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  • Dhananjay Vaidya Lab

    Research conducted in the Dhananjay Vaidya Lab focuses on the prevention of heart disease, with special emphasis on cardiometabolic risk factors, genetics in high-risk families, cardiovascular epidemiology, statistics and vascular biology. We also provide consultation on study design as well as plan and oversee data analyses for projects supported by the Center for Child and Community Health Research.

    Principal Investigator

    Jay Vaidya, MBBS PhD

    Department

    Medicine

  • Daniel Nyhan Lab

    The Daniel Nyhan Lab studies vascular changes that accompany aging to determine the underlying causes and find ways to reverse the process. One goal of our research is to identify the factors that cause vascular stiffness. Our hope is that our work in vascular biology will lead to new ways to improve vascular compliance and thereby improve cardiovascular function and perioperative risk.
  • Mahendra Damarla Lab

    Work in the Mahendra Damarla Lab focuses primarily on the field of vascular biology. Much of our research involves exploring alternatives to mechanical ventilation as a therapy for acute lung injury. We investigate mitogen-activated protein kinase-activated protein kinase 2 as a method to mediate apoptosis during lung vascular permeability by regulating movement of cleaved caspase 3. We have also conducted research on the prevalence of confirmatory tests in patients hospitalized with congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

    Principal Investigator

    Mahendra Damarla, MD

    Department

    Medicine

  • Rachel Damico Lab

    Work in the Rachel Damico Lab explores topics within the fields of vascular biology and pulmonary medicine, with a focus on acute lung injury and apoptosis in lung diseases. Our studies have included examining idiopathic and scleroderma-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension, vascular receptor autoantibodies, and the link between inflammation and the Warburg phenomenon in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. We have also researched the inhibitory factor of macrophage migration and its governing of endothelial cell sensitivity to LPS-induced apoptosis.

    Principal Investigator

    Rachel L. Damico, MD

    Department

    Medicine

  • Jeremy Nathans Laboratory

    The Jeremy Nathans Laboratory is focused on neural and vascular development, and the role of Frizzled receptors in mammalian development. We use gene manipulation in the mouse, cell culture models, and biochemical reconstitution to investigate the relevant molecular events underlying these processes, and to genetically mark and manipulate cells and tissues. Current experiments are aimed at defining additional Frizzled-regulated processes and elucidating the molecular mechanisms and cell biologic results of Frizzled signaling within these various contexts. Complementing these areas of biologic interest, we have ongoing technology development projects related to genetically manipulating and visualizing defined cell populations in the mouse, and quantitative analysis of mouse visual system function.
  • Chulan Kwon Laboratory

    The C. Kwon Lab studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing heart generation and regeneration. The limited regenerative capacity of the heart is a major factor in morbidity and mortality rates: Heart malformation is the most frequent form of human birth defects, and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Cardiovascular progenitor cells hold tremendous therapeutic potential due to their unique ability to expand and differentiate into various heart cell types. Our laboratory seeks to understand the fundamental biology and regenerative potential of multi-potent cardiac progenitor cells – building blocks used to form the heart during fetal development — by deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control their induction, maintenance, and differentiation. We are also interested in elucidating the maturation event of heart muscle cells, an essential process to generate adult cardiomyocytes, which occurs after terminal differentiation of the progenitor cells. We believe this knowledge will contribute to our understanding of congenital and adult heart disease and be instrumental for stem cell-based heart regeneration. We have developed several novel approaches to deconstruct the mechanisms, including the use of animal models and pluripotent stem cell systems. We expect this knowledge will help us better understand heart disease and will be instrumental for stem-cell-based disease modeling and interventions for of heart repair. Dr. Chulan Kwon is an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University Heart and Vascular Institute.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Chulan Kwon, PhD

    Department

    Medicine

  • Wei Dong Gao Lab

    Work in the Wei Dong Gao Lab primarily focuses on heart failure and defining molecular and cellular mechanisms of contractile dysfunction. We use molecular biology and proteomic techniques to investigate the changes that myofilament proteins undergo during heart failure and under drug therapy. We're working to determine the molecular nature of nitroxyl (HNO) modification of tropomyosin.
  • Lewis Romer Lab

    Work in the Lewis Romer Lab focuses on the responses of vascular systems to disease and injury. Using cultured human endothelial cells and fibroblasts from mice that lack expression of the FAK- or Src-family kinases, we’re exploring several topics. These include the effect of inflammatory cytokine on cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix; the role of FAK signaling in inhibiting apoptosis; and the function of FAK- and Src-family kinases in cell-matrix interactions during adhesion and motility.
  • O'Rourke Lab

    The O’Rourke Lab uses an integrated approach to study the biophysics and physiology of cardiac cells in normal and diseased states. Research in our lab has incorporated mitochondrial energetics, Ca2+ dynamics, and electrophysiology to provide tools for studying how defective function of one component of the cell can lead to catastrophic effects on whole cell and whole organ function. By understanding the links between Ca2+, electrical excitability and energy production, we hope to understand the cellular basis of cardiac arrhythmias, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and sudden death. We use state-of-the-art techniques, including single-channel and whole-cell patch clamp, microfluorimetry, conventional and two-photon fluorescence imaging, and molecular biology to study the structure and function of single proteins to the intact muscle. Experimental results are compared with simulations of computational models in order to understand the findings in the context of the system as a whole. Ongoing studies in our lab are focused on identifying the specific molecular targets modified by oxidative or ischemic stress and how they affect mitochondrial and whole heart function. The motivation for all of the work is to understand • how the molecular details of the heart cell work together to maintain function and • how the synchronization of the parts can go wrong Rational strategies can then be devised to correct dysfunction during the progression of disease through a comprehensive understanding of basic mechanisms. Brian O’Rourke, PhD, is a professor in the Division of Cardiology and Vice Chair of Basic and Translational Research, Department of Medicine, at the Johns Hopkins University.
    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Brian O'Rourke, PhD

    Department

    Medicine

  • Nicholas Flavahan Lab

    The Nicholas Flavahan Lab primarily researches the cellular interactions and subcellular signaling pathways that control normal vascular function and regulate the initiation of vascular disease. We use biochemical and molecular analyses of cellular mediators and cell signaling mechanisms in cultured vascular cells, while also conducting physiological assessments and fluorescent microscopic imaging of signaling systems in isolated blood vessels. A major component of our research involves aterioles, tiny blood vessles that are responsible for controlling the peripheral resistance of the cardiovascular system, which help determine organ blood flow.