There is no substitute for research conducted by individual investigators—it is the hallmark of the basic sciences. Virtually all mechanistic understanding of disease, current treatments, and diagnostic tools has basic science discoveries as its foundation. The Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences (IBBS) promotes research that drives advances in medicine. Nine basic science departments study fundamentals from solving protein structures to dissecting cell movement and from analyzing chromosome structure to deconstructing biochemical pathways.
When the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was founded, the unusual mandate was that the field of medicine be treated as a form of graduate study and to include scientific research, and physicians and scientists were thought of as one and the same. Despite tremendous growth, advances in technology, and changing pressures in health care, the link between medicine and scholarship remains unbroken at Johns Hopkins even today.
IBBS reinforces this link by fostering a collaborative environment that bridges basic science and clinical research. The eight interdisciplinary IBBS centers bring together experts from various science and medical backgrounds to study topics, such as metabolism and obesity, pain, autism, and mental illness, in innovative ways. IBBS researchers are adopting new technologies; building tools and using them to track cells and molecules; cracking codes that control how genetic material is read; and rebuilding tissues and organs.