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Gregory Kirk Lab
Research in the Gregory Kirk Lab examines the natural history of viral infections — particularly HIV and hepatitis viruses — in the U.S. and globally. As part of the ALIVE (AIDS Linked to the Intravenous Experience) study, our research looks at a range of pathogenetic, clinical behavioral issues, with a special focus on non-AIDS-related outcomes of HIV, including cancer and liver and lung diseases. We use imaging and clinical, genetic, epigenetic and proteomic methods to identify and learn more about people at greatest risk for clinically relevant outcomes from HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections. Our long-term goal is to translate our findings into targeted interventions that help reduce the disease burden of these infections.
Dr. Haughey directs a disease-oriented research program that address questions in basic neurobiology, and clinical neurology. The primary research interests of the laboratory are:
1. To identify biomarkers markers for neurodegenerative diseases including HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. In these studies, blood and cerebral spinal fluid samples obtained from ongoing clinical studies are analyzed for metabolic profiles through a variety of biochemical, mass spectrometry and bioinformatic techniques. These biomarkers can then be used in the diagnosis of disease, as prognostic indicators to predict disease trajectory, or as surrogate markers to track the effectiveness of disease modifying interventions.
2. To better understand how the lipid components of neuronal, and glial membranes interact with proteins to regulate signal transduction associated with differentiation, motility, inflammatory signaling, survival, and neuronal excitab...ility.
3. To understand how extracellular vesicles (exosomes) released from brain resident cells regulate neuronal excitability, neural network activity, and peripheral immune responses to central nervous system damage and infections.
4. To develop small molecule therapeutics that regulate lipid metabolism as a neuroprotective and restorative strategy for neurodegenerative conditions. view more
Healthy Brain Program
The Brain Health Program is a multidisciplinary team of faculty from the departments of neurology, psychiatry, epidemiology, and radiology lead by Leah Rubin and Jennifer Coughlin. In the hope of revealing new directions for therapies, the group studies molecular biomarkers identified from tissue and brain imaging that are associated with memory problems related to HIV infection, aging, dementia, mental illness and traumatic brain injury. The team seeks to advance policies and practices to optimize brain health in vulnerable populations while destigmatizing these brain disorders.
Current and future projects include research on: the roles of the stress response, glucocorticoids, and inflammation in conditions that affect memory and the related factors that make people protected or or vulnerable to memory decline; new mobile apps that use iPads to improve our detection of memory deficits; clinical trials looking at short-term effects of low dose hydrocortisone and randomized to 28 day...s of treatment; imaging brain injury and repair in NFL players to guide players and the game; and the role of inflammation in memory deterioration in healthy aging, patients with HIV, and other neurodegenerative conditions. view less
HIV Quality of Care
Dr. Stephen Berry’s research focuses on healthcare quality, safety and costs among persons living with HIV, both in the outpatient and inpatient settings. He conducts observational and interventional studies of sexually transmitted infection screening in HIV clinics, with a focus on improving performance to meet national guidelines. He leads observational studies of rates and reasons for hospitalizations and of 30-day readmission rates among HIV patients. He is conducting a randomized study of a nurse- and pharmacist-based team to reduce inpatient HIV medication errors and increase engagement in outpatient care among persons living with HIV who are hospitalized at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
The Hoffmann Lab is focused on reducing TB and HIV morbidity and mortality in the low and middle income settings through behavioral and implementation science approaches. Work has focused on understanding individual-level behavior towards linkage to care and continued care engagement for HIV and TB and using this knowledge to develop approaches to increase HIV testing, linkage to care, HIV viral load suppression, and retention in care. Other work has focused on health system strategies to improve service delivery and improve adherence to best practice to guidelines-based care. The group's research includes work on the general population, corrections inmates and ex-inmates, men at risk for HIV, and recently hospitalized individuals. Most of the research has been in South Africa and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa.
HPTN (HIV Prevention Trials Network) Network Laboratory (NL) is responsible for collecting, testing and reporting results from biological samples; assisting in the development and quality assurance assessment of local laboratory capacity at the Clinical Trials Units (CTUs) participating in HPTN clinical trials (www.hptn.org); and identifying and implementing state-of-the-art assays and technologies to advance the scientific agenda of the Network.
Janet Siliciano Lab
Research in the Janet Siliciano lab focuses on HIV. Areas of study include CD4-positive T lymphocytes, virus latency and highly active antiretrovirals. We recently explored the challenges of detecting HIV persistence during potentially curative interventions and the multifactorial nature of HIV-1 latency.
Jeremy Sugarman Lab
Research in the Jeremy Sugarman Lab focuses on biomedical ethics—particularly, the application of empirical methods and evidence-based standards to the evaluation and analysis of bioethical issues. Our contributions to medical ethics and health policy include work on the ethics of informed consent, umbilical cord blood banking, stem cell research, international HIV prevention research, global health and research oversight.
The Johns Hopkins NIMH Center is comprised of an interdisciplinary research team who has pooled their talents to study the nature of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Their aim is to translate discoveries of the pathophysiological mechanisms into novel therapeutics for HAND.Our objectives are to integrate aspects of ongoing research in HAND and SIV encephalitis; to develop high-throughput and screening assays for identifying novel therapeutic compounds; to use proteomics and lipidomics approaches to indentifying surrogate markers of disease activity; to disseminate information and education about HAND through existing and new educational systems, including the JHU AIDS Education Training Center and the JHU Center for Global Clinical Education and to facilitate the entry of new investigators into neuro-AIDS research, and to catalyze new areas of research, particularly where relevant for drug discovery or the development of validated surrogate markers.
Joel Blankson Lab
Work in the Joel Blankson Lab explores the mechanism of control of HIV-1 replication in a cohort of patients known as elite controllers or elite suppressors. These patients are HIV-1 seropositive but maintain levels of viremia that are below the limit of detection of standard clinical assays. We feel that elite suppressors represent a potential model for a therapeutic HIV vaccine. Our central hypothesis is that many of these patients are infected with fully replication-competent HIV-1 isolates that are held in check by the immune system. To test this hypothesis, we are studying many different host and viral factors in these patients.