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Bottom Line
Here & Abroad
Reading List
Vital Signs
Forever Altered
Up & Comer

Bottom Line

The freshman class is set to arrive at Homewood on September 1, some 1,005 members strong. A partial picture of the Class of 2005:

660: Number enrolled in School of Arts and Sciences 345:Number enrolled in Engineering Percent of male/female students:
Arts and Sciences: 50/50
Engineering: 77/23
402:Number receiving financial aid State with most representation: New York, with 15 percent States with least: Includes Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Washington--all with 1 percent or less 58:Total number of foreign students Top eight countries represented (from most enrollees to least): Singapore, Canada, South Korea, Turkey, Mexico, Bahamas, Taiwan, Japan 17:Number enrolled in Army ROTC 65:Number of students who showed up on the wrong move-in day last fall
--Compiled by Sue De Pasquale

Here & Abroad

In the last two decades, more than 30 million private businesses have emerged in China, a country where private banks are illegal and where less than 1 percent of state bank funds go to entrepreneurs. So where's the money coming from? Investment banks disguised as magazine reading clubs, concludes political science professor Kellee Tsai, who spent 23 months surveying private businesses for her forthcoming book, Back-Alley Banking: Private Entrepreneurs and Informal Finance in China. ... AIDS is rapidly becoming a major epidemic in Russia-- partly because of the way heroin is processed there. "Needles aren't the only issue," reports Public Health epidemiologist Kenrad Nelson, who in June attended an AIDS conference in St. Petersburg. In preparing heroin, dealers (often users themselves) mix in their own blood to check the quality of the drug, add the test sample to a larger container of the drug in liquid form, and sell pre-filled (and sometimes pre-used) syringes. "If the drug is dissolved in a contaminated serum, a fairly large number of people could be exposed" to HIV, says Nelson. ... In June, the Hopkins men's baseball team added another stamp to its passport--Italy. The Blue Jays played Italian pro teams in Rome, Florence, Riccione, Godo, and Bollate. The scorecard: 3 wins, 1 tie, 1 loss. Head coach Bob Babb, who in past years has guided his peripatetic Jays on trips to Australia, Moscow, Cuba, and Prague, was impressed with the cuisine during the 15-day stay. "After the games, all the teams had barbecues for us: sausage on the grill, huge bowls of pasta, and homemade wine." ... At the end of this month, David Lane, the director of Peabody admissions, heads to Asia, where he will attend conservatory auditions for prospective students in Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Seoul. "About 33 percent of Peabody's students are international, and a large majority come from Asia," says Lane. --By Emily Carlson (MA '01)


Getting Oriented: From watching hospital television dramas, you probably have an idea what it's like to be a resident in a teaching hospital. But what about the first morning on the job? More than 250 new residents at Johns Hopkins Hospital gath-ered in Turner Auditorium June 28 for crash-course introductions to some of the people and services they'll be paging the most.

10:20 a.m. Medication Orders:
"If I don't see the decimal," said pharmacist Robert Feroli, "there's a problem."

10:30 a.m. Sedation Policy
Anesthesiologist James Schauble: "It's not really possible to cover all of sedation in five minutes." Or even seven.

10:37 a.m. Pain Management
Pain is the fifth vital sign, according to Rita Mastroianni.

10:42 a.m. Pastoral Care and Services
"We look at the marriage of spirituality and science," said the senior staff chaplain. Twenty-four hours a day.

10:50 a.m. Ethics Committee
"Get out your Palm Pilots. Write in Ethics. The ethics pager is 3-6104," instructed Michael Williams. "I would love to help solve your problem early, rather than get called in as a member of a SWAT team to clean up a mess."

10:54 a.m. Security
"What you see in the news is true," said Ruth LaFontaine. Her advice: Always use the shuttles from satellite parking lots and 24-hour security escorts.

11 a.m. Pathology Services and Transfusion Medicine
If you need an autopsy, who you gonna call? The Autopsy Service-- proud performers of more than 50,000 post-mortem exams since 1889.

11:06 a.m. Organ Donation
The three most important features of "organ procurement," according to the Rev. Rosemary Lillis: timing, setting, and teamwork.

11:14 a.m. Medical Staff Registrar
Like Santa Claus, this office--which verifies each physician's credentials--should know everything you do.

11:17 a.m. Health, Safety, and Environment
Two main tips: Call 5-STIX if exposed to blood-borne pathogens. Never use a fire extinguisher.

11:30 a.m. Lunch
Overheard in the buffet line: "It's our last free meal."

Reading List

Assigned to students enrolled in "Crime in Early America, c. 1600-1850s"

Instructor: Catherine Cardno, History

The Devil's Land: Sex and Race in the Early South, Catherine Clinton and Michele Gillespie, eds. (1997).

The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England, Carol Karlsen. (1987).

Over the Threshold: Intimate Violence in Early America, Christine Daniels and Michael Kennedy, eds. (1999).

The Murder of Helen Jewett: The Life and Death of a Prostitute in 19th-Century New York, Patricia Cline Cohen. (1998).

Murder Most Foul: The Killer and the American Gothic Imagination, Karen Halttunen. (1998).

Pillars of Salt: An Anthology of Early American Crime Narratives, Daniel E. Williams. (1992).

The Female Marine and Related Works: Narratives of Cross-Dressing and Urban Vice in America's Early Republic, Daniel A. Cohen, ed. (1998).

Laboratories of Virtue: Punishment, Revolution, and Authority in Philadelphia, 1760-1835, Michael Meranze. (1996).

Rites of Execution: Capital Punishment and the Transformation of American Culture, 1776-1865, Louis P. Masur. (1989).


The school year's barely begun, but Homewood's 10 Admissions counselors are already elbow-deep in efforts to recruit next year's incoming class. A primer on admissions parlance, Hopkins-style:

Roadrunners: Admissions recruiters, mostly "20-somethings," who hit four cities a week, five high schools per day.

Travel season: September through November, the peak time for roadrunners. Weekly load: 25 school visits, three college fairs, two receptions.

Blue Keys: Stable of 75 student volunteers specially trained to give campus tours. Ability to walk backwards a plus.

ARs: Specially trained student Admissions reps who conduct the lion's share of campus interviews.

Gotojhu: E-mail queries sent by prospects or their parents. "Gotojhu is slammed!" = thousands of messages await a personal response.

The Read: The all-inclusive process of reviewing applications, from Jan. 1 to April 1. For counselors, sweat clothes, snack foods, and pillows are de rigueur; comfort counts during this season of 10-hour days, plus weekends.

Taken to Committee: Opening up a prospect's folder for debate among the entire Admissions staff; necessary for on-the-fence candidates.

1600-kid: Prospect who scores a perfect 1600 on the SAT. Not a guarantee of acceptance. Not even all that unusual.

A Melt: Applicant who accepts initially but withdraws over the summer, sometimes because a university that had wait-listed offers admission. --EC

Vital Signs

Better Than "Bad"

In the fight against death due to heart disease, doctors have long focused on lowering "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL). But it appears that's not always the most effective approach. A new Hopkins study concludes that physicians should look at the amount of non-high-density lipoprotein (non-HDL) cholesterol circulating in the blood. Non-HDL is defined as total cholesterol minus "good" cholesterol; in addition to "bad" cholesterol it includes triglycerides (blood fats) and intermediate density lipoprotein.

In examining the cases of 4,462 adults ages 40 to 64, the study found that men with high non-HDL cholesterol levels were twice as likely to die of heart disease as their counterparts with lower levels; in women, the risk was nearly two and a half times higher. Perhaps most telling: Elevated "bad" cholesterol was a weaker predictor, especially in women. The study results were published in the June 11 Archives of Internal Medicine.

Roger Blumenthal, study author and director of Hopkins's Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, notes that "bad" cholesterol levels can be falsely calculated as low. Another advantage of using non-HDL measurements: They don't require a patient to fast before being tested.

The Future Is Fusion

What many experts are calling the "future of cancer imaging" has arrived at Hopkins Hospital--in the form of a high-tech scanner that combines positron emission tomography (PET) with computerized tomography (CT) to detect and locate tiny malignant tumors.

PET imaging uses radioactive "tags" that allow doctors to examine metabolic processes in the body. Researchers have used PET since the 1980s to detect very small cancers. "But it was hard to tell precisely where they were located because PET displayed little anatomy," explains Richard Wahl, director of nuclear medicine and a pioneer of the early PET cancer studies. Enter CT, which uses X-rays to produce images with precise anatomical detail.

Made by General Electric, the scanner is the first commercially available unit to be installed in a U.S. hospital and to be used for regular patients in a clinical setting.

A Longer-Lasting Burn

Women intent on shaping up often turn to aerobic exercise, such as jogging or aerobic dance classes, as the best way to burn calories. But a new Hopkins study shows that resistance exercise is just as important in the fight against fat--especially in those over age 25, who can lose up to a half-pound of muscle mass every year. The study results appeared in the June issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

Researchers found that women who did resistance exercises using weights increased their metabolism for up to two hours after working out. While women typically expend more energy during an aerobic workout, the calorie burn lasts for less than an hour afterward, says study author Carol A. Binzen, a clinical exercise physiologist at Hopkins, who collaborated with researchers at Arizona State University. Concludes Binzen, "Resistance training could have a more lasting effect on metabolism than aerobic exercise."
--Compiled by SD

Forever Altered

Ten years ago Michael Hersch (Peabody '95, MA '97) (pictured at left) worked construction and took pizza orders. Today he travels the globe to accept major awards--most recently the Rome Prize and the Berlin Prize in Music--for his classical compositions.

"When I applied to Peabody in 1992 I had almost no musical training and was a frightened [19-year-old] feeling like I was walking into an environment that I was not ready for. Morris Cotel (pictured at right) sensed otherwise. He seemed to believe that there was something inherently formed that needed nothing more than the freedom to express itself. I essentially had to answer my own questions--questions regarding the worth of what

I was doing, questions of how to go about it, what to write, etc. These are things that are normally dictated to students of composition.

"Morris always put what was best for me first. This selflessness allowed me to blossom fully." --EC


Healing Tears

Of the millions of people who undergo laser surgery to correct vision, an estimated 10 percent temporarily find themselves with blurry vision--sometimes for months after surgery. Researchers may have found a way to prevent such blurriness, by giving patients post-operative eye drops containing a healing enzyme found in tears. David Silver of Hopkins's Applied Physics Lab and colleagues from the University Medical School of Debrecen in Hungary developed the plasminogen activator drops last year.

The invention garnered APL's Invention of the Year Award. The technology has been licensed to Paradigm Medical Industries in Salt Lake City, which expects it could eventually make $500 million or more in revenues. --JCS

A "Pariah's" Rep is Rehabilitated

Among biologists, the compound known as adenosine diphosphate ribose (ADP-ribose) has long been viewed as a biological pariah. Although regularly produced in healthy cells, ADP-ribose didn't seem to have any function other than the assistance it provides to sick cells pulling their own plugs and to harmful microorganisms like diphtheria, which use ADP-ribose to disable cells. But important new evidence found by researchers at Hopkins, Harvard, and the University of Hawaii shows the compound also has a helpful role to play in the body's healthy cells.

As cells work to break down ADP-ribose, the researchers discovered, a pause in the disposal process allows the compound to open a gate for transporting calcium through cell membranes in the brain, lungs, heart, spleen, liver, kidney, and elsewhere. "It's important to know what opens and closes calcium channels, because calcium transport into and out of cells is a significant step in a wide variety of physiological processes," explains Hopkins biology professor Maurice Bessman, author of the collaborative study that appeared in the May 31 Nature. "Examples include nerve cell signaling processes, regulation of the heartbeat and muscle contraction, immune system responses, olfaction, and energy metabolism."

Before you head off for that exotic location, navigate these links: TravelMed will guide you to the appropriate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and State Department sites to track emerging infections, pinpoint which vaccinations are appropriate for your destination, and take precautionary measures for everything from jet lag to dengue fever.


The Masters of Truth in Archaic Greece
Marcel Detienne, Zone Books, 1999

The Masters of Truth traces the odyssey of "truth," aletheia, from mytho-religious concept to philosophical thought in archaic Greece. Detienne begins by examining how three figures--the diviner, the bard, and the king--shared the privilege of dispensing truth. He elaborates the conceptual and historical contexts from which emer-ged the philosophical notion of truth that still influences Western philosophical thought. His study culminates with an interpretation of Parmenides' poem on being. --DK

Up & Comer

Name: Justin Hanes
Age: 32
Assistant professor,
Department of Chemical Engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering, joint appointment in Biomedical Engineering

Stats: BS, Chemical Engineering, UCLA, '91; PhD, Chemical Engineering, MIT, '96; postdoctoral fellowship, Hopkins '96-'98

Scouting Report: "His discoveries clearly mark him as one of the country's leading experts in polymer vaccine development," says Henry Brem, director of neurosurgery at the School of Medicine.

Day Job: Designing bio-degradable materials to deliver gene-based drugs more effectively to sites throughout the body--work that's at the interface of materials science, biomedical engineering, and immunology.

Latest quest: He's collaborating on a cancer vaccine to be delivered straight to brain tumors to "wake up" dormant T-cells to eradicate a tumor. Hanes and Hopkins colleagues Henry Brem and Drew Pardoll have already shown this to work in a mouse model.

Bragging Rights: Three U.S. patents granted for drug delivery devices; several awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching at Hopkins; 1999 Ebert Prize, awarded to author of the "best report of original investigation of a medicinal substance."

Hero: MIT's Robert Langer, world-renowned chemical engineer and Hanes' PhD thesis adviser. "He's a real 'people person' who loves science. I can say the same thing about Henry Brem and Drew Pardoll. All three are men you'd love to have as your father."

Worst grade: Three D's in the 7th grade. "One teacher told me, 'Justin, if you don't change what you are doing, you are going to end up in jail.' I never thought I would even go to college."

Epitaph: "He was passionate about his family and about doing science that helps people." --EC

Return to September 2001 Table of Contents

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