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Recent news from The Johns Hopkins University

This section contains regularly updated highlights of the news from around The Johns Hopkins University. Links to the complete news reports from the nine schools, the Applied Physics Laboratory and other centers and institutes are to the left, as are links to help news media contact the Johns Hopkins communications offices.

 

Two Johns Hopkins Researchers Receive Pew Charitable Trusts Awards

Robert J. Johnston, a biologist at The Johns Hopkins University, studying how cells randomly choose their fates during development and Andrew J. Holland, a molecular biologist at the university’s School of Medicine, whose work focuses on how dividing cells create the correct number of centrosomes, have been named Pew scholars for their promising work in the area of health sciences.

MedImmune, JHU Agree to Five-Year Research Deal

MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s global biologics research and development arm, and The Johns Hopkins University have entered into a five-year $6.5 million research collaboration.

T. Boone Pickens Announces $20 Million Gift

Texas energy entrepreneur and financier T. Boone Pickens plans to give $20 million to The Johns Hopkins University to support daring but potentially vision-saving research at the university’s Wilmer Eye Institute.

Schools of Education Lend Expertise and Support to The East Baltimore Community School

The Johns Hopkins University School of Education and Morgan State University’s School of Education and Urban Studies have joined forces in a university-school initiative to help transform the East Baltimore Community School into one of the best schools in the city.

Drug Improves Brain Function in Condition that Leads to Alzheimer’s

An existing anti-seizure drug improves memory and brain function in adults with a form of cognitive impairment that often leads to full-blown Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study led by neuroscientist Michela Gallagher of The Johns Hopkins University. The findings raise the possibility that doctors will someday be able to use the drug, levetiracetam, already approved for use in epilepsy patients, to slow the abnormal loss of brain function in some aging patients before their condition becomes Alzheimer’s.

JPEG For the Mind: How the Brain Compresses Visual Information

In the today’s online issue of Current Biology, a Johns Hopkins team led by neuroscientists Ed Connor and Kechen Zhang describes what appears to be the next step in understanding how the brain compresses visual information down to the essentials. They found that cells in area “V4”, a midlevel stage in the primate brain’s object vision pathway, are highly selective for image regions containing acute curvature. Experiments by doctoral student Eric Carlson showed that V4 cells are very responsive to sharply curved or angled edges, and much less responsive to flat edges or shallow curves.

Johns Hopkins Hits $200 Million Mark in Recovery Act Grants

The Johns Hopkins University has to date been awarded more than $200 million in National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation research grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the federal stimulus package. The 424 grants are financing investigations ranging from how the universe began to how men and women differ in their responses to the influenza virus to new strategies to prevent muscle loss caused by diseases such as muscular dystrophy. The grants also have underwritten the creation of 164 staff jobs, 32 of which are still open.

Social vs. Dependent Drinking: Is the Difference in the Brain?

Why some people can enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a few beers at a ballgame with no ill effects and others escalate their drinking and become dependent remains one of medicine’s baffling mysteries and a major public health concern. Using a $1 million stimulus-funded grant from the National Institutes of Health, a team headed by Elise Weerts, associate professor of behavioral biology in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, is using brain imaging techniques to explore whether individual differences in the brain’s opiate receptor system could contribute to a person’s future risk of developing problems with alcohol.

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