Faculty Pediatric Endocrinology Research

Faculty investigative interests, in terms of both topics and methodologies, span virtually the entire spectrum of contemporary endocrine investigation. Each faculty preceptor has demonstrated the ability to involve trainees in their research, and successfully inculcate them with the principles and current techniques of endocrine and metabolic research. Our training program reflects our philosophy that the optimal training environment in which to learn to be an endocrinologist is one that is scientifically rigorous. Faculty preceptors include investigators in both the pediatric and adult endocrinology divisions, and may involve collaboration and/or preceptorship in other specialties, depending on the interests of the fellow. 

Faculty Interactions

Faculty interact in several ways, including participation in formal and informal research conferences, teaching in courses, and informal scientific consultation. In several instances, faculty have collaborated with each other on projects of mutual interest and to provide an enriched learning environment for postdoctoral fellows. The faculty are highly interactive, as evidenced by frequent co-authorship of scientific manuscripts and joint supervision of doctoral and postdoctoral trainees.

The research interests of the training faculty reflect the disease-oriented approach to understanding pathophysiology and physiology that inculcates the “bench-to-bedside” philosophy of the training program.

Faculty Research Interests

Scott Blackman, M.D., Ph.D. is an associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes and an affiliate of the Department of Genetic Medicine. He sees patients with all types of endocrine disorders, and directs the Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis-Related Diabetes program. His research interests include the genetic and non-genetic causes of cystic fibrosis-related diabetes and other endocrine complications of cystic fibrosis. He is a PI of the Cystic Fibrosis Genome Project, a consortium of five studies aimed at discovering genetic modifiers of cystic fibrosis.

Janet Crane, M.D. is director of the Pediatric Bone Health Clinic and a faculty member of the Center for Musculoskeletal Research. Her basic science/translational research efforts are devoted to understanding the cause of osteoporosis/skeletal fragility in childhood and identifying treatment targets. Dr. Crane's lab focuses on how manipulations of the bone marrow microenvironment promote bone formation.

Talia Alyssa Hitt, M.D., M.P.H. is an assistant professor of pediatrics whose research focuses on the development and progression of pediatric type 2 diabetes, as well as the innovative therapies for it. Dr. Hitt is studying the relationship between insufficient sleep and type 2 diabetes in adolescents. In 2021, Dr. Hitt was awarded a supplemental award to a 2018 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases R01 award studying cardiometabolic risk among South Asian adolescents compared with African American and White peers. Dr. Hitt has additionally studied the clinical implementation of new therapeutics in pediatric diabetes care.

Sheela Magge, M.D., M.S.C.E., is the Director of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, and a clinician investigator dedicated to improving the lives of children with type 2 diabetes, obesity and insulin resistance, as well as the cardiovascular implications of these conditions. She is interested in the effects of differential body composition on the risks for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  She has served as the principal investigator for an NIH NICHD R01 study of cardiometabolic risk and obesity in adolescents with Down syndrome, and is currently the principal investigator of an NIH NIDDK R01 award studying cardiometabolic risk among South Asian adolescents compared with African-American and white peers. Thus, she performs patient-oriented research in pediatric obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease risk.

Risa Wolf, M.D. is an assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes with a research focus on clinical care innovations in pediatric diabetes. She is the principal investigator of several studies utilizing innovative technologies to improve glycemic control and outcomes in youth with diabetes.  She is the principal investigator for a study implementing point-of-care diabetic retinopathy screening using artificial intelligence, and a study implementing CGM in youth with poor glycemic control.   She is a co-investigator for Trialnet, and the principal investigator for the DINAMO Trial (a Pediatric Diabetes Consortium study) at Johns Hopkins. She also studies a novel family of proteins, called CTRPs, to determine their impact on glucose and lipid metabolism in the context of obesity and diabetes.

Malinda Wu, M.D., M.Sc., is an assistant professor of pediatrics whose research interests include endocrine abnormalities in cystic fibrosis (CF) and metabolic bone disease (primary bone disease such as osteogenesis imperfecta and secondary bone disease including CF-related bone disease and glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis). She has research grant funding from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Johns Hopkins University. Collaborating with Dr. Scott Blackman, Dr. Wu’s current diabetes research focuses on leveraging the resources of the Johns Hopkins Cystic Fibrosis Precision Medicine Center of Excellence (CF PMCoE) to use real-time clinical data and genetic data to predict a person with CF’s imminent risk of developing CF-related diabetes. This research is funded by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics Innovation Award.

In some cases, fellows may choose faculty mentors who are outside of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes. This includes but is not limited to faculty in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism (Adult Endocrinology) who have a variety of programs in basic and clinical research.