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  • Erwin Lab

    Schizophrenia, autism and other neurological disorders are caused by a complex interaction between inherited genetic risk and environmental experiences. The overarching goal of the group are to reveal molecular mechanisms of gene by environment interactions related to altered neural development and liability for brain disorders. Our research uses a hybrid of human stem cell models, post-mortem tissue and computational approaches to interrogate the contribution of epigenetic regulation and somatic mosaicism to brain diseases. Our previous work has demonstrated that the human brain exhibits extensive genetic variability between neurons within the same brain, termed "somatic mosaicism" due to mobile DNA elements which mediate large somatic DNA copy number variants. We study environment-responsive mechanisms and consequences for somatic mosaicism and are discovering the landscape of somatic mosaicism in the brain. We also study the epigenetic regulation of cell specification and activity-d...ependent states within the human dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex and striatum. view more

    Research Areas: autism, Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, stem cells, Developmental Neuroscience, Neurobiology of Disease, Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Models, Organoids, schizophrenia, genomics, Dystonia, Epigenomics

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Jennifer Erwin, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neurology

  • Esther Oh Lab

    The Esther Oh Lab is interested in developing biological markers for pre-clinical stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Our current research involves using transgenic models of AD to develop peripheral injections of monoclonal antibodies against amyloid-beta as a tool to detect a level of amyloid-beta that would be correlative to the amyloid-beta level in the brain.

    Research Areas: amyloid-beta, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, monoclonal antibodies

    Principal Investigator

    Esther Oh, M.D., Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Haughey Lab: Neurodegenerative and Neuroinfectious Disease

    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.
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    Research Areas: multiple sclerosis, PTSD, HAND, HIV

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Norman Haughey, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neurology
    Neurosurgery

  • Health Technologies

    The APL Health Technologies program's functional restoration focus area includes two portfolios with particular relevance in neurology. The first focuses on motor restoration, using teams with expertise in robotics, microsensors, haptics, artificial intelligence and brain-machine interfaces. One set of projects, currently sponsored by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Henry Jackson Foundation, centers on a bionic arm technology that integrates with bone and muscle in amputee patients, restoring a variety of normal functions to the patient like cooking, folding clothing, hand shaking, and hand gestures. This portfolio explores direct brain control of the bionic limb, through work led by Dr. Nathan Crone of Johns Hopkins Neurology and Dr. Pablo Celnik of Johns Hopkins Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Another set of related work aims to restore motor function by better understanding and using brain signals through brain-machine interfaces. This work is current...ly funded by the National Science Foundation and industry partners. Also in the functional restoration focus area is the vision restoration portfolio. In a partnership with Second Sight and the Mann Fund, the work aims to enhance function of a bionic eye, which couples a retinal implant with a computer vision system to restore vision in blind individuals with retinitis pigmentosa. Current work in the human-machine teaming focus area includes a portfolio that is building artificial intelligence systems that improve radiologic and ophthalmic diagnostics. Another portfolio, currently focused in the surgical setting, enhances the physician's ability to visualize and manipulate the physical world, such as with orthopaedic surgery. view more

    Research Areas: robotics, imaging systems, machine learning, data fusion, artificial intelligence

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Adam Cohen, M.D.

    Department

    Neurology

  • 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

    Research Areas: HIV infection, mental illness, aging, traumatic brain injury, dementia

  • Human Brain Physiology and Stimulation Lab

    The Human Brain Physiology and Stimulation Laboratory studies the mechanisms of motor learning and develops interventions to modulate motor function in humans. The goal is to understand how the central nervous system controls and learns to perform motor actions in healthy individuals and in patients with neurological diseases such as stroke. Using this knowledge, we aim to develop strategies to enhance motor function in neurological patients.

    To accomplish these interests, we use different forms of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), as well as functional MRI and behavioral tasks.

    Research Areas: motor learning, TMS, brain stimulation, neurologic rehabilitation, tDCS, stroke rehabilitation, stroke recovery

  • Institute for Computational Medicine

    The Institute for Computational Medicine's mission is to develop quantitative approaches for understanding the mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of human disease through biological systems modeling, computational anatomy, and bioinformatics. Our disease focus areas include breast cancer, brain disease and heart disease.

    The institute builds on groundbreaking research at both the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering and the School of Medicine.

    Research Areas: breast cancer, systems biology, brain, biomedical engineering, cardiology, bioinformatics, computational anatomy

  • Integrated Research Center for Fetal Medicine

    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).

    Research Areas: fetal brain development

  • James Barrow Laboratory

    The James Barrow Laboratory studies drug discovery at the Lieber Institute. He leads research related to medicinal chemistry, biology, and drug metabolism, with the goal of validating novel mechanisms and advancing treatments for disorders of brain development.

    Research Areas: brain development, drugs, chemistry, biology

  • James Knierim Laboratory

    Research in the James Knierim Laboratory attempts to understand the flow of information through the hippocampal formation and the computations performed by the various subfields of the hippocampus and its inputs from the entorhinal cortex. To address these issues, we use multi-electrode arrays to record the extracellular action potentials from scores of well-isolated hippocampal neurons in freely moving rats.

    These neurons, or "place cells," are selectively active when the rat occupies restricted locations in its environment and help to form a cognitive map of the environment. The animal uses this map to navigate efficiently in its environment and to learn and remember important locations. These cells are thought to play a major role in the formation of episodic (autobiographical) memories. Place cells thus constitute a tremendous opportunity to investigate the mechanisms by which the brain transforms sensory input into an internal, cognitive representation of the world and then use...s this representation as the framework that organizes and stores memories of past events. view more

    Research Areas: cognition, place cells, memory, neurophysiology, hippocampus

    Principal Investigator

    James Knierim, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • James Pekar Lab

    How do we see, hear, and think? More specifically, how can we study living people to understand how the brain sees, hears, and thinks? Recently, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a powerful anatomical imaging technique widely used for clinical diagnosis, was further developed into a tool for probing brain function. By sensitizing magnetic resonance images to the changes in blood oxygenation that occur when regions of the brain are highly active, we can make "movies" that reveal the brain at work. Dr. Pekar works on the development and application of this MRI technology.

    Dr. Pekar is a biophysicist who uses a variety of magnetic resonance techniques to study brain physiology and function. Dr. Pekar serves as Manager of the F.M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging, a research resource where imaging scientists and neuroscientists collaborate to study brain function using unique state-of-the-art techniques in a safe comfortable environment, to further develop such techni...ques, and to provide training and education. Dr. Pekar works with center staff to serve the center's users and to keep the center on the leading edge of technology.
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    Research Areas: magnetic resonance, functional magnetic resonance imaging, radiology

  • Jantzie Lab

    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

    Research Areas: Neonatology, neuroscience

    Principal Investigator

    Lauren Jantzie, Ph.D.

    Department

    Pediatrics

  • Jinyuan Zhou Lab

    Dr. Zhou's research focuses on developing new in vivo MRI and MRS methodologies to study brain function and disease. His most recent work includes absolute quantification of cerebral blood flow, quantification of functional MRI, high-resolution diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), magnetization transfer mechanism, development of chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) technology, brain pH MR imaging, and tissue protein MR imaging. Notably, Dr. Zhou and his colleagues invented the amide proton transfer (APT) approach for brain pH imaging and tumor protein imaging. His initial paper on brain pH imaging was published in Nature Medicine in 2003 and his most recent paper on tumor treatment effects was published in Nature Medicine in 2011. A major part of his current research is the pre-clinical and clinical imaging of brain tumors, strokes, and other neurologic disorders using the APT and other novel MRI techniques. The overall goal is to achieve the MRI contrast at the protein and peptide ...level without injection of exogenous agents and improve the diagnostic capability of MRI and the patient outcomes. view more

    Research Areas: magnetic resonance, functional magnetic resonance imaging, brain, stroke

  • John Ulatowski Lab

    Research in the John Ulatowski Lab explores the regulatory mechanisms of oxygen delivery to the brain and cerebral blood flow. Our work includes developing and applying new techniques and therapies for stroke as well as non-invasive techniques for monitoring brain function, fluid management and sedation in brain injury patients. We also examine the use of novel oxygen carriers in blood. We’ve recently begun exploring new methods for perioperative and periprocedural care that would help to optimize patient safety in the future.

    Research Areas: cerebrovascular, brain, stroke, oxygen, blood

  • Josef Coresh Lab

    Research in the Josef Coresh Lab focuses on cardiovascular epidemiology, kidney disease and genetic epidemiology. Our team uses innovative methods to quantify disease burden and consequences in the population; studies the causes and consequences of vascular disease in the heart, kidneys and brain; and works to develop a strong scientific basis for quantifying the burden, causes and consequences of kidney disease. Working in collaboration with leading laboratories and specialists, we also aim to quantify the interplay of genes and environment in health and disease.

    Research Areas: epidemiology, genetics, kidney diseases, cardiovascular, vascular diseases

    Principal Investigator

    Josef Coresh, M.D., Ph.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Kata Design Studio

    We started Kata to bridge the gap between professional experiential production and neuroscience, clinical neurology, and medical hardware. We strive to build experiences and technology from the ground up, with a focus on mission, and at a level that is consistent with the best productions in the industry. We mirror the thousands of hours that go into a level design in a video game, but with the crucial difference that the focus is on the subtleties required for patient treatment or wellness. Our designs require high-frequency iterative development with patients and users in countless game-play sessions in which they provide crucial feedback. Characters have been painstakingly crafted to elicit profound emotional responses. Some of the requirements for patients or the elderly population in this space are qualitatively different from what is needed in the entertainment marketplace. That said we have also understood the critical artistic similarities.

    The core ethos of Kata is that the... challenge of complex movement has profound benefits for cognition, wellness, and brain repair. Specifically, there is growing evidence that complex motor movement can have cognitive benefits that go beyond what has been reported for exercise alone. When designing experiences to treat motor impairments after stroke, maximizing rigorous and dynamic motor input is a requirement. New interactive technologies will allow people to engage in diverse and complex motor movements, even in the home, which was previously impossible.

    Overall it has been a very exciting journey, combining art, medicine, technology, and neuroscience. We continue to build, discover, and craft immersive experiences, side by side with physicians, physical therapists, and scientists, with the common goal of pushing clinical care and wellness forward. We believe this is only possible by having a mission focused design group embedded in an academic hospital. Ultimately, we wish to scale and perfect these innovations into other hospitals. Kata is a true hybrid of academia, and industry, doing what neither can do in isolation. We hope the ethos and design philosophy behind Kata provides the impetus for its expansion, partnerships, and growth.
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    Research Areas: ALS, stroke, vestibular disorders

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    John Krakauer, M.A., M.D.

    Department

    Neurology

  • Kathleen Cullen Lab

    We are continually in motion. This self-motion is sensed by the vestibular system, which contributes to an impressive range of brain functions, from the most automatic reflexes to spatial perception and motor coordination. The objective of Dr. Cullen's lab's research program is to understand the mechanisms by which self-motion (vestibular) information is encoded and then integrated with signals from other modalities to ensure accurate perception and control of gaze and posture. Our studies investigate the sensorimotor transformations required for the control of movement, by tracing the coding of vestibular stimuli from peripheral afferents, to behaviorally-contingent responses in central pathways, to the readout of accurate perception and behavior. Our experimental approach is multidisciplinary and includes a combination of behavioral, neurophysiological and computational approaches in alert behaving non-human primates and mice. Funding for the laboratory has been and is provided by th...e Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), FQRNT / FQRSC (Quebec). view more

    Research Areas: otolaryngology, biomedical engineering, surgery, neuroscience

  • Kathryn Carson Lab

    The Kathryn Carson Lab investigates ways to improve medical research, particularly in the areas of brain and thyroid cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, hypertension, HIV and lupus. Our team seeks to help researchers optimize their studies through better study design, protocol and grant writing, data cleaning and analysis, and publication writing. We work with investigators from a wide range of departments through the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

    Research Areas: epidemiology, lupus, research methods, data analysis, cancer, hypertension, clinical trials, HIV, biostatistics, Alzheimer's disease

    Principal Investigator

    Kathryn Carson, Sc.M.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Kenneth W. Kinzler Laboratory

    Dr. Kinzler’s laboratory has focused on the genetics of human cancer. They have identified a variety of genetic mutations that underlie cancer, including mutations of the APC pathway that appear to initiate the majority of colorectal cancers and IDH1/2 mutations that underlying many gliomas. In addition, they have developed a variety of powerful tools for analysis of expression and genetic alterations in cancer.
    Most recently, they have pioneered integrated whole genome analyses of human cancers through expression, copy number, and mutational analyses of all the coding genes in several human cancer types including colorectal, breast, pancreatic and brain. The identification of genetic differences between normal and tumor tissues provide new therapeutic targets, new opportunities for the early diagnosis of cancer, and important insights into the neoplastic process.

    Research Areas: cancer, molecular genetics

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Kenneth Kinzler, Ph.D.

    Department

    Oncology

  • Keri Martinowich Laboratory

    Neural plasticity allows for physiological changes in the brain during both development and in adulthood. The Keri Martinowich Laboratory studies how specific forms of plasticity contribute to regulation of circuits that mediate complex brain function and behavior in order to define how deficits in these processes lead to psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. Current projects focus on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a member of the neurotrophin family implicated in survival, maturation and differentiation of numerous cell types, synaptogenesis and regulation of dendritic morphology. BDNF is a key regulator of synaptic plasticity both in the developing and adult brain. These studies aim to contribute to the long-term goal of understanding how neural plasticity contributes to the function of circuits mediating complex brain function and behavior.

    Research Areas: brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurodevelopment, brain, neural plasticity, mental illness

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