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Kathleen Carole Barnes, Ph.D.

Program Director, The Lowe Family Genomics Core
Professor of Medicine

See Research on Pubmed



  • Program Director, The Lowe Family Genomics Core
  • Program Director, Bayview Genetics Research Facility (BGRF)
  • Professor of Medicine

Centers & Institutes

  • Asthma and Allergy Center
  • McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine

Research Interests

The Hygiene Hypothesis in the context of allergic disease and helminthic infections; The genetic basis for health disparities, the evolutionary basis for the development of allergic disease; Immunogenetics and genetic epidemiology of complex lung diseases and diseases of allergy and inflammation; Immunogenetics of the allergic response; Genetic epidemiology of acute and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Dr. Kathleen Barnes is Professor of Medicine and Mary Beryl Patch Turnbull Scholar in the Division of Allergy & Clinical Immunology Department of Medicine, with joint appointments in the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine and the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine and the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her Ph.D. in biomedical anthropology with a concentration on immunology, environmental epidemiology, and medical entomology at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She began her fellowship in immunogenetics at the Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Center in 1993, working closely with the late Dr. David Marsh in conducting population studies on the genetics of asthma and allergic disease in ethnically diverse populations. Two years later she joined the faculty and currently is Director of the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Genetics Research Facility and Lowe Family Genomics Core. She also maintains a research unit at the Chronic Disease Research Centre in Barbados.

Her work focuses on the genetic basis for acute and chronic airway disease and is based on family-based and independent clinical populations, largely of African descent, recruited both locally and from various locales in the Caribbean and South America. Her studies are also focused on gene-environment interactions and the interface of innate and adaptive immunity in the immunogenetics of various complex lung, allergic, rheumatologic and infectious diseases, including asthma, pulmonary hypertension, scleroderma, atopic dermatitis and schistosomiasis. In addition, she has had a long-standing interest in the potential beneficial role of microbial exposures for the development of asthma, allergies and autoimmune disorders, or the ‘hygiene hypothesis’. She has been continuously funded by various NIH institutes (NHLBI, NIAID, NHGRI) and has led multiple multi-center programs. She has multiple civic duties including the Bayview Advisory Board, Center for Innovative Medicine Scholar and the Department of Medicine's Appointments and Promotions Committee, and has held leadership roles in the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She has served on Study Section at the NIH since 2005. Dr. Barnes has mentored multiple predoctoral and postdoctoral students, has served on over a dozen thesis committees, and has mentored students participating in the T-35 NIH Multidisciplinary Fellowship Training Program through the Pulmonary Division continuously since 2000.


  • English
Additional Resources +
  • Education +


    • Ph.D., University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 1992
    • B.S.N., Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, 1984
    • Diploma, Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing, Nursing


    • Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME, 1997
    • Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 1995, Division of Clinical Immunology
  • Research & Publications +

    Research Summary

    Dr. Barnes currently leads the NHLBI-supported “New Approaches for Empowering Studies of Asthma in Populations of African Descent” (1 R01 HL104608-01), a multi-center study for which whole genome sequencing (WGS) was recently completed on >1,000 DNA samples from populations of African ancestry from multiple sites across North, Central & South America and the Caribbean, drawn from the Consortium on Asthma among African-ancestry Populations in the Americas (CAAPA). A major goal of this program is to develop a customized, dense ‘power’ SNP chip of 750K bead types from the CAAPA catalog of whole genome sequence data to include variants that can complement current, commercially available genome-wide association studies (GWAS) chips, which do not adequately tag many common and most rare variants in populations of African ancestry, specifically those representing the African Diaspora. In addition to the current WGS project, she is leading another WGS study on atopic dermatitis, and has led several GWASs, whole exome sequencing and targeted deep resequencing projects.

    Selected Publications View all on PubMed

    1. Barnes, KC, Neely, JD, Duffy, DL, Freidhoff, LR, Breazeale, DR, Schou, C, Naidu, RP, Levett, PN, Renault, B, Kucherlapati, R, Iozzino, S, Ehrlich, E, Beaty, TH, Marsh, DG  1996.  Linkage of Asthma and Total Serum IgE Concentration to Markers on Chromosome 12q: Evidence from Afro-Caribbean and Caucasian Populations. Genomics 37:41-50. View on Pubmed
    2. CSGA (Collaborative Studies on the Genetics of Asthma). 1997. A genome-wide search for asthma susceptibility loci in ethnically diverse populations.  Nat Genet 15:389-392. View on Pubmed
    3. Barnes, KC , DG Marsh.  1998.  The genetics and complexity of allergy and asthma.  Immunol Today 19(7): 325-332. Barnes, KC, Freidhoff, LR, Chiu, Y-F, Juo, S-H, Duffy, DL, Hizawa, H, Naidu, RP, Nickel, R, Ehrlich, E, Schou, C, Beaty, TH, and Marsh, DG 1999.  Dense mapping of chromosome 12q14.3-q24.1 and linkage to asthma and atopy. J Allergy Clin Immunol.  104(1, Pt. 2): 485-491. View on Pubmed
    4. Nickel, R, Willadsen, SA, Freidhoff, LR, Huang, SK, Raana, NP, Caraballo, L, Ehrlich, E, Ober, C, Beaty, T, and Barnes, KC 1999.  Determination of Duffy-phenotypes in three populations of African descent using PCR and sequence specific oligonucleotides. Human Immunol 60:738-742. View on Pubmed
    5. Nickel, R, Casolaro, V, Wahn, U, Beyer, K, Barnes, KC, Plunkett, B, Freidhoff, LR, Sengler, C, Plitt, J, Schleimer, RP, Caraballo, L, Naidu, RN, Beaty, T, Huang, S-K  2000.  Atopic dermatitis is associated with a functional mutation in the promoter of the CC chemokine RANTES.  J Immunol Feb 1;164(3):1612-1616. View on Pubmed
    6. Mathias, RA, CA Bickel, TH Beaty, GM Petersen, JB Hetmanski, K-Y Liang, and KC Barnes.  2000.   A Genealogical analysis of the Tangier Island, Virginia, Population.  J Phys Anthro.  112:29-38. View on Pubmed
    7. Lonjou, C, Barnes, K, Chen, H, Cookson, WO, Deichmann, KA, Hall, IP, Holloway, JW, Laitinen, T, Palmer, LJ, Wjst, M, Morton, NE  2000.  A first trial of retrospective collaboration for positional cloning in complex inheritance: assay of the cytokine region on chromosome 5 by the consortium on asthma genetics.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 97(20):10942-7. View on Pubmed
    8. Barnes, K.C., Mathias, RA, Nickel, R, Freidhoff, LR, Stockton, ML, Xue, X, Naidu, RP., Levett, PN, Casolaro, V, Beaty, TH 2001.  Testing for gene-gene interaction controlling total IgE in families from Barbados: Evidence of sensitivity regarding linkage heterogeneity among families. Genomics. 71(2):246-251. View on Pubmed
    9. Liang, K-Y, F-C Hsu, TH Beaty, KC Barnes. 2001. A multipoint linkage disequilibrium mapping approach based on the case-parent trio design. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 68:937-950. View on Pubmed
    10. F.C. Hsu, K.Y. Liang, T.H. Beaty, and K.C. Barnes. 2002. Unified sampling approach for multipoint linkage disequilibrium mapping of qualitative and quantitative traits. Genetic Epidemiology.  22(4):298 312. View on Pubmed

    CORE Facilities

    Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Campus (JHBMC) Lowe Family Genomic Center

  • Academic Affiliations & Courses +
  • Activities & Honors +


    Resequencing & Genotyping Service Application Award, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 2005

    Travel Award, Assembly on Allergy Immunology & Inflammation

    Loan Repayment Award for Clinical Research, National Institutes of Health

    New Investigator Award Grant, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 1998 and 1999,

    Maryland Chapter Research Grant, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 1996

    Travel Award, American Academy of Allergy and Immunology 1995,

    Glaxo Research Travel Award, 1994

    Boehringer Research Travel Award, 1994

    Travel Award, American Academy of Allergy and Immunology, 1994 

    Travel Award, University of Florida Graduate Student Council, 1992 

    Dow-Elanco Research Travel Award, 1991

    S.C. Johnson Research Travel Award, 1988

    Vining Davis Field Research Award in 1988 and a VA Fellowship, 1982

    Professional Activities

    Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society

    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

    American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI)

    American Society for Human Genetics (ASHG)

    American Anthropological Association (AAA)

    Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) American Thoracic Society (ATS)

    Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute (PVRI)

    Collegium Internationale Allergologicum (CIA)

    European Respiratory Society (ERS)

  • Videos & Media +
  • Events +
  • Contact & Locations +


    • Medicine - Allergy and Clinical Immunology

    For Research Inquiries Contact

    Phone: 410-550-2071 Fax: 410-550-2130 JHU Asthma & Allergy Center, 3A.62A 5501 Hopkins Bayview Circle Baltimore, MD 21224-6801

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