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The Feinberg Laboratory studies the epigenetic basis of normal development and disease, including cancer, aging and neuropsychiatric illness. Early work from our group involved the discovery of altered DNA methylation in cancer as well as common epigenetic (methylation and imprinting) variants in the population that may be responsible for a significant population-attributable risk of cancer.
Over the last few years, we have pioneered the field of epigenomics (i.e., epigenetics at a genome-scale level), founding the first NIH-supported NIH epigenome center in the country and developing many novel tools for molecular and statistical analysis. Current research examines the mechanisms of epigenetic modification, the epigenetic basis of cancer, the invention of new molecular, statistical, and epidemiological tools for genome-scale epigenetics and the epigenetic basis of neuropsychiatric disease, including schizophrenia and autism.
The Brown Lab is focused on the function of the cerebral cortex in the brain, which underlies our ability to interact with our environment through sensory perception and voluntary movement. Our research takes a bottom-up approach to understanding how the circuits of this massively interconnected network of neurons are functionally organized, and how dysfunction in these circuits contributes to neurodegenerative diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism and schizophrenia. By combining electrophysiological and optogenetic approaches with anatomical and genetic techniques for identifying cell populations and pathways, the Brown Lab is defining the synaptic interactions among different classes of cortical neurons and determining how long-range and local inputs are integrated within cortical circuits. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, corticospinal and spinal motor neurons progressively degenerate. The Brown Lab is examining how abnormal ...activity within cortical circuits contributes to the selective degeneration of corticospinal motor neurons in an effort to identify new mechanisms for treating this disease. Abnormalities in the organization of cortical circuits and synapses have been identified in genetic and anatomical studies of neuropsychiatric disease. We are interested in the impact these abnormalities have on cortical processing and their contribution to the disordered cognition typical of autism and schizophrenia. view less
The Dölen lab studies the synaptic and circuit mechanisms that enable social behaviors. We use a variety of techniques including whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology, viral mediated gene transfer, optogenetics, and behavior. We are also interested in understanding how these synaptic and circuit mechanisms are disrupted in autism and schizophrenia, diseases which are characterized by social cognition deficits. More recently we have become interested in the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs for diseases like addiction and PTSD that respond to social influence or are aggravated by social injury, We are currently using both transgenic mouse and octopus to model disease.
Margaret Daniele Fallin Lab
Work in the Margaret Daniele Fallin Lab focuses on the genetic epidemiology of neuropsychiatric conditions. Our team primarily studies the genetic basis of autism spectrum disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. We also explore the integration of genetic susceptibility and environmental risk. Our current research involves applying genetic epidemiology methods to develop applications and methods for epigenetic epidemiology, with a focus on mental health and development.
The research activities of the Neuroimmunopathology Laboratory focus on studies of immunological and molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders. Our main areas of research include studies of neurological complications of HIV infection and AIDS, multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, autism and epilepsy. We seek to explore and identify immunopathological mechanisms associated with neurological disease that may be the target of potential therapeutic interventions. The laboratory collaborates with other researchers and laboratories at Johns Hopkins and other institutions in projects related with studies of the interaction between the immune and central nervous systems in pathological processes leading to neurological dysfunction.
The Sujatha Kannan Lab works to develop therapeutic strategies for preventing perinatal brain injuries from occurring during development. We use a unique combination of nanotechnology, animal model development and in vivo imaging to better understand the mechanism and progression of cellular and metabolic conditions that lead to perinatal brain injury, with a focus on autism and cerebral palsy.
The Arking Lab
The Arking Lab studies the genomics of complex human disease, with the primary goal of identifying and characterizing genetics variants that modify risk for human disease. The group has pioneered the use of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), which allow for an unbiased screen of virtually all common genetic variants in the genome. The lab is currently developing improved GWAS methodology, as well as exploring the integration of additional genome level data (RNA expression, DNA methylation, protein expression) to improve the power to identify specific genetic influences of disease.
The Arking Lab is actively involved in researching:
• autism, a childhood neuropsychiatric disorder
• cardiovascular genomics, with a focus on electrophysiology and sudden cardiac death (SCD)
• electrophysiology is the study of the flow of ions in biological tissues
Dan E. Arking, PhD, is an associate professor at the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine and Department of Medicine, D...ivision of Cardiology, Johns Hopkins University. view more