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: ù 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. ù 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: firstname.lastname@example.org). 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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