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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University February 5, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 20
In Brief


Black History Month events begin on Homewood campus

Baltimore City Councilman Keiffer Jackson Mitchell Jr. was the keynote speaker at Friday night's Carter G. Woodson Opening Ceremonies that heralded the Black Student Union's annual monthlong series of events on the Homewood campus.

Events scheduled for this week are a Poetry Slam, Gospel Choir Jubilee and Cultural Connections. See Calendar, page 12, for details.


Documentary on Leon Fleisher of Peabody nominated for Oscar

Two Hands, a film about Peabody piano faculty member Leon Fleisher's battle to regain use of his debilitated right hand, has been nominated for an Oscar in the short documentary category.

The film was produced by Susan Rose Behr and directed by Nathaniel Kahn, who was nominated in 2003 for My Architect, a documentary on his father, the well-known architect Louis Kahn.

Writing in The Baltimore Sun, movie critic Michael Sragow said of Two Hands, "The movie promises to be that rarity: a genuinely inspirational film."

The Oscars will be announced Feb. 25.


Intel STS recognizes third high-schooler working in JHU lab

For the third year in a row, a student from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute working in the laboratory of a Johns Hopkins professor has been named a finalist in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search, often referred to as the "junior Nobel Prize" because six former finalists later won Nobels.

Senior Emma Call was selected for a project done over three years in the lab of David Gracias, an assistant professor in the Whiting School's Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Her project was called "Self-Assembling Three-Dimensional Microcontainers for Cell Encapsulation."

Gracias touted Call's inventiveness in developing a way to fabricate microcontainers at low temperature, a process that allows the researchers to load them with chemicals, gels and cells while they fold rather than afterward, which is more difficult.

"I often guide Emma's research like she is a graduate student and only occasionally have to remember that she is actually in high school," Gracias said. "She is a co-author on two high-quality journal papers being submitted for review."

Call and the other 39 finalists will gather in March at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, where their projects will be judged. They also will be hosted at the White House by President Bush. The finalists receive scholarships ranging from $5,000 to the top prize of $100,000, as well as a new laptop.

In 2006, the seventh-place spot went to Myers "Abe" Davis, who worked with Jonathan Cohen, a research professor in Computer Science. Davis' project, which earned him a $20,000 scholarship, was designed to produce more accurate physical simulations.

In 2005, Ryan Harrison, now a Baltimore Scholar at Johns Hopkins, took fifth place and received a $25,000 scholarship for his project extending the capabilities of Rosetta, an important computer program for genomic scientists. The project came out of Harrison's research over two years in the lab of Jeffrey Gray in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

All three students participated in the Ingenuity Project, whose mission is to prepare highly capable and motivated Baltimore City public school students to achieve at nationally competitive levels in mathematics and science.


SAIS to host federal deficits forum featuring Peter Peterson

SAIS will hold a forum this week titled "The Quad Deficits: Why They Matter and What We Can Do About Them."

Hosted by the SAIS Center on Politics and Foreign Relations, the Financial Times and the JHU Center for the Study of American Government, the forum will feature Peter G. Peterson, senior chairman and co-founder of the Blackstone Group and chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Peterson Institute for International Economics; David Wighton, New York City bureau chief of the Financial Times; and Robert Guttman, CPFR director.

Admittance to the event, which will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6, in Room 500 of the Bernstein-Offit Building, is by invitation only.


JHPIEGO receives new grants for women's health initiatives

JHPIEGO has received funds to strengthen maternal and newborn health services in Cambodia and Nepal.

The ACCESS Cambodia Associate Award — Maternal and Newborn Health in Cambodia — is a three-year $1.8 million project to assist the Ministry of Health and key local stakeholders in improving availability of and access to high-quality, sustainable maternal and newborn health services.

Under the award, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, ACCESS will contribute in the areas of policy, including recruitment, deployment and retention of midwives; expansion of high-priority health interventions to national scale; training of midwives in essential and emergency obstetrical and newborn care; education for midwifery students, including the development of learning materials; prevention of postpartum hemorrhage in facilities and in the community; and integration of essential newborn care with existing services.

In addition, the Nick Simons Institute has awarded JHPIEGO $137,218 to provide technical assistance to improve health care in rural areas of Nepal, including strengthening provider performance through competency-based clinical training for birth attendants and health assistants.


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