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Illustration - Unlocking Autism’s Mysteries

Awareness: World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 aims to spread awareness and understanding of the disorder and to promote early diagnosis and intervention.

Unlocking Autism’s Mysteries

Global experts gather to share the latest research avenues.

Story by Jackie Powder • Illustration by Patrick Kirchner • Source art by Erhui1979/iStock

Many of the world’s leading autism researchers will gather in Baltimore MAY 11 to 14 at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR). The annual conference lets researchers share new work and explore innovative research avenues into autism’s causes, diagnosis and management.

M. Daniele Fallin, PhD, director of the Bloomberg School’s Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, and Stewart Mostofsky, MD, an investigator at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, are the scientific program co-chairs. Presentation topics include optogenetics—the use of genetics and light to control neurons—as applied to brain disorders, environmental causes of autism and adults living with autism.

“It’s an opportunity for autism researchers across a broad spectrum of disciplines to come together,” Fallin says of IMFAR, “yet it’s small enough that you can actually spend quality time with leaders in the field—to discuss details of recent papers, hear each other’s latest research findings and discuss future projects and ideas.”

Party Like It’s 1916

The Bloomberg School Centennial sparks learning, sharing—and fun.

Story by Jackie Powder

Time flies when you’re closing in on 100 years.

Seven months in, the School’s Centennial celebration is in full swing, with Lunch-and-Learn public health history talks, Centennial Policy Scholar seminars and department feature months—just to name a few activities.

There’s a lot happening, and there’s still more to come. Here’s a look at some save-the-date events and updates on continuing activities.

One Hundred Dinners

100 Dinners participants

We topped 100 dinners in DECEMBER 2015—way ahead of schedule!

Across 50 cities, 24 countries and 6 continents, the Bloomberg School’s global community of alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends gathered to share meals, network, honor the School’s legacy—and have fun. Pictured above is a dinner from Seoul, South Korea.

We may have hit our target, but that’s no reason to stop eating our way around the world—Centennial style. With this kind of momentum, we’ll have to rename it the Two Hundred Dinners project. (BTW, there’s still time for an Antarctica dinner!) 

Host your own dinner.

Department Months

Here are some upcoming highlights academic departments across the School are celebrating in honor of the Centennial:

On FEBRUARY 8, International Health and the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics host a joint seminar, “The Ethics of International Research.”

Biostatistics holds a FEBRUARY 10 discussion with Philip E. Bourne, NIH’s first permanent associate director for Data Science, and presents the inaugural “Ross-Royall Symposium: From Individuals to Populations” on FEBRUARY 26.

On World Malaria Day, APRIL 25, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology’s Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute hosts a symposium featuring researchers from the 10 International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research—the first gathering of all the centers at Johns Hopkins. 

Centennial painting by Debra Moffitt

THE ART OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Biostatistics department administrator and artist Debra Moffitt received an invitation to show her Centennial painting in the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association juried exhibit.

Future of Public Health

View of earth from space

On JUNE 9, find out what’s next in public health.

The School will look ahead—way ahead—to priority public health issues and innovative solutions on the horizon. We’re gathering a group of top-level leaders, doers and thinkers from diverse fields for an afternoon of informative, provocative and energizing discussions. Details to follow soon.

Happy Birthday!

The Centennial birthday party takes place JUNE 13—the School’s official birthday.

The School will also deliver birthday gifts to babies born on this day in our East Baltimore community as well as to local residents celebrating their own Centennial birthdays. 

Full Schedule of Events

Illustration - Dismantling Racism

Dismantling Racism

A look at the social determinants of health in Baltimore.

Story by Kate Belz • Illustration by Daniel Hertzberg

The turmoil in Baltimore triggered by Freddie Gray’s death last April has been years in the making.

“That event and the responses of the community highlighted the racial divides that plague Baltimore,” says Robert Wm. Blum, MD, PhD, MPH, director of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute.

Stark divisions persist in rates of graduation, incarceration—even heart disease. Life expectancies in some urban Baltimore communities are 20 years shorter than neighborhoods five miles away.

The Institute hopes to shed more light on the city’s stark disparities at its 2016 Social Determinants of Health Symposium.

The APRIL 25 conference will examine structural racism, including inequalities in education, neighborhood services and law enforcement, Blum says.

While the topic is complex, the symposium aims for practical solutions as neighborhood organizations, city agencies and Baltimore’s academic community share evidence-based strategies.

“The goal is to help build the city we will all be proud of,” Blum says.  

Baltimore Racial Disparities By The Numbers

Black 78.2% / White 91.1%

High school graduation rates (2013)

Black 12.5 /
White 6.8

Infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births (2013)

Black 38.1% / White 11.3%

Childhood asthma, ever diagnosed (2012)

Black 18.5% / White 7.4%

Diabetes, ever diagnosed (2012)

Black 30.5 / White 6.3

HIV/AIDS mortality rate per 100,000 residents (2012)

Black 49.8 / White 6.9

Homicide mortality per 100,000 residents (2012)

Black 38.4% / White 18.8%

Obesity (2012)

Sources: Baltimore City Health Disparities Report Card; Maryland Public Schools; Maryland Vital Statistics

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