Johns Hopkins Gazette: March 27, 1995

Newsbriefs


Hopkins Cardiology receives 
$14 million in SCOR grants

     Heart researchers at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
have earned two prestigious Specialized Center of Research (SCOR)
grants, each for five years, providing $14 million from the
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National
Institutes of Health.  
     "These are the most highly prized and most competitive
cardiology grants," said Kenneth Baughman, Cardiology Division
director and a professor of medicine at the School of Medicine.
"We hope in the next five years the science these grants will
allow us to pursue will pay huge dividends to patients with
coronary artery disease."
     "Because heart disease remains the leading cause of death in
the United States, there is a paramount need to make progress in
this area as soon as possible," said Michael E. Johns, dean of
the medical school. Dr. Johns noted that the grants "demonstrate
not only the pre-eminent quality of the research activities of
the cardiology faculty but also the strong interrelationship
between research and the innovative clinical practice that
characterizes Hopkins medicine."
     Among the research to be funded:
    Investigation of the inflammation of heart muscle tissue
after blocked blood flow is restored. The goal is to understand
why and how this happens so it can be prevented, limiting the
damage of heart attacks.
    Basic research into understanding the biological origins of
irregular heartbeats and identifying what causes patients with
weak heart muscle to suddenly die.      
     Hopkins is the only institution to be awarded two SCOR
grants simultaneously in a field of 26 applicants and nine award
winners.



For four days JAMI conference     
draws math mavens to Hopkins

     Mathematicians from around the world will meet at Hopkins
this Friday for an annual four-day conference.
     The theme of this year's conference is linear and nonlinear
scattering, a popular area of specialty that has many theoretical
and practical applications.
     The conference is co-sponsored by the Department of
Mathematics and the Japan-U.S. Mathematics Institute (JAMI), an
exchange program that allows Japanese mathematicians to come to
Hopkins to do research and become acquainted with math professors
here. 
     The program will be preceded on Tuesday, Wednesday and
Thursday by an informal workshop dealing with scattering theory.
The actual conference begins Friday and continues through Monday.
About 20 mathematicians will deliver lectures, which will be held
in 205 Krieger Hall.
     The program began in 1988 and is intended to foster friendly
relations between Japan and the United States and to strengthen
the long-existing relationship between the Math Department and
the Japanese mathematical community. For more information contact
the Math Department at 516-4178 (or by e-mail:
jami@math.jhu.edu).



Researchers say chronic fatigue           
now linked to low blood pressure

     Intermittent bouts of extremely low blood pressure may cause
debilitating, chronic fatigue.
     In the March 9 issue of Lancet, researchers at the School of
Medicine reported that seven teenagers with constant malaise had
neurally mediated hypotension, a blood pressure abnormality
brought on by a nervous system reflex.
     Peter Rowe, associate professor and general pediatrician at
the Children's Center, said that patients with this condition
have a tendency to faint while upright for an extended period--
for example, standing in line--especially in warm environments.
     After treatment directed at this condition, including
increased salt intake, four of the teens' chronic fatigue and
related symptoms disappeared within one week. The other three
reported no change in their condition.
     Researchers do not yet know the extent to which genetic
influences, infections or other factors trigger the condition,
but they know that increasing dietary salt can help treat it.



Friends of the Libraries sponsors 
second book collecting contest

     The Milton S. Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins University
is looking for some clever collectors.
     The library's Friends Advisory Council is sponsoring its
second Book Collecting Contest, with very few restrictions and a
host of possibilities. Students may choose the content of their
collections based on their own interests or unlimited
imaginations. One winner of the first contest, in 1993, owned
several books with covers created by the same illustrator.
     The contest is open to students on all Hopkins campuses.
First prizes of $300 will be awarded to the winners of each
division. Second and third prizes are $150 and $50, respectively.
For more information or an entry form, call 516-8327.



Constructing, racing concrete 
canoes will test civil engineers   

     Civil engineering students from Hopkins and other
universities will soon get the chance to test their mettle--using
metal and concrete.
     Concrete Canoe Races and a Steel Bridge-Building Competition
will highlight the regional conference of student chapters of the
American Society of Civil Engineers on Saturday and Sunday, April
1 and 2. Conference host Hopkins, Morgan State University,
Catholic University, the University of Maryland and George
Washington University will field teams.
     Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon on Homewood's J-lot parking
area, the teams will square off in the Steel Bridge-Building
Competition. Guidelines call for the teams to design, fabricate
and construct a 1:10 scale model of a steel bridge. Sunday, from
11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Hammerman area of Gunpowder Falls State
Park, the teams will take to the river for a series of concrete
canoe races. The canoes, built beforehand, must be comprised of a
portland cement-based concrete mixture, and conform to design and
construction requirements.

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