Department of Pathology NEWS 2011
Science magazine names HIV study "Breakthrough of the Year"
Some of the JHU investigators who supported the HPTN 052 trial are shown: Group photo: Susan Eshleman (front left), Estelle Piwowar-Manning (front right). Others (left to right): Andrew Redd, Thomas Quinn, Paul Richardson, Sarah Hudelson, Craig Hendrix, LeTanya Johnson-Lewis, Vanessa Cummings, Shauna Wolf.
The finding of a team of researchers — including several members from Johns Hopkins — that HIV treatment with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) can actually prevent transmission of the virus from an infected person to his or her uninfected partner has been named "Breakthrough of the Year" for 2011 by the journal Science.
The clinical trial, known as HPTN 052, demonstrated that early initiation of ARV therapy in people infected with HIV reduces transmission of the virus to their partners by 96 percent. The findings end a longstanding debate over whether ARV treatment of HIV-infected individuals can provide a double benefit by treating the virus in individual patients while simultaneously cutting transmission rates, according to the journal. It's now clear that ARV treatment can also reduce HIV transmission.
The results were called "astounding" by Anthony Fauci, the government's top HIV researcher. Others have called them a "game changer" because of the near 100 percent efficacy of the intervention.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins provided oversight and support for all of the laboratory testing in the trial, and also performed quality assurance testing and other specialized testing for samples coming from the 13 study sites in sub-Saharan Africa (Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Kenya), Brazil, India, and Thailand.
Susan H. Eshleman, M.D., Ph.D. and Estelle Piwowar-Manning, M.T. (ASCP), both in the Department of Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, are members of the HPTN 052 study team and were authors on the study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in August. Susan Eshleman is the head of the Network Laboratory for the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), which supported the trial. Estelle Piwowar-Manning is the Deputy Director of the HPTN Network Laboratory and also directs its Quality Control/Quality Assurance Core. Numerous other faculty and staff in the Department of Pathology, as well as investigators in other departments in the School of Medicine, provided support for the study.
Dr. Eshleman noted that, "This research moves the field of HIV prevention science forward, leading us on a path toward curbing the HIV epidemic. It provides a new direction for HIV prevention research and is beginning to shape public health policy." She added that an important next step is to determine whether early initiation of ARV treatment on a wider scale can reduce the spread of HIV on a community or population level.
Three other Hopkins researchers were also authors of the study: Taha E. Taha, M.B., B.S., David Celentano, Sc.D., and Joel Gallant, M.D. Many other universities and groups participated in the research, which was led by Myron S. Cohen, M.D., from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Personnel working oversees, left to right: Yaw Agyei, Lebah Lugalia, Danielle Heyl
We are pleased to announce that the department has established twelve funds to support the training of our fellows.
- The John Boitnott Liver and Gastrointestinal Pathology Fund
- Michael J. Borowitz Hematopathology Fund
- Peter C. Burger Neuropathology Fund
- Daniel W. Chan Clinical Chemistry Fund
- Patricia Charache Clinical Microbiology Fund
- Jonathan I. Epstein Genito-Urologic Fund
- Yener S. Erozan Fellowship in Cytopathology
- Constance A. Griffin Molecular Pathology Fund
- Paul M. Ness Transfusion Medicine Fund
- Lorraine Parent Racusen Renal Pathology Fund
- Noel R. Rose Pathobiology Graduate Student Fund
- Dorothy Rosenthal M.D. Cytopathology Fund
These funds not only honor a number of our current division chiefs, but they also will help insure the long-term viability of our training programs. As the end of the year approaches, please consider supporting one of these funds. You can donate online, or you may send your tax-deductable contribution (made payable to the Johns Hopkins University) to:
Attn: Mabel P. Smith
Department of Pathology
Johns Hopkins Hospital
600 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287-6417
Remembering Dr. Jack Yardley
John (Jack) H. Yardley, University Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Pathology passed away on December 7, 2011, at the age of 85 after a long illness.
A graduate of JHU medical school in 1953, Jack launched his career here the following year as an assistant resident in pathology. He quickly rose through the ranks to full Professor. Jack was associate dean for academic affairs from 1977 until 1984, and from 1988 until 1992, he served as Baxley Professorof Pathology with John K. Boitnott as Pathologist-in-Chief of JHH. In the 1960s he established the GI/Liver fellowship program to promote the research activities and clinical training of promising pathologists pursuing advanced training in the field of gastrointestinal disease. Then, in 1999, the fellowship was endowed in his name (https://pathology.jhu.edu/department/divisions/gi/yardley.cfm).
For more than 50 years, Jack devoted his energies to research, patient care and teaching. One of the founding fathers of the field of gastrointestinal pathology, he made groundbreaking observations on Whipple's disease of the gastrointestinal tract and helped define the current classification system for neoplastic dysplasia in the colon and esophagus.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to The John H. Yardley Fellowship in Gastrointestinal Pathology.
Pancreas Pathology iPad App Now Available
We have created a novel tool to teach pancreatic pathology. The Johns Hopkins Atlas of Pancreatic Pathology iPAD application ("app") is a teaching atlas aimed at residents, fellows and practicing pathologists. It contains over 1,400 images and is composed of three modules: an interactive diagnostic algorithm, a searchable image atlas, and an image-based quiz. Viewing multiple examples of the same entity or feature from this large, rich image atlas will strengthen the users diagnostic skills.
The app is available free through the iTunes store.
Pilot Project Funding Available
The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins is pleased to announce that funding is available for a limited number of novel developmental research programs (pilot projects) in the study of adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. This program funds important new pilot projects with promising translational potential that do not have sufficient data for an independently funded NIH grant. Projects of high priority should focus on new research directions, explore innovative ideas, test unconventional, but potentially important, new hypotheses, or ascertain the feasibility of new research approaches. Applications are due Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. For more information on how to submit an application visit:
Hopkins Ranks #1 in US News and World Report for 21st Year in a Row
The Johns Hopkins Hospital has taken the top spot in U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of American hospitals for the 21st year in a row. Johns Hopkins placed first in five medical specialties and in the top five in 10 others.
While we are proud of this ranking, we are not satisfied, and we continue to search for better treatments through research and discovery.
These types of third-party evaluations of clinical services can be potentially useful to consumers, but we must also be aware that each of the various rankings and ratings that are available today has weaknesses and strengths. Those seeking the health care that is best for them are urged to consider a number of factors when making decisions.
Dr. Ghazi S. Zaatari Award
Dr. Ghazi S. Zaatari and dean Edward Miller
We are sincerely pleased that our very own Dr. Ghazi S. Zaatari is the 2011 recipient of the Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association Samuel P. Asper Award for Achievement in Advancing International Medical Education. Dr. Zaatari, the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs for the Faculty of Medicine and the Chairman of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the American University in Beirut, received he residency training here at Hopkins in the late 1970s.
Dr. Ghazi S. Zaatari and president Ron Daniels
Dr. Zaatari gave a wonderful heart-warming acceptance speech and presented Dean Miller and the Department of Pathology beautiful plagues.
Below is a transcript of his speech delivered at the Biennial Meeting of the Johns Hopkins Medical & Surgical Association for the Samuel P. Asper Award for Achievement in Advancing International Medical Education:
Dean Edward Miller, Dr. William Crawley, Distinguished Guests, Fellow Alumni, Ladies & Gentlemen:
The year was 1976 and for months, the bombs were falling, the episodic ambulance sirens were filling up the air, the emergency room is rapidly filling with casualties and the tired young intern was carrying on with his demanding daily schedule in attending to his badly injured patients. While these violent events kept his mind preoccupied, they failed in abating his concern about his future. Graduation is few months ahead and his application for residency training remained unanswered; postal services and communications practically seized to exist and the political outlook for the country, shattered by the devastating civil war, was bleak. When he woke up that morning he thought of it business as usual until he received a page summoning him immediately to the Dean's office. When he arrived, he was greeted by Dr. Asper in his usual cheerful smile and the warm fatherly words: "Congratulations, you have been accepted at Hopkins." Suddenly, optimism prevailed and a bright future was ahead. Months later and after moving to Baltimore, Dr. Asper was keen on checking on the well being of his student in his new environment. Years later when I became a junior faculty member at Emory University, Dr. Asper visited Atlanta where we had lunch together and in his usual way he did not miss the opportunity to deliver a message: "In anything you do, think in which ways you can help others. While your scientific zeal will make you pursue developing new laboratory tests, make sure the effort will go to help the largest number of people possible and at most affordable prices."
In standing before you today, I would like to thank all those who nominated me to this distinguished award. This afternoon, I feel triply honored. First for being nominated by my pathology colleagues at Hopkins, the greatest honor a person can hope for. I owe a lot to that Department in shaping my professional career. Second, for what the award represents in recognizing international medical education, something that the American University of Beirut and Johns Hopkins cherished over the decades and collaborated on. Third, to receive an award the carries the name of one of my earliest mentors; for Sam Asper embodies optimism and hope in an environment of despair, tenacity and fortitude amidst the dangers of war, and equanimity and humanitarianism in caring for the sick. In his book "Care Amidst Chaos," he vehemently states: "Any contemplation of closing the hospital was clearly inappropriate; it must continue to serve the ill and wounded."
Throughout my life, the echoing words and the noble track record of this distinguished man remain a driving force in my work, especially after relocating to Lebanon 16 years ago. My commitment to enhancing medical education and exchange is unwavering in the many things I do, be it in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine, the faculty affairs office of AUB's School of Medicine, the Arab Board of Pathology, Arab-British School of Pathology, the Arab School of Pathology and the global networking of the International Academy of Pathology and its Arab division.
I come from a land from which the Phoenicians exported to the world a powerful communication tool i.e. the alphabet. Therefore, I elected to carry with me this afternoon a sample tablet of that alphabet to offer it to a beacon of exceptional medical education and phenomenal international exchange programs. Sam Asper was a life long dedicated ambassador of Hopkins in its humanitarian and educational mission; so Sam, here I am to accept humbly an award named in your honor and to renew my pledge of commitment to a torch of advancement of international medical education held high by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
Long live Johns Hopkins University,
Ghazi Zaatari, MD
June 10, 2011
Dr. Robert Kurman Pathology Grand Rounds Talk
Dr. Robert Kurman gave a special pathology grand rounds talk, New Concepts in the Origin and Pathogenesis of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: Shifting the Paradigm, at the 36th Biennial Meeting of the Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association on June 10th, 2011. Although not pictured, Dr. Kurman even posed as a uterus with ovaries to make a point about the pathogenesis of ovarian cancers.
Congratulations, Dr. Kurman.
Dr. Carroll receives American Society of Microbiology's BD Award
Dr. Karen Carroll, Professor of Pathology and Medicine, Director of the Division of Medical Microbiology, in the Department of Pathology, received the American Society of Microbiology's BD Award for Research in Clinical Microbiology in May 2011. This award honors a distinguished scientist for research accomplishments that form the foundation for important applications in clinical microbiology. The research goals of Dr. Carroll's work at Johns Hopkins focus on the diagnosis and epidemiology of health care-associated infections, especially Clostridium difficile and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
Congratulations, Dr. Carroll!
Biennial Meeting of the Johns Hopkins Medical & Surgical Association
Have You Ever Wondered What Goes On in Flow Cytometry?
Flow Cytometry has become a very important technique used to assist in the diagnosis of Leukemia and Lymphomas. The technique itself can be used for many applications in the clinical and research fields. The Johns Hopkins Clinical Flow Cytometry Lab under the direction of Dr. Michael Borowitz, a world renowned expert in the field, provides testing for Leukemia, Lymphoma, PNH, T cell subsets, Quantitative CD34, and Minimal Residual Disease of Leukemia or Lymphoma.
Read more here.
Pathology Young Investigators' Day
Remembering Dr. G. William Moore
It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Dr. G. William Moore on Monday April 4th. A gifted pathologist and mathematician, Bill made numerous contributions to the fields of pathology and informatics, combining math to the study of human diseases in a unique way.
Read more here.
Remembering William Beschorner
It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Dr. William Beschorner (Jun 4, 1947 - Mar 15, 2011). After completing his residency training here at Hopkins Bill joined the faculty. Through his research he made significant contributions to our understanding of graft-versus-host disease and the immunology of solid organ transplant rejection.
Microbiology Lab Celebrates Black History Month
Black History Month encompasses an entire population of people who possess a unique heritage. History has not always been kind to African Americans and, as with other minority groups, has left out important contributions made by its members.
Happy Helpers for the Homeless
"Happy Helpers for the Homeless" was chosen as the Department of Pathology's holiday project for the season of 2010. The Happy Helpers provide food, household goods, and gifts each year to people who usually have little to celebrate.
100th USCAP Meeting
The United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) held their 100th Annual Meeting in warm and sunny San Antonio, Texas, from February 26th to March 4th. Johns Hopkins Pathology once again was in the Top 4 of all 450 or so worldwide medical centers in the number of scientific abstracts accepted for presentation at the USCAP.
Pathology Neuropathology Division
The Neuropathology Division is made up of a diverse group of clinicians and scientists focused on understanding and treating diseases of the nervous system. The 17 faculty work on a broad range of conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), and other neurodegenerative diseases, brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, autism, and schizophrenia. Read more here.
Surgical Neuropathology Consultation Service
Located on Pathology 7, the Surgical Neuropathology Consultation Service provides review of outside surgical cases of lesions in and around the brain and spinal cord. Most of these consultations are instigated by pathologists uncertain as to the nature of a lesion; some are requested by a treating physician; and others, increasingly, are done at the request of the patient.
Read more here.
Five Pathology Employees Share Their "Path" to Better Health Through Exercise!
Lois Tissue and Rhonda Cole, supervisors in the Core Lab, recently joined Wellnet's "iStride Walking Program." They walk three days a week, Monday, Tuesday and Friday, inside the Hospital from 11:30-12:00 noon with other employees. Lois explained, "You huff it, you don't just stroll! They make you work!" She believes you are successful every time you walk, that success is ongoing and you must be consistent.
Read more here.
WELLNET: A JHH/JHHS Program for the Wellbeing & Health of its Employees
The Wellness process is contingent upon awareness and choices, leading to greater success in good health - something so important to each and everyone of us! Sometimes we may neglect our own health though we are health-care professionals - we need the support of others and certain programs.
Aaron Tobian published in The Lancet
Aaron Tobian, Assistant Professor of Pathology, in collaboration with the Rakai Health Sciences Program has recently published a study in The Lancet on how male circumcision significantly reduces high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) to female partners. This study suggests that male circumcision could contribute to cervical neoplasia prevention in resource poor settings where HPV vaccines are not available or in individuals with HR-HPV genotypes that are not covered by the vaccine. The study was cited online in many news outlets, including Web MD, ABC News, CBS News, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Reuters.
The Evolution of the Cytotechnologist
The cytotechnologist is one of the newer allied health professionals in medicine, far younger than either the medical technologist or histotechnologist.
Learn more about the evolution of the cytotechnologist on the pathology blog.
Topics in Gastrointestinal and Liver Pathology
The 11th Annual "Topics in Gastrointestinal and Liver Pathology" will be help on Oct 29th and 30th 2011.
Real, actual details will eventually follow.
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