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We’ve been preparing and talking about it, but it’s finally Johns Hopkins Bloomberg100 Cake School of Public Health’s birthday! Today is the centennial date!

Celebrate with us and have a piece of cake in honor of all the Bloomberg School of Public Health and Public Health Professionals’ accomplishments in the last 100 years.

A few weeks ago I blogged about Dr. Robert Black who was honored with the Jimmy and Roslyn Carter Humanitarian Award by the NFID. However, he wasn’t the only Dr. Diane GriffinBloomberg School of Public Health Professor to be honored by the NFID for their contributions to Public Health. Dr. Diane Griffin, a distinguished professor and former chair of the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (MMI), received the Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement.

A virologist, Dr. Griffin was recognized for her work on measles and alphaviruses as well as her leadership and dedication to mentoring the future generation of infectious disease investigators. Last year’s award winner, Samuel L. Katz, who worked on the development of the Edmonston measles virus vaccine, described Griffin’s “explorations of the molecular process of the measles virus and the immune components produced by it” as “highly remarkable.”

In preparing for this blog, I spoke with a few students in the MMI department. All of them spoke highly of Griffin and her work. But what amazed me was that although all of them worked on her research, none of them worked on the same project. While known for her work on alphaviruses and measles, her work spreads much farther and she is mentoring the next generation of virologists, helping them to find the question they want to answer in their own research and careers. Truly a leader in virology, public health and the scientific community, Griffin is a down to earth professor and mentor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health and truly deserving of the Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement.

As a writer without a strong science background I often feel the pressure of needing to share the big news items that are happening here at the Bloomberg School and accurately portraying the information. So often I’ve found studies misinterpreted by the media. For example, the Bloomberg School recently released research showing extremely high levels of folate and vitamin B12 can increase a child’s risk of having autism by 17.6 percent. The researchers on the study say these results show the importance of finding the optimal amount of folate during pregnancy as it is still important to the neurodevelopment of the fetus. They are not saying folate causes autism, which is how the much of the media portrayed the research.

I’m not writing to punish the media for misinterpreting important research and studies. Rather, the media does have power over what research gains public interest, and therefore financial support. If I feel pressure to accurately portray the science and to pick what would be interesting to you, my readers, on this small scale blog, think what reporters must feel when providing news on a national and world level. So much of public health revolves around the support of the media to help spread the findings to change policies and practices or create interest in a certain problem facing a population.

Needless to say, I’m very excited for the next Centennial topic. “What’s Next? The Future of Public Health” will feature writers who write about public health and how they foresee the future of issues of climate change, social justice and pandemics based on public opinion. Participants in the panel will include Yamiche Alcindor, a national political reporter for the New York Times, and Sonia Shah, author of Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond and The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years

The event is open to the public and will be webcast. It begins Thursday, June 9 at 1 p.m. and will conclude at 3 p.m.

The following programs have extended the application deadline to June 15:

MHS in Environmental Health Sciences
MSPH in Environmental Health Sciences
MHS in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

But don’t wait, apply now!

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Admissions Services will be closing at 2pm today to start our long weekend a couple hours early. The office will also be closed on Monday, May 30, 2016. We will reopen and return to normal hours on Tuesday, May 31.