October 2013 e-newsletter PDF

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October 2013 e-newsletter PDF
Alumni News No. 022 | October 2013
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Starting November 1, 2013, the School
of Medicine Development and Alumni
Relations office will be located at:
750 E. Pratt Street
Suite 1700
Baltimore, MD 21202
Main line: 410-361-6561/888-546-1336
From education comes a better life
M.D. & Ph.D. Students Partnering Toward
Students of the
M.D. and
gathered on
September 17
for the
Toward Discovery: Conversations on Research and
Medicine seminar to address one of the toughest
problems in medicine: the cure and prevention of HIV
The goal of this seminar series is create synergy
between the student communities and contribute to
their professional development that will ultimately
enhance science and medicine.
“When chocolate and peanut butter collide,
something magical occurs,” said Dr. Roy Ziegelstein,
Vice Dean of Education. “Here at Hopkins, we have
an unbelievable opportunity to connect chocolate and
peanut butter: basic research and clinical medicine.”
Fifth-year Ph.D. student Deidre Ribbens was excited
about the opportunity to meet with peers in the M.D.
program. “We spend so much time with other basic
scientists. Having someone to talk to about the same
research problems really gives you a new
perspective,” she said. “This is the type of
The Johns Hopkins University School of
Medicine has built a reputation of
excellence. This is a place where the
opportunity for higher education can
transform a life, and in doing so, change
our global community. If we fall short in
this mission, we fail more than our
students. We fail to create a healthy and
sustainable society in which we want to
It is our hope that – with the partnership
of our alumni, parents, faculty,
housestaff, fellows, and friends – we can
provide students and faculty the
resources to learn, teach, explore,
dream, and discover. The challenges we
face are extraordinary and the
uncertainty of sources of funding
immense, but your support can make a
crucial difference.
From education comes a better life. Help
make sure our students have the
resources to realize their potential and
fulfill their dreams. With your support,
we can ensure that our community,
spanning across Baltimore and around
the globe, remains strong.
You can participate in our mission today
by making a commitment to the School
of Medicine with a gift to the annual
Johns Hopkins Medical &
Surgical Association (JHM&SA)
SOM Evenings at the Baltimore
atmosphere that’s going to foster collaboration and
the exchange of ideas.”
Third-year M.D. student Kate Miele agreed. “While we
can definitely change the world independently, the
impact will be much greater if we work together.
Being aware that so much is happening on similar
projects in such close proximity helps us to do more.”
The Partnering Toward Discovery series is monthly
and will continue to showcase the research and
patient care challenges of other topics in medicine.
The next seminar is Conquering Cancer Treatment
Resistance through Genetics.
To watch a video of the inaugural seminar or hear
what students had to say about it, go here.
Alumni Update
Bjornsson, Med '07, to receive prestigious Early
Independence Award from NIH
Hans Tomas Bjornsson, M.D.,
Ph.D., assistant professor of
genetics and pediatrics in the
School of Medicine, has been
chosen to receive a prestigious
National Institutes of Health grant
allocated for biomedical research
projects that face significant
challenges, but could lead to
major health care payoffs. Bjornsson is among 78
grant recipients announced on September 20, 2013
under the High Risk-High Reward Program supported
by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund.
Based in the School of Medicine’s McKusick-Nathans
Institute of Genetic Medicine, Bjornsson's research
group studies genetic disorders with epigenetic
consequences. These disorders often affect proteins
known as histones, which associate with DNA and
can affect whether genes are turned “off” or “on.” The
group’s particular focus is a rare disorder called
Kabuki syndrome, which causes intellectual disability,
immunological problems and distinctive facial
features. Bjornsson is looking for ways to treat the
disease by correcting a problem with chemical groups
added to the histone tails.
Symphony Orchestra
The Johns Hopkins Medical and
Surgical Association is proud to, once
again, sponsor the School of Medicine's
Evenings at the Baltimore Symphony
Orchestra. These events provide a
wonderful opportunity to not only enjoy
the spectacular music, but connect with
other alumni, faculty and current
At these events, guests will attend a
concert and a dinner reception at the
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall where they
will also get to meet conductor Marin
Alsop as well as some of the BSO's
There are three events scheduled for
the upcoming months:
Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 @ 7pm - Holst's
The Planets
Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 @ 7pm Dvorak's New World Symphony
Saturday, March 1, 2014 @ 7pm - CSI:
JHU Alumni Association
Upcoming Events
Rising to the Challenge: Palo Alto
October 24, 2013 @ 5:45pm
Four Seasons Hotel, Silicon Valley at
East Palo Alto
Join the Conversation: Boston
November 19, 2013 @ 6:00pm
Ritz-Carlton Hotel
“I’m very honored to have my group’s work supported
by one of the High Risk-High Reward grants,”
Bjornsson said. “These funds will further our study of
Kabuki syndrome, which we hope may lead to
treatments for other causes of intellectual disability as
More information on the NIH High Risk-High Reward
Research Program can be found here.
Student News
2013 Stethoscope Ceremony and Reception
On September
24, the Class
of 2017
gathered to
receive a
welcoming gift
- an engraved
The ceremony,
proudly sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Medical &
Surgical Association (JHM&SA), sets the tone for the
rest of their experience at Johns Hopkins. Alumni and
faculty joined the celebration to share stories of their
medical school experiences. One hundred nineteen
students attended this event where they also had the
chance to meet Paul Rothman, M.D., Dean and CEO
of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dean Rothman
congratulated each student after receiving their
stethoscope and they took that opportunity to share a
few words and chat with him as well.
In addition to Dean Rothman, the other speakers for
the event were Roy Ziegelstein, M.D., Vice Dean for
Education; Ralph Hruban, Med '85, President of the
JHM&SA; Eileen (Patti) Vining, Med '72, Immediate
Past President of JHM&SA; and Iredell Iglehart III,
Med '83, JHM&SA Councilor. Also in attendance
were Matthew Gornet, Med '87, and Valerie Ratts,
Med '87, who were able to present their daughter with
her stethoscope.
Other News
4 M.D.-Ph.D. students write to the editor of The
U.S. must restore biomedical research funding
Effects of the sequester are devastating for young
researchers and delay life-saving medical advances
The federal government is the main financier of
biomedical research in America, and Congress is
reneging its obligation to its constituents by cutting
research funds. What this means for you, the
taxpayers, is that fewer researchers may be studying
and curing the diseases that affect you and your
families, not just now, but also in the upcoming
decades. We encourage you to urge your
representatives to restore federal biomedical
research funding.
To read the full article by Bipasha Mukherjee-Clavin,
Carolina Montaño, Neil M. Neumann and Wan R.
Yang, all MD-PhD students in the Hopkins Medical
Scientist Training Program, click here.
To support biomedical research at the School of
Medicine during this time of financial need, visit
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Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.
The School of Medicine Office of Development and Alumni Relations produces this e-newsletter
for alumni, parents and friends.
Comments or Questions? Contact us at (410) 516-0776 or toll-free at (888) 546-1336. We also
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