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Johns Hopkins Health - One Thing

Spring 2015
Issue No. 28

One Thing

Date: April 2, 2015

What’s One Medical Mystery with Especially Intriguing Research?

Elizabeth Jaffee

“Different signals in pancreatic cancer cells have now been identified. We also know that certain mutations happen before the formation of an actual cancer. With this information, we’re working [in clinical trials] on a vaccine to activate the immune system and prevent the progression of premalignant changes.” -Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., Medical Director, Johns Hopkins Oncology Center Cell Processing and Gene Therapy Facility

Andrew Feinberg

“We know that most diseases have a strong environmental component in addition to genetics. The new field of epigenetics allows us to understand how genes and the environment interact to cause diseases, opening the door to new diagnostics and risk assessment, as well as eventual therapies to mitigate the environmental effects on disease.” -Andrew Feinberg, M.D., M.P.H., Director, Center for Epigenetics, Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences

Harry Detz

“What we’ve learned from our research into Marfan syndrome [a rare genetic disorder that can cause aortic aneurysms] has potential implications for more common presentations of aortic aneurysm. We’ve identified points of vulnerability along signaling pathways that could lead to powerful, life-extending treatments for a variety of vascular conditions.” -Harry “Hal” Dietz, M.D., Director, William S. Smilow Center for Marfan Syndrome Research


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