Natalia A. Trayanova, a professor of biomedical engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering, and Hans Tomas Bjornsson, an assistant professor of genetics and pediatrics in the School of Medicine, have received National Institutes of Health grants for bio-medical research projects that face significant challenges but could lead to major health care payoffs. The Johns Hopkins researchers are among 78 grant recipients nationwide under the High Risk–High Reward Program supported by the NIH Common Fund.

Five Johns Hopkins graduate students were among the 85 students from prominent graduate schools in the United States and China named to the 2014 class of Siebel Scholars, a program that recognizes the most talented students in the fields of business, computer science, and bioengineering.

Pamela Jeffries, a professor in the School of Nursing's Department of Acute and Chronic Care and associate dean for academic affairs, has been named the university's first vice provost for digital initiatives. She will coordinate efforts to expand the use of digital educational technology in both online and classroom settings.

As part of its Centennial Year celebrations, the Whiting School has published a history of the school. The large-format book reviews 100 significant moments, ranging from the discoveries and inventions of distinguished professors to pranks played by engineering students.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has awarded the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality a three-year $7.3 million contract to bring its checklist for reducing ventilator- associated pneumonia, the most lethal of all hospital-acquired infections, to hospitals nationwide. The Armstrong Institute, part of Johns Hopkins Medicine, also received a $2.1 million contract to develop, implement, and study a program that better supports people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease following hospitalization.

Theoretical physicists in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences' Department of Physics and Astronomy have received a $1.3 million, three-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation to develop new ideas about the origins of the universe and ways to test those ideas. Marc Kamionkowski, a professor of cosmology and particle physics, will lead the project, working with co-leaders Alex Szalay and Joseph Silk, faculty members in the department.

Texas energy entrepreneur and financier T. Boone Pickens plans to give $20 million to Johns Hopkins to support daring but potentially vision-saving research at the university's Wilmer Eye Institute. The gift, included in Pickens' estate, will create an endowment to fund a T. Boone Pickens Scholars program, supporting clinician-scientists with promising but innovative ideas for new research avenues. Pickens has publicly said that he has been treated at Wilmer for cataracts and for macular degeneration.

Julie Freischlag, the William Stewart Halsted Professor and director of the Department of Surgery in the School of Medicine, and surgeon-in-chief of Johns Hopkins Hospital, is leaving these positions in mid-February 2014 to become dean of UC Davis School of Medicine. During her tenure at Hopkins, she boosted the Surgery Department's performance and transformed its culture by championing diversity.

Joan Kub, an associate professor in the School of Nursing's Department of Community-Public Health, served on the expert workgroup for the second edition of the American Nurses Association's Public Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, released in summer 2013.

Christy Wyskiel has been appointed senior adviser for enterprise development to university President Ronald J. Daniels, and will oversee the commercialization of discoveries and inventions by Johns Hopkins faculty, staff, and student researchers.

Katherine A. Ates, the top aide to Sen. John D. "Jay" Rockefeller IV, a West Virginia Democrat, has been appointed a vice president and chief of President Daniels' staff, serving as a top adviser and liaison to key groups inside and outside the university.

Thomas A. LaVeist, the William C. and Nancy F. Richardson Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Bloomberg School of Public Health and founding director of the Center for Health Disparities Solutions, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the latest U.S. News & World Report list of "best national universities," Johns Hopkins moved up one slot to a tie with Northwestern University for No. 12, its highest placement in 14 years. The university was tied for 17th in the category of undergraduate engineering education for schools whose highest degree is a PhD. Johns Hopkins' biomedical engineering program, which is shared by the schools of Engineering and Medicine, remains ranked No. 1.

Carey Business School Associate Professor Toby Gordon has been selected as a recipient of the Middle Atlantic Association of Colleges of Business Administration 2013 Innovation in Teaching Award. She is being recognized for her role as faculty leader of the school's yearlong Discovery to Market technology transfer course.

Jeffrey Sharkey, director of the Peabody Institute, has been named principal of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, effective September 2014. A search committee has been appointed to help identify his successor.

Through a new partnership between SAIS and The Atlantic, students from the school are regular contributors to the magazine's online "Global" and "China" channels. Since early July, more than a dozen students from all three SAIS campuses have been participating in the project, writing on such topics as the Cote d'Ivoire's recent civil war and the political crisis in the Czech Republic.

Juniors and seniors from high schools across Maryland have been helping the Applied Physics Laboratory process hundreds of thousands of high-resolution brain tissue images to create a picture of how the cortex is wired at a single neuron level. This is the inaugural project for the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education's STEM Challenge Program, created to provide high school students with the opportunity to develop solutions to real-world problems posed by industry experts.