Drs. Cornish and Hruban were honored by the Institute for Excellence in Education in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
They jointly received the 2014 Educational Innovator Award for their work developing novel iPAD and iPhone teaching applications (apps) about pancreatic cancer. One of the apps they developed, The Johns Hopkins Atlas of Pancreatic Pathology, teaches doctors and scientists pancreatic pathology. The second app, The Johns Hopkins iCareBook for Pancreatic Cancer, is designed to help patients and their families facing the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Both apps are free thru the iTunes Store.
In the February 19, 2014 issue of Science Translational Medicine (Sci Transl Med. 2014 Feb 19;6(224):224ra24), Bettegowda and colleagues in the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research center at Johns Hopkins report on an exciting approach to the detection of pancreatic cancer. Bettegowda and colleagues applied cutting edge DNA sequencing to blood samples from a large number of patients with a number of different cancers. They found that many cancers, even some small curable cancers, shed mutant DNA into the blood. This mutant DNA circulating in the blood is called "circulating tumor DNA," or ctDNA for short. The team at Hopkins was able to show that ctDNA is detectable in >80% of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, and close to half of the patients they studied with early, surgically resectable pancreatic cancers. There is more work to be done, but this study, we believe, represents a significant advance towards the development of a blood test for pancreatic cancer.
Four members of the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins were identified as "highly influential" biomedical researchers (1996-2011) in a study of published scientific articles. The study tracked the number of times an author's work is cited by other scientists to develop a list of the top 400 living most influential biomedical researchers in the world. Drs. Cameron, Hruban, Kinzler and Vogelstein from the Goldman Center at Johns Hopkins were the only pancreatic cancer researchers on the list. This honor highlights the extraordinary impact of the pancreatic cancer research at Johns Hopkins. Congratulations to Drs. Cameron, Hruban, Kinzler and Vogelstein!
A list of highly influential biomedical researchers, 1996-2011.
Boyack KW, Klavans R, Sorensen AA, Ioannidis JP.
Eur J Clin Invest. 2013 Dec;43(12):1339-65.
It can be difficult to find a doctor or medical center with the expertise in a particular disease. Dr. John Sotos and colleagues have developed a unique Web-based tool, called ExpertScape, to help patients and their families identify disease-specific experts. ExpertScape's unique algorithm is based on the idea that true experts are "investigating the leading edge of knowledge and are writing about it." ExpertScape therefore bases its rankings on scientific publications. ExpertScape recently analyzed over 2,900 articles on pancreatic cancer and the Johns Hopkins University came out ranked as the leading expert center on pancreatic cancer. In addition, Dr. Ralph Hruban, the head of the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins was identified as the world's leading expert on pancreatic cancer. While no system is perfect, it is gratifying to receive this special recognition.