Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Some time in Baltimore

Submitted By: Sonali Sengupta 
Department/Affiliation: Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center

Hi! I am Sonali who joined Hopkins as a postdoc just a year ago, in fact, on September 17, 2012. I am from New Delhi. I visited the Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art. To my surprise I found the entry free. 

 Baltimore Museum of Art is a veritable impressionist lovers delight. A day is not enough. In fact one day for one room. One can spend hours poring over the details of Renoir, Monet, Pissaro….!!! Walters.. WOW…. Each room or hall represents a different part of the world. There is Japanese Art, Chinese Porcelain, Faberge eggs , sculpture from India showing Bodhisattvas, Vishnu etc, Dutch Art, African art… Can spend hours over there. 

Listening to the Baltimore Symphony orchestra, especially the animated characters of “the Nutcracker“ has been a delight. 

Strolling down Inner Harbor, seeing the calm placid water and the boats, going to Ripleys Believe it Or Not, Barnes and Noble.. yes its been nice. 

McCormick and Schicks dining is nice if you want to try Baltimore crab…Overall a pleasurable experience. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Review: Downtown Sushi Spots

Submitted By: Issel
Department/Affiliation: Radiology / FM Kirby Center

Baltimore has a surprisingly good selection of sushi places. Here are a few of our particular favorites:
Nanami Cafe: Crispy Roll,
Spider Roll, Crunch Roll (Yum!)
  • Nanami Cafè: This place has a great selection of sushi, with indoor cushions/tables and outdoor seating, located on the end of S. Ann Street in Fells Point next to the Urban Pirate Cruise. Our favorite is the Crispy Roll, which features smoked eel tempura and avocado on the inside, with a mountain of crunchy fried shrimp on top. The Crunch Roll, a fried tempura roll with smoked salmon, avocado, and eel is also quite delicious. (See photo.)

  • Sticky Rice: With a website URL of "," this quirky Fells Point fixture features Asian fusion, with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. (Vegan sushi?? Yes, indeed.) That said, our <3s belong to the "Drawn and Buttered" roll, which contains shrimp tempura, cucumber, and lump crab meat -- instead of the typical soy sauce, you can dip your sushi into melted butter. It's like a mini crab feast. The tater tots are totally yummy, too. LivingSocial often has discounts (i.e., buy $15 and get $30 to spend at Sticky Rice), which we totally recommend perusing.

  • Chiu's Sushi: Next to Whole Foods in the Inner Harbor, with good specials and bento boxes. Note that if you buy something at Whole Foods, you can park for two hours for free in the parking garage connected to the building.

  • Minato: Located in Mt. Vernon, this restaurant has a pretty good Happy Hour from Monday to Friday from 5p - 7pm (dine-in only), where the special maki rolls are $7.00 each.

  • Ra Sushi: This place is pretty expensive, so we only go for the happy hour, which is Monday through Saturday from 3pm to 7pm, which features heavily discounted sushi (salmon nigiri, Viva Las Vegas Roll), appetizers (grilled short ribs), and tapas (garlic citrus yellowtail).
More suggestions? We'd love to hear them! Feel free to submit a blog post with your own recommendations! :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

JHPDA Events: BBQ at Gunpowder State Park

Submitted By: Nadège
Department/Affiliation: Radiology / DMIP

One month ago, the JHPDA's International Committee organized a BBQ at Hammerman Beach in Gunpowder State Park, a very nice place only 20 minutes away from Baltimore. Activities there include kayaking, swimming at the beach, wind-surfing...

There are plenty of grills that you can use on a first-come, first-served basis. If you want to spend a day with a group of friends, you can also rent a pavilion. The entrance fee is only $5 per person, which varies with the season. You'll find a lot of information in the Maryland State Park website, along with information about other state parks. For example, you can also go inner-tubing down the river in the other portion of Gunpowder State Park.

We had a lot of fun doing kayaking, stand-up paddling, and sharing food coming from various countries: India, China, Turkey, Germany, Austria, Japan, Bulgaria, France, and the USA.

It was a wonderful day, meeting new friends and welcoming new International Postdocs. Introducing people is one of the goals of the Johns Hopkins PostDoctoral Association, so if you have more ideas or suggestions for activities, please let us know (email! Many of our past events can be found on the JHPDA website:

Review: Some not-to-be-missed Canton area eateries

Submitted By: C. Pettigrew

It’s hard to deny that Baltimore has many wonderful pubs and restaurants – something my husband and I were excited to learn when we moved here. So many, in fact, that we’re still exploring them, attempting to find a new place each week. Despite the new, untried possibilities, we have a few ‘go-to’ places for when we're too tired or uncreative to explore. Some of our personal hidden (or perhaps not) favorites are:
  • Adam’s Eve: This charming, brilliant gastropub is situated just near the Canton/Brewer’s Hill border on the corner of S Highland and Foster. Their full bar has a great rotating craft beer selection, and every meal we’ve had there has been fantastic. Great atmosphere, creative menu, reasonable prices. A must try? Their duck fat fries. (Given 4.2/5 stars on google, out of 55 reviews.)
    • Update as of 8/20/13, Adam's Eve is using a smaller summer menu. [Duck fat fries are not an option, but duck fat tots are! Also quite good.]  
  • Annabel Lee Tavern: If you’re looking for an excellent tavern atmosphere, check out Annabel Lee. The unique character of this place is based on Edgar Allan Poe, and the bartenders are some of the friendliest around. Their large selection of daily specials can be accompanied by various original cocktails, and intimate dinners are possible (but not required – it is a tavern, after all). At the corner of Fleet and Clinton in Canton, this oftentimes packed venue has unique charm that will leave you coming back for more. (Given 4.4/5 stars on google, out of 188 reviews.) 
  • Bistro Rx: Situated on the northeast side of Patterson Park, this charming bistro has just been named the 2013 Best of Baltimore winner for “Best Deals”. The varied menu, good selection of wines, continually rotating beers on tap, and accessible parking (given the proximity to Patterson Park) leave little excuse not to try this place at least once. Limited outdoor seating is available in nice weather seasons, but outdoor seats fill up quickly; when inside, be sure to check out the walls, which are adorned with local art. (Given 4.1/5 stars on google, out of 32 reviews.) 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Research: Using MRI to Measure Iron in the Brain

Submitted by: Issel Anne Lim, PhD
Department: Radiology / FM Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging

At the F.M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging, we create novel MRI technologies at 3Tesla and 7Tesla to characterize the central nervous system. I've been developing a technique to measure "magnetic susceptibility," which is the intrinsic property of an object to affect an applied magnetic field. We can measure these changes in the magnetic field, back-calculate to determine the magnetic susceptibility, and correlate the average susceptibility per structure with brain iron concentration. (Below is a movie of a Quantitative Susceptibility Map traveling from the bottom to the top of the brain.) Brain iron changes with age, and has been shown to increase in several neurodegenerative diseases. We're specifically focusing on patients with schizophrenia and Huntington's Disease. We ultimately hope to use magnetic susceptibility as a biomarker to track or treat these different diseases.

For more information, check out our announcement on our website for the National Research Resource for Quantitative Functional MRI.

Submit a Blog Post

Our goal is to compile postdoctoral experiences, both in and out of research, at Hopkins and throughout Baltimore.

Use the form below to submit a few sentences describing what you do in the lab, a paragraph on something cool that you've done on campus, or tidbits about Baltimore. We'll be labeling all posts with the "Topics" on the sidebar, so you can also find articles by mousing over these keywords and clicking on particular categories.

Email if you have any questions or suggestions! :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Welcome to the new Blog for Hopkins PostDocs!

Our goal is to compile postdoctoral experiences, both in and out of research, at Hopkins and throughout Baltimore. Feel free to email us with ideas:

Send us a few sentences describing what you do in the lab, something cool that you've done on campus, or tidbits about Baltimore. We'll be labeling all posts with the "Topics" on the sidebar, so you can also search for particular categories.

We also recommend checking out our various resources, most of which can be found on our website:

This blog was born on 15 August 2013, created by the JHPDA Media and Communications Committee, and administered by: Issel Anne Lim, PhD; Corinne Pettigrew, PhD; Nick Puts, PhD; Blythe Shepard, PhD; Amanda Zimmerman, PhD. Contributions welcome from all Hopkins PostDocs!