Big day for superstar
At a campus filled with intelligent, highly motivated students,
Hopkins seniors Zack Friedman and Sarvenaz Zand could be
classified as hyperachievers.
As undergraduates, they have earned
near-perfect grades, conducted rigorous research projects and
participated in a dizzying array of extracurricular activities on
campus and off. Friedman has published two articles for a
political encyclopedia, is a co-editor of the Johns Hopkins
Law Review and has interned at the White House. Zand has
directed Hopkins' peer counseling program, taught photography to
inner city children and conducted brain cancer research at the
Hopkins School of Medicine.
As commencement draws near, the two show no
signs of slowing down: Friedman is applying to law schools, Zand
to medical schools.
But last week, the two superstar students took
a short breather to accept some national recognition for their
higher-education achievements. Friedman and Zand, both 21, were
named on Feb. 17 to the 11th annual All-USA College Academic
First Team, sponsored by the USA Today newspaper.
Undergrad research aims at early detection of
Using a new computer model that simulates damaged heart tissue,
an undergraduate in the Whiting School and his faculty advisers
are refining a testing method that may give doctors a better tool
for detecting coronary artery disease before a heart attack
occurs. Their computer simulation has confirmed earlier findings
that coronary artery disease causes irregular electrical
activation of the cardiac muscle. If an electrocardiogram, or
ECG, can detect such irregularities, the researchers say, doctors
will know that a patient needs treatment to prevent permanent
The research focuses on a condition called
myocardial ischemia, which occurs when heart tissue receives
insufficient blood and begins to weaken. A conventional ECG test
looks at the electrical activity of the entire heart and may not
always detect ischemia. Specifically, a conventional ECG can miss
small-scale changes such as the ones caused by ischemia during
cardiac activation. These changes might be earlier signs and
better markers of cardiac disease than the existing ones, but to
detect them, an additional examination method is needed.
With this in mind, Mahesh Shenai, a 22-year-old
senior pursuing a combined B.S.-M.S.E degree in biomedical
engineering, adapted a modern mathematical recipe and used it to
monitor the electrical activity within modeled heart tissue to
identify and locate patches of diseased cells.
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