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Keyword: research

Happy 10th birthday to the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC)! The main mission of IVAC is to apply rigorous science to build knowledge and support for the value of vaccines. Started in 2009, IVAC was born out of two different initiatives between the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance.

IVAC uses four approaches for their work. They use rigorous science, clear communication, productive partnership, and capacity building and training. The chart below helps demonstrate the many layers of work done by IVAC.

IVAC Diagram

Over the last 10 years, IVAC has helped to prove the economic advantage of vaccines, spread vaccine access beyond high-income countries to low-income countries, and provide technical leadership on over 15 vaccine-preventable disease.

Congratulations, IVAC, on 10 years of important public health work!

Several weeks ago, work done by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) to create a Global Health Security (GHS) Index using research by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) was published. The outcome of no country, including high-income countries, is prepared for an epidemic or a pandemic continues to receive media attention.

While not optimistic results, the GHS Index will help inform countries on where to improve their process to identify risks, improve preparedness and best practices, and track future progress with future GHS Indexes.

The GHS Index was created using only open source information and data from international organizations, including the World Health Organization; the World Health Organization for Animal Health; Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations; and the World Bank. The types of biologic events examined were naturally, intentionally, and accidentally occurring infectious disease outbreaks.

Further information on the GHS Index can be found in the JHSPH news release or at

Last week, the American Public Health Association and the Bloomberg American Health Initiative co-hosted a half-day forum on Policies That Work to Reduce Gun Violence.

Gun policy expert Daniel Webster, ScD began the first panel, which focused on policies. Jeffrey Swanson, PhD from Duke University is an expert in firearms as well as mental illness and violence prevention. Policies on licensing and stronger protections for victims of domestic violence were also topic points featuring Cassandra Crifasi, PhD and Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice’s April M. Zeoli, PhD, MPH.

The second panel focused on interventions and was segmented into different populations by speaker. JHSPH Alumna Shani Buggs, PhD, MPH spoke on high-risk individuals with group and cure violence intervention, Northeast Methodist Hospital’s Carnell Cooper, MD informed on emergency department and surgical experiences with hospital based interventions, and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Heath’s Charles C. Branas, PhD shared his research on reducing blight in urban areas. Wrapping up the panel, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health’s Linda C. Degutis, DrPH spoke on gun violence research.

The forum was live-streamed from Washington D.C. and the recording is now posted for viewing. The research and experiences shared by all the speakers highlighted the successes and challenges within gun violence prevention policies. Each also shared a call to action that supported the larger goal of ending gun violence.

Lyme disease’s history is riddled with mysteries, but new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health might have uncovered a new treatment to prevent lifelong symptoms of the disease.

Researchers found a variant of Lyme disease that is slow growing and may be the cause of the 10-20 percent of patients that experience lifelong symptoms from the disease. This variant is resistant to the standard single antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease. However, in test tubes and mice, the researchers found a three-antibiotic cocktail eradicated the Lyme bacteria.

“There is a lot of excitement in the field, because we now have not only a plausible explanation but also a potential solution for patients who suffer from persistent Lyme disease symptoms despite standard single-antibiotic treatment,” says study senior author Ying Zhang, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Bloomberg School.

“A lot of physicians have been wanting to do clinical trials of antibiotic combinations in post- treatment Lyme disease syndrome patients, and now we have results in animals that support the idea of such trials,” Zhang says.

Zhang and his colleagues are making plans for their own trials and hope that some of their results will help not just Lyme patients, but other patients with persistent diseases.

The research was published in the March 28 issue of Discovery Medicine. More information can also be found in the Bloomberg School’s press release.

Every year, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health celebrates the work of Hopkins faculty, staff and students involved in research and service around the world through Global Health Day. Part of the annual event features a leading figure in global health as the keynote and a judged student poster session. This year’s event will take place Thursday, March 28.

The 2019 Global Health Day keynote is Michele Barry, MD, FACP, FASTMH,  a Professor of Medicine and Tropical Disease at Stanford University. She will be speaking on health benefits and vulnerabilities due to climate change in urban populations of 10 million or more inhabitants.

Events like Global Health Day are wonderful opportunities for JHSPH students to showcase their work and learn from leaders outside of the Bloomberg School. With this event particularly, it’s also a great way to learn more about research and work opportunities abroad.