Global health experts descend on D.C. to take new president’s temperature.
Story by Rin-Rin Yu • Photo by Bill Ingall/NASA
Less than three months after the Trump administration takes office, global health experts will descend on Washington, D.C., for the eighth annual Consortium of Universities for Global Health conference. Good timing. “Because the advancement of global health requires a commitment from all governments, it is very important that we understand the new U.S. administration’s perspective on global health and its overall levels of interest and support,” says Tom Quinn, MD, conference co-chair and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health. Set for APRIL 6–9 and titled “Healthy People, Healthy Ecosystems: Implementation, Leadership and Sustainability in Global Health,” conference topics include noncommunicable and infectious diseases, women’s health and government influence. For the first time, the conference will be co-hosted by an American and African universities: Johns Hopkins University and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.
The Big C Q's
Top cancer researchers convene to discuss the most pressing questions.
Story by Rin-Rin Yu • Illustration by Vitanovski/iStock
How can the human papilloma virus (HPV) be stopped in its tracks before becoming cancerous? What can be done to reduce the severe side effects of lifesaving cancer drugs? The world’s top cancer scientists will explore these issues and a host of other topics at the 2017 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) APRIL 1–5 in Washington, D.C. Immunotherapy and personalized medicine are also high on the agenda at this year’s gathering, expected to attract more than 18,000 researchers from 60 countries. Beyond the science, the meeting’s D.C. location raises AACR’s visibility in the nation’s capital, says John Groopman, PhD, Environmental Health and Engineering professor and a member of AACR’s program committee. “When AACR is in Washington, the opportunity often brings in not only the NIH and a lot of other government officials, it’s also a platform for dealing with the overall funding of the cancer research enterprise, which is quite substantial,” Groopman says.
Percentage drop in U.S. cancer death rate from 1991 to 2014
U.S. cancer deaths in 2017 (est.)
New U.S. cancer diagnoses in 2017 (est.)
In the quest to vanquish the Plasmodium parasite, a one-size-fits-all strategy won’t work.
Story by Jackie Powder • Infographic by Don Foley
Whether its transmission rates are high or low, the malaria parasite has a tenacious grip on populations in Africa—a key issue to be discussed on World Malaria Day, APRIL 25. Working in three Southern African sites, Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute (JHMRI) researchers are trying to understand the malaria control challenges and potential solutions in each area. The goal, says Epidemiology Professor William Moss, MD, MPH, who leads JHMRI research in the region, is to develop targeted control and elimination strategies. “These sites provide a snapshot at different stages in that process,” says Moss. With more than a 95 percent reduction in pediatric hospitalizations for malaria in the past 15 years, southern Zambia is best positioned for malaria elimination, but low-level transmission persists. JHMRI researchers are using advanced molecular genotyping to identify asymptomatic individuals who still harbor the malaria parasite and may be spreading the disease to others. At the midpoint on the transmission spectrum is eastern Zimbabwe. Disease burden dropped almost 40 percent in 2015 after the switch to a different insecticide but has not declined further. GPS data show that population movement to and from Mozambique, a malaria hotspot, may be contributing to the malaria holding pattern. And in northern Zambia, high-level transmission “has not budged” for several years despite standard control efforts, says Moss. JHMRI research on the spatial and temporal patterns of two mosquito vectors could help in the development of more effective control strategies.
The Word on Wolfe Street
Jonathan Weiner told the PBS NewsHour that people with health insurance coverage “unquestionably” live better and longer in a JANUARY 7 report about a proposal backed by Kentucky’s governor to charge state Medicaid recipients for the now-free program.
Stream It: PBS NewsHour
A JANUARY 5 Washington Post article featured Beth McGinty’s research that found states requiring ignition interlocks in the cars of first-time DUI offenders saw a 7 percent decline in road fatalities—the first evidence that mandatory interlock laws for drunk drivers are more effective than partial measures.
Read It: The Washington Post
"We think of guns being an incredibly controversial topic, but ... there’s a whole lot of gun policies that really aren’t controversial."
Daniel Webster was among the gun policy experts in public health, criminology and law who took part in a JANUARY 10 New York Times survey, along with a representative sample of U.S. voters, to assess support for and effectiveness of 29 gun control ideas.
Read It: The New York Times
My Top Priority in 2017
"A top priority for me is to work with ministries of health to translate our research and explore how to set up feasible and sustainable serological surveillance systems to support immunization programs."
"My goal is to close the quality gap in the critical research and treatment that challenge recovery from orthopedic trauma. I hope to contribute to clinical practice guidelines."
Advancing Population Science
3 Questions for Amy Tsui, PhD
Interview by Jackie Powder • Photography by Chris Hartlove
Immigration and healthy aging will be two of the major topics at the Population Association of America (PAA) annual meeting in Chicago APRIL 27–29, says PAA’s new president Amy Tsui, a professor in Population, Family and Reproductive Health. The event typically receives 3,700 research submissions on key population issues.
What’s the main goal of the conference?
PAA conferences give population, health, and social and behavioral scientists in the U.S. and globally the opportunity to share cutting-edge research that will help improve the human condition.
What message do you hope to get across during your term as PAA president?
How vital population research is and how it can embody the best of multidisciplinary perspectives, big and connected data, and advanced statistical analyses to generate unique insights on human development.
What’s getting a lot of attention in the population field these days?
Patterns of immigration, both locally and globally, and their social and economic consequences are of great interest to the population research community. The healthy aging of populations is also a priority topic.