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Research Areas

Pathogen Discovery

To identify novel pathogens that cause encephalitis, we are using cutting-edge genetic techniques in collaboration with several groups of investigators.  We anticipate that these approaches, which include newly developed modifications of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique as well as whole genome sequencing approaches, will enable us to discover new viruses and bacteria that cause encephalitis.

Immunology of Encephalitis

Encephalitis can be caused by a wide variety of conditions which fall into various categories, including infectious, autoimmune, and neoplastic conditions.  By characterizing the immune response within the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), we hope to be able to categorize the type of encephalitis that a patient is experiencing, therefore allowing us to treat the patient more effectively.


We are continuing to grow and utilize our biorepository of CSF and serum from patients with neurological infections and neuroinflammatory disorders, including encephalitis.  As new data on encephalitis are reported, we have the opportunity to confirm and extend these findings through our repository.


Our Experts in the News

Johns Hopkins researchers are developing better guidelines for diagnosing encephalitis more quickly, and treating aggressively, to minimize brain damage. Learn more.

Dr. Arun Venkatesan describes the latest on diagnosing and treating encephalitis. Listen here.

Out-of-State and International Patients - Find Out More


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