The Brain Science Institute (BSi) brings together both basic and clinical neuroscientists from across the Johns Hopkins campuses. The BSi represents one of the largest and most diverse groups in the university.
The BSi's mission is to solve fundamental questions about brain development and function and to use these insights to understand the mechanisms of brain disease. This new knowledge will provide the catalyst for the facilitation and development of effective therapies.
The goals of our research are to foster new programs in basic neuroscience discovery; initiate a translational research program that will develop new treatments for brain-based diseases; and encourage collaboration, interdisciplinary teams, and new thinking that will have a global influence on research and treatment of the nervous system.
Researchers in the C. David Mintz Lab seek to better understand the specific methods by which anesthesia can impair a patient’s brain development. Recent studies have investigated the ways in which anesthetics interfere with axon guidance in developing mouse neocortical neurons via a GABAA receptor mechanism, as well as the method by which anesthetics interfere with the polarization of developing cortical neurons.
Dr. Colantuoni and his colleagues explore human brain development and molecular mechanisms that give rise to risk for complex brain disease. His team uses genomic technologies to examine human brain tissue as well as stem models and vast public data resources.
The Daniel Weinberger Laboratory focuses on the neurobiological mechanisms of genetic risk for developmental brain disorders.
We study the genetic regulation of the transcriptome in normal human brain across the human life span and in brains from patients with various psychiatric disorders. We also study the impact of genetic variation on aspects of human brain development and function linked with risk for schizophrenia and related psychiatric disorders.
Our lab uses unique molecular and clinical datasets and biological materials from a large sample of families with affected and unaffected offspring and normal volunteers. These datasets include DNA, lymphoblast and fibroblast cell lines, and extensive quantitative phenotypes related to genetic risk for schizophrenia, including detailed cognitive assessments and various neuroimaging assays.
In other research, we are working on a human brain transcriptome project that is RNA sequencing over 1,000 human brain samples in various regi...ons and based also on sorting of specific celliular phentypes. We are exploring the molecular processing of the gene and its implications for cognition and aspects of human temperament.
Currently supported research includes pathophysiology of fetal brain development with intrauterine insults, ultrasound and bio- markers of fetal well-being and biomarkers for fetal disease stratification and response to treatment (such as magnesium sulfate administration or head cooling as in cases of neuroinflammation).
Dr. Jantzie, associate professor, received her Ph.D. in Neurochemistry from the University of Alberta in 2008. In 2013 she completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Neurology at Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard Medical School and became faculty at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Jantzie then joined the faculty Departments of Pediatrics (Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine) and Neurology at Johns Hopkins University and the Kennedy Krieger Institute in January 2019. Her lab investigates the pathophysiology of encephalopathy of prematurity, and pediatric brain injury common to infants and toddlers. Dr. Jantzie is dedicated to understanding disease processes in the developing brain as a means to identifying new therapeutic strategies and treatment targets for perinatal brain injury. Her lab studies neural substrates of cognition and executive function, inhibitory circuit formation, the role of an abnormal intrauterine environment on brain development, mechanisms of neurorepa...ir and microglial activation and polarization. Using a diverse array of clinically relevant techniques such as MRI, cognitive assessment, and biomarker discovery, combined with traditional molecular and cellular biology, the Jantzie lab is on the front lines of translational pediatric neuroscience.?view more
The Kristina Nielsen Laboratory investigates neural circuits in the visual cortex that are responsible for encoding objects to understand how the visual system performs object recognition. We aim to reveal the fine-scale organization of neural circuits, with an emphasis on higher-level visual areas.
We use two-photon microscopy to perform high-resolution functional imaging of visual areas in the non-human primate. We also investigate how the function of higher visual areas changes over the course of brain development in ferrets, by measuring the activity of single neurons in these areas, as well as determining the animal's visual capabilities at various developmental stages. In both types of investigations, we also rely on detailed anatomical techniques to precisely observe how the function of neuronal circuits is related to their structure.
The Loyal Goff Laboratory seeks to answer a fundamental biological question: How is the genome properly interpreted to coordinate the diversity of cell types observed during neuronal development?
We are focused on the acquisition of specific cellular identities in neuronal development and identifying the molecular determinants responsible for proper brain development. Using novel experimental approaches for the enrichment and purification of specific neuronal cell types and recent technological advances in single-cell RNA sequencing, we can discover and explore the cellular factors that contribute to neuronal cell fate decisions during mammalian brain development.
The Seth Margolis Laboratory studies the signaling pathways that regulate synapse formation during normal brain development to try to understand how, when these pathways go awry, human cognitive disorders develop.
We use Ephexin5 to study the molecular pathways that regulate restriction of excitatory synapse formation and their relevance to the pathophysiology of Angelman syndrome.