The Johns Hopkins Gazette: February 21, 2000

February 21, 2000
VOL. 29, NO. 23

Planning begins for 125th year
University inks deal with worldwide ISP
Hopkins reports new technology to unmask hidden gene mutations
Better medical screening could reduce adolescent suicide rate
SAIS and the Maxwell School create joint degree program
Important information about e-mail accounts
In Brief
For the Record: University Policy on Equal Opportunity
For the Record: Cheers
For the Record: Milestones
Employment Opportunities
Classified Ads
Weekly Notices
Weekly Calendar
Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Big day for superstar students
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. Full story...

Undergrad research aims at early detection of heart disease
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 heart damage.
   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. Full story...

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