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Admissions Blog

Date: Mar 2017

This is no joke. April 1st is two days away, which means we are two weeks away from the next application deadline. Masters’ programs in the following departments have an application deadline of April 15:

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Environmental Health and Engineering (full-time)
Mental Health
Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
Population, Family and Reproductive Health

The following degrees also have an April 15 deadline:

Master of Bioethics
Master of Arts in Public Health Biology

Remember, the deadline is at midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST) on April 15. We highly recommend submitting prior to the deadline, but especially not waiting until 11:59pm EST.

Over the last few months, I’ve interviewed students from different departments for Student Spotlights which will be featured in the 2018-2019 Academic Prospectus. While all of them have led to very different conversations, one answer has been very similar for every student. Whether they are in a master’s or doctoral program, JHSPH students come in with an idea of their career after graduating, but nearing graduation they view things differently. The reason? The classes and what they’ve learned.

As a large school of public health, there are a variety of classes students can take for electives. Students focus on their primary interests, but they are also exposed to perspectives they hadn’t anticipated. While Ellie Hwang came into the Master of Health Administration program in the Department of Health Policy and Management positive she would go into consulting after graduating, she was also exposed to the provider, practitioner and insurance side and now believes she would like to focus her career by working directly for the provider. Hector Carrasco, an MPH candidate, thought he’d return to treating patients and his work in health systems, but he now wants to continue his academics by earning his DrPH before putting his knowledge into practice (Hector emphasized that after his MD and MPH he thought he’d want a break from studying).

All the students I talked to were grateful and valued the classes and professors for exposing them to more career options and research opportunities. For them, it was an invaluable part of their education.

To me, the FDA has always seemed like a large, intimidating and confusing organization. I always assumed it was because I got lost in the science of the administration. Turns out, I’m not the only one to struggle with the FDA.

Last week, senior faculty from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Yale Medical School and Yale Law School, published in JAMA and the Bloomberg School’s website a Blueprint for Transparency that gives 18 recommendations in five principal areas to the FDA in an effort to be more transparent.

Each of the five areas push towards helping manufacturers and researchers make more progress by asking for more information on why decisions were made and where applications for approval are in the process. In addition, all 18 recommendations would not require new legislation from Congress and respects trade secret legal protections.

For the summary of the recommendations, check out the Bloomberg School’s press release; or delve into the entire 40 page blueprint.

Recently I was interviewing a student for a Student Spotlight in the next edition of the Academic Prospectus when he mentioned how valuable being so close to Washington DC has been for him. As someone interested in health systems and health policy, having access to all the national institutes of research as well as where the national policy decisions are made has enhanced his MPH experience. While it wasn’t something I had previously thought about, it made sense. But at the same time, the traffic between Baltimore and Washington, DC made me cringe. This brings me to the real topic of this blog: Trains.

I am writing this blog as I’m traveling for a recruitment event and riding my first train in the US. Sure, I’ve ridden the famously on-time Swiss trains and traveled a bit of Europe via trains, but the U.S. doesn’t have the extensive system found in many other parts of the world. As I have now calmed down from my adorable childlike glee of riding the train, I’m finding it incredibly convenient. Baltimore’s Penn Station is easily accessible and with trains leaving consistently to both the north and south, cities like Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York are in fact very accessible. Having spent a large part of my life in Wilmington, Delaware, I now know why former Vice President Joe Biden took Amtrak every day from Wilmington to Washington, DC as a senator. And when I attempt to see the cherry blossoms this year, I know I’ll be taking the train to Washington, DC.

In the US, it’s common to see a ribbon pinned somewhere to show support for a disease. Pink for breast cancer, red for heart diseases, yellow for leukemia (and a long list of other items). But one that you won’t find a ribbon for is gallbladder cancer. With gallbladder cancer a far less common disease in the US, it doesn’t receive the attention that more common diseases receive. However, look outside peoples of European decent and gallbladder cancer is far more common. In fact, there is such a significant difference in the cases of gallbladder cancer between those of European decent and South Asian, Indian, Central and South American, and Native American decent, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, along with the National Cancer Institute and Tata Memorial Cancer Center in Mumbai, India, began searching for a common gene. On Tuesday, March 6, they published their finding of that common DNA variants.

The researchers discovered the combination of two DNA variants, one previously linked to gallstones, led to a predisposition to gallbladder cancer. These variants were shown for the first time to be inherited and the researchers will continue to look for additional DNA variants.

Gallbladder cancer is considered quite deadly as often it isn’t discovered until the cancer is well advanced and has spread to other organs. The findings will hopefully lead to earlier detection and better treatment. You may read the news release of the research on our website.