What University is the best for medical research?
Why Johns Hopkins is leading the world in cancer research and more.
World Cancer Day (February 4) not only provides the opportunity to raise awareness about the disease, but also allows research institutions around the globe to celebrate the progress they are making behind the microscope.
For students keen to pursue study and a future career in medical research - and specifically research associated with a dedication to find a cure for various cancers - knowing which universities to target can be key not only to their application processes but to their ultimate professional success.
The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore Maryland has the well-earned reputation for being one of the best cancer research centers in the world. For almost 50 years the center has been a frontrunner in cancer research and helped shape cancer detection and treatment today.
Now named after the businessman-philanthropist Sidney Kimmel, the center began its life in 1973 as the Johns Hopkins Department of Oncology. Within a year of its establishment, the faculty was designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the NCI, making it one of the first of its kind in the country. In 1974 the Johns Hopkins researchers identified the nuclear matrix as the key to DNA replication and the creation of malignant cancer cells.
Early success and progress by the center was driven by the first director of the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center and former graduate of JHU, Albert Owens Jr.. He was key in the decision to place research and treatment facilities in the same center when the original Oncology center opened in 1977.
Many also admired his enthusiastic drop-ins to find out what young colleagues were working on, and he is credited with inspiring a generation of researchers and doctors in the field. Above all, he was loved for the value he placed on saving patients’ lives at a time where cancer mortality rates were alarming. Albert Owens Jr. sadly passed away at the age of 90 in 2017, yet his legacy will surely live on through his work at JHU and Kimmel.
Under the guidance of Owens and subsequent directors, the center has made several milestones of discovery that have shaped the field of cancer detection and treatment, including:
Assisted to refine and conduct trials on the drug Paclitaxel, following which it has become a common part of ovarian, breast, lung, cervical and pancreatic cancer chemotherapy.
Developed the first genetic cancer screening test - a blood test that identifies a form of colon cancer
American philanthropist, businessman and film producer Sidney Kimmel (net worth $US 1.35billion 2019) donates to the Cancer Centre which subsequently becomes the Kimmel Cancer Centre (renamed in 2013 to the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Centre)
Scientists show the possibilities of using stem cells help repair damaged tissue and organs in combating cell damage caused by cancer treatment
Cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins are linked to lower risk of prostate cancer
The Kimmel Cancer Center discover the cancer genome for colon and breast cancer
Competed the very first mapping of cancer genes, completing 68 out of 75
Cervical Cancer breakthrough by Sidney Kimmel Scientists where pap test fluid is used to detect ovarian and endometrial cancers
45th anniversary of the Cancer Centre
Recently the center is participating in exciting new research, including developing the revolutionary new blood test CancerSEEK, which screens for 8 different types of cancer. The center is also proud to have been involved in Dr Gregg L. Semenza’s 2019 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. Thomson Scientific continues to evaluate the center’s work as the most frequently cited in papers and regards it as a “cancer research powerhouse.”
In addition, the Kimmel Center seems to go beyond being a center of cancer research and treatment. The center’s research and leaders are active in Marylands’ political spheres, and have been essential in lobbying support for anti-smoking and clean air legislation. Recently the center has sought to close racial, economic, and social divides in the treatment of cancer, and partners with communities to deliver accessible and affordable treatments. The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital thus seems to embody the spirit of progress, humanity and support World Cancer Day stands for, and fights cancer on all fronts.
Top researchers such as Nobel Laureate Gregg L. Semenza at the Kimmel Cancer Center teach at the JHU and its School of Medicine, and help train the cancer experts of tomorrow. It is top-class research and teaching that allows JHU to be ranked 5th in the QS world medicine rankings. If your passion is to study Medicine at a top-rated medical school such JHU, learn how below.
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