to their presence and feel less self-conscious as you get to know the people telling the story."</p> <p>Brown says the cameras captured him in light moments with his patients, and during tough conversations with those in dire situations. He says he hopes viewers will see both how far medicine has come in dealing with cancer and how far we need to go.</p> <p>"We're on the cusp of making major strides," says Brown, who joined Johns Hopkins as a resident 16 years ago. "There's been this explosion of scientific knowledge that has translated to better treatment. But the job is certainly not over. I think there's value in getting this information out to the public."</p> <p>The crews were given nearly full access, though they had to respect the patients' and caregivers' wishes if they didn't want to be filmed at a particular time.</p> <p>William Nelson, the Marion I. Knott Director and Professor of Oncology at the School of Medicine and director of the Kimmel Center, says that Johns Hopkins agreed to be part of the project because it believed in the message and trusted the filmmakers.</p> <p>"WETA and Ken Burns are a long-standing quality outfit that produces very high-quality and thoughtful documentaries. We were very impressed with the aspirations of the filmmakers to make this be an educational tool," Nelson says. "Hopefully, the series will go some way to alleviate some of the fears of diagnosis and demystify the disease more."</p> <p>Nelson says cancer treatment has changed dramatically over the past decade. Only a few years ago, he says, the research focused on drugs that killed cancer cells and hopefully didn't hurt the patient too much.</p> <p>"But now we're in an era of medications that we know more about, such as who they should work for, and who they won't," he says. "You just have to look at the pioneering work of Bert Vogelstein and Ken Kinzler, who are looking into the genetic roots of cancer, to see how far we've come."</p> <p>Nelson, who was not filmed in the series, says that he's certain the show will provoke much thought and emotion, and show off the critical role of the caregiver.</p> <p>"When you hear 'you have cancer,' people are jolted," he says. "It starts an emotional journey for them, and they are scared to death. But as physicians, this puts us in a position to be a caregiver in the purest sense," Nelson says. "What makes you a good cancer doctor is that you enter into a relationship, although at times the situation can seem overwhelming. For us, success is not only judged by if we can cure them or not; it's did we give them back control over their environment and their lives? Were we able to allow them quality time with their family and friends? If we delivered them into a place like that, it's also satisfying."</p> <p>The American Association for Cancer Research, in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, will present a screening and panel discussion called "A Conversation on Cancer: A Town Hall Discussion" with the creators, patients, and scientists associated with <em>Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies</em>. A 20-minute clip of the series will be shown at the event, which will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Monday, March 23, in the Chevy Chase Auditorium at the Sheikh Zayed Tower of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, East Baltimore campus.</p> <p>In addition to Johns Hopkins cancer specialists and leadership, expected to attend are Margaret Foti, CEO of the American Association for Cancer Research; Sharon Percy Rockefeller, CEO and president of WETA and a Johns Hopkins Medicine trustee; author Siddhartha Mukherjee; and director Barak Goodman.</p> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 15:45:00 -0500 JHU plans $15M project to improve San Martin Drive <p>Johns Hopkins University is launching a yearlong $15 million project to improve San Martin Drive, the scenic tree-lined road that winds around the back of the university's Homewood campus.</p> <p>Among the enhancements planned for the 0.9-mile thoroughfare is a major sidewalk upgrade to safeguard pedestrians, including many runners who use San Martin for workouts. A road where some sidewalks now suddenly end and others are too narrow will instead be flanked by a continuous, up-to-standards path for those on foot—including a pedestrian-only bridge almost 350 feet long.</p> <p>"The university is about to make one of the most attractive, most pleasant roadways in the Homewood campus area even better," says Daniel G. Ennis, senior vice president for finance and administration. "We want it to be safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers, and even more beautiful for the campus community, our neighbors, and campus visitors."</p> <p>The drive is owned by Baltimore City, which is allowing the university to undertake the safety and aesthetic upgrades. The project—slated to begin in late February and last about 12 months—is being paid for by the university, primarily through gifts.</p> <p>The new continuous pedestrian path will stretch from University Parkway, where San Martin begins, south to Wyman Park Drive and then continue another tenth of a mile along Wyman Park to Remington Avenue.</p> <p>To make that possible along a portion of San Martin Drive where there is now no sidewalk at all and the road cannot be widened, the university will build a 36-foot-tall, 8-foot-wide pedestrian bridge, separate from but roughly parallel to San Martin. It will begin at the university's Earth sciences building, Olin Hall, and extend along the west side of the roadway north toward the San Martin Center.</p> <p>Additional boosts for pedestrian safety will come from improved lighting and from shorter, more easily negotiable crosswalks at three intersections. One is at the West Gate to campus, about midway along San Martin. The others are the busy intersections at either end: San Martin Drive at Wyman Park Drive and San Martin at University Parkway.</p> <p>One of the trickiest spots on San Martin, along the S curve at the West Gate, will also become a three-way-stop intersection. That will help drivers see each other and properly yield the right of way to each other and to pedestrians.</p> <p>Another goal of the project is to make the trip along San Martin—in a car, on a bike, or on foot—an even more aesthetically satisfying experience. New brick gateways will rise at the San Martin/University and Wyman Park/Remington intersections, comparable to the current North, East, South, and West gates to the Homewood campus.</p> <p>"These new gates will improve the look of these important approach routes to Homewood and more clearly indicate to visitors that they have arrived at Johns Hopkins," says Alan R. Fish, vice president for facilities and real estate. "Just as the recent Charles Street reconstruction enhanced the beauty and safety of the front door to the Homewood campus, the San Martin project will greatly improve an important alternative route to our university."</p> <p>San Martin Drive's history as a scenic roadway dates back to Olmsted Brothers Landscape Architects' landmark 1904 report on Baltimore City parks and OBLA's subsequent designs for Wyman Park. The city park includes a length of the Stony Run streambed downhill from San Martin as well as the dell along Charles Street; it was established by the city in the division of the old Wyman family estate. The bulk of the estate was given by the family to create the Homewood campus.</p> <p>The work will be divided into three phases, avoiding the need to close the entire roadway at any one time. Drivers will always be able to access the San Martin Center and garage, the Olin Hall parking lot, the Carnegie Institution of Washington building, the university's West Gate, and the Steven Muller Building and garage (headquarters of the Space Telescope Science Institute). At various times, however—depending on which phase of the project is active—drivers may have to detour around their usual routes to those destinations.</p> <p>The San Martin Drive project website, <a href=""></a>, includes more information, including artist renderings of planned improvements and details of the phases and the detours in effect during each phase.</p> <p>The project was designed for Johns Hopkins by the Baltimore-based engineering firm RK&K with landscape architecture by the Baltimore architecture and planning firm Ayers Saint Gross. Another Baltimore-based concern, Whiting-Turner Construction Co., will handle construction.</p> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 15:45:00 -0500 Where in the World: A look at JHU's global endeavors in Cuba <h4>IN CUBA:</h4> <p><strong>1</strong> Alum (SAIS '02)</p> <p><strong>23</strong> Undergrads Studying Abroad</p> <p><strong>38</strong> NIH Grants Submitted in 2013</p> <h4>FROM CUBA:</h4> <p><strong>1</strong> Master's Degree Student</p> <p><strong>1</strong> Non degree Student</p> <h4>THE END OF AN ERA</h4> <p>The loosening of the U.S. embargo of Cuba is a step in the direction of ending what SAIS professor Piero Gleijeses calls a "failed and immoral policy." Gleijeses, the only foreigner granted access to the Cuban archives related to the Fidel Castro years, has visited Cuba two or three times annually for about 20 years to study foreign policy under Castro, authoring several essays and two prize-winning books on the subject. It is a lie, Gleijeses asserts, to claim that the U.S. imposed the embargo on Cuba to force it to improve human rights, as Washington has long maintained relations with the world's worst dictators. The desire for revenge, he says, explained U.S. policy: Washington was punishing Cuba for defying it not only in Latin America but also in Africa, where Cuba relentlessly pursued what Castro calls "the most beautiful cause," the fight against apartheid. At last Obama has begun to dismantle the politics of revenge, Gleijeses says.</p> <h4>STUDY ABROAD</h4> <p>The Hopkins Fernando Ortiz Foundation Seminar has taken place 12 times in Havana and other sites in Cuba. The three-week Intersession program has been held since 1997 with a hiatus between 2005 and 2011 during the U.S. travel ban on short-term academic activities in Cuba. The program offers study of specific issues in Cuba's history and society, informed by expert participants from the island. Up to 15 students per session gain knowledge grounded in novels, histories, and other readings; artworks; and firsthand contact with Cuban citizens, giving them an accurate picture of Cuban society as well as grounds for further scholarly research.</p> <h4>BORROWING TRADITION</h4> <p>In Cuba, breastfeeding is the norm. Support is everywhere—on billboards and in commercials, during appointments with primary care physicians, and in the overall sense that breastfeeding is what mothers do. Katrina Bell McDonald, an associate professor of sociology in the Krieger School, visited the country in November with the Birthing Project, a nonprofit organization supporting African-American women during and after pregnancy, to seek out cultural practices around breastfeeding that could dispel African-American women's fears and encourage them to breastfeed more often. For example, Bell McDonald says, while African-American women sometimes associate breastfeeding with shame, Cuban women see it as part of a human process that allows them to contribute to a cause larger than themselves: a nation raising healthy babies.</p> <h4>LARGE-SCALE WEIGHT LOSS</h4> <p>The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s ushered in the Cuban economic crisis known as the Special Period. While overall health and medical care remained strong during this time, the food shortage provided researchers with an unusual large-scale opportunity to study the relationship between weight loss and diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and cancer. Fifteen years later, when the economy improved, the link was reinforced as both weight and disease began climbing again. Benjamin Caballero, a professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, says that good health care records made it easy to show that weight loss under otherwise healthy conditions dramatically reduces the incidence of disease. The findings have implications worldwide, Caballero says, indicating potentially powerful health and economic benefits for nations that initiate voluntary weight loss campaigns.</p> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 15:45:00 -0500 Applied Physics Laboratory receives $4M to develop a retinal prosthesis <p>The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has received $4 million in funding from the Mann Fund to develop a next-generation retinal prosthesis system. The Mann Fund was created by philanthropist Alfred E. Mann 15 years ago to support the development of biomedical technologies.</p> <p>This work will be conducted in close collaboration with Second Sight Medical Products, a Sylmar, California–based company that develops, manufactures, and markets implantable visual prosthetics for blind individuals.</p> <p>APL will be developing the next-generation glasses with embedded vision- and eye-tracking sensors. Using these sensors and onboard hardware, the system will identify potential obstacles, doorways, hallways, and household objects and their relative positions. This information will be distilled into a format that can be projected into the retinal prosthesis, bypassing the damaged rods and cones in the retina.</p> <p>The components of this retinal prosthesis will enable APL's broader vision of a semiautonomous controller for assistive robotic manipulators and remote devices, the Hybrid Augmented Reality Multimodal Operation Neural Integration Environment, or Harmonie.</p> <p>Harmonie is the latest spinoff effort from the Laboratory's Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program. As part of that effort, researchers investigated a number of different control modalities for moving a modular prosthetic limb and were able to achieve impressive control. But they discovered that users had to remain very focused on what they were doing, creating a lot of cognitive burden.</p> <p>Harmonie came about as a way to remove that burden. The basic idea behind the system is to combine elements of computer vision (i.e., identification of objects and where they are), autonomous manipulation (how do I move the arm to the desired object's position, what's the best grasp to use?), and a user interface (how do I tell what actions to perform on the object?).</p> <p>The current implementation uses off-the-shelf components such as the Microsoft Kinect for the vision system, but Harmonie project manager Kapil Katyal says that the ultimate goal is to integrate these technologies into a small form factor glasses-type device.</p> <p>The Harmonie system has been deployed in clinical settings at Caltech and Johns Hopkins and is undergoing additional testing as part of an internally funded project, the Clinical Evaluation of Emerging Rehabilitative Technologies. It also was demonstrated in December 2013 at the DARPA Robotics Challenge Exposition, where the Lab's RoboSally used the technology to semiautonomously reach and grasp a fire extinguisher.</p> <p>Katyal says that the developers hope to have a prototype ready for market in three and a half years.</p> <p>"This system would enable a broad base of users to efficiently and effectively control dexterous manipulators like the [modular prosthetic limb] and would also allow APL to develop innovative solutions in contemporary general purpose human-computer interaction technologies such as head-mounted displays, augmented reality, eye-tracking, and brain-computer interfaces," he says. "Moreover, the synergies between the Harmonie system and Second Sight's next-generation retinal prosthesis provide an opportunity for the Laboratory to expand its footprint in neuroprosthetic research and development and enhance our reputation in this field."</p> <p>Michael McLoughlin, Harmonie program manager and principal investigator for the Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program, says that the Harmonie project is synergistic with ongoing, independent research and development efforts at APL. "It's an extension of what we've been trying to do with the prosthetics program from the beginning, and promises to address the needs of a whole new class of patients," he says.</p>