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As the life’s blood of Johns Hopkins, research here takes many forms. More than 80 percent of our basic-science faculty are working on National Institutes of Health grants, as are more than half of our clinical faculty as they investigate new approaches to diagnosis and treatment. But the current definition of research is even broader, with translational studies accelerating the rate at which new discoveries are able to help patients right now.
Here are just a few of our faculty’s recent discoveries:
- Led by Richard Huganir, Ph.D. , Professor of Neuroscience at the School of Medicine, researchers have uncovered a protein switch that can either increase or decrease memory-building activity in brain cells, depending on the signals it detects. Its dual role means the protein is key to understanding the complex network of signals that shapes our brain’s circuitry.
- Scientists have long believed that healthy brain cells, once damaged by radiation designed to kill brain tumors, cannot regenerate. But new brain cell research on mice led by Professor of Neurosurgery Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, M.D., suggests that neural stem cells, the body’s source of new brain cells, are resistant to radiation and can be roused to reproduce and replace injured cells.
- Lung transplant research. A team of Johns Hopkins researchers report that oversized donor lungs may be the best option for transplant patients, finding they are associated with a 30 percent increased chance of survival.
In fact, it is difficult to imagine any research topics that aren’t being explored at Johns Hopkins. With many of the world’s top scientists and physicians leading a group of very talented and motivated students in the labs and in the wards, how could we not be inventing the future of medicine?