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  • Adam Sapirstein Lab

    Researchers in the Adam Sapirstein Lab focus on the roles played by phospholipases A2 and their lipid metabolites in brain injury. Using in vivo and in vitro models of stroke and excitotoxicity, the team is examining the roles of the cytosolic, Group V, and Group X PLA2s as well as the function of PLA2s in cerebrovascular regulation. Investigators have discovered that cPLA2 is necessary for the early electrophysiologic changes that happen in hippocampal CA1 neurons after exposure to N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA). This finding has critical ramifications in terms of the possible uses of selective cPLA2 inhibitors after acute neurologic injuries.

    Research Areas: phospholipases A2, brain, stroke, lipid metabolites, excitotoxicity, brain injury, neurological disorders

  • Aliaksei Pustavoitau Lab

    The Aliaksei Pustavoitau Lab conducts research on models and mechanisms of impaired consciousness in patients who have suffered acute brain injury. Examples of our work include a study on the mechanisms of neurologic failure in critical illness and another on the use of intensivist-driven ultrasound at the PICU bedside. We also have a longstanding interest in patient safety and quality of care in the ICU setting.

    Research Areas: patient safety, brain, consciousness, ICU, brain injury

  • Amit Pahwa Lab

    The Amit Pahwa Lab conducts research on a variety of topics within internal medicine. Our most recent studies have explored misanalysis of urinalysis results, urinary fractional excretion indices in the evaluation of acute kidney injury and nocturnal enuresis as a risk factor for falls in older women. We also investigate cancer diagnostics and treatments. In this area, our recent research has included studying cutaneous shave biopsies for diagnosing primary colonic adenocarcinoma as well as growth inhibition and apoptosis in human brain tumor cell lines using selenium.

    Research Areas: acute kidney injury, cancer, internal medicine, urology

    Principal Investigator

    Amit Pahwa, M.D.

    Department

    Medicine

  • Auditory Brainstem Laboratory

    The overall goal of the Auditory Brainstem Library is to understand how abnormal auditory input from the ear affects the brainstem, and how the brain in turn affects activity in the ear through efferent feedback loops. Our emphasis is on understanding the effects of different forms of acquired hearing loss (genetic, conductive, noise-induced, age-related, traumatic brain injury-related) and environmental noise. We are particularly interested in plastic changes in the brain that compensate for some aspects of altered auditory input, and how those changes relate to central auditory processing deficits, tinnitus, and hyperacusis. Understanding these changes will help refine therapeutic strategies and identify new targets for treatment. We collaborate with other labs in the Depts. of Otolaryngology, Neuroscience, Neuropathology, the Wilmer Eye Institute, and the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins, in addition to labs outside the university to increase the impact and clinical relev...ance of our research. view more

    Research Areas: hearing disorders, compound action potentials, auditory brainstem response, otoacoustic emissions, operation conditions, audiology, acoustic startle modification, hearing, neurology

  • Bakker Memory Lab

    Research in the Bakker Memory Laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms and brain networks underlying human cognition with a specific focus on the mechanisms underlying learning and memory and the changes in memory that occur with aging and disease. We use a variety of techniques including neuropsychological assessments, experimental behavioral assessments and particularly advanced neuroimaging methods to study these questions in young and older adults and patients with mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

    Through our collaborations with investigators in both basic science and clinical departments, including the departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Neurology and Public Health, our research also focuses on brain systems involved in spatial navigation and decision-making as well as cognitive impairment in neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, eating disorders, obsessiv...e-compulsive disorders, depression and anxiety. view more

    Research Areas: epilepsy, depression, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease

  • Biophotonics Imaging Technologies (BIT) Laboratory

    Research in the Biophotonics Imaging Technologies (BIT) Laboratory focuses on developing optical imaging and nano-biophotonics technology to reduce the random sampling errors in clinical diagnosis, improve early disease detection and guidance of biopsy and interventions, and improve targeted therapy and monitoring treatment outcomes. The imaging technologies feature nondestructiveness, unique functional and molecular specificity, and multi-scale resolution (from organ, to architectural morphology, cellular, subcellular and molecular level). The nano-biophotonics technologies emphasize heavily on biocompatibility, multi-function integration and fast track clinical translation. These imaging and nano-biophotonics technologies can also be potentially powerful tools for basic research such as for drug screening, nondestructive assessment of engineered biomaterials in vitro and in vivo, and for studying brain functions on awake animals under normal or controlled social conditions.

    Research Areas: drug screening, imaging, brain, nano-biophotonics

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Xingde Li, Ph.D.

    Department

    Biomedical Engineering

  • Brain Cancer Biology and Therapy Lab

    The goal of the Johns Hopkins Brain Cancer Biology and Therapy Laboratory is to locate the genetic and genomic changes that lead to brain cancer. These molecular changes are evaluated for their potential as therapeutic targets and are often mutated genes, or genes that are over-expressed during the development of a brain cancer. The brain cancers that the Riggins Laboratory studies are medulloblastomas and glioblastomas. Medulloblastomas are the most common malignant brain tumor for children and glioblastomas are the most common malignant brain tumor for adults. Both tumors are difficult to treat, and new therapies are urgently needed for these cancers. Our laboratory uses large-scale genomic approaches to locate and analyze the genes that are mutated during brain cancer development. The technologies we now employ are capable of searching nearly all of a cancer genome for molecular alterations that can lead to cancer. The new molecular targets for cancer therapy are first located by l...arge scale gene expression analysis, whole-genome scans for altered gene copy number and high throughput sequence analysis of cancer genomes. The alterations we find are then studied in-depth to determine how they contribute to the development of cancer, whether it is promoting tumor growth, enhancing the ability for the cancer to invade into normal tissue, or preventing the various fail-safe mechanisms programmed into our cells. view more

    Research Areas: brain cancer

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Gregory Riggins, M.D., Ph.D.

    Department

    Neurosurgery

  • Brain Science Institute (BSi)

    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.

    Research Areas: brain, neuroscience, neurology, nervous system

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Jeffrey Rothstein, M.D., Ph.D.

    Department

    Neurology

  • Brown Lab

    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 more

    Research Areas: autism, neurodegenerative diseases, brain, electrophysiology, ALS, schizophrenia, cerebral cortex, optogenetics

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Solange Brown, M.D., Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • C. David Mintz Lab

    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.

    Research Areas: anesthesia, brain development, neurology

  • Carlo Colantuoni Laboratory

    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.

    Research Areas: stem cells, brain tissue, brain development, genomics

    Principal Investigator

    Carlo Colantuoni, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neurology
    Neuroscience

  • Christopher Potter Lab

    The Christopher Potter Lab functions at an intersection between systems and cellular neuroscience. We are interested in how neurons and circuits function in the brain to achieve a common goal (olfaction), but we also develop, utilize and build tools (molecular and genetic) that allow us to directly alter neuronal functions in a living organism. The specific focus of my laboratory is to understand how the insect brain receives, interprets, and responds to odors. Insects rely on their sense of smell for all major life choices, from foraging to mating, from choosing where to lay eggs to avoiding predators and dangers. We are interested in understanding at the neuronal level how odors regulate these behaviors. Our long-term aim is to apply this knowledge to better control insects that pose a threat to human health. Our general approach towards achieving this goal is to develop and employ new genetic methods that enable unprecedented control over neural circuits in both the model organism D...rosophila melanogaster and human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. view more

    Research Areas: neural circuits, neurons, brain, neuroscience, olfactory system

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Christopher Potter, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Clinical and Computational Auditory neuroscience

    Our laboratory investigates the neural bases of sound processing in the human brain. We combine electrophysiology recordings (intracranial, scalp), behavioral paradigms, and statistical modeling methods to study the cortical dynamics of normal and impaired auditory perception. We are interested in measuring and modeling variability in spatiotemporal cortical response patterns as a function of individual listening abilities and acoustic sound properties. Current studies are investigating the role of high-frequency (>30 Hz) neural oscillations in human auditory perception.

    Research Areas: vestibular disorders

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Dana Boatman, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neurology

  • Cochlear Neurotransmission Group

    The Cochlear Neurotransmission Group studies the generation and propagation of neural signals in the inner ear. Our laboratories use biophysical, electrophysiological, molecular biological and histological methods to determine fundamental molecular mechanisms by which neurotransmitters are released from primary sensory cells ('hair cells') to excite second order neurons carrying information to the brain. We apply these same techniques to study inhibitory feedback produced by brain neurons that project to and regulate the sensitivity of the cochlea.

    Research Areas: vestibular disorders, neurotology/otology

  • Cohen Lab

    The Cohen Lab studies neural circuits underlying reward, mood and decision making. We seek to understand how neural circuits control fundamental mammalian behaviors. Many disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, drug addiction and Parkinson's disease, appear to involve dysfunction of monoaminergic signaling. Using cell-type-specific tools and well-controlled behavioral tasks in mice, we aim to understand the function of monoaminergic circuits in behavior. We hope these basic discoveries will lead to an understanding of the biology of the brain and better treatments for disorders of the brain.

    Research Areas: neural circuits, brain, schizophrenia, mental illness, neuroscience, Parkinson's disease

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Jeremiah Cohen, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Courtney Robertson Lab

    Work in the Courtney Robertson Lab is focused on identifying interventions that could minimize the neurological deficits that can persist after pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI). One study used a preclinical model to examine potential disruption of mitochondrial function and alterations in cerebral metabolism. It was found that a substantial amount of mitochondrial dysfunction is present in the first six hours after TBI. In addition, we are using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to evaluate global and regional alterations in brain metabolism after TBI. We're also collaborating with researchers at the University of Pennsylvania to compare mitochondrial function after head injury in different clinically relevant models.

    Research Areas: traumatic brain injuries, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, pediatrics, mitochondria, pediatric critical care medicine

  • Daniel Weinberger Laboratory

    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. view more

    Research Areas: neurobiology, brain, transcriptome, schizophrenia, psychiatric disorders, genomics, developmental disorders, RNA

  • David Linden Lab

    The David Linden Laboratory has used both electrode and optical recording in cerebellar slice and culture model systems to explore the molecular requirements for induction and expression of these phenomena. Along the way, we discovered a new form of plasticity. In addition, we have expanded our analysis to include use-dependent synaptic and non-synaptic plasticity in the cerebellar output structure, the deep nuclei.

    Our investigations are central to understanding the cellular substrates of information storage in a brain area where the behavioral relevance of the inputs and outputs is unusually well defined. In addition, our investigations have potential clinical relevance for cerebellar motor disorders and for disorders of learning and memory generally.

    Research Areas: motor learning, synaptic plasticity, neurobiology, memory, cerebellum, brain

    Principal Investigator

    David Linden, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Eberhart, Rodriguez and Raabe Lab

    Utilizing a combination of tissue-based, cell-based, and molecular approaches, our research goals focus on abnormal telomere biology as it relates to cancer initiation and tumor progression, with a particular interest in the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) phenotype. In addition, our laboratories focus on cancer biomarker discovery and validation with the ultimate aim to utilize these novel tissue-based biomarkers to improve individualized prevention, detection, and treatment strategies.

    Research Areas: stem cells, eye tumor, tumor cell metastasis, brain tumor

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Charles Eberhart, M.D., Ph.D.

    Department

    Pathology

  • Ed Connor Laboratory

    The Connor Laboratory focuses on understanding the neural algorithms that make object vision possible. The goal of our research is to explain the neural basis of visual experience and contribute to designs for more powerful machine vision systems and brain-machine interfaces.

    Research Areas: vision, brain-machine interfaces, object perception

    Principal Investigator

    Charles Connor, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • 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

  • Kristina Nielsen Laboratory

    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.

    Research Areas: neural circuits, neurons, imaging, vision, photon microscopy, object perception

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Kristina Nielsen, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Laboratory for Computational Motor Control

    The Laboratory for computational Motor Control studies movement control in humans, including healthy people and people with neurological diseases. We use robotics, brain stimulation and neuroimaging to study brain function. Our long-term goals are to use mathematics to understand: 1) the basic function of the motor structures of the brain including the cerebellum, the basal ganglia and the motor cortex; and 2) the relationship between how our brain controls our movements and how it controls our decisions.

    Research Areas: robotics, brain, movement, mathematics, neuroscience, decision making

  • Laboratory of Auditory Neurophysiology

    Research in the Laboratory of Auditory Neurophysiology aims to understand brain mechanism responsible for auditory perception and vocal communication in a naturalistic environment. We are interested in revealing neural mechanisms operating in the cerebral cortex and how cortical representations of biologically important sounds emerge through development and learning.

    We use a combination of state-of-the-art neurophysiological techniques and sophisticated computational and engineering tools to tackle our research questions.

    Current research in our laboratory includes the following areas (1) neural basis of auditory perception, (2) neural mechanisms for vocal communication and social interaction, and (3) cortical processing of cochlear implant stimulation.

    Research Areas: neurophysiology, neuroengineering, audiology, cochlear implant, learning, language

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Xiaoqin Wang, Ph.D.

    Department

    Biomedical Engineering

  • Laboratory of Richard L. Huganir

    The Laboratory of Richard L. Huganir is interested in the mechanisms that regulate synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Our general approach is to study molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate neurotransmitter receptors and synapse function. We are currently focusing our efforts on the mechanisms that underlie the regulation of the glutamate receptors, the major excitatory neurotransmitter receptors in the brain.

    Research Areas: synapses, neurotransmitters, cell biology, brain, molecular biology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Richard Huganir, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Lee Martin Laboratory

    In the Lee Martin Laboratory, we are testing the hypothesis that selective vulnerability--the phenomenon in which only certain groups of neurons degenerate in adult onset neurological disorders like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease--is dictated by brain regional connectivity, mitochondrial function and oxidative stress. We believe it is mediated by excitotoxic cell death resulting from abnormalities in excitatory glutamatergic signal transduction pathways, including glutamate transporters and glutamate receptors as well as their downstream intracellular signaling molecules.

    We are also investigating the contribution of neuronal/glial apoptosis and necrosis as cell death pathways in animal (including transgenic mice) models of acute and progressive neurodegeneration. We use a variety of anatomical and molecular neurobiological approaches, including neuronal tract-tracing techniques, immunocytochemistry, immunoblotting, antipeptide antibody production, transmissi...on electron microscopy and DNA analysis to determine the precise regional and cellular vulnerabilities and the synaptic and molecular mechanisms that result in selective neuronal degeneration.
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    Research Areas: ALS, neurodegeneration, selective vulnerability, cell death, Alzheimer's disease

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Lee Martin, Ph.D.

    Department

    Pathology

  • Loyal Goff Laboratory

    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.

    Research Areas: brain, neuronal development, genomics, RNA

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Loyal Goff, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Machine Biointerface Lab

    Dr. Fridman's research group invents and develops bioelectronics for Neuroengineering and Medical Instrumentation applications. We develop innovative medical technology and we also conduct the necessary biological studies to understand how the technology could be effective and safe for people.

    Our lab is currently focused on developing the "Safe Direct Current Stimulation" technology, or SDCS. Unlike the currently available commercial neural prosthetic devices, such as cochlear implants, pacemakers, or Parkinson's deep brain stimulators that can only excite neurons, SDCS can excite, inhibit, and even sensitize them to input. This new technology opens a door to a wide range of applications that we are currently exploring along with device development: e.g. peripheral nerve stimulation for suppressing neuropathic pain, vestibular nerve stimulation to correct balance disorders, vagal nerve stimulation to suppress an asthma attack, and a host of other neuroprosthetic applications.

    M...edical Instrumentation MouthLab is a "tricorder" device that we invented here in the Machine Biointerface Lab. The device currently obtains all vital signs within 60s: Pulse rate, breathing rate, temperature, blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation, electrocardiogram, and FEV1 (lung function) measurement. Because the device is in the mouth, it has access to saliva and to breath and we are focused now on expanding its capability to obtaining measures of dehydration and biomarkers that could be indicative of a wide range of internal disorders ranging from stress to kidney failure and even lung cancer.
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    Research Areas: medical instruments, bioelectricities, neuroengineering, nerve stimulation

  • Marshall Shuler Laboratory

    The Marshall Shuler Laboratory aims to understand the means by which brain reward systems convey reward value, expectancy, quality, probability and utility, and the rules by which such activity is used to affect synaptic weight within brain networks to encode stimulus-action associations. We use an interdisciplinary approach combining multisite recordings of neural activity, targeted pharmacological manipulation, viral-mediated gene transfer and behavior to study the neural mechanisms of reward-based interval learning in the primary visual cortex.

    Research Areas: neural circuits, reward-based systems, brain, vision, pharmacology

    Lab Website

    Principal Investigator

    Marshall Shuler, Ph.D.

    Department

    Neuroscience

  • Mikhail Pletnikov Laboratory

    The Mikhail Pletnikov Laboratory is interested in the neurobiology of neurodevelopmental diseases such as schizophrenia and autism. The major focus of our laboratory is to evaluate how adverse environmental factors and vulnerable genes interact to affect brain and behavior development. We address these experimental questions by using methods of cell and molecular biology, neuroimmunology, neurochemistry, psychopharmacology and developmental psychobiology. The current projects in our laboratory are: (1) Genetic risk factors in neuron-astrocyte interaction during neurodevelopment, (2) Gene-environment interplay in the pathogenesis of psychiatric conditions, and (3) The neuroimmune interactions in abnormal neurodevelopment

    Research Areas: autism, immunology, neurobiology, cell biology, neurodevelopment, developmental psychobiology, schizophrenia, pharmacology, chemistry, molecular biology

  • Mollie Meffert Lab

    The Mollie Meffert Lab studies mechanisms underlying enduring changes in brain function. We are interested in understanding how programs of gene expression are coordinated and maintained to produce changes in synaptic, neuronal and cognitive function. Rather than concentrating on single genes, our research is particularly focused on understanding the upstream processes that allow neuronal stimuli to synchronously orchestrate both up and down-regulation of the many genes required to mediate changes in growth and excitation. This process of gene target specificity is implicit to the appropriate production of gene expression programs that control lasting alterations in brain function.

    Research Areas: cognition, neuronal function, synaptic function, brain, genomics

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