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School of Public Health Researchers Win Invention of the Year Award

Nirbhay Kumar, PhD, David Sullivan, MD, faculty with the Malaria Research Institute and the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Darin Kongkasuriyachai, a student in MMI, and Peter Scholl, PhD, senior research associate in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, received the 2002 Invention of the Year Award from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. They shared the award with Plamen Demirev and Andrew Feldman of APL's Research and Technology Development Center for developing an in vitro method of detecting very low levels of the malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium in blood.

The new malaria detection method takes advantage of the unique action of malaria parasites once they infect a red blood cell. The technique unambiguously detects, within minutes, as few as 10 parasites per microliter of blood, using a 50-microliter sample. Current methods take an hour, require a sample 20 times larger, and can detect infection only to a level of approximately 100 parasites per microliter.

An estimated 400 to 600 million people contract malaria worldwide each year resulting in 2.7 million deaths. Malaria researchers say that with continuous, affordable surveillance to promptly diagnose new cases, it may be possible to administer immediate, aggressive treatment and eventually eliminate the disease.

An independent, outside review panel selected the winners from 123 inventions—representing the work of 204 inventors—based on their potential benefit to society, improvement over existing technology, and commercial potential.

School of Public Health ranked No. 1

The School was ranked the No. 1 school of public health by U.S. News and World Report. The School has consistently ranked No. 1 since the magazine began ranking the top graduate schools in the country in 1994.





Other Awards

Jonathan Samet, MD, chair of the Department of Epidemiology, has received the 2003 William Cahan Distinguished Professor award for $600,000 from the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI) for his tobacco research. Dr. Samet plans to look at a global description of exposure to secondhand smoke and the associated risks. He also hopes to research the development of tools to help in reducing exposure to secondhand smoke. (See press release .)

Lynn Goldman, MD, MPH ’81, professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, was nominated for the upcoming National Library of Medicine exhibit, Changing Faces of Medicine, celebrating America’s women physicians. The exhibit will open in September 2003 in Bethesda, Md., and includes nominees such as Alice Hamilton, Harriet Hardy, and Linda Rosenstock , MD, MPH ’77.

Eric Slade, PhD, assistant professor, and David Salkever, PhD, professor, in the Department of Health Policy and Management received the first Adam Smith Award from the International Center of Mental Health Policy and Economics. They received the award for their paper, “Symptom Effects on Employment in a Structural Model of Mental Illness and Treatment: Analysis of Patients with Schizophrenia.” The Adam Smith Award was founded to stimulate research and support excellence in the field of mental health policy and economics research. (See press release.)

Scott Zeger, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Biostatistics, and Kung-Yee Liang, PhD, professor in Biostatistics, were named to the ISI (Institute for Scientific Information ) list of 232 Highly Cited Researchers. ISI determines inclusion to the list by indexing the world’s scholarly literature from a wide range of subjects and collecting cited references from many millions of articles. Dr. Zeger was also named one of the 25 most cited mathematical scientists of the last decade by the ISI’s Science Watch publication. (See press release.)

John Groopman, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, was elected chair of the Division of Chemical Toxicology for the American Chemical Society. The division is a forum for the presentation and discussion of research and opportunities in chemical toxicology and seeks to gain involvement and commitment from both academic and industrial scientists to identify programs directed at their respective needs, interests, and specialties.

Ellen MacKenzie, PhD ’79, professor, Health Policy and Management, and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy, received the Vaughan Award from the Kappa Delta Sorority and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons for her article on benefits of limb reconstruction versus amputation. The article was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. (See press release.)

Noel Rose, PhD, professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and director of the Center for Autoimmune Disease Research, was named laureate of the 2003 ABMM/ABMLI Professional Recognition Award. The award honors an exceptional Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM) or American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology (ABMLI) for contributions to the advancement and public recognition of the professions of clinical microbiology and immunology.

George Comstock, MD, DrPH ’56, professor of Epidemiology, is the recipient of the 2003 Maxwell Finland Award for Scientific Achievement presented by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. The award is given to a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of infectious diseases or public health.

Kyle Bernstein, PhD candidate in Epidemiology, Jennifer Manganello, PhD candidate in Health Policy and Management, and Meghan McSorley, PhD candidate in Epidemiology, were each awarded the 2003 Woodrow Wilson-Johnson and Johnson Dissertation Grant in Women’s Heath. Three of the ten awards went to scholars from the School. 

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© 2005 by The Johns Hopkins University

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