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Christopher A Ross, M.D., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Christopher A Ross, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Director, Division of Neurobiology
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Male

Expertise

Adult Psychiatry, Huntington's Disease, Movement Disorders, Neuropsychiatric Complications of Movement Disorders, Neuropsychiatry, Psychiatry, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences ...read more

Research Interests

Huntington’s disease; Genes; Schizophrenia; Parkinson’s disease; Neurodegenerative diseases; Bipolar disorder

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Insurance Information

Maryland

410-955-2398

Outside of Maryland

410-464-6641
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International Patients

+1-410-502-7683
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Locations

The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

Appointment Phone: 410-955-2398
1800 Orleans St.
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 443-287-4962

Background

Dr. Christopher Ross is a neuropsychiatry specialist in Baltimore, caring for patients with Huntington’s disease, movement disorders and neuropsychiatric complications of movement disorders. Dr. Ross serves as the Director of the Division of Neurobiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr. Ross received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Princeton University. He earned his M.D. at Cornell University Medical College. He completed his residency at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and performed a fellowship in psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also earned a Ph.D. in neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University Graduate School. Dr. Ross joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1987.

His research interests include neuropsychiatric disorders, focusing on Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and using insights from these disorders to approach more complex diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Dr. Ross serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Biological Psychiatry, Journal of Huntington’s Disease and Complex Psychiatry. He is an ad-hoc reviewer for publications including Cell, Neuron, Nature, Nature Medicine and Journal of Neuroscience. Among his many awards, he has been recognized by the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders with the Young Investigator Award and the Established Investigator Award, and he has won the Johns Hopkins Clinician-Scientist Award and the Milton Wexler Award for Huntington’s Disease Research. 

He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, the Movement Disorders Society, the Huntington Study Group, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Society for Neuroscience, the American Society for Cell Biology and the International Society for Psychiatric Genetics. Dr. Ross is also an American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Fellow.

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Titles

  • Director, Division of Neurobiology
  • Director, Huntington’s Disease Center, Johns Hopkins
  • Director of Residency Research Training, Department of Psychiatry
  • Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Professor of Neurology
  • Professor of Neuroscience
  • Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes

Education

Degrees

  • MD, Cornell University Medical College (1983)

Residencies

  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1987)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Psychiatry And Neurology / Psychiatry (1989)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

In their study of neuropsychiatric disorders, Dr. Ross and his research team have focused on Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease, and now are using insights from these disorders to approach more complex diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They use biophysical and biochemical techniques, cell models, and transgenic mouse models to understand disease processes, and to provide targets for development of rational therapeutics. These then can provide a basis for developing small molecule interventions, which can be used both as probes to study biology, and if they have favorable drug-like properties, for potential therapeutic development. We have used two strategies for identifying lead compounds. The first is the traditional path of identification of specific molecular targets, such as enzymes like the LRRK2 kinase of Parkinson’s disease. Once structure is known, computational approaches or fragment based lead discovery, in collaboration, can be used. The second is to conduct phenotypic screens using cell models, or in a collaboration, natural products in a yeast model. Once a lead compound is identified, we use cell models for initial tests of compounds, then generate analogs, and take compounds that look promising to preclinical therapeutic studies in animal models. The ultimate goal is to develop therapeutic strategies that can be brought to human clinical trials, and we have pioneered in developing biomarkers and genetic testing for developing strategies.

Lab

Dr. Ross and his research team have focused on Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease, and are using insights from these disorders to approach more complex diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They use biophysical and biochemical techniques, cell models and transgenic mouse models to understand disease processes, and to provide targets for development of rational therapeutics. These then can provide a basis for developing small molecule interventions, which can be used both as probes to study biology, and, if they have favorable drug-like properties, for potential therapeutic development. 

They have used two strategies for identifying lead compounds. The first is the traditional path of identification of specific molecular targets, such as enzymes like the LRRK2 kinase of Parkinson’s disease. Once the structure is known, computational approaches or fragment-based lead discovery, in collaboration, can be used. The second is to conduct phenotypic screens using cell models, or in a collaboration, natural products in a yeast model. Once a lead compound is identified, they use cell models for initial tests of compounds, then generate analogs, and take compounds that look promising to preclinical therapeutic studies in animal models. The ultimate goal is to develop therapeutic strategies that can be brought to human clinical trials, and they are pioneers in developing biomarkers and genetic testing for developing strategies.

Lab Website: Christopher A. Ross Lab

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

Wen Z, Nguyen HN, Guo Z, Lalli MA, Wang X, Su Y, Kim NS, Yoon KJ, Shin J, Zhang C, Makri G, Nauen D, Yu H, Guzman E, Chiang CH, Yoritomo N, Kaibuchi K, Zou J, Christian KM, Cheng L, Ross CA, Margolis RL, Chen G, Kosik KS, Song H, Ming GL. Synaptic dysregulation in a human iPS cell model of mental disorders. Nature. 2014 Aug 17. doi: 10.1038/nature13716. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25132547

Ross CA. Problems with autism, catatonia and schizophrenia in DSM-5. Schizophr Res. 2014 Jul 3. pii: S0920-9964(14)00309-0. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2014.06.017. [Epub ahead of print] No abstract available. PMID: 24999051

Lang M, Montazeri M, Onbasli MC, Kou X, Fan Y, Upadhyaya P, Yao K, Liu F, Jiang Y, Jiang W, Wong KL, Yu G, Tang J, Nie T, He L, Schwartz RN, Wang Y, Ross CA, Wang KL. Proximity induced high-temperature magnetic order in topological insulator--ferrimagnetic insulator heterostructure. Nano Lett. 2014 Jun 11;14(6):3459-65. doi: 10.1021/nl500973k. Epub 2014 May 23. PMID: 24844837

Ross CA, Akimov SS. Human-induced pluripotent stem cells: potential for neurodegenerative diseases. Hum Mol Genet. 2014 Sep 15;23(R1):R17-R26. Epub 2014 May 13. Review. PMID: 24824217

Ross CA, Berggren KK, Cheng JY, Jung YS, Chang JB. Three-dimensional nanofabrication by block copolymer self-assembly. Adv Mater. 2014 Jul 2;26(25):4386-96. doi: 10.1002/adma.201400386. Epub 2014 Apr 6. PMID: 24706521 [PubMed - in process]

Contact for Research Inquiries

Phone: 410-614-0011

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Graduate Program (CMM)

Courses and Syllabi

  • Director of Residency Research Training
  • Diseases of the Brain
  • Lecture in Neuroscience and Cognition Introductory Course
  • Lectures in Medical School Psychiatry Course
  • Lectures in Cellular and Molecular Medicine Graduate Program

Activities & Honors

Honors

  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Weill Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, 2010
  • Distinguished Investigator Award, National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders, 2003
  • Guthrie Family Humanitarian Award, Huntington’s Disease Society of America, 2002
  • Milton Wexler Award for Huntington’s Disease Research, 2000
  • Milton Wexler Award for Huntington’s Disease Research, 1996
  • Established Investigator Award, National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders, 1995
  • Johns Hopkins Clinician-Scientist Award, 1992
  • Young Investigator Award, National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders, 1990
  • Award under the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences, 1987 - 1991

Memberships

  • Movement Disorders Society
  • Huntington Study Group
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • American Society for Cell Biology
  • International Society for Psychiatric Genetics

Professional Activities

  • Study Section for National Institutes of Health Director’s Award Grants, DP1 and DP2, February and March 2020, 2020
  • International Society for Psychiatric Genetics, World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics, Program Committee
  • Chair, Steering Committee PREQUEL clinical trial
  • Steering Committee, “Predict-HD: Neurobiologic Predictors of Huntington’s disease Onset”
  • Steering Committee, Coenzyme Q10 in Huntington’s Disease (2CARE)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neurodegeneration (CMND) Review Committee (NIH CSR Scientific Review Group)
  • Scientific Advisory Board, Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute
  • Society of Biological Psychiatry, Program Committee
  • FDA Advisory Panel on Neurological Devices (ECT), January 27 – 28, 2011, 2011
  • FDA Advisory Panel on Depression, 2010
  • Molecular Basis for Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder, Co-organizer, Keystone, Colorado, 2009
  • Member Cellular and Molecular Neurodegeneration (CMND) study section, 2007
  • Scientific Advisory Committee, Huntington Study Group, 2002
  • Member of National Board of Trustees, Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA), 1999
  • Chair, Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee, HDSA, 1997
  • Founder and Organizer, HDSA “Coalition for the Cure"
  • Member, NINDS Training Grant and Career Development (NST) Scientific Review Group
  • Steering Committee, “A Multi-Center, Double-Blind, Randomized, Parallel Group, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Ethyl EPA (Miraxion) in Subjects with Huntington’s Disease” (TREND-HD)

Videos & Media

Lectures and Presentations

  • Translational Research in Neuropsychiatric Disorders
    Lecture (09/11/2010)
    Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology
  • Translational Research in Brain Diseases: from Models to Medicines?
    Lecture, Johns Hopkins Brain Sciences Institute “Brain Night” (05/14/2008)
  • Translational Approaches to Huntington’s Disease
    Lecture (04/28/2008)
    Clinical Neuroscience Seminar, Johns Hopkins University
  • Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder: New Biology and Novel Targets
    Lecture (09/18/2008)
    Johns Hopkins Brain Sciences Institute Biotech 2008 Neuroinvestors Conference

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

1 in 5 Hospital Docs Reports 'Unsafe' Workloads: Study, U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 28, 2013   

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