Basic Research & Human Health

Biomedical Discoveries Underpin Good Health

Medical exam

Virtually every major medical breakthrough in the past half-century has been achieved because a biomedical scientist unraveled one more mystery of biology. 

The discoveries of Johns Hopkins scientists have led to vaccines that prevent infectious diseases and even some types of cancer, sophisticated genetics-based tools for diagnosis and prevention of a range of conditions, promising new treatments for developmental diseases and neurological disorders, and the knowledge that cruciferous vegetables can help protect us from cancer and degenerative diseases.

Over the past decade, advances in molecular biology, genetics, and instrumentation have made it possible to address complex questions that earlier seemed far out of reach.  We now have the means to look at complex interactions among genes, as well as the interplay between environment and genetic variation.  How do cells coordinate their shape and structure to either move or stay put, a critical element of everything from normal development to cancer metastasis?  How does brief exposure to alcohol or drugs produce long-lasting, even life-long, changes in behavior?  How does the brain receive and process information from all five of our senses?  What are the causes of the current obesity epidemic?

Explore some of the areas where our researchers are answering scientific questions below.

Research Areas