Department of Pathology NEWS 2012

Hopkins Pathology Leads in Funding

The Department of Pathology at Johns Hopkins leads all departments of pathology in NIH funding again this year! Rankings of NIH funding by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research shows that the Pathology Department at Hopkins has $46,819,803 in NIH funding. Emory University is in second place with $31,749,376. Two of the top five funded pathologists, Drs. Brooks Jackson and Susan Eshleman, are from Hopkins. Congratulations to our researchers!

~December 2012

SMILE Contract Renewed

pSmile Logo The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) announced that the Department of Pathology's Patient Safety Monitoring In International Laboratories (SMILE)" contract will be renewed. This >$24 million contract is led by Dr. Robert Miller, and provides a comprehensive and uniform approach to evaluate initial and on-going laboratory capability and readiness to carry out NIAID-funded clinical trial protocols by (1) monitoring laboratories compliance with Good Clinical Laboratory Practices (GCLP), (2) monitoring the ability of laboratories to reliably perform protocol-specified tests by evaluating results obtained with panels of coded samples, (3) providing Labs with various means of assistance, guidance and training to address and prevent recurrence of deficiencies in GCLP and/or proficiency testing, and (4) maintaining a computerized data management system and document library that include lab performance data and guidance documents.

Currently, SMILE supports approximately 150 non-U.S. laboratories in 19 countries. SMILE will continue to support laboratories that are part of current and future NIAID-sponsored clinical trial networks.

Congratulations to Dr. Miller and the SMILE team!

~November 2012

New Grant Funding Opportunities Available

SPORE logoCareer Development Awards are now available to support new investigators interested in cervical cancer-related research. Priority will be given to investigators interested in cervical cancer translational research. Basic research that has obvious, near-term potential application will also be considered.Funds for the Career Development Program are provided by our NCI Cervical Cancer SPORE grant.
Download the submission guidelines.
Deadline for submission September 7, 2012

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 the development of human immunological assays against 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 September 7, 2012.

~August 2012

Pathology Members "Top Docs"

top Docs coverNine members of the Department of Pathology were selected as "top doctors" in the Washington-Baltimore area by Castle Connolly Medical. Congratulations Peter Burger, Jonathan Epstein, Ralph Hruban, Scott Kern, Robert Kurman, Anirban Maitra, Elizabeth Montgomery, Brigitte Ronnett, Michael Goggins and William Westra.

For more information visit: [login required].

August, 2012

Students' global health projects honored at Rice 360° competition

team picA team of undergraduate students working in the lab of Ann Le (Quy Hoa Le Thi) won third-place honors in the second annual National Undergraduate Global Health Technologies Design Competition for their work developing a point-of-care diagnostic device to detect G6PD deficiency. G6PDesign team members were Rohit Dasgupta, Vikram Rajan, Richard Powers, Uma Mohan, Joy Ukaigwe, Hannah Jiam, Ming Kang, Jordan Mandel, Renu Kondragunta and Pranay Rao.

Read the full article.

Fifteen-Year-Old Creates Non-Invasive Pancreatic Cancer Detection Tool

Dr. AliFifteen-year-old Jack Andraka of Crownsville won the top prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for designing a new moth to detect pancreatic cancer, Intel announced Friday. Jack has been working in the lab of pancreatic cancer researcher Dr. Anirban Maitra. The top prize is $75,000!

May, 2012

Dr. Ali Nominated Founding Editor-in-Chief of JASC

Dr. AliDr. Ali was recently nominated as the founding Editor-in-Chief of the forthcoming "Journal of the American Society of Cytopathology" or JASC. A special adhoc committee appointed by the society's president unanimously proposed his name for this position. His appointment was made official when the executive board of the society approved his nomination by voting at the recent annual scientific meeting.

American Society of Cytopathology (ASC) is the oldest and largest professional organization of cytopathologists and cytotechnologists in the world with over 3000 members. ASC is celebrating its 60th anniversary at the November 2013 annual meeting in Las Vegas. ASC have had two affiliate journals in the past; Acta Cytologica and Cancer Cytopathology. However, recently the society has been working to have its own official journal.

Dr. Ali has always been active in the ASC since becoming a junior member in 1992. He has served on a number of key positions in the society including chairmanship of both, the "educational development committee" and the "scientific program committee", as well as serving on the executive board of the ASC.

The journal will be published by Elsevier in New York and the first issue is scheduled for January 2014. Currently, Dr. Ali is putting together an editorial advisory board. He plans to have the journal's editorial office located at Hopkins, managed by an editorial manager.

May, 2012

25 Hottest Articles

25 hottest articles Two of the top three "hottest articles" of 2011 published in Human Pathology were from the Johns Hopkins Pathology Department! Bob Kurman and Ie-Ming Shih's paper "Molecular pathogenesis and extraovarian origin of epithelial ovarian cancer-Shifting the paradigm" garnered the top spot, and Justin Bishop, Rajni Sharma, and Petter Illei's paper "Napsin A and thyroid transcription factor-1 expression in carcinomas of the lung, breast, pancreas, colon, kidney, thyroid, and malignant mesothelioma" came in at number three. See all Hopkins Pathology Department papers that made it into the top 25.

April, 2012

Lab Week Presentation: Halsted the Documentary

HalstedApril 23 from 2:00-3:00PM in Hurd Hall.
Come see the true story of the most important and innovative surgeon America has ever produced. This documentary on the remarkable life of the first chairman of surgery at Johns Hopkins, William Stewart Halsted, was co-produced by Pathology's own Norman Barker and Ralph Hruban, M.D.. Alan Wu, son of Pathology's Dr. TC Wu, directed the documentary, and both Fred Askin (Pathology Director at Bayview), and Theresa Cantone (Administrative Assistant in Surgical Pathology) leant their voice talents to the show.

The documentary web site is and the PDF flier for the screening is here.

Please join us for this unique documentary.

April, 2012

USCAP Meeting 2012 Recap

The United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) held its 101st Annual Meeting on Monday, March 19th, 2012 at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Some of our trainees presented their works and posters. We would like to thank everyone who showed their support for our trainees.

Vancouver Vancouver

Chad McCall presenting
Chad McCall presenting

Laura Wood at her poster
Laura Wood at her poster
Laura Wood at her poster
Laura Wood at her poster

Aatur Singhi at his poster
Aatur Singhi at his poster
Aatur Singhi at his poster
Aatur Singhi at his poster

Roeland deWilde delivers his poster
Roeland deWilde delivers his poster


March 2012

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Yardley Memorial Service

John (Jack) H. Yardley

There will be a memorial service for Dr. John "Jack" Yardley, Professor and former director of Pathology who passed away on December 7th, 2011. The service will be held on Friday March 30, 2012 at 3 PM in Hurd Hall and will be followed by a reception in the Houck Lobby of the Phipps Building at 4 PM.

March 2012

USCAP Meeting 2012

USCAP logo The United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology extends a sincere invitation to the Community of Pathologists to attend its 101st Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Registration details are on the USCAP Web site. A number of our trainees are presenting at the upcoming USCAP meeting in Vancouver. We encourage everyone to show your support for our trainees by attending these sessions.


MONDAY, March 19, 2012
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Pacific Rim 2
Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel
Suite 300-999, Canada Place
Vancouver, B.C., Canada

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March 2012

Netter Award given for iPad App

iPad team Front row ( left to right): Toby Cornish, Corinne Sandone, Ralph Hruban and Bona Kim. Back row: Norman Barker, Robert Miller and Gary Lees.
The Johns Hopkins Atlas of Pancreatic Pathology has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Dr. Frank H. Netter Award for Special Contributions to Medical Education. The Award was established in 1990 to honor Dr. Netter's lifetime contribution to medical education. The award recognizes creative products exhibiting innovation and excellence in design which contribute significantly to the advancement of education and research in visual communication for the health sciences. Past recipients are here.

February 2012

Norman Barker featured in Scientific American

Norm Barker at WorkFebruary's issue of Scientific American features the work of Norm Barker, associate professor of pathology and art as applied to medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Norm's most recent book, the beautiful Paleobotanical Splendor, documents fossilized plant material. His next opus-to be published later this year-explores medicine and pathology.

Congratulations, Norm!

January 2012

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Updates on Employee Badges

FAQs / answers specific to PATHOLOGY (as of today 1/24/12):

1. Are my staff required to purchase standardized apparel?
Those staff who are required to purchase the Pathology assigned (Eggplant color) standard apparel have been notified and their supervisors are working with them for fitting times. This impacts only those in Phlebotomy, some laboratory technicians, some CLS Bone Marrow technicians, some Cyto, and our HATS team (eggplant and olive) at this time.
There will be updated appearance standards for everyone, not too different from today but much clearer guidelines and enforcement in the near future for the entire department at all locations (stay tuned).

2. Do I need to send staff for new badges this week?
A. If they are staff that will be physically working every day in the NCB, yes — it is suggested that they try to get a new badge at this time. Hours of Operation for apparel fitting and badges: Jan. 19, through Jan. 28, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Staff must enter the building through the Phipps lobby. (must have current badge and photo id with them)
B. Eventually we anticipate everyone will get an updated badge as technology is updated, there is a phased approach. The tap n’go technology is not being used in the Pathology areas at this point. If you are not moving to NCB or will have only occasional access, please wait for further instruction.
C. Please stay tuned, as we know more on badges we will get the information out to everyone.

3. Are the videos about the new building required of everyone?
A. Following the email instruction below, they are asking that everyone on the East Baltimore campus take time to view these (JHH and SOM). They have already put the videos in everyone’s myLearning plan for easy access.
B. Priority requirement should be made to all those that will be moving or will access the NCB at any time in their jobs. Please be sure they watch these videos over the next 6 weeks.
C. Strongly recommended that all others on East Baltimore campus or who visit frequently watch these videos over the next 2 months so that they know how changes impact all of us on campus, how to direct lost patients/family they encounter, and important updates on service excellence, security, employee access/entrances, food & break locations, etc.
D. Staff that rarely or never access any areas of the East Baltimore campus can be updated/given highlights by their supervisors. (though they may find a couple of these topics interesting and encourage everyone to remain informed on patient safety, security, and service excellence)

Learn about the New Clinical Buildings by viewing a series of short videos! This series of videos will give you an excitingorientation to the JHH new clinical buildings - The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center and the Sheikh Zayed Tower.There are seven short videos. You may view them in one sitting or watch them in several sessions.

There are sevenmodules thatcover:
- The inspiration behind the new building
- An overview of the layout and locations
- A description of food service
- Details about the 28 elevators
- Descriptions of innovations in the building
- Employee standards of excellence
- Patient and staff safety and security

To watch the videos click on the following link: JHH | NCB | New Clinical Building Orientation. There is a short quiz at the end, highlighting patient/staff safety and service excellence. For your convenience,JHH and SOM staff and faculty have been enrolled in the NCB Orientation online course in myLearning. (This is a required course for staff/faculty on the East Baltimore campus.) Please contact with problems related to this course.
4. Is there any other required training?
A. Any staff that have not completed the updated HIPAA courses will receive a final reminder this week. This was required of everyone by 12/31/11 (not related to the new buildings), please insure all of your team have completed and submitted their certificate to Pathology Human Resources (Sue or Gladys)
B. Encouraging everyone to take the Language of Caring course, this is a good course for working together just as much as working with patients and family. This is a 2 hour course available in the West Room (Turner) at many different times/dates. Sign up and schedules are also available on MyLearning. Go to Should you have questions regarding the Language of Caring initiative, please send them via e-mail to This course is required of all staff who have patient duties and in many of our clinical laboratory areas.

5.My staff are interested in a tour of the new clinical building, can they go?
Curious about what the impressive 12-story Hopkins Hospital’s Sheikh Zayed Tower and The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center look like inside? You’ll have the opportunity to step inside and get a sense of operations in the new buildings when you sign up for an employee tour, to be held throughout January 2012, and will leave from the Children’s Center Hope Forest (located across from The Johns Hopkins Hospital cafeteria). The one-hour guided small-group tours will take you from one view to the next, and cover building highlights, such as patient rooms, work areas and operating rooms. You must sign up in advance, see instruction below to register:
1. Go to
2. Click on the “Login” button.
3. Select “Login using your JHED ID” (if necessary).
4. Once authenticated, click on the myLearning icon in the left-hand column.
5. Type in “NCB Tours” in the search box, then click the GO button.
7. Select a tour by date and time. You will receive an email confirming your registration. Contact Jeff Nguyen at with questions.

January 2012

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Remembering Dr. Constance A. Griffin

Constance A. Griffin
Constance A. Griffin was born on June 8, 1951 in Evansville, IN, and grew up in Akron, OH. Like her pediatrician father, she attended the University of Chicago, and earned her M.D. from the University of Cincinnati in 1977. That same year she married Allan Spradling, whom she had originally met at Chicago, and the couple commuted in opposite directions from tiny Martinsville, IN, while Dr. Griffin completed her internal medicine residency at Indiana University in Indianapolis. She followed her husband to Baltimore in 1980 with only the prospect of a fellowship, but was accepted into the oncology program at Johns Hopkins in 1981. A strong belief in the importance of somatic genetic changes in cancer motivated her to commute to Philadelphia for two years to gain special training in cancer cytogenetics. After appointment as assistant professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins in 1986, she split her time between caring for oncology patients and developing a research and clinical cytogenetics laboratory. Dr. Griffin's group analyzed the chromo-somes of solid tumors, rather than the more accessible blood malignancies, and took an early and sustained interest in pancreatic cancer. Within a few years, Dr. Griffin was responsible for the majority of reported cytogenetic abnormalities associated with this disease. She constantly spearheaded the adoption of new molecular cytogenetic methods, and whenever possible contributed to the identification of specific cancer-relevant genes located at the site of chromosome breaks. Due to the increasing importance of clinical cytogenetic tests, she moved to the pathology department in 1994. In 1998 she established the cancer risk assessment program to counsel patients with a familial history of certain cancers. She was appointed Professor of Pathology and Oncology in 2008.

Connie and Allan adopted their daughters, Emily and Katherine, from Santiago, Chile, in 1991 and 1993. Family trips were a frequent highlight, including visits to England, Europe, Australia, the Caribbean, the Galapagos Islands, and Chile. Longtime members of TUUC, Connie taught Sunday school, and for several years served as head of the Religious Education committee and on the Board. She enjoyed a long-term interest in nature and the outdoors. Connie's honeymoon was a nine-person, eight-day wilderness canoe trip in Maine. Recently, she developed her skills as a birder. While continuing to work throughout her illness, Connie and Allan pursued birds on available weekends, observing and photographing more than 300 species during trips to Cape May, Tucson, Monterey, Delaware, and throughout Maryland, especially Loch Raven Reservoir.

Connie is survived by her husband Allan, a researcher at the Carnegie Institution. Katherine is currently a freshman at Furman University in South Carolina, where she is majoring in communications and business. Emily continues to develop her skills in horseback riding through competition and training with her coach.

January 2012

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