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From 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 5 at the Hopkins Club, the Whiting School of Engineering will celebrate two milestones:
RSVP by February 2.
Ilya Shpitser, in the Department of Computer Science, will hold the John C. Malone Assistant Professorship, one of a series of professorships provided by John C. Malone, MS ’64, PhD ’69 to help recruit and retain faculty with the goal of improving healthcare using a systems-based approach. A data/inference specialist who focuses on inferring cause-effect relationships, Ilya will be a member of the new center. His research includes all areas of causal inference and missing data, particularly using graphical models. Recently, his work has helped distinguish between causation and association in observational medical data. Ilya started at Johns Hopkins as an assistant professor this summer, received his PhD under the supervision of Judea Pearl at UCLA, was a postdoctoral scholar in the program on causal inference at the School of Public Health at Harvard, and was a lecturer in statistics at the University of Southampton.
The Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare, under the leadership of Greg Hager, the Mandell Bellmore Professor in the Department of Computer Science, is a multidisciplinary research initiative that will foster partnerships among engineers, clinicians, and scientists across Johns Hopkins University to catalyze, develop, and deploy innovations aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare.
John Malone has been remarkably generous in his support of Johns Hopkins, including a gift for the construction and naming of Malone Hall. The building, which opened in 2014, is designed to advance cutting-edge collaborative and translational research and has set a new standard for academic research facilities at Johns Hopkins. The Whiting School is grateful for Dr. Malone’s continued support of professorships and the naming of this new center in the Whiting School of Engineering.
Robert M. Nerem (Georgia Institute of Technology) presents “Regenerative Medicine: The Hype, the Hope, and the Future” as part of a special seminar hosted by the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, and the Translational Tissue Engineering Center.
Abstract: Although the underlying concepts of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine go back more than 75 years, the term tissue engineering actually was only “coined” in the 1980s. This was followed by the 1990s being the “go-go” years with stem cells emerging as a technology, an industry developing, and the term regenerative medicine beginning to be used. There also was a lot of hype, and following the turn of the century the field entered what might be called the “sobering” years, with private sector activity falling significantly even though the science continued to advance. The last decade, however, has all the marks of being “back to the future.” Advances in cell-based therapies have been fueled by advances in stem cell science and technology and the discovery of what is required to reprogram somatic cells into stem cells, known as induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. For cellular therapies, a key question is what is the mechanism of action? For a specific therapy, is the mechanism one of cell replacement or is it a paracrine effect? If the latter, is it possible that one could introduce the appropriate biological signals without the use of cells? In this case the discussion shifts from “my cell is better than your cell” to “my biological signals are better than yours.” Whatever the case, one of the “holy grails” is the neurodegenerative diseases/disorders and the repair/regeneration of the central nervous system. Instead of the mixture of hype and hope in the past, and with an aging population providing the threat of a “tsunami” of neural disorders, regenerative medicine offers the real possibility of cures to these diseases/disorders in the future.
The Johns Hopkins Research Symposium on Engineering in Healthcare brings together experts who advocate for leveraging new and emerging technologies to deliver better health care. This year’s theme is “Teaming with Technology Along the Care Spectrum.”
We invite all Johns Hopkins faculty, researchers, students, staff and clinicians, as well as industry representatives, to join us. This event is hosted by the Johns Hopkins Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare and the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.
Sara J. Czaja, PhD
Leonard M. Miller Professor
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Director, Center on Aging
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine