The Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine
Department of Neurology
Meyer Bldg, Room 6-181
600 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21287
Dr. Joseph Steiner obtained his training in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology (BCMB) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. After completing his first postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University Medical Center, he completed his postgraduate training in the laboratory of Dr. Solomon H. Snyder in the Department of Neuroscience at Hopkins. He then conducted and led exploratory research and preclinical drug development at Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc, prior to accepting his current position at the Johns Hopkins University.
The focus of Dr. Steiner’s research is to identify, characterize and develop neuroprotective agents for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, specifically HIV-associated cognitive disorders and dementia. His translational research utilizes in vitro cell culture of rodent and human neurons to establish functional assays to achieve these goals. He has developed numerous neurotoxicity assays using these cultures to screen for compounds that protect against oxidative stress-mediated damage and neurotoxicity resulting from exposure to HIV-1 Tat and gp120 viral protein. From screening small chemical compound collections, he has identified numerous chemicals as potential neuroprotective agents, which are currently undergoing more extensive in vitro characterization. His research also focuses on developing and optimizing neuroprotective efficacy against validated drug development targets. By determining the structure activity relationship of chemicals for a target protein, he hopes to discover new and novel neuroprotective agents. Chemical synthesis of new analogs of these agents may result in agents with optimized protective properties.
Dr. Steiner is also a member of the newly funded JHU NIMH Center for Novel Therapeutics of HIV-associated Cognitive Disorders, headed by Dr. Justin McArthur. It is through this center that neuroprotectants that evolve from Dr. Steiner’s studies will be evaluated for neuroprotective activity in animal models of neurodegeneration for HIV-associated cognitive disorders and dementia. Neuroprotective compounds which possess in vivo efficacy and have proven pharmacokinetic/toxicologic properties may ultimately be evaluated as adjunctive therapy for HIV patients with cognitive disorders.