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Walking into the Insectory Core Facility

The Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute is one of the many research centers affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Part of that Malaria Research Institute is the Insectary Core Facility which has seven environmentally controlled walk-in incubators for mosquito rearing and nine reach-in incubators with custom temperature and humidity adjustment. In addition to allowing Bloomberg School professors, students and staff conduct research on mosquito carrying diseases, researchers can place orders for a population of mosquitos to conduct.

Inside one of the 7 walk-in incubatorsThe Insectary is central to many research projects happening at the School, including two papers that were published in the September 29 issue of Science. Both studies looked at genetic modification to increase resistance to the malaria parasite that can be spread throughout the mosquito population. One team discovered a strain of bacteria that can be spread rapidly through the mosquito population and when the bacteria modified it suppresses the development of the malaria parasite. The second team discovered a genetic modification that allows the mosquito’s immune system to suppress the malaria parasites and can be spread by changing the mosquitoes’ mating preferences. You can read about the research in the press release.

In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre and continued violence across the country, Michael Bloomberg announced on Twitter last Wednesday that he would match all donations to Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action.


While a public health issue, gun violence policy often does not follow public health protocol, or the true opinions of the public. Research from the Johns Hopkins Center for gun Policy and Research shows that restrictions and background checks for gun owners is not a patrician issue, but rather a bipartisan opinion despite the NRA’s claims. With the congressional red tape that prohibits the CDC from conducting research on gun policy, it’s nonprofits like the Center for Gun Policy and Research, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action that will finally make a change in national policy. That’s why Bloomberg’s announcement didn’t come as a huge surprise to me. Bloomberg has previous supported gun restrictions and his continued support of the public health approach to gun violence.

If gun policy and research is of interest to you, the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research engages in original scholarly research, policy analysis and agenda-setting public discourse.  Last year, I wrote a blog about Center for Gun Policy and Research.

SOPHAS and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health require a transcript from every collegiate institution ever attended. Below are two common examples that often prevent applicants from completing.

Transfer Credits*
If you attended more than one institution to complete a particular degree, you will need a transcript from each institution. Even if the credits were transferred and appear on the second school’s transcript, a transcript from the original credit issuing institution is required.

*The exception to the Transfer Credit example is if the credits are from Study Abroad. SOPHAS has specific instructions for Study Abroad transcripts and credits should be marked as Study Abroad in the Transcript Entry section of the application.

Dual Enrollment
If you took a class in high school and received college credit for it from a local college, you are required to enter the course as taken at that particular college in Colleges Attended and submit an official transcript from that institution.

A big milestone happened this year for the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse. Moore Center is a JHSPH affiliated research center that takes a Public Health lens to preventing child sexual abuse. Director Dr. Elizabeth Letourneau recently gave at TEDMED talk entitled “Child sexual abuse is preventable, not inevitable.”

Dr. Letourneau begins her talk with a personal moment in 2012 that greatly affect her career and research before sharing two, strong statistics that are rarely known outside the field of child sexual abuse research and sharing some of her research.

You can watch Dr. Letourneau’s talk on TEDMED website or below.


Sending your academic records may seem straight forward, but sometimes it can be a bit more complicated. Below I’ve laid out some guidelines and advice for some trickier situations. In general, send your transcript(s) or WES evaluation to SOPHAS as early as possible after starting your application. We can add an updated academic record after your application has been submitted, but we can’t guarantee the committee will read the updated transcript.

Before Sending Academic Records
Before you send any academic records, you must start your SOPHAS application. On the Transcript Request form you will need to include your SOPHAS ID# when entering the SOPHAS mailing address. Not including a Transcript Request Form will delay the processing of your transcript. Also, make sure that you have listed the institution issuing the transcript under “Colleges Attended” prior to sending the transcript.

Paper Vs Electronic Transcripts
SOPHAS will only accept electronic transcripts via the Credentials Solutions (follow this link to the list of schools) and the Parchment service (follow this search for your school). If the school you’re requesting a transcript from does not participate than you must have a paper transcript sent. SOPHAS has full instructions on their webpage.

Will have Fall 2017 Grades and Program has a December 1 Deadline
This is probably the trickiest of all situations. Especially if you’re currently enrolled in a one year master’s program. In this case, you will need to submit a transcript to SOPHAS before you receive your grades. Even if the transcript is “in-progress” or is blank because of a one year program, submit it before the Fall 2017 grades so your application will be complete in time for review. If you send an updated transcript, Admissions Services can attach it to your application. We just can’t guarantee it will be read by the committee if it is attached to your application by Admissions Services since the committee may have started to review your application or completed the review of your application. If admitted, you will need to send a final transcript upon completing the program.

Will have Fall 2017 Grades and Program has a January 15 Deadline or Later
With a January deadline, you have more time for the US or English Speaking Canada transcript to arrive. Also keep in mind that registrar offices tend to close for at least a week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, so check with your institution on the timing of when the transcript will be sent out. If it is a transcript that needs evaluated by WES, do not wait for the fall grades as the evaluation process can take months.

Will NOT have Fall 2017 Grades
Once you start your application, send all your academic records as early as possible! Remember, SOPHAS has a special form to accompany your transcript and a code that needs included so the matching of the transcript with your application will be expedited. Keep in mind that December is the busiest time for SOPHAS and the Admissions Services Office which increases the processing time.

If you’re still have questions, don’t hesitate to e-mail us or call us between 8 a.m and 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time at 410-955-3543.