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Johns Hopkins ProHealth Clinical Research Unit

Pro-Health Clinical Research UnitJohns Hopkins ProHealth is a joint program of the GIM Division and the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research. This community-based facility is among the nation’s premier centers that conduct prevention-oriented research, often clinical trials, with a goal of preventing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. It was established in 1989 by Dr. Paul Whelton, who was also the founding director of the Welch Center, and Dr. Lawrence J. Appel, current director of the Welch Center.

Dr. Lawrence Appel is the current Director of ProHealth.  Under his direction, the program has grown substantially. Located near the intersection of routes 70 and 695 in the Woodlawn section of Baltimore County (directions), the program occupies ~15,000 sq ft of space and employs over 30 research staff.  Downstairs, the Data Collection Suite includes a reception area, a clinical laboratory, 8 examination rooms, a large data storage room, and long-term freezers. Upstairs, the Intervention Suite includes group meeting rooms, individual counseling rooms, an exercise room, and a state of the art metabolic kitchen.

ProHealth has hosted a series of landmark, NIH-funded studies, including TOHP, TONE, DASH, DASH-Sodium, OmniHeart, OmniCarb, DPP, AASK, CRIC, Achieve, PREMIER, Weight Loss Maintenance, POWER, and Look AHEAD.  Some of the high-impact papers associated with these studies are available online.

ProHealth Investigators

Dr. Lawrence Appel, Director (GIM/Welch Center)
Dr. Jeanne Charleston, Director of Clinical Operations (Epidemiology) 
Dr. Jeanne Clark (GIM/Welch Center)    
Dr. Gail Daumit (GIM/Welch Center)
Dr. Nisa Maruthur (GIM/Welch Center)
Dr. Pete Miller (GIM/Welch Center)
Dr. Jessica Yeh, PhD (GIM/Welch Center) 

Active Studies at ProHealth


Jeanne Clark (PI)
Excess weight leads to diabetes and its adverse consequences. Look AHEAD is the extended phase of a long-term, randomized trial which tested the effects of weight loss on cardiovascular disease and mortality in adults with type 2 diabetics. Across the US, 21 centers conduct Look AHEAD. This study is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. Recruitment is complete.

IDEAL (Intervention Trial to Decrease Cardiovascular Risk in Persons With Serious Mental Illness)

Gail Daumit (PI)
Persons with serious mental illness (SMI) suffer disproportionately from cardiovascular disease. This randomized trial is testing a comprehensive cardiovascular risk reduction program for persons with serious mental illness. This study is based at ProHealth but conducted at facilities serving SMI patients in the Baltimore region. This study is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.


Gail Daumit (PI)
Persons with serious mental illness (SMI) have high rates of tobacco smoking compared to the overall population. This randomized trial is testing a practical smoking cessation intervention combining behavioral and pharmacologic treatment and incorporating exercise and weight management counseling. This study is based at ProHealth but conducted at Johns Hopkins Bayview and a facility in Montgomery County. This study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. 

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