Research and Clinical Trials
The iconic work of David S. Zee, M.D., over the past four decades has placed the Johns Hopkins Department of Neurology at the center of numerous major breakthroughs in vestibular science. Zee created a program steeped in a tradition of rigorous scientific inquiry focused on delivering basic science insights from bench to bedside. His dozens of trainees are among the world leaders in vestibular science, clinical research and patient care. This tradition continues as our center grows and keeps exploring new areas of research.
Vestibular and Ocular Motor Research (VOR) Laboratory
Researchers at the Vestibular and Ocular Motor Research Laboratory use neurophysiology and behavioral approaches to study neural mechanisms of eye movements and spatial orientation. We offer research fellowships and other research opportunities for students, residents and postdoctoral researchers, linked to each research program. Post-doctoral fellowships last at least one year, while other programs may be shorter. Experiences are tailored to each candidate.
Neuroscience and Early (T1) Translational Research Programs
Lead: Amir Kheradmand, M.D.
The basic research programs of the Neuro-visual and Vestibular Disorders Center seek to advance early diagnosis and treatment of neuro-visual and vestibular disorders through foundational research. This includes fundamental research in healthy subjects without such disorders as well as disease-based research. A major focus of these programs, led by Kheradmand, is the study of human spatial perception and vestibular cortical processing. This is an underresearched field with new neuroscientific insights offering the potential to develop novel diagnostics or therapeutics, especially for patients with chronic dizziness or vestibular migraine. A second focus, led by David S. Zee, M.D., is the study of how powerful magnetic fields influence the peripheral vestibular system. These programs employ a variety of basic research methods, including dual magnetic scleral search coil recordings, video-oculography (VOG) and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Basic research programs also rely on strong collaborations locally, nationally and internationally.
Clinical, Public Health and Late (T2) Translational Research Programs
The clinical research programs of the Neuro-visual and Vestibular Disorders Center seek to advance early diagnosis and treatment of neuro-visual and vestibular disorders through applied research. The public health research components are focused on late translational research (bedside to populations) as well as broad implementation and dissemination programs (regional, national and international). The current focus of these programs is on delivering optimal bedside diagnosis for vestibular patients presenting to the Emergency Department and other nonspecialty settings (such as ambulatory primary care). These programs employ a combination of clinical and health services research methods, including observational studies, interventional clinical trials, implementation studies, decision analysis, cost-effectiveness and systematic reviews.
Eye Movement Engineering Program
Lead: Dale Roberts
Eye movement recordings are ubiquitous in neuroscience research. From basic vestibular physiology to psychiatry, laboratories use eye movement recordings together with visual or vestibular stimulation to study brain function. The first reliable method to measure eye movements was developed here at Johns Hopkins by David Robinson, Ph.D. The Neuro-visual and Vestibular Disorders Center eye movement engineering program is dedicated to providing the technical support needed to accomplish the strategic goals of the other core programs within the Center. At the same time, we seek to innovate in the development of novel eye movement recording and analysis techniques, opening new vistas for research and clinical practice that would not be possible otherwise. The existing knowledge base and world-caliber expertise in eye movement recording technology ensures the highest-quality data collection and results interpretation.