Johns Hopkins Gazette: October 10, 1994


Problem caffeine users show symptoms of dependency

In a study that is receiving nationwide attention,
researchers at the Medical Institutions have identified
addictive patterns of dependence and withdrawal linked to
    Roland Griffiths and Eric Strain said their report,
published in the Oct. 5 issue of the Journal of the American
Medical Association, should not be used to minimize the
problems produced by abuse of nicotine, alcohol and
intravenous drugs.
    "Caffeine generally does not produce similarly serious
health problems," Dr. Griffiths said. "It is valuable,
though, to recognize that some people feel compelled to
continue using caffeine despite desires and recommendations
to the contrary."
    Conditions that may lead doctors to recommend
eliminating caffeine include anxiety, sleep difficulties,
pregnancy and heart or stomach problems.
    For the study, researchers recruited a group of 27
subjects who felt they had problems with the use of caffeine.
A psychiatrist then conducted a standard diagnostic interview
with each of the subjects to see if they could identify
symptoms similar to those produced by classic drugs of abuse.
    Indicators scientists looked for in the interview were
withdrawal symptoms after stopping use of caffeine; tolerance
to caffeine's effects; continued use in spite of medical or
mental problems made worse by caffeine; and unsuccessful
efforts to eliminate or reduce caffeine intake.
    Using those guidelines, scientists were able to diagnose
16 subjects as being "caffeine dependent."
    Dr. Griffiths said the study does not allow authors to
draw inference about how widespread the problem is in the
population as a whole. The significance of the new study lies
in the fact that scientists have positively identified
persons suffering from caffeine dependence.
    Next doctors will determine the prevalence of caffeine
dependence and whether or not that dependence causes medical
    The research was sponsored by the National Institute on
Drug Abuse. 

Blumenthal Lecture features seasoned speaker

A slice of life atop the corporate ladder may be sampled
Wednesday, Oct. 12, when Allan S. Huston Jr., president and
chief executive officer of Pizza Hut Worldwide, delivers the
annual Blumenthal Lecture.
    Huston, a 1966 Hopkins industrial engineering graduate,
will speak on "Engineering Your Career" at 3:30 p.m in
Schafler Auditorium, Bloomberg Center for Physics and
Astronomy, on the Homewood campus. He will also receive the
Blumenthal Award for Contributions to Management and
Technology from the Whiting School of Engineering.
    The event is free and open to the public.
    After the lecture and awards ceremony, Huston may drop
by the annual pizza party for Hopkins engineering students,
to be held coincidentally from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Glass
Pavilion. (Pizza Hut pizza will be served.)
    In June 1992, Huston was appointed to his present
position with Wichita, Kansas-based Pizza Hut, the world's
largest pizza company and second-largest restaurant chain. In
1993, Pizza Hut had sales of $6.4 billion and 240,000
employees worldwide. The company is responsible for 
the operation of 10,800 Pizza Hut restaurants in 88
    Prior to his appointment, Huston spent 20 years in key
executive positions at four divisions of PepsiCo, which owns
Pizza Hut. From 1990 until June 1992, he served as president
of Kentucky Fried Chicken International.
    The Blumenthal Lecture series, funded by Hopkins alumnus
Sydney C. Blumenthal Jr. and his wife, Mitzi, brings to the
School of Engineering distinguished speakers whose careers
have embodied the bridging of business and technology.
    The first Blumenthal award and lecture, in 1993, honored
Michael Bloomberg, Class of 1964, a university trustee and
president of Bloomberg Financial Markets.

Research to focus on pollution prevention

The study of environmentally conscious manufacturing will
provide a framework for integrating graduate research with
undergraduate teaching, thanks to a $562,500 federal grant to
three faculty members in the Department of Chemical
    Professor and department chair Marc Donohue, Professor
Mark McHugh and Associate Professor Tim Barbari will
administer the five-year award, which has been funded by the
National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Traineeship
    The grant will support up to five new doctoral students
who will pursue research projects that focus on pollution
prevention and waste minimization in chemical processing. 
    Dr. Barbari, who structured the Hopkins program, said
the setup is unique because the doctoral students will serve
as consultants and mentors  to undergraduate students in the
Chemical Engineering Process Design class. Course projects
will be based on the graduate students' research work.
    "What this will do is simulate an industrial environment
in an academic setting," Dr. Barbari said. "The grad students
will get experience in design methodology and the
relationship between research and design, and the undergrads
will get to work on something really new."
    The program will include an industrial seminar series
that will feature presentations by engineers from industry
who are working in the area of environmentally conscious
chemical processing.
    The program will begin in the fall of 1995, and the
recruitment of new students to be funded by the grant is
under way. According to NSF stipulations, applicants must be
U.S. citizens or permanent residents.  

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