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About IBBS

Welcome to the Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences!

Stephen Desiderio, M.D., Ph.D. Stephen Desiderio,
M.D., Ph.D.

Virtually all mechanistic understanding of disease, all current treatments and diagnostic tools have as their foundation a basic science discovery; the more basic the discovery, the more far reaching its effects. Fundamental research touches upon everything from diagnosis to treatment and therapy for conditions ranging from cancer to autoimmune disease.

The Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences promotes the fundamental research that drives advances in medicine. Our nine basic science departments study all the fundamentals, from solving protein structures to dissecting cell movement, from analyzing chromosome structure to deconstructing biochemical pathways. We have so much exciting research going on here, it’s really inspiring, and it’s only part of the story.

When the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was founded in 1893, the unusual mandate was that the field of medicine was to be treated as a form of graduate study and include scientific research, and physicians and scientists were thought of as one and the same. Despite tremendous growth, advances in technology and changing pressures in healthcare, the link between medicine and scholarship remains unbroken here at Hopkins even today.

The IBBS reinforces that link by fostering a unique and collaborative environment bridging basic science and clinical research. The eight interdisciplinary IBBS centers bring together experts from a vast range of science and medical backgrounds to study metabolism and obesity, pain, autism and mental illness, sensory loss and other medical conditions in new and innovative ways. We're adopting new technologies, building new tools and using them to track cells and molecules, crack the codes that control how genetic material is read and rebuild tissues and organs.

Johns Hopkins is the most collegial place I’ve ever been. I can go to any colleague in any department across the institution and talk ideas. There are no boundaries here and for that reason, you never know where the next idea will come from. The sense of respect and mutual support reinforces the intellectual exchange and because of that, there is no failing here.

We invite you to join us.

Stephen Desiderio, M.D., Ph.D.
IBBS Director