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Highest Distinction

From left: Bergey, Dong, Rao, Robinson, and Rosen

Highest Distinction

Five researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine were elected as 2022 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science — one of the highest distinctions in the global science community, which recognizes both achievements in science and scientific integrity. They join more than 500 researchers inducted into the 2022 class of fellows.

Gregory Bergey is director of the Johns Hopkins Epilepsy Center and a co-director of the epilepsy research laboratory at the school of medicine. 

Neuroscientist Xinzhong Dong studies the genetic and molecular biology roots of itch and pain. He identified a family of cell surface proteins called G protein coupled receptors on sensory neurons and immune cells. He dubbed the receptors “Mrgprs” and found that they function as itch receptors by detecting numerous itchy substances such as peptides, drugs and lipids. These receptors play important roles in inflammation, bacterial infection and various disease conditions.

Rajini Rao is a professor of physiology and director of the graduate program in cellular and molecular medicine at the school of medicine. Her research focuses on the roles of intracellular ion transport in health and disease. She has mentored more than 20 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in her lab, many of whom have won national awards and independent fellowships. 

Cell biologist Douglas Robinson studies how cells develop their specialized shapes, and thus, their function, through chemical and mechanical signaling and environmental cues. He is also the founding director of Johns Hopkins’ Summer Academic Research Experience, and Careers in Science and Medicine Initiative.

Antony Rosen is vice dean for research and director of inHealth, the Johns Hopkins precision medicine and individualized health program. He was also the director of the Division of Rheumatology from 2002–2022. His research focuses on autoimmunity in the rheumatic diseases. 

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