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  • Seth Blackshaw Lab

    The Seth Blackshaw Lab uses functional genomics and proteomics to rapidly identify the molecular mechanisms that regulate cell specification and survival in both the retina and hypothalamus. We have profiled gene expression in both these tissues, from the start to the end of neurogenesis, characterizing the cellular expression patterns of more than 1,800 differentially expressed transcripts in both tissues. Working together with the lab of Heng Zhu in the Department of Pharmacology, we have also generated a protein microarray comprised of nearly 20,000 unique full-length human proteins, which we use to identify biochemical targets of developmentally important genes of interest.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Seth Blackshaw, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Foster Lab

    The Foster Lab uses the tools of protein biochemistry and proteomics to tackle fundamental problems in the fields of cardiac preconditioning and heart failure. Protein networks are perturbed in heart disease in a manner that correlates only weakly with changes in mRNA transcripts. Moreover, proteomic techniques afford the systematic assessment of post-translational modifications that regulate the activity of proteins responsible for every aspect of heart function from electrical excitation to contraction and metabolism. Understanding the status of protein networks in the diseased state is, therefore, key to discovering new therapies. D. Brian Foster, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of medicine in the division of cardiology, and serves as Director of the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Biochemistry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    D. Brian Foster, Ph.D., M.Sc.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Zhu Lab

    The Zhu lab is focused on characterizing the activities of large collection of proteins, building signaling networks for better understanding the mechanisms of biological processes, and identifying biomarkers in human diseases and cancers. More specifically, our group is interested in analyzing protein posttranslational modifications, and identifying important components involved in transcription networks and host-pathogen interactions on the proteomics level, and biomarkers in human IBD diseases.

    Principal Investigator

    Heng Zhu, Ph.D.

    Department

    Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences

  • Mass Spectrometry Core

    The Mass Spectrometry Core identifies and quantifies proteins that change expression in well-characterized protein fractions from cancerous cells or tissues. This includes identifying and quantifying changes in binding partners and post-translational modifications. Column chromatography and gel electrophoresis-based one and two-dimensional separations of protein complexes coupled to mass spectrometry are used. Techniques such as difference gel electrophoresis (DIGE), isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) and 18O-labeling as well as non-labeling methods (MudPit, multi-dimensional protein identification technology) are available for quantifying relative differences in protein expression and post-translational modifications. We developed methods to detect post-translational modifications such as LCMS methods to accurately determine the intact mass of proteins, selective fluorescent labeling of S-nitrosothiols (S-FLOS) to detect nitrosated cysteines in proteins, and ion mapping methods to map post-translational modifications that produce a signature mass or mass difference when the modified peptide is fragmented.
  • Michael Caterina Lab

    The Caterina lab is focused on dissecting mechanisms underlying acute and chronic pain sensation. We use a wide range of approaches, including mouse genetics, imaging, electrophysiology, behavior, cell culture, biochemistry and neuroanatomy to tease apart the molecular and cellular contributors to pathological pain sensation. A few of the current projects in the lab focus on defining the roles of specific subpopulations of neuronal and non-neuronal cells to pain sensation, defining the role of RNA binding proteins in the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain, and understanding how rare skin diseases known as palmoplantar keratodermas lead to severe pain in the hands and feet.

    Principal Investigator

    Michael Caterina, M.D., Ph.D.

    Department

    Neurosurgery

  • Steven Claypool Lab

    Research in the Claypool Lab is focused on defining how lipids and membrane proteins interact to establish and maintain normal mitochondrial function and how derangements in this complex relationship result in pathophysiology. We have demonstrated that yeast lacking tafazzin recapitulates all of the phospholipid abnormalities observed in human patients and many of the mitochondrial defects. Another major project in our lab focuses on the mitochondrial ADP/ATP carrier that is required for oxidative phosphorylation. Researchers are studying how these novel interactions help establish normal mitochondrial function, the biochemical details of these associations, and whether disturbances in these assemblies can contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Steven Michael Claypool, Ph.D.

    Department

    Physiology

  • Tom Woolf Lab

    The Tom Woolf Lab studies the quarter of the genome devoted to membrane proteins. This rapidly growing branch of bioinformatics, which includes computational biophysics, represents the main research direction of our group. We aim to provide insight into critical issues for membrane systems. In pursuit of these goals, we use extensive computer calculations to build an understanding of the relations between microscopic motions and the world of experimental measurements. Our calculations use our own Beowulf computer cluster as well as national supercomputer centers. An especially strong focus has been on the computed motions of proteins and all-atom models of the lipid bilayers that mediate their influence. To compute these motions, we use the molecular dynamics program CHARMM. We hope to use our understanding of the molecular motions for the prediction of membrane protein structures using new computational methods.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Thomas B. Woolf, Ph.D.

    Department

    Physiology

  • Fu Lab

    The Fu Lab is a basic research lab that studies zinc transport, with a particular focus on which step in the zinc transport process may be modulated and how. Dr. Fu's lab uses parallel cell biology and proteomic approaches to understand how these physiochemical principles are applied to mammalian zinc transporters and integrated to the physiology of pancreatic beta cells. This research has implications for understanding how zinc transport is related to diabetes and insulin intake.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Dax Fu, Ph.D.

    Department

    Physiology

  • Frueh Laboratory

    The Frueh Laboratory uses nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to study how protein dynamics can be modulated and how active enzymatic systems can be conformed. Non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS) are large enzymatic systems that biosynthesize secondary metabolites, many of which are used by pharmaceutical scientists to produce drugs such as antibiotics or anticancer agents. Dr. Frueh's laboratory uses NMR to study inter- and intra-domain modifications that occur during the catalytic steps of NRPS. Dr. Frueh and his team are constantly developing new NMR techniques to study these complicated enzymatic systems.
  • Michael Matunis Lab

    Research in the Michael Matunis Lab focuses on the SUMO family of small ubiquitin-related proteins. We study the covalent conjugation of SUMOs to other cellular proteins, which regulates numerous processes needed for cell growth and differentiation, and which, when defective, can lead to conditions such as cancer, neurodegenerative disease and diabetes.

    Principal Investigator

    Michael Joseph Matunis, Ph.D.

    Department

    Cell Biology