Talia Henkle

About Talia Henkle

After college, Talia Henkle became an English professor at a university for low-income students in Bogota, Colombia, for a year. She’s now pursuing a Ph.D. in immunology.

Posts by Talia Henkle:

Representing Diversity on Portrait Walls Around Johns Hopkins: One Stride Taken, Many to Go

Representing Diversity on Portrait Walls Around Johns Hopkins: One Stride Taken, Many to Go

Last week, NPR published “Academic Science Rethinks All-Too-White ‘Dude Walls’ of Honor” on its website. This article addresses the message that walls of honor that mostly feature white men may send to nonwhite and nonmale trainees. Several academic institutions are dismantling or relocating their “dude walls” to send a more inclusive message, and this has(...)

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The Dengue Vaccine Controversy Explained

The Dengue Vaccine Controversy Explained

Dengue, a virus endemic to Latin America and Southeast Asia, infects about 400 million people and causes about 25,000 deaths each year by dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). To date there is no cure for dengue, and its toll hits hardest in areas with poorly developed medical systems. Due to the deadly consequences of this virus,(...)

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Re-thinking Language as a Scientific Tool

Re-thinking Language as a Scientific Tool

Preclusion of efficacious scientific communication, nucleating from the cultivation of an elitist scientific culture, is a pervasive detriment to the impact of science. Wait, let me turn off scientist mode and start over. Ahem. Occam’s razor — often interpreted as: when there are various solutions to a problem, choose the simplest one — represents a(...)

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A Life or Debt Decision: Tackling Unaffordable Drug Prices in Maryland

A Life or Debt Decision: Tackling Unaffordable Drug Prices in Maryland

I first became concerned about unaffordable drug prices when I did one of my first-year research rotations in a lab that studied the hepatitis C virus. The timing of my rotation was in the midst of the (continuing) hepatitis C epidemic and just after the development of Harvoni, an exorbitantly expensive cure ($50,000–$100,000). I learned(...)

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Science Has New Advocates on Capitol Hill in Wake of Midterm Elections

Science Has New Advocates on Capitol Hill in Wake of Midterm Elections

In the wake of midterm elections, nine new STEM professionals will take seats in the U.S. Congress, eight in the House and one in the Senate. Since the 2016 elections, I have been party to countless discussions with other scientists expressing concern about the deliberate shift away from an evidence-based approach in policymaking. The shift(...)

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STEM Students: “Doc” the Vote!

STEM Students: “Doc” the Vote!

Midterm elections are right around the corner. Now is the time to register to vote — the Maryland registration deadline is Oct. 16, 2018. Why should health care workers and scientists care about voting? Simply put, the very foundations of our professions, such as access to health care or funding for research, are dictated by(...)

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Teaching About Vaccines — A Miracle of Modern Medicine

Teaching About Vaccines — A Miracle of Modern Medicine

As an immunologist-to-be, few things frustrate me more than hearing of misinformed antivaccine sentiments. I have been of the opinion for some time now that education about vaccines should begin in high school to give students the tools to properly combat misinformation campaigns. Thus, when I learned that Johns Hopkins was looking for applicants to(...)

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On How and Why Science Is Political

On How and Why Science Is Political

Should science be political? Trick question — science is inherently political because the vast majority of science is funded through the federal government. So, if you don’t relish the idea of competing against your peers for an increasingly shrinking pool of grant money, it’s important to care about the process by which money is federally(...)

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Bridging the Gap Between the Ivory Tower and the Public

Bridging the Gap Between the Ivory Tower and the Public

Human well-being and the eradication of disease are causes that bring everyone together. Some people give back by donating their change to philanthropies at the grocery store, others participate in charity events, while some take the plunge and work in fields such as health care or research. I, like many scientists, decided to make my(...)

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