Johns Hopkins Gazette: September 11, 1995


Hopkins ranked No. 10 
in latest U.S. News survey
     Johns Hopkins University is ranked No. 10 nationally in this
year's U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of U.S. colleges
and universities. Last year, Hopkins ranked No. 22.
     And in the magazine's first-ever ranking of undergraduate
engineering schools and programs, the G.W.C Whiting School of
Engineering ranked No. 17, tied with seven other programs, and
the Department of Biomedical Engineering is ranked No. 1.
     The 1995 rankings will be published in the magazine's Sept.
18 issue, on newsstands Sept. 11.
     "We are unquestionably pleased at the university's ranking,
which places us among the top 10 nationally," said Robert Massa,
dean of enrollment management. "More important, however, is the
recognition that Hopkins is among the best universities in the
country year after year. And being No. 5 or 15 or 22 is less
relevant than the acknowledgment of our stature within our peer
     Massa noted that one reason for the university's shift from
22 to 10 has to do with a change in the way part-time faculty
teaching in part-time programs are evaluated. "In my judgment,
Hopkins is the same quality institution it has been for years,"
he said. 
     "Year to year, U.S. News does a very good job reflecting the
top schools in the nation, and they are recognized for doing so,"
said Provost Joseph Cooper. "We are pleased to have this
confirmation of our excellence overall and of the School of
Engineering and the Department of Biomedical Engineering."
     School of Engineering dean Don Giddens was pleased by the
positive recognition his program received in the magazine's first
such survey and ranking.
     "This is a wonderful reflection of our program, which only
formally began [as the Whiting School] 16 years ago and remains
one of the smallest programs, in size, among the top 50
engineering schools in the country," Giddens said. "I think our
ranking derives not only from the reputation of the exceptional
quality of our faculty and staff but also from the overall high
regard in which Hopkins is held among research universities."
     Murray Sachs has served as director of the Department of
Biomedical Engineering for five years; for each of those years
the graduate program has been ranked first nationally.
     "Needless to say we are very pleased at the recognition of
our undergraduate program," Sachs said. "It is a tribute to a
hard-working faculty with responsibilities in the schools of
Medicine and Engineering and the program they maintain in both
biology and engineering."

Blood Drive scheduled 
for Sept. 13 and 14
     The 1995 Red Cross Blood Drive continues on the Homewood
campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 13 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on
Sept. 14, in the Glass Pavilion in Levering Hall.
     Donors will be entered in a raffle for two sets of tickets
to the Orioles' final game of the season, at 1:35 p.m. against
the Detroit Tigers on Oct. 1. 
     To sign up for donation time, call Peggy Jones, at (410)

Medical News

Measles vaccine safe for 
children with egg allergies
     A new study says more than 99 percent of allergic children
have no reaction to the small amount of egg-related antigen found
in the combined measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.
     Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and the
University of Arkansas confirmed that the vaccine is safe even
for children who react to eggs. Published recently in the New
England Journal of Medicine, their study underscores a need for
change in the national guidelines, they said.
     "Currently, children who react to a skin test of the vaccine
get six progressive injections, rather than a single shot. It's
an upsetting and painful procedure," said Hugh Sampson, professor
of pediatrics, allergy and immunology at the Children's Center.
"We're hoping the American Academy of Pediatrics will reconsider
the current recommendation."

Inhaler used for asthma 
may cause heart disease
     People using a popular inhaled prescription drug for chronic
asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and other lung diseases may
be at increased risk for a form of heart disease.
     Results of a study at Hopkins and other medical centers
suggest that the inhalers with beta-agonists have a role in
causing idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, which often leads to
heart failure.
     In idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, the heart's ventricles
become stretched and cannot contract normally, often leading to
an "enlarged heart," congestive heart failure and death.
     Beta-agonists ease breathing by stimulating cell receptors
in the airways, causing them to open. But beta-agonists also
increase heart rate, elevate blood pressure and, in some people,
trigger a potentially fatal abnormal heart beat.
     The study is reported in the current issue of the American
Journal of Epidemiology.

Pulp and paper workers 
have lower mortality rate
     The School of Hygiene and Public Health released a report
late last month on the first phase of an industry-wide study of
health trends for U.S. pulp and paper workers, which indicated,
overall, that the mortality rate for long-term industry workers
is about 74 percent lower than that of the general population.
     "This is an indication of what we call the 'healthy worker
effect,' which is often found in groups of people who are
gainfully employed," said the study's lead author Genevieve
Matanoski, professor of epidemiology.
     The report also states that, for all diseases studied, none
showed a significantly higher mortality rate, compared to that of
the general public. Mortality rates for some specific diseases
appeared elevated when employees were compared to each other. For
example, employees in mills which used certain pulping processes
had elevated mortality rates for heart disease, lung and brain
cancers, and lymphomas compared to employees at mills that did
not use similar processes. 
     The study, begun in 1987 with an initial grant from the
American Forest and Paper Association, should be completed in
     The report, the first of a multiphased study, analyzed data
from 63,000 long-term employees working in 51 pulp and paper
mills nationwide for 10 or more years.

Go back to Previous Page

Go to Gazette Homepage