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Mar
16
Fri
DOM Research Retreat: Re-engineering Medical Discovery
Mar 16 @ 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
DOM Research Retreat: Re-engineering Medical Discovery @ Turner Auditorium/Concourse, Johns Hopkins Medical Campus

The Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins includes more than 3,600 basic and clinical science researchers at the faculty level; 1,200 graduate and medical students; and 1,400 fellows. The 2018 Department of Medicine Research Retreat is a joint retreat with the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering.

This full-day event will include awards for the best posters, the Levine and Brancati Mentoring Awards, and basic and clinical research presentations by senior Johns Hopkins faculty. Art projects from the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine will be spotlighted in the retreat exhibition area.

Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT, will deliver this year’s keynote lecture. Langer is the author of more than 1,400 articles and the most cited engineer in history (h-index 239). Worldwide, he has in excess of 1,260 issued and pending patents that have been licensed or sublicensed to more than 300 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology, and medical device companies.

Click here to register!

Please contact domretreat@jhmi.edu with questions regarding poster submissions and requirements, the mentoring awards, or retreat registration. 

Nov
6
Tue
2018 Charles and Mary O’Melia Lecture in Environmental Science
Nov 6 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Re-Envisioning Wastewater Treatment for the 21st Century

Desmond LawlerDesmond Lawler, PhD
Nassir I. Al-Rashid Chair in Civil Engineering
Professor
Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Abstract: The philosophy of municipal wastewater treatment has changed only slowly in the past 100 years. From approximately 1920 to 1970, a wastewater discharge was considered acceptable if the dissolved oxygen level in the receiving stream did not dip below 5 mg/L downstream of the discharge. Protecting aquatic life, particularly fish, from immediate death due to low oxygen levels was the primary motivation and the goal. The passage of the Clean Water Act in 1970 reflected a broader view to include concerns about eutrophication by nutrients and ecological and human health concerns with the naming of “priority pollutants.” Nevertheless, the central concept was that discharge concentrations would be acceptable if they took advantage of the assimilative capacity of receiving waters; that is, if they limited the harm to acceptable values. Now we are embarking on a new philosophy, captured by the phrase “One Water” by the Water Environment Federation, in which we think of wastewater not as a problem for disposal but as a resource.

Why is this shift in philosophy happening? At least two major changes have occurred since the old philosophies were developed. First, a dramatically increased population has led to a substantial increase in “indirect potable reuse” of wastewater, whereby the effluent discharge from one city is a part of the drinking water source for a downstream city. In many areas of the arid Southwest, that “part” can often be nearly 100%. An extension of this trend, due to water shortages, is the drive toward direct potable reuse of wastewater. Second, not only do the chemical and pharmaceutical industries now produce tens of thousands of synthetic chemicals that were not dreamed of when the “priority pollutant” list associated with the Clean Water Act was developed, we now understand that some of these products are endocrine disruptors and others lead to microbial antibiotic resistance.

In this talk, I will try to make the case that wastewater treatment needs to be changed, perhaps radically, to reflect the new philosophy and to meet the needs of the 21st century. The thrust of the presentation will be to explore some possibilities for these radical changes and try to back them up with preliminary engineering calculations.

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