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Click here to read the Winter 2014 ICM eNews.

President Obama Honors Tilak Ratnanather with Presidential Mentoring Award

Date: March 30, 2015

Professor Tilak Ratnanather
Professor Tilak Ratnanather
On March 27, President Obama named Tilak Ratnanather among just 14 individuals to newly receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).

The PAESMEM is awarded by the White House to individuals and organizations to recognize the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering—particularly those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in these fields. Announcing the awards, President Obama stated, “These educators are helping to cultivate America’s future scientists, engineers and mathematicians. They open new worlds to their students, and give them the encouragement they need to learn, discover and innovate. That’s transforming those students’ futures, and our nation’s future, too.”

Tilak Ratnanather, Associate Research Professor of Biomedical Engineering and a core faculty member of both the Institute for Computational Medicine and the Center for Imaging Science, has devoted his career to recruiting and mentoring deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals into STEM fields. His motivation is built on his conviction that these individuals are uniquely positioned to make significant advances in STEM, particularly in auditory-related sciences and medicine.

Awardees will receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation and will be honored at a White House ceremony later this year. Congratulations, Tilak, on this remarkable achievement!

More information: White House Press Release, March 27, 2015

Sue Kulason receives Fulbright Scholarship

Date: March 27, 2015

Sue Kulason
Sue Kulason
Sue Kulason, a second year graduate student in the department of Biomedical Engineering, the Center Imaging Science and Institute for Computational Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, received the Fulbright Scholarship to travel to the Centre de mathématiques et de leurs applications (CMLA) at the École Normale Supérieure de Cachan, France. She will be working on a year long neurodegenerative modeling project with Dr. Alain Trouvé's lab. The goal of the project is to 1) measure the accuracy and sensitivity of methods used to detect changes in brain shape from high resolution MRI scans and 2) determine where atrophy occurs that explains the shape changes seen in Alzheimer's Disease. The study will focus on three areas of the brain that are most closely associated with Alzheimer's Disease: hippocampus, amygdala, and entorhinal cortex. A new mechanistic cell layer model will be coupled with a sophisticated method to detect shape change in MRI (Large Deformation Diffeomorphic Metric Mapping) to investigate the mechanisms of atrophy in Alzheimer's Disease.

Congratulations Sue, and good luck with your research!

Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine features Trayanova lab research on cover

Date: March 11, 2015

Trends Cardiovasc Med. Cover

Research from the lab of Dr. Natalia Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering and ICM core faculty member, was featured in the February 2015 issue of Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine. The paper is entitled "Beauty is a light in the heart": The transformative potential of optogenetics for clinical applications in cardiovascular medicine. From the abstract:

Optogenetics is an exciting new technology in which viral gene or cell delivery is used to inscribe light sensitivity in excitable tissue to enable optical control of bioelectric behavior. Initial progress in the fledgling domain of cardiac optogenetics has included in vitro expression of various light-sensitive proteins in cell monolayers and transgenic animals to demonstrate an array of potentially useful applications, including light-based pacing, silencing of spontaneous activity, and spiral wave termination. In parallel to these developments, the cardiac modeling community has developed a versatile computational framework capable of realistically simulating optogenetics in biophysically detailed, patient-specific representations of the human heart, enabling the exploration of potential clinical applications in a predictive virtual platform. Toward the ultimate goal of assessing the feasibility and potential impact of optogenetics-based therapies in cardiovascular medicine, this review provides (1) a detailed synopsis of in vivo, in vitro, and in silico developments in the field and (2) a critical assessment of how existing clinical technology for gene/cell delivery and intra-cardiac illumination could be harnessed to achieve such lofty goals as light-based arrhythmia termination.

To view the entire article, click here.

Sohail Zahid awarded a JHU ARCS Foundation Scholarship for $15,000

Date: March 10, 2015

Sohail Zahid, a predoctoral student in the Trayanova lab, has been selected to receive a Johns Hopkins University 2015-2016 ARCS Foundation Scholarship. Sohail also received personal congratulations for his award from the Vice Provost for Research, Denis Wirtz. The Metropolitan Washington Chapter of the ARCS Foundation funded this program at Johns Hopkins to award merit-based graduate scholarships to students majoring in engineering and the physical sciences whose work could result in a breakthrough technology or discovery with the potential to advance America’s global technological competitiveness. The $15,000 award may be used for education-related expenses such as tuition, books, supplies, travel to conferences, research activities as well as other needs.

Congratulations, Sohail!

ICM Hosts First Computational Medicine Night at JHU

Date: February 27, 2015

On March 24, the ICM will host the first ever Computational Medicine Night at Johns Hopkins University. Through research presentations by ICM undergraduates, lab tours, poster presentations, and a panel discussion, Hopkins undergraduates will learn about the array of research and academic opportunities available to them in this emerging field. The event will also provide ample time for undergraduates to mingle, over a casual dinner, with ICM faculty, students and postdocs and to ask questions about the innovative research taking place in ICM.

The event will kick off at 6:00 p.m. in Hackerman Hall, Room 320, on the Homewood campus. Since this is a catered event, we ask those who plan to attend to RSVP to by Monday, March 16.

For further details, including presentation abstracts as they become available, click here.

Trayanova work featured in JHU Rising to the Challenge Campaign.

Date: February 18, 2015

Natalia Trayanova, PhD, the inaugural Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and her team within the Institute for Computational Medicine were recently featured in the Johns Hopkins University Rising to the Challenge Campaign for their work building complex, multi-scaled computational models that simulate electrophysiological and electromechanical heart function and test possible treatment scenarios.

From the article: “The current therapy for infarct-related fast heart rhythms is ventricular ablation in which a physician will insert a catheter in the patient’s heart to burn a piece of tissue that is believed to sustain the arrhythmia,” says Trayanova, adding that it is crucial to locate the optimal site for ablation delivery and that patients who are hemodynamically unstable have particular difficulty in tolerating this procedure which can take four to 12 hours to complete.

“In my lab, using cardiac MRIs, we create patient-specific models of the heart that are able to recreate the dysfunction in each patient. Then we use these models to predict what is the best therapy for each patient,” says Trayanova, who also received the 2013 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award.

To read the full article, click here.

The story has also been featured on the Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineering website here.

Dr. Natalia Trayanova gives keynote lecture at 2015 Cardiac Muscle Society Meeting

Date: February 17, 2015

Natalia A. Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Institute for Computational Medicine, presented the keynote lecture at the 2015 Meeting of the Cardiac Muscle Society. The conference was held on February 8 at the Pier 5 Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Trayanova's presentation was entitled "How heart modeling can improve patient care".

Click here to view more information on the Cardiac Muscle Society Website.

Michael Miller to speak at Inaugural Indo-US Translational Neuroscience Symposium

Date: February 13, 2015

Michael I. Miller, Ph.D., Herschel and Ruth Seder Professor, Director, Center for Imaging Science, will be speaking at the Inaugural Indo-US Translational Neuroscience Symposium on February 25th and 26th in Tilghman Auditorium (Turner Concourse). The conference features an array of leading neuroscience investigators from JHU SOM, Homewood, KKI, the Lieber Institute, and NIH. The symposium will also host nine speakers from the National Institute for Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bangalore, with whom JHU is establishing an academic partnership.

The theme of the symposium is the discovery and validation of neurologic and psychiatric biomarkers (endophenotypic, genetic, molecular, cellular, imaging) in determining neurologic disease risk, prognosis, therapeutic responsiveness. The conference is co-sponsored by the departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine , Institute of Cell Engineering, and the Lieber Institute for Brain Development.

For more information on the symposium, click here to view the pdf brochure.

Clinical Neurophysiology features Sarma lab research on cover

Date: January 29, 2015

Clinical Neurophysiology Cover

Research from the lab of Dr. Sridevi Sarma, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and ICM core faculty member, was featured in the February 2015 issue of Clinical Neurophysiology. The paper, entitled "Physiology of functional and effective networks in epilepsy" reviews notions of functional and effective connectivity as applied to the study of seizures in epilepsy. Functional and effective connectivity are notions that come from network science and have been widely applied to fMRI data. Also reviewed are applications to invasive EEG recordings obtained from epilepsy patients undergoing invasive monitoring.

To view the entire article, click here.


Research from Dr. Karchin's lab featured in Winter JHU Engineering News

Date: January 13, 2015

Dr. Rachel Karchin, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and core faculty member of the Institute for Computational Medicine, is featured in the winter 2015 edition of The Johns Hopkins Whiting School's Engineering Magazine. "Pinpointing Cystic Fibrosis Severity" focuses on research in Dr. Karchin's lab towards predicting the severity of individual's likely symptoms of cystic fibrosis from their genetic code.

As stated in the article, "The researchers have used a large array of clinical and genetic data from CF patients to "teach" the Karchin lab computer algorithm to think like a doctor—making highly accurate diagnoses of specific symptoms and disease severity, based on the presence of these rare CFTR mutations."

To read the entire article at the Johns Hopkins winter 2015 Engineering Magazine, click here.

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