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