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Michael Matunis Lab
Research in the Michael Matunis Lab focuses on the SUMO family of small ubiquitin-related proteins. We study the covalent conjugation of SUMOs to other cellular proteins, which regulates numerous processes needed for cell growth and differentiation, and which, when defective, can lead to conditions such as cancer, neurodegenerative disease and diabetes.
The long-term objectives of our research team are:
a. to understand the molecular etiology in the development of human cancer, and
b. to identify and characterize cancer molecules for cancer detection, diagnosis, and therapy.
We use ovarian carcinoma as a disease model because it is one of the most aggressive neoplastic diseases in women. For the first research direction, we aim to identify and characterize the molecular alterations during initiation and progression of ovarian carcinomas.
Molecular Oncology Laboratory
Our Molecular Oncology lab seeks to understand the genomic wiring of response and resistance to immunotherapy through integrative genomic, transcriptomic, single-cell and liquid biopsy analyses of tumor and immune evolution. Through comprehensive exome-wide sequence and genome-wide structural genomic analyses we have discovered that tumor cells evade immune surveillance by elimination of immunogenic mutations and associated neoantigens through chromosomal deletions. Additionally, we have developed non-invasive molecular platforms that incorporate ultra-sensitive measurements of circulating cell-free tumor DNA (ctDNA) to assess clonal dynamics during immunotherapy. These approaches have revealed distinct dynamic ctDNA and T cell repertoire patterns of clinical response and resistance that are superior to radiographic response assessments. Our work has provided the foundation for a molecular response-adaptive clinical trial, where therapeutic decisions are made not based on imaging but b...ased on molecular responses derived from liquid biopsies. Overall, our group focuses on studying the temporal and spatial order of the metastatic and immune cascade under the selective pressure of immune checkpoint blockade with the ultimate goal to translate this knowledge into “next-generation” clinical trials and change the way oncologists select patients for immunotherapy. view more
Established in 2004, the MRB Molecular Imaging Service Center and Cancer Functional Imaging Core provides comprehensive molecular and functional imaging infrastructure to support the imaging research needs of the Johns Hopkins University faculty. Approximately 55-65 different Principal Investigators use the center annually.
The MRB Molecular Imaging Service Center is located behind the barrier within the transgenic animal facility in the basement of MRB. The MRB location houses a 9.4T MRI/S scanner for magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, an Olympus multiphoton microscope with in vivo imaging capability, a PET-CT scanner, a PET-SPECT scanner, and a SPECT-CT scanner for nuclear imaging, multiple optical imaging scanners including an IVIS Spectrum, and a LI COR near infrared scanner, and an ultrasound scanner.
A brand new satellite facility in CRB2-LB03 opens in 2019 to house a simultaneous 7T PET-MR scanner, as well as additional imaging equipment, to meet the growing molec...ular and functional imaging research needs of investigators.
To image with us, MRB Animal Facility training and Imaging Center Orientation are required to obtain access to the MRB Animal Facility and to the MRB Molecular Imaging Center (Suite B14). The MRB Animal Facility training group meets at 9:30 am on Thursdays at the Turner fountain/MRB elevator lobby. The Imaging Center orientation group meets at 1 pm on Thursdays at the Turner fountain, and orientation takes approximately 30 min. Please keep in mind that obtaining access to both facilities requires time, so please plan in advance. view more
Research in the Nicola Heller Lab focuses on the immunobiology of macrophages. Our team explores how these cells impact diseases with an inflammatory element, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Using a variety of techniques, including molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, mouse models and more, we study the role of IL-4/IL-13 signaling in asthma and allergic disease, as well as the role of alternatively activated macrophages (AAM) in the pathogenesis of allergic inflammation. Currently, we are researching the links between asthma and obesity, with a focus on the roles of gender and race.
Paul Ladenson Lab
The Paul Ladenson Lab studies the application of thyroid hormone analogues for treating cardiovascular disease; novel approaches to thyroid cancer diagnosis and management; and the health economic analyses related to thyroid patient care.
Radionuclide Therapy and Dosimetry Research Lab
The Radionuclide Therapy and Dosimetry Research Lab is focused on modeling and dosimetry analysis of radionuclide therapy to support the translation of novel targeted radionuclide therapy strategies to the clinic. The research is divided between laboratory studies and patient-specific dosimetry, radiobiological modeling studies, alpha-particle dosimetry, and mathematical modeling of radionuclide therapy. The lab is currently engaged in pre-clinical research investigating targeted alpha-emitter therapy of metastatic cancer.
Radiopharmaceutical Therapy and Dosimetry Lab
The Radiopharmaceutical Therapy and Dosimetry (RTD) Lab has two missions: 1. Support clinical Radiopharmaceutical Therapy (RPT) trials by performing patient-specific dosimetry and developing novel methods that advance this field and illustrate the impact of a precision medicine approach to implementing treatment planning in RPT. This includes radiobiological modeling and microscale dosimetry calculations for alpha-particle emitter RPT. 2. Pre-clinical studies using novel alpha-emitter RPT agents with immune intact transgenic animal models that incorporate modeling and dosimetry to support the translation of novel targeted radionuclide therapy strategies to the clinic. In particular, identifying how to best combine RPT with complementary orthogonal-modality agents while also obtaining a basic understanding of how the treatment works and which variables have the greatest impact on efficacy and toxicity. The underlying objective is to utilize pre-clinical modeling and dosimetry to help id...entify an optimal therapeutic clinical trial design so as to reduce unnecessary human experimentation. view more