The Johns Hopkins Gazette: May 6, 2002
May 6, 2002
VOL. 31, NO. 33


In Brief

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

SOM vice dean Zerhouni confirmed as next NIH director

The Senate last Thursday confirmed Elias Zerhouni, executive vice dean of the School of Medicine, as the next director of the National Institutes of Health.

As head of one of the world's foremost biomedical research centers, Zerhouni will lead an organization with 27 institutes and centers and a proposed 2003 budget of $27 billion. The top post at the NIH has been vacant for more than two years.

Zerhouni joined Hopkins in 1979 as an assistant professor of radiology. Currently, in addition to being executive vice dean, he chairs the Department of Radiology and serves as a professor of biomedical engineering at the School of Medicine.

A date has not yet been announced for his swearing in.

Molecular biologist elected to National Academy of Sciences

Philip A. Beachy, a professor of molecular biology and genetics in the School of Medicine and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, an honorary society whose members advise the government on scientific matters.

Beachy has spent his career studying the "hedgehog" gene and protein, work that has advanced understanding of embryo development, cell differentiation and cancer development.

He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1997, he received Maryland's Outstanding Young Scientist Award and in 1998 received the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology.

Tumor-imaging technique is named APL's top invention

A new imaging technology for identifying cancerous tumors and determining the effectiveness of anti-tumor drugs received APL's Invention of the Year award at a ceremony held April 30. Its creators, John Murphy and Robert Osiander from APL and Jerry Williams from the School of Medicine, will share a $2,500 cash award.

Also recognized were two finalists, each of whom received a $1,000 cash award.

APL's George Murray developed a unique filtration technique that will have immediate and profound impact on the environment and medical treatment for patients with dangerous levels of iron in their blood. Carl Nelson, also of APL, has invented a way to prescreen masses of people for weapons without scanning each individual.

A panel of judges from industry, technical and business consultants, technology transfer professionals and intellectual property attorneys selected the winners from 121 Laboratory inventions based on their creativity, novelty and potential benefit to society.

Bright Stars to recognize dropout prevention efforts

Bright Stars, an event sponsored jointly by the Maryland State Department of Education and the Sar Levitan Center at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies, this week will celebrate 44 students who have turned failure into success at Maryland's middle and high schools.

Fifteen adults who have made contributions to dropout prevention efforts also will be recognized before an invited audience of school district superintendents, the honored students, teachers and their guests. Richard Steinke, the Maryland deputy superintendent for school improvement, and Marion Pines, director of the Sar Levitan Center, will host the program.

The Bright Stars are testimony to best practices for dropout prevention developed collaboratively by the local school systems, the Department of Education and the Sar Levitan Center. Schools from across the state have found that academic reinforcement, case management and continuous support from caring adults can change at-risk students into ones who cares about school and their future.

Volunteers from Hopkins honored by governor's office

Chirag Patel, a graduate student in the Whiting School's Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Loretta Hoepfner, an administrative assistant in the Division of General Internal Medicine in the School of Medicine, first crossed paths in January, when they received Martin Luther Jr. King Jr. Community Service Awards at Hopkins.

On April 25, they met again, this time in Annapolis. The two were among the recipients of the 19th annual Governor's Volunteer and Service Awards, issued by the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism in honor of National Volunteer Week.

Patel was nominated in the education and literacy category by Weslie Wornom, a regional program manager at CSOS. In 2000, when he was an undergraduate, he mobilized 600 freshmen to participate in 26 service projects through Baltimore City community agencies for Freshman Day of Service.

Hoepfner was nominated in the health care category by John Flynn, clinical director of General Internal Medicine. She has been a volunteer for more than seven years with the American Lung Association of Maryland.