Current News Releases
Current News Releases
Research at Johns Hopkins has helped a team of scientists elsewhere identify and develop a compound that could directly target a genetic mutation responsible for a common familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and a biologically related memory-robbing disease known as frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
Experts say child’s relapse and two similar cases can pave way to future cure efforts
The news in July that HIV had returned in a Mississippi toddler after a two-year treatment-free remission dashed the hopes of clinicians, HIV researchers and the public at large tantalized by the possibility of a cure.
Simple genetic test predicts dosage needed
Many African-Americans may not be getting effective doses of the HIV drug maraviroc, a new study from Johns Hopkins suggests. The initial dosing studies, completed before the drug was licensed in 2007, included mostly European-Americans, who generally lack a protein that is key to removing maraviroc from the body. The current study shows that people with maximum levels of the protein — including nearly half of African-Americans — end up with less maraviroc in their bodies compared to those who lack the protein even when given the same dose. A simple genetic test for the gene that makes the CYP3A5 protein could be used to determine what doses would achieve effective levels in individuals, the researchers say.
Animal study holds promise for treating diabetic ulcers and burns
A combination of two drugs already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for different applications reduces wound healing time by one-quarter and significantly decreases scar tissue in mice and rats, Johns Hopkins researchers report. If the findings, reported in the September issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, hold true in future human studies, the dual treatment could speed skin healing in people with skin ulcers, extensive burns, surgical wounds and battlefield injuries.
Chemical alterations to genes appear key to tumor development
Regardless of their stage or type, cancers appear to share a telltale signature of widespread changes to the so-called epigenome, according to a team of researchers. In a study of a broad variety of cancers, the investigators say they have found widespread and distinctive changes to chemical marks known as methyl groups attached to DNA. Those marks help govern whether genes are turned “on” or “off,” and ultimately how the cell behaves. Such reversible chemical marks on DNA are known as epigenetic, and together they make up the epigenome.
Johns Hopkins Medicine Dean and CEO Paul Rothman and Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality Director Peter Pronovost named to Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare list
Modern Healthcare, a leading industry publication, has named Johns Hopkins Medicine Dean and CEO Paul B. Rothman, M.D., and patient safety expert Peter J. Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., to this year’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare list. The list recognizes individuals deemed by their peers and experts as leaders in the industry.
Additional tool accelerates personalized medicine research
Johns Hopkins stem cell biologists have found a way to reprogram a patient’s skin cells into cells that mimic and display many biological features of a rare genetic disorder called familial dysautonomia. The process requires growing the skin cells in a bath of proteins and chemical additives while turning on a gene to produce neural crest cells, which give rise to several adult cell types. The researchers say their work substantially expedites the creation of neural crest cells from any patient with a neural crest-related disorder, a tool that lets physicians and scientists study each patient’s disorder at the cellular level.
Discovery of changes to cell membranes has wide repercussions for drug developers
Researchers have discovered that three commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, alter the activity of enzymes within cell membranes. Their finding suggests that, if taken at higher-than-approved doses and/or for long periods of time, these prescription-level NSAIDs and other drugs that affect the membrane may produce wide-ranging and unwanted side effects.
Bruce A. Perler, M.D., M.B.A., was named president-elect of the Society for Vascular Surgery, an international medical society with 5,000 members, at the society’s recent annual meeting in Boston.
Monthly blood transfusions can substantially reduce the risk of recurrent strokes in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) who have already suffered a silent stroke, according to the results of an international study by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Vanderbilt University and 27 other medical institutions.
Peter Kwiterovich was an early advocate of cholesterol screening in children
Peter O. Kwiterovich Jr., M.D., professor emeritus of pediatrics and medicine at Johns Hopkins, one of the world’s foremost authorities on lipid disorders and a leading advocate for routine cholesterol screening in children, died on Aug. 15 after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 74.
New material developed by Johns Hopkins scientists could someday ease pain
By finding a way to bind a slippery molecule naturally found in the fluid that surrounds healthy joints, Johns Hopkins researchers have engineered surfaces that have the potential to deliver long-lasting lubrication at specific spots throughout the body.
A genetic variation linked to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression wreaks havoc on connections among neurons in the developing brain, a team of researchers reports. The study, led by Guo-li Ming, M.D., Ph.D., and Hongjun Song, Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and described online Aug. 17 in the journal Nature, used stem cells generated from people with and without mental illness to observe the effects of a rare and pernicious genetic variation on young brain cells. The results add to evidence that several major mental illnesses have common roots in faulty “wiring” during early brain development.
Internationally renowned pediatric surgeon and scientist David Hackam, M.D., Ph.D., will become the new pediatric surgeon-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
Using a deceptively simple set of experiments, researchers at Johns Hopkins have learned why people learn an identical or similar task faster the second, third and subsequent time around. The reason: They are aided not only by memories of how to perform the task, but also by memories of the errors made the first time.
One in 10 allergic to milk, eggs or peanuts
Already known for their higher-than-usual risk of asthma and environmental allergies, young inner-city children appear to suffer disproportionately from food allergies as well, according to results of a study led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
A modified version of the Clostridium novyi (C. novyi-NT) bacterium can produce a strong and precisely targeted anti-tumor response in rats, dogs and now humans, according to a new report from Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers.
Modification doubles available sites of a process that knocks out genes
By modifying an existing “genome editing” technology that allows precise modification of pieces of DNA from chromosomes, Johns Hopkins researchers report they have significantly increased the range of DNA sites that can be efficiently edited by the process. In a description of their novel advance, reported in the Aug. 8 issue of Nature Communications, they say the modified methodology could eventually add efficiency and speed studies of gene function, aid in the development of new cellular models of diseases, and help treat genetic conditions.
Cynthia Boyd, an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has been awarded research funding of about $1 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The funding award is one of 33 that PCORI’s board of governors approved last week. The award has been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Findings suggest anti-hypertensive drugs could help preserve cognitive function
A review of data from a long-term study of thousands of Americans suggests that a history of high blood pressure in midlife increases the risk of cognitive decline in old age, according to a report on the study led by Johns Hopkins researchers. The findings, the scientists say, indicate a treatable cause — hypertension — for at least some pervasive forms of cognitive deficit.