The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Enrichment Program consists of a weekly work-in-progress meeting and visiting professor program, an Annual Symposium, Hofmann Lectureship, Core Enrichment activities and a Mini-sabbatical program.
Work-in-Progress Meeting
The work-in-progress meetings has several components including,
1) a weekly work-in-progress meeting of which 75% of the lectures directly support Core Center activities and 25% are work-in-progress of our PPG. The Enrichment Program has a component that reaches outside JHUSOM. Visiting Professors visit the Center yearly and present a formal lecture of their research to our Center, usually co-sponsored by the Physiology, Cell Biology or GI Departments. They also present an informal technique-driven lecture to our Research Base, and meet with members of our Research Base and other relevant JHUSOM scientists. The choice of Visiting Professors is based on recommendations from our Research Base Focus Groups and Internal Scientific Advisory Committee. Center investigators are encouraged to suggest potential Visiting Professors;
2) Yearly updates of Core offerings with opportunity for the Research Base to understand what resources are available. This takes part at the beginning of each academic year;
3) Review of Core uses with presentations of studies that have used the Cores to include discussion of effective aspects and areas that need improvement as well. This is an opportunity to assess whether Core offerings needs to be revised;
4) Hopkins and outside scientist presentations on techniques offered in the Core and advances that have resulted from use of this technology, as well as new technologies that extend Core techniques. This part of the Enrichment Program takes place at the end of the academic year;
5) Several presentations are reserved for fellows/young faculty to present their work relating to Core Center themes and to report on the progress of Pilot Projects.

Annual Symposium

Each year, one of our Focus Groups organizes a full day symposium to highlight progress in the field which are appropriate for new, rapid advances.
The topics for previous Annual symposia have included:
"Plasma membrane trafficking in polarized cells: how and why do cells do it differently?"
"Inflammation, Fibrosis, and Cancer in Gastrointestinal & Liver Diseases"; and
"The little brain comes of age: A symposium on how the enteric nervous system communicates with the central nervous system".
The 2015 Annual symposium was on the topics of use of human enteroids to understand human diseases, organized by Nicholas Zachos, PhD and Olga Kovbasnjuk, PhD.

Endowed Hofmann Lectureship

Alan Hofmann, one of the preeminent contributors of all time to GI research has endowed a Lectureship in the GI Division because he was grateful to Hopkins for providing him scholarships which allowed him to attend college/medical school. This has become the highpoint of our academic year in which a major GI scientist serves as a role model for an academic investigative career for faculty and fellows. Alan Hoffman himself (2005), James Boyer (Yale University School of Medicine, 2006), Tachi Yamada (Director of the Gates Foundation, 2007), Monty Bissell (UCSF, 2008), J. Gordon (Washington University at St. Louis, 2009), and Anna Mae Diehl (Duke, 2011) were the first 6 lecturers. The Core Center PI is on the 3 person Committee which decides on who should be invited and organizes the activities of the lectureship. Priority is given to Core Center investigators, especially Associate Members, for meeting the lecturer and attending social activities surrounding the lecture.

The Hofmann Family Lectureship has developed into a day of science, sponsored by our Core Center. It includes three state-of-the-art lectures by Core Center Members followed by the Hofmann Lecture. This is then followed by a retreat for Core Center Research Base in which the offerings of the Core Center Cores are discussed.  Our investigators are encouraged to comment on what they find useful and what changes they would like to occur, including new Core services.  They are asked to fill out for a second time the survey of their assessment of Core services which has been sent out previously. This is then followed by a poster session at which Core Center Pilot Project recipients for the past two years present their work along with research done by other members of the GI Division, with emphasis on post-doctoral fellows and young faculty.

Core Enrichment Activities
The Imaging Core provides a number of systems available to the research community. Under the direction of Olga Kovbasnjuk, the Core instructs end-users how to properly acquire data from individual imaging components within the GI Core Center. A number of the systems are listed below. Additionally, assistance can be provided utilizing our computer work stations for 3D/4D volume rendering and post-acquisition measurements. It is "mission critical" that all investigators understand proper imaging techniques to further their research and maintain scientific integrity. Here at the Translational Research Center, as well as the larger Hopkins community, we pride ourselves not only in the discovery process but also the training, development and maturation of the individual. Most of the day-to-day operations within the Imaging Core are performed by the facility manager, John Gibas. Training can be carried out in small groups or on a more effective one-on-one basis. Representatives from the manufacturers can also provide training sessions for specialized applications. Once training is complete, users have the freedom to schedule equipment online, day or night, 24/7. All inquiries can be directed to the manager or the Center Director. Additional information can also be obtained through the Imagine Core website.
Microscopy Acquisition Systems:
· Zeiss LSM 510 META
· Olympus FlouView 1000 MPE
· Andor Spinning Disk Confocal

Computer Workstations w/ Image Analysis SW:
· Molecular Devices' MetaMorph
· PerkinElmer's Volocity

The Mini-sabbatical program allows Hopkins Core Center investigators to apply to receive support to spend a short period of time in the laboratory of a scientist outside of Hopkins to learn a technique that will help their work and which might be of use to multiple Core Center investigators. This type of program has been used by Center members in the past supported by other funds and allowed the bringing of new techniques to the Core Center, especially when initial attempts to develop the techniques by our investigators were unsatisfactory. Examples of techniques now used by multiple Core Center investigators which were helped by these short stays in outside laboratories include acceptor photobleaching FRET in polarized epithelial cells and two-photon microscopy measurement of intracellular pH using a chamber that can be perfused from both luminal and serosal surfaces simultaneously. The times of the supported mini-sabbatical are likely to be variable but days to several weeks are the anticipated durations. The mini-sabbatical program will help pay for travel and room/board for the investigator and it is anticipated that 1-2/year will be supported. The Internal Executive committee will accept written applications from Research Base investigators. The application will state,
1) The purpose of the mini-sabbatical, including technique to be learned;
2) Location, PI lab to be visited (including a biosketch of the PI and PI of laboratory to be visited), expected/requested duration;
3) How the technique is likely to help the scientist taking the mini-sabbatical and also other Core Center Research Base members and whether they are willing to teach the technique to the appropriate Hopkins GI Core Center Core. It is a requirement that the Research Base member who takes advantage of the mini-sabbatical provide a brief report of what they learned and how it might be used by other Research Base investigators.