Clinical Core

Core Mission

The Clinical Core provides a service for both JHU and outside institutions, and it is a shared resource for translating potential interventions from the bench to the patient with a goal of improving central nervous system (CNS) complications in people with HIV. The Core aims to serve as a catalyst for studies that align with evolving NIH priorities for HIV and HIV-related research. This Core provides the support necessary to evaluate novel clinical and laboratory outcome measures of CNS function through the maintenance and continued recruitment of a cohort of well-characterized people with and without HIV from the Baltimore/Washington, DC area representative of the local epidemic’s demographics. The Core provides statistical expertise promoting cutting-edge NeuroHIV research, mentorship of the next generation of NeuroHIV scientists, and community outreach.

Unique Value of the Core

Our core is a unique JHU resource for enhancing and strengthening mechanistic, translational, and clinical NeuroHIV studies. Our clinical data provides considerable cost-savings for other projects by facilitating recruitment, providing extensive clinical characterization of individuals, including NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) metrics (self-report, paradigm, neuroimaging), and the ability to leverage data and biospecimens for secondary data analysis.


Core Resources

  • Clinical Outcomes Cohort: Deeply phenotyped clinical cohort of people with and without HIV. Data collection includes RDoC metrics (self-report, paradigm, neuroimaging) and targeted laboratory tests (e.g., viral load, CD4 count). Biospecimens are stored and available (plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cells) and can be used to examine markers of cell stress, neuronal injury/protection, oxidative stress, energy metabolism, immune activation and glutamate regulation in collaboration with the Biomarker Core and Therapeutic Core as well as a source for specimens for use by other institutions.
  • Clinical assessments: The Core can provide validated test batteries critical for rapid development of clinical trials of novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of CNS complications in people with HIV.
  • Statistical analysis infrastructure: The Core provides consultation and guidance to investigators within and outside of JH on all phases of NeuroHIV research. The Core offers expertise in new and innovative methods of assessment and evaluation that align with RDoC. The Core is well-versed in implementing standard statistical approaches and facilitating computing techniques to analyze multidimensional data sets (i.e., machine learning) or novel mathematical approaches to address the complexities of RDoC data.
  • Mentorship: The Core provides mentorship of the next generation of NeuroHIV scientists across all levels (high school to established investigators).
  • Community Outreach: The Core disseminates resources (Support Groups) and research findings via meetings, symposiums, webinars, and social media communication strategies, and website.,


Clinical Studies

Our team is conducting several clinical studies that are recruiting participant. If you are interested in participating in a study, please call 443-287-4701 or email [email protected].

Please visit Johns Hopkins Brain Heath Program for more information.


Contact us

Please fill out the following form and we will be in touch: Contact Form


Core Leaders

  • Jennifer Marie Coughlin, MD

    • Co-Founder/Co-Director, Johns Hopkins Brain Health Program
    • Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Leah Rubin, PhD

    • Co-Founder/Co-Director, Johns Hopkins Brain Health Program
    • Professor of Neurology