JHU Krieger School of Arts & Sciences Launches New Center for Biotech Education During Its Fifth Annual Research Symposium
l-to-r: Wonro Lee, Co-Chair, Asian-American Advisory Group for Montgomery County; Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen; Dr. Jesse L. Goodman, Chief Scientist & Deputy Commissioner for Science and Public Health, FDA; and Lynn Johnson Langer, Senior Associate Program Chair, JHU Center for Biotechnology Education
On the evening of Thursday, May 13, more than 175 guests convened on campus to celebrate the launch of the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences’ Center for Biotechnology Education and to attend the Fifth Annual Research Symposium.
The evening began with a reception during which guests got their first glimpses of the more than 30 poster presentations on display and were given time to interact with the researchers who created the posters.
After the reception, the formal program got underway with a video about the Center for Biotechnology Education, which will expand the scope of Johns Hopkins’ biotechnology education by adding symposia, workshops, youth development programs and non-credit training to its current offering of graduate degrees, master’s certificates and fellowships.
“The Center is working to forge strong partnerships with industry and government organizations, area school districts, and other Johns Hopkins entities,” said Richard McCarty, chair of the center and of the Advanced Biotechnology Studies program. “Our goal is to build a pipeline of students and professionals equipped to achieve success in K-12 education, graduate school, and the workplace in the fields of biotechnology, bioinformatics, bioscience regulatory affairs, and bioscience business and leadership.”
True to its mission, this year the Center recruited 15 Montgomery County high school students who presented posters side-by-side with the university’s graduate students at the Symposium. It’s the first year the Symposium has included high school students.
“As a science internship coordinator working with these high school students each day, I know they are talented, dedicated and hard-working,” said Lesli Adler, a teacher at Thomas S. Wootton High School. “JHU's Biotech Symposium gave the students an opportunity to see for themselves how exceptional they are. And, it gave the larger community a chance to appreciate the contributions these young people have already made to science.”
“The success of this year’s research symposium and the launch of the new Center for Biotechnology Education demonstrate the university’s commitment to enhancing Maryland’s and the nation’s competitive position in science and technology,” said Patrick Cummings, Director of the Center and Senior Associate Program Chair of the biotechnology program. “And it shows that we’re committed to doing so from elementary school all the way through post-graduate professional development to ensure students of all ages have the knowledge and skills necessary to fill the science and technology pipeline.”
The evening’s events included a keynote presentation by Jesse L. Goodman, MD, MPH, Chief Scientists and Deputy Commissioner for Science and Public Health, Food and Drug Administration, titled “Advancing Regulatory Science for Public Health: AN FDA Perspective.”
Goodman touched on a number of themes during his presentation, from how bioinformatics and technology is being applied to medicine and public health to the impact of globalization on our country.
“No longer will you succeed by being in your own space,” Goodman said in addressing the scientists and researchers in the room. “It’s who you interact with, how you interact, how you share knowledge and build value. A common goal of improved human health is important.”
Goodman emphasized that research for research’s sake is not enough anymore in today’s world.
“It’s what you do with it that matters,” he said. “You have to figure out how to translate basic science into products that help people. Without products, the basic science accomplishments never matter much to people.”
Goodman also touched on the need to ensure science is being applied to the regulatory process, discussing how technology and IT need to play a bigger role in the drug development, clinical trials, and drug evaluation processes.
“Clinical trials are only so large,” he said. “You will never find all the adverse events in a clinical trial. That’s why we need to be capturing data afterward as well. For example, we were able to capture data from 10 million immunizations in a month by using data mining techniques on Medicare data to look for adverse events. We could never do that in a typical clinical trial.”
Goodman closed out his keynote by emphasizing the need for the industry to do a better job with what he called “risk communications,” or explaining the risks and benefits of products, calling this area a “completely undervalued area of science.”
After Goodman’s talk, attendees returned to the poster presentations so the student researchers could present their projects to the Symposium guests.
l-to-r: Dr. Gary Brooker, Director, JHU Microscopy Center; Dr. Richard McCarty, Chair,
JHU Center for Biotechnology Education; and Dennis Hansen, President, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital
Two students discuss their research.
Dr. Patrick Cummings (left), Chair, Two Symposium attendees look at a
JHU Center for Biotech Education, talks student's poster presentation.
with two attendees.