Department of Pathology News 2016
Residency Progrm Video
Thinking about doing your residency training in Baltimore, but unsure what life in Baltimore is really like? Watch the video and get an inside perspective of residency life at Johns Hopkins.
Congratulations to our new professors!
A black tie dinner was held on September 11th to honor our most recent new professors. Karen King, M.D., Russell Vang, M.D. and Tian-Li Wang, Ph.D. were recognized by other professors at a beautiful event at the Peabody Library.
Congratulations Karen, Russ and Tian-Li!
Last June, as the academic year waned, women Pathology residents and fellows joined the women full professors for a luncheon on the Houck patio in the Phipps Building.
This was more than simply a pleasant gathering however. By beginning a conversation, our women professors are initiating a paradigm shift within the department where they are committing to the support and professional advancement of those women in the early stages of their careers in Pathology.
While the percentage of women graduating from medical school has risen from 5 to 50% over the past century, the number of women physicians in institutional leadership positions is still abysmally small. One of the preventing factors may be the lack of networking among women. Research shows that networking has traditionally been an area where men excel, but for a variety of reasons, women have found it to be a challenge. The women professors of Pathology are facilitating a first step on the path toward making connections for trainees with potential mentors and supporters which is crucial for advancement.
During lunch, senior faculty shared stories relating to their challenging climb up the academic ladder. The younger women shared their recent experiences and frustrations. All agreed that their efforts were well worth the aggravation and obstacles.
Future luncheons will be planned, and will include Pathobiology graduate students and the entire women faculty. We are most grateful to Dr. Hruban for his enthusiastic support of the women in the department.
Kathleen Burns Named Director of New Physician Scientist Training Program
We are pleased to announce that Kathleen Burns will become director of the new Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP), effective today, Sept. 12. Physician-scientists have been central to the mission of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine since its inception. The program represents our ongoing commitment to produce physicians who will develop independent research careers and become thought leaders in academic medicine.
Dr. Burns is an associate professor of pathology and a faculty member in the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine. She serves as the deputy director for research in the Department of Pathology. Dr. Burns earned her M.D. and Ph.D. in the Medical Scientist Training Program at Baylor College of Medicine in 2004, and came to Johns Hopkins for clinical pathology residency and served as chief resident. She received career development awards from the National Institutes of Health and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and she now runs an accomplished, R01-funded laboratory that studies mobile DNA and roles these play in disease. She is also a practicing hematopathologist, specializing in the diagnosis of leukemias and lymphomas.
Dr. Burns is well-recognized for being an outstanding research mentor, and she is the co-director of a T32-supported research training program for academic pathologists. She will design and implement the PSTP in collaboration with residency and clinical fellowship program directors, research faculty members, and basic science and clinical department directors to facilitate the career paths of physician-scientists from the end of medical school through their first years on faculty.
Please join us in congratulating Kathy and welcoming her to this new role.
16th Annual Current Topics in Gastrointestinal and Liver Pathology
The 16th Annual Current Topics in Gastrointestinal and Liver Pathology conference, will be held at the Chevy Chase Bank Conference Center at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland on October 15-16, 2016. Online registration is available here.
This 16th annual conference is intended as a practical overview for pathologists who encounter gastrointestinal and liver specimens in daily practice. Interpretation of biopsies of the upper GI tract mucosa and the liver will be addressed, as well as recent advances in pancreatic and biliary pathology. Case presentations will be featured to emphasize presented concepts. Participants should come away with a better understanding of interpretation of mucosal biopsies, liver biopsies, pancreatic/biliary disorders, current concepts in staging and the application of modern techniques to gastrointestinal disorders.
This CME activity offers SAM credits.
Drs. Duffield and Wood receive Catalyst Award
Two Pathology faculty members, Drs. Amy Duffield and Laura Wood, recently received the Johns Hopkins Catalyst Award from the Office of the Provost. These awards support the research and creative endeavors of early career faculty across Johns Hopkins. The current cohort, named in July 2016, includes 34 early-career faculty members from across the University, including the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Engineering, Public Health, and Advanced International Studies. The group includes anthropologists, astronomers, economists, and engineers (among many others!), and Drs. Wood and Duffield were among only 12 awardees from the School of Medicine. The goal of the Catalyst Award is to launch these faculty members on a path to a sustainable and rewarding academic career. These awards include both funding and mentoring opportunities and will greatly support the expansion of their independent research groups. Dr. Duffield's project is "Damaged DNA Response in FLT3/ITD Acute Myeloid Leukemia: an Achilles Heel and Potential Therapeutic Target", and Dr. Wood's project is "Molecular Drivers of Key Transitions in Pancreatic Neoplasia".
Congratulations, Amy and Laura!
Wishing Dr. Netto Well!
The Division of Surgical Pathology held a goodbye reception for Dr. George Netto. George, a much admired member of our Department since 2005, is moving to Alabama to become the chair of the Department of Pathology at UAB's School of Medicine. George will run a department that includes 83 full-time faculty members in six divisions and is currently ranked No. 10 nationally in NIH funding.
We deeply appreciate George's many contributions to his patients, the Department, and the institution, and we wish him well in his new leadership position!
Johns Hopkins Scientists Track Metabolic Pathways to Find Drug Combinations for Pancreatic Cancer
Cancer researchers have long observed the value of treating patients with combinations of anti-cancer drugs that work better than single drug treatments. Now, in a new study using laboratory-grown cells and mice, Johns Hopkins scientists report that a method they used to track metabolic pathways heavily favored by cancer cells provides scientific evidence for combining anti-cancer drugs, including one in a nanoparticle format developed at Johns Hopkins, that specifically target those pathways.
"We have to hit cancer cells from more than one angle, and that's made it important to learn how to combine drugs that hit the right combination of pathways." Anne Le, M.D., H.D.R., assistant professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center
Le says that the study of so-called metabolomics to track biochemical reactions in cancer and other cells should help scientists decide how best to combine drugs. A report of the scientists' work will appear online the week of Aug. 22 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
For the study, Le and her collaborators at Johns Hopkins, including Barbara Slusher, Ph.D., an expert in drug discovery, and Justin Hanes, Ph.D., a nanomedicine expert, started with an experimental drug called BPTES and injected it in mice with implanted human pancreatic tumors. BPTES has been used in animal models for a variety of cancers but has not substantially reduced tumor sizes, probably because the drug concentration in tumor tissue is not high enough when using conventional drug formulation methods, say the scientists.
With this in mind, scientists from the Center for Nanomedicine at Johns Hopkins, led by Hanes, encapsulated the BPTES in a nanoparticle capsule coated in polyethylene glycol, a molecule used widely in medicines and industrial products, using a method they developed to provide a more uniform coating. The nanoparticle, according to the scientists, helps the drug slip through capillaries near cancer cells and remain within the tumor longer than it would otherwise.
After 16 days, eight mice treated with encapsulated BPTES had tumors half the size of another eight mice treated with nanoparticles containing no drug. BPTES not encased in the nanoparticle delivery system had little effect on tumor size in 12 human tumor-bearing mice.
This shows that the nanoparticle-encapsulated drug is more effective in tumor reduction than the drug alone in these animal models."Dr. Le
But their overriding interest in BPTES, says Slusher, was in how it works: by blocking the production of glutamine, an amino acid that acts as a building block of cells and is used frequently by pancreatic cancers to create more cancer cells. When the Johns Hopkins scientists saw that their nanoparticle-encapsulated version of BPTES shrunk mice tumors by half, Le and her colleagues searched for what major metabolic pathway was driving the growth of the remaining half of the tumor.
To find it, the scientists injected the eight tumor-bearing mice with high levels of labeled glutamine and glucose, another metabolic compound commonly linked to the growth of pancreatic cancer cells. They then traced the compounds' biochemical breakdown through the mice and found that the remaining tumor cells had high amounts of lactate, an end product of the glucose pathway.
With this information, the scientists tested the glucose-blocking anti-diabetes drug metformin, combined with the nanoparticle-encapsulated BPTES, on another eight mice implanted with human pancreatic tumors. The drug combination shrunk tumors by at least 50 percent more than those treated with either drug alone.
Researchers elsewhere have been testing metformin in pancreatic cancer patients with little success, says Le, despite indications that it's a good candidate to treat glucose-dependent tumors.
But it appears the key may be to combine it with other drugs to shut off multiple key pathways in those tumors."Dr. Le
The scientists have filed a patent for the technology associated with nanoparticle-encapsulated BPTES. The drug's chemical name is bis-2-(5-phenylacetamido-1,2.4-thiadiazol-2yl)ethyl sulfide.
Congratulations, Andrew Layman
Andrew Layman, a 4th year Johns Hopkins medical student, was awarded an ASCP Academic Excellence and Achievement in Pathology Award for medical students who have shown leadership qualities and dedication to the Pathology field. As a winner, he receives an Amazon Kindle, a copy of the Quick Compendium of Clinical Pathology, 3rd Edition, and Recognition on the ASCP website and in ONELab Memo.
Andrew has impressed the Pathology faculty so much that he won the William H. Welch Award for Outstanding Performance in Pathology by a Johns Hopkins Medical Student, which was announced at the Johns Hopkins Pathology Awards Presentations. The award reflected his great attitude, work ethic, and team work while on rotations in our department.
Dr. Timothy Amukele in Forbes Magazine
Expanding on his work in Africa, Dr. Timothy Amukele recently wrote an article in Forbes Magazine which describes the 10 essential diagnostics items for every lab. As Tim wrote, "Without diagnostics, medicine is blind." Read the article.
Guest Editor, AMA Journal of Ethics
Dr. Margaret Cocks, a third year resident in our program, guest edited the AMA Journal of Ethics August issue, which explores a few of the neglected ethical issues pathologists face in daily practice. Five ethical cases consider real life pathology scenarios offering tips on how to deal with ethical questions from autopsy consent to disclosing preliminary diagnoses at the FNA bedside. Featured articles include discussions on how social and cultural attitudes toward autopsy have shifted, cautions about the use of social media for sharing images, and what the death of Prince tells us about the public and professional obligations of physicians who interact with the media.
Congratulations, Dr. TC Wu!
TC was elected as an Academician of the Academia Sinica. This is considered the highest honor in academia in Taiwan.
Academia Sinica (Taiwan, Republica of China) held its biennial Convocation of Academicians from July 4 to July 7 culminating in the announcement of the 2016 list of Academicians on July 7, 2016. Professor TC Wu was one of 20 new Academicians and 2 Honorary Academician that were elected. Check this link for the elected members.
New Grant Funding Opportunities Available
Career Development project grant applications are now available to support investigators involved in projects related to cervical cancer. Priority will be given to investigators focusing on translational research projects, as well as to projects related to the cervical cancer and the human papillomavirus. Investigators performing basic research that has obvious, near-term potential application will also be considered. Funds for the career development project program are provided by our NCI Cervical Cancer SPORE grant.
Download the submission guidelines.
Deadline for submission July 15, 2016
Pilot Project grant applications are now available to support new projects in advanced cervical cancer related research. Priority will be given to translational research projects as well as to projects related to cervical cancer and the human papillomavirus. Basic research that has obvious, near-term potential application will also be considered. Funds for the pilot project program are provided by our NCI Cervical Cancer SPORE grant.
Download the submission guidelines.
Deadline for submission July 15, 2016.
Dr. Jonathan Epstein in NY Times
Dr. Jonathan Epstein was featured in a provocative story in the May 25th issue of the New York Times.
The article highlights how many men with low-grade prostate cancers are still undergoing possibly unnecessary treatment. Thanks to consensus from most of the major cancer organizations, 50 percent of men with low-grade prostate cancer are choosing active surveillance. The article highlights the new grading system proposed by Epstein and his colleagues as a way to frame the risk that a cancer may present to the patient.
Congratulations to the Class of 2016
To celebrate their graduation, our graduating residents made a trip to the top of the Dome with Drs. King, Steenbergen and Hruban. The trip included a brief "history tour" and a chance to view Hopkins in perspective of Baltimore's skyline. Congratulations and best wishes to the class of 2016!
Pathology Lab Tours
Celebrating National Lab Professionals Week:
Lab Week Tours - April 26-29, 2016. Click here for more info.
National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, April 24-30
The Department of Pathology celebrates National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, April 24-30, 2016. The Department thanks all of its employees for their dedicated service and commitment to patient care.
Johns Hopkins Pathology Diversity Spring Event
- Date: April 14, 2016
- Time: 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
- Place: Wilmer 107, Patz Lecture Hall
- Light refreshments will be available
- 1 Pathology CE credit
- If you are interested, please e-mail email@example.com by April 8, 2016.
Pathology Young Investigators' Day
For more information, click here to visit the Pathology Young Investigators' Day page.
Hopkins Tops NIH Funding for FY 2015
The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research has announced NIH award data for fiscal 2015. We are proud to announce that our Department of Pathology leads the nation in NIH funding! In addition, two of the top five funded pathologists are from Hopkins (Susan Eshleman and Sharon Nachman), and TC Wu is in the top twenty! Our faculty do an amazing job with all three of our missions. They are great teachers, outstanding clinicians and extraordinary scientists. Our sincerest Congratulations to our research scientists!
|1||Johns Hopkins University||$47,984,237|
|3||University of Pennsylvania||$31,282,591|
|5||Columbia University Health Sciences||$28,835,484|
Congratulations to our USCAP Ambassadors
Congratulations to Rebecca Asch-Kendrick, M.D., Chief Resident, and Genevieve Crane, M.D., Ph.D., Hematopathology fellow and former Hopkins resident, who were selected as USCAP Ambassadors.
"The Ambassador Program is designed to achieve connectivity with future generations of pathologists. Engagement of pathologists-in-training as members for life in USCAP is critical to their career development and to becoming better pathologists. Ambassadors function to communicate to pathologists-in-training the value of membership in USCAP, engaging their interest, participation, and loyalty. The educators, committee members/chairs, and governance of USCAP derive from committed pathologists-in-training whose evolving maturity leads to the experience and confidence to assume these active roles. Per the USCAP website
Rebecca's goal as an ambassador is to encourage residents, fellows and junior faculty to engage with the association.
There is a rich network of pathologists that can help further our clinical knowledge, academic rigor and assist in career growth. I hope to facilitate these interactions and help residents navigate the next portion of their journey.
Eve will be working to further promote the social media presence of pathology as part of this group after first being inspired by the GI pathology twitter account (now with almost 500 followers of her own!) that she has been managing.
It is an extremely powerful way to interact with other pathologists as well as clinicians and patients. It is a wonderful way for the public to gain a better understanding of what we do, meet new colleagues and learn from interesting cases.
Residents and Clinical Fellows Appreciation Week
Johns Hopkins celebrated the first ever "Residents and Clinical Fellows Appreciation Week." The week is meant to honor all those who work so hard to provide excellent service and dedication. The School of Medicine hosted several events during the week for all residents and clinical fellows including bagels and coffee breakfast served by Hospital leaders, a Thank you cake, walk-in massages, a Wii Tournament with prizes, and a Happy Hour with hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, and music. Some of our Pathology Residents celebrated with a cake after a lunch didactic.
The Clinical Fellows were also honored in their divisions.
Congratulations, Dr. Namandje Bumpus!
Dr. Bumpus has been selected to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. This is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Dr. Bumpus directs the Pharmacogenomics Section of the HPTN Laboratory Center's Pharmacology Core at Johns Hopkins University and is supporting many HPTN studies, including HPTN 076, 077, and 083.
Dr. Timothy Amukele featured on CNN
How is technology changing medicine?
From drones delivering biological samples for testing, to robots entertaining sick children in the hospital, find out how technology is changing medicine.
Vital Signs with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Diversity in Pathology
As a part of the Department's effort to foster diversity and increase underrepresented minority (URM) student interest in pathology and in our department, Dr. Marissa White, a third-year resident in our program and Morehouse School of Medicine alumni, and Dr. Ralph Hruban traveled down to Atlanta to meet with medical students from Morehouse School of Medicine. Marissa gave two presentations-one to the first-year students and the other to the third-year students. Marissa spoke about pathology as a career and introduced the Department's special program for URM students.
URM medical students with an interest in this program should contact:
Juan Troncoso, MD
c/o Ms. Karen Fisher
Here are some pictures from the presentations:
Introducing: Core in a Box
The Johns Hopkins University has created and launched a new Web portal dedicated to providing the Johns Hopkins research community access to its comprehensive research core facilities and resources for core development and management.
The portal, Core in a Box, was developed by a team of core facility experts and users from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and Whiting School of Engineering. It is designed for investigators and core facility personnel. Johns Hopkins schools are home to more than 120 core facilities designed to encourage and enable cutting-edge research in the areas of basic science, genetics, medicine and others. This site gives users access to all of these resources.
Core in a Box offers:
- The ability to search from a complete list of cores from across the school of medicine, school of public health, Whiting School of Engineering, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and All Children's Hospital
- Core setup toolkits with process diagrams, templates and steps to assess user demand in the research community
- Core maintenance guides about establishing oversight of cores, working with external customers and rate schedule reviews
- Information about iLab Solutions, the Web-based core management system
- Training guides for new core facility personnel
- Information about equipment leasing and purchases
- A new user survey to evaluate investigator satisfaction with our core facilities
- Funding opportunities for core facilities, including a new school of medicine Core Coins program
- Core news and upcoming conferences and events
Our efforts around Core in a Box will enable Johns Hopkins researchers to maximize the use of these research investments and continue to position us as a world leader in discovery and scholarship.
These resources will also make us more competitive in acquiring additional instrumentation at a time when the National Institutes of Health is beginning to explore changes in its support and evaluation of proposals for shared instrumentation. Indeed, the NIH Office of Research Infrastructure Programs recently released a report on core facilities, recommending that research institutions understand their core facility portfolios and better manage them to increase efficiencies, capacity and competiveness.
Visit the Core in a Box site at hopkinsmedicine.org/research/synergy/core-in-a-box/**. You can also direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
**For future reference, the Core in a Box link can now be found on our Pathology website, on the Resources Links page—under "Faculty and Research Links".
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