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Bottom Line
Investigations
Vital Signs
Syllabus
Up and Comer
Vignette
Findings
Here and Abroad
JHUniverse

Bottom Line

Percentage of T. S. Eliot's prose that is in print today. Hard to believe so little of a Nobel laureate's prose work exists between hard covers, but more than 700 of Eliot's essays, articles, and other works, by far the bulk of his prose, have never been collected.

That is about to change. The Hodson Trust has provided $750,000 to the Johns Hopkins University Press for production of The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot, a projected seven-volume work that will take nine years to complete. General editor for the project is Ronald Schuchard, professor of English at Emory University and the author of T. S. Eliot: The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry and Eliot's Dark Angel: Intersections of Life and Art.

Says Schuchard, "Although Eliot's prose output was tremendous, including essays, addresses, lectures, prefaces, introductions, letters to editors, etc., he did not choose to collect these among the works that he presented to the public. These items remain hitherto uncollected in periodicals and books in libraries and private collections throughout the world."

The Press plans an electronic edition of the work that will provide greatly expanded access for scholars and students. Faber and Faber, the London publisher Eliot helped found in the 1920s, will be the project's co-publisher.

The current project continues a long tradition for the Press, which has in the past published documentary editions of the writings of Edmund Spenser, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Thomas Edison, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Frederick Law Olmstead. — Dale Keiger


Investigations

The Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Program provides funding for Krieger School students to pursue independent research while working closely with Johns Hopkins faculty. Here is more about the projects of two Wilson Fellows:

Akshay Oberoi, A&S '07, economics, "The Social Impact of Bollywood"
The Hindi-language film industry in India — a.k.a. Bollywood — is the biggest in the world, producing 1,000 movies a year. Oberoi wants to know more about such mass popularity. "I am trying to understand why people who barely have money to eat spend money on a movie ticket," Oberoi says. He conducted his research in Bombay during breaks and has interviewed a wide variety of people, both rich and poor, and has been surprised by how deeply many in India revere these cinema stars. "Some people have pictures and idols made in the shape of their favorite actor and have placed them in their temples," he says. "They pray to these actors for hope and thank them for providing a sort of escapism from their struggles."

James Harlow, A&S '07, history and political science, "An Irish No-Man's Land: The IRA and Ex-Servicemen in County Offaly, 1919-1921"
During the Irish War of Independence, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) faced a dilemma: how to categorize the thousands of Irish ex-servicemen who had been in the British military. Were they friend or foe? That indecision often led to local IRA commanders assuming a default attitude of foe, especially in County Offaly. "I am seeking to bring to light the personal stories of those ex-servicemen who were killed [by the IRA]," says Harlow. In Dublin and London, he's been examining newspaper articles, military records, police reports, military inquests upon death, and the personal statements of IRA commanders. "Everybody has a story, and those who have fallen into the forgotten recesses of history deserve to have their story told," Harlow says. — Maria Blackburn


Vital Signs

Hep-B and HIV-drug resistance
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins
School of Medicine are recommending that a drug commonly prescribed to treat hepatitis B infection not be used in patients co-infected with HIV who have not started anti-retroviral therapy. Infectious disease specialist Chloe Thio and her colleagues found that entecavir, marketed under the brand name Baraclude, causes the HIV virus to develop resistance to 3TC, a key medication used in a combination drug regimen to limit HIV replication. The team presented its findings on February 28 at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. — CW

Primitive yeast offers cholesterol clue
A Hopkins-led team of scientists has identified a protein that controls production of cholesterol in humans. The investigators included assistant professor of cell biology Peter Espenshade and graduate student Adam Hughes, lead author on the paper. The team first identified the protein in primitive yeast cells, then searched a database to find a human counterpart. The hunt yielded Dap1, a protein that not only controls cholesterol synthesis but regulates an enzyme involved in clearing half of all known drugs from the body. Their work could yield a better understanding of how the body metabolizes drugs. The research appeared in the February 2007 Cell Biology. — DK

Study may yield ALS gene
A new study has identified 34 genetic variations that may lead to the gene responsible for sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease). Ninety- five percent of all ALS patients have the sporadic variant, which strikes people with no family history of this fatal disease. Hopkins neurology professor and study co-author Jeffrey D. Rothstein says, "This is the first major step toward understanding how genetics may influence the most common form of ALS." The research appeared in the February online edition of Lancet Neurology. — DK


Syllabus

Course: Baltimore and the Bay: Colonial Times to the Present

Instructor: Edward C. Papenfuse Jr., A&S '73 (PhD), has been Maryland state archivist and commissioner of land patents since 1975. The historian specializes in how U. S. cities have fostered economic growth and social development. He is the author of In Pursuit of Profit: The Annapolis Merchants in the Era of the American Revolution (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975).

Course description: For better or worse, Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay have profoundly affected each other's development. How did a city come to be situated on the banks of the Patapsco River? What has been its influence on the environmental history of the Chesapeake watershed? Approximately half the classes will be conducted at Homewood, and the other half will be offered online, with final papers and/or projects presented on a Web site. This course is offered through the Carey Business School.

Readings:
Baltimore: The Building of an American City, Sherry H. Olson (1997)
An Illustrated History of Baltimore, Suzanne Ellery Greene (rev. ed. 2000)
The Baltimore Book: New Views of Local History, Elizabeth Fee, Linda Shopes, Linda Zeidman, eds. (1991)
Monographs from Bibliography of Baltimore History, Dean Krimmel and Anita Kassof (1997)
— DK


Up & Comer

Name: Mahmoud Malas
Age: 39

Position: Assistant professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview; chief of endovascular surgery at Johns Hopkins Bayview

Stats: MD '92, Damascus University Faculty of Medicine in Damascus, Syria

Scouting report: "He is one of the rising stars nationally in the area of endovascular intervention," says Bruce Perler, chief of vascular surgery at Hopkins. "He has an unbridled enthusiasm for what he does, and great commitment to patient care." Perler points to the fact that even as a junior faculty member, Malas is the local principal investigator of "one of the most important clinical trials nationally in this decade" — the Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy vs. Stenting Trial (CREST).

Research: Malas is involved in several clinical trials that compare outcomes of traditional and minimally invasive vascular surgery. The CREST compares the traditional carotid endarterectomy (removal of plaque from a blocked carotid artery, which supplies blood to the brain) and carotid artery stenting (angioplasty and placement of a metal stent to keep the carotid artery open while protecting the brain during the procedure by placement of a filter). The trial focuses on comparing the adverse events of both procedures, including stroke and heart attack.

Mentors: At Hopkins, Perler and Julie Freischlag, chair of the Department of Surgery. At Montefiore Hospital, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Frank Veith, one of the fathers of traditional vascular surgery, says Malas, and Takao Ohki, who pioneered the use of the filter during carotid stenting.

Alternative career: Architect or designer of medical devices. "I love building things."

Shhh... Malas has a 15-month-old daughter, Hania, which means "to bring happiness." "That's truly what she does," he says. "Sometimes early in the morning before I leave for work, I go and check on her, and I hope she wakes up so I can play with her. My wife hates that." —Catherine Pierre


Vignette

The shoes are fabulous: dainty, pointy-toed platforms, painted with a bird of prey and a tangle of snow-covered branches, in colors like sky blue, emerald green, and rich gold. Though, crafted from papier-mâché and covered in gesso and gouache, they're fit for ghosts more than girls. Lauren Ross, the artist who made the shoes, calls them "Slippers for Movement in the Material Realm." Inspired by a stunning cloisonn&eacuate; vase at Evergreen, she says she designed them for one of the mansion's ghostly inhabitants, someone "who keeps one foot in the material realm, the world of its former belongings, and the other in the heavens."

Ross is one of five artists whose work is on display in Building a Legacy: Evergreen Scholars at MICA, at Johns Hopkins' Evergreen House through June 3. The scholars are part of a decades-long relationship between Maryland Institute College of Art and this historic house, begun by Alice Work Garrett, a patron of the arts who had supported MICA since the 1920s. After her death, the Evergreen House Foundation established a scholarship fund "to assist promising students in the fine arts to pursue studies" at MICA and the Peabody Institute. Two rising seniors, one from each school, have been awarded the scholarship every year since 1965.

Also featured in the exhibition are sculptor and performance artist Nestor Topchy, sculptor Richard Cleaver, painter Rita Natarova, and sculptor Colleen Ostrander.

Ross, who graduated from MICA in 1993 and lives in Baltimore, says that she'll never forget the first time she visited Evergreen, back when she was in art school. "It's one of my favorite places in Baltimore," she says. — MB


Findings

Manufacturing tiny tools
Plasma bubbles in the ionosphere can disrupt satellite communications. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins
Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), using microelectronic techniques, have developed a miniature version of a tool to measure these bubbles. The new Flat Plasma Spectrometer is not only smaller — the size of a teacup — it also uses less power and provides higher-resolution data. The device, developed with scientists from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the U. S. Air Force, is already in use aboard the micro-satellite Falconsat-3, launched on March 8 from Cape Canaveral.

Disaster preparedness
New software designed by Johns Hopkins emergency medicine specialists will help hospitals prepare for flu epidemics, bioterrorist attacks, floods, plane crashes, and other catastrophes. The Electronic Mass Casualty Assessment and Planning Scenarios (EMCAPS) program, written by members of Hopkins' Critical Event Preparedness and Response Office (CEPAR) and APL, relies mainly on population density estimates to calculate the number of patients a hospital can expect to see in the wake of such a disaster.

Linking heart researchers globally
Johns Hopkins, along with Ohio State University and the University of California, has received $8.5 million in federal funding to develop a worldwide digital network to connect cardiovascular researchers. "The Cardiovascular Research Grid," says Raimond Winslow, professor of biomedical engineering at Hopkins School of Medicine and the primary investigator, "will enable us to assemble large, geographically distributed research teams and bring together the leading experts in the world to focus on a common problem, regardless of their location." The project will be housed on the Homewood campus. — CW


Here and Abroad

The Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health recently named three new associate directors: Chris Beyrer, professor of epidemiology in the Bloomberg School of Public Health; Robert C. Bollinger Jr., professor of infectious diseases in the School of Medicine; and Nancy Glass, an associate professor at the School of Nursing. The center, which will celebrate its first birthday next month, was established to focus the expertise of Hopkins on global health issues.

...Hopkins junior Patrick Kennedy got around last summer — London, Venice, Florence, Paris, and other cultural capitals on the Continent. His trip resembled the Grand Tour of old, which was the idea. Kennedy's excursion was funded by a Provost's Undergraduate Research Award, and he intends to produce several works of fiction derived from his experiences. Kennedy is a triple major in history of art, English, and the Writing Seminars.

...Patrick C. Walsh, University Distinguished Service Professor of Urology, has won the King Faisal International Prize for his work in prostate cancer research. Walsh shared the $200,000 prize, awarded by the Saudi Arabian King Faisal Foundation, with Fernand Labrie, a Canadian researcher.

...The Applied Physics Laboratory's little spacecraft that could, New Horizons, sped past Jupiter in February on its way to Pluto. While in the Jovian neck of the woods, it conducted a variety of observations, beaming data and images back to Earth and grabbing a boost from Jupiter's gravity. No word on whether it asked, "Are we there yet?"
— DK


JHUniverse

www.cogito.org
Ever wonder how calculus can improve your everyday decisions? Or about the invention of the first ideal anti- reflection coating? You'll find the answers to these and a gazillion other questions at a new Johns Hopkins Web site developed by the Center for Talented Youth. Cogito.org is designed as a virtual home for gifted students with interests in math and the sciences. The site is meant to inspire users to become the innovators of the future. Developers also hope cogito.org will help upgrade math, science, technology, and engineering education for gifted middle and high school students worldwide. It's pretty cool: You can trade math problems with someone in China, ask world-famous scientists scintillating questions, or check out an awesome photomicrograph of a silkworm trachea. — MB

Return to April 2007 Table of Contents

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