The Johns Hopkins Gazette: June 24, 2002
June 24, 2002
VOL. 31, NO. 38


In Brief

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

D.A Henderson to be awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Longtime Hopkins faculty member and administrator Donald A. Henderson was among a group of 12 recently selected by President Bush to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. The list of recipients, announced last week, includes Nancy Reagan, Nelson Mandela, Bill Cosby and Hank Aaron. The medals will be awarded at a White House ceremony next month.

The Medal of Freedom was established by President Truman in 1945 to recognize notable service in the war. In 1963, President Kennedy reintroduced it as an honor for distinguished civilian service in peacetime.

Henderson is credited with leading the World Health Organization's effort to eradicate smallpox, a task completed in 1977.

Dean of the School of Public Health from 1977 to 1990, he also was the founder and former director of JHU's Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies. Currently, Henderson serves as principal science adviser to HHS secretary Tommy G. Thompson and is chairman of a new federal advisory committee on bioterror preparedness.

JHU anthropology prof to be Afghanistan's finance minister

Ashraf Ghani, an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, has been tapped by the newly elected president of Afghanistan to be the troubled country's finance minister.

The appointment, announced on June 19, was made by Hamid Karzai. Ghani's immediate task will be to coordinate the millions of dollars in financial help promised to rebuild the nation.

Ghani was born in Afghanistan and taught there before he came to the United States in 1977. After receiving his doctorate in anthropology from Columbia, he joined the Hopkins faculty in 1983. He was lead anthropologist at the World Bank from 1991 to 2001, during which time he was an adjunct professor at Hopkins.

Applied Physics Laboratory oscillators fly with GRACE

A quartet of APL-designed and -built ultrastable quartz oscillators -- the world's most accurate spaceborne timekeepers -- is now in orbit aboard the two spacecraft of NASA/JPL's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment mission, known as GRACE.

The oscillators are playing a key role in meeting the five-year science goal to accurately map the Earth's gravity field. As the satellites fly about 130 miles apart in the same polar orbit 300 miles above Earth, the oscillators' precise and stable signals continuously measure satellite-to-satellite distance--and thus their relative velocity--with unprecedented accuracy. Scientists are then able to convert velocity changes, which are due to fluctuations in the Earth's gravity, into an accurate map of the global gravity field.

JHM Tech Licensing Office issues pamphlet for faculty

The JHM Office of Technology Licensing has created a pamphlet to familiarize faculty with issues surrounding inventions and patenting. The guide discusses when and how to report an invention to OTL and what to expect after submitting a formal Report of Invention. It also includes general information about OTL's functions, a section on frequently asked questions and information about which licensing associates work with which departments. For a copy, call 410-347-3222.

2002 Commencement slide show is now online

NBC News anchorman Tom Brokaw delivered the undergraduate diploma ceremony address, and Oriole great Cal Ripken Jr. received his first honorary degree, but the day belonged to the new graduates of Johns Hopkins University.

For those who want to relive the experience of the recent universitywide and Homewood undergraduate diploma ceremonies, an online slide show of the day's event is now available at commence02.html.

The slide show is accompanied by original music by Daniel Davis, a dual-degree candidate in music and history.

Evacuation-procedure training offered at Homewood

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, the university, through the Crisis Response Team and the Office of Health Safety and Environment, is working to increase familiarity with proper emergency response procedures and is offering training on evacuation procedures. The training is intended for Homewood's department administrators and managers who have responsibility for disseminating crisis response information to employees and students.

Building Evacuation/Emergency Response training sessions will be held from 3 to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, June 26 and 27, and Wednesday, July 3, in 3 Shaffer.

Deadline nears for mandatory training in animal use and care

The university is reminding all principal investigators using animals at Johns Hopkins that the deadline for completing the animal care and use training course is Aug. 31.

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee last year launched a mandatory, online training course for all university employees and students who work with animals. The course is located at the School of Medicine's Research Compliance Training site

Failure to comply with the policy could result in delays in approval of animal use protocols or compromise the person's ability to use animals in the laboratory.

For more information contact James Owiny at 443-287-3738.

JHM experts update national media on stem cell research

Sixteen health and science journalists spent June 19 at the medical campus to hear about advances in stem cell research and public policy.

In a seminar organized by the JHM Office of Communications and Public Affairs, 10 Hopkins scientists, including stem cell pioneers John Gearhart and Curt Civin, presented recent research data and a view of major hurdles that remain before stem cell therapies are commonplace and safe.

Jeffrey Rothstein, director of the Center for ALS Research; John Laterra, professor of neurology, oncology and neuroscience; and Marcus St. John, postdoctoral cardiology fellow, presented highlights from their laboratories' searches for stem cell-based therapies for Lou Gehrig's disease, brain tumors and heart disease, respectively. Bioethics Institute director Ruth Faden moderated a discussion on the ethics of stem cells with panelists Gearhart, former Psychiatry director Paul McHugh and oncologist Bert Vogelstein. The Medical School's vice dean for research, Chi Van Dang, served as host.

Reporters in attendance represented a cross section of national and local media, including Newsweek, CNN, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, Newsday, Science, The Scientist, The (York, Pa.) Daily Record, Reuters, Associated Press, Metro Networks radio, WBAL-TV, WJZ-TV, and Hopkins Health.