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Basic science investigations span an array of inquiries, such as understanding the basic mechanisms underlying cardiac dyssynchrony and resynchronization in the failing heart, and beneficial influences of nitric oxide/cGMP/protein kinase G and cGMP-targeted phosphdiesterase signaling cascades on cardiac maladaptive stress remodeling. Recently, the latter has particularly focused on the role of phosphodiesterase type 5 and its pharmacologic inhibitors (e.g. sildenafi, Viagra®), on myocyte signaling cascades modulated by protein kinase G, and on the nitric oxide synthase dysregulation coupled with oxidant stress.
The lab also conducts clinical research and is presently exploring new treatments for heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction, studying ventricular-arterial interaction and its role in adverse heart-vessel coupling in left heart failure and pulmonary hypertension, and testing new drug, device, and cell therapies for heart disease. A major theme has been with the use ...of advanced non-invasive and invasive catheterization-based methods to assess cardiac mechanics in patients.asive and invasive catheterization-based methods to assess cardiac mechanics in patients.
David Kass, MD, is currently the Director at the Johns Hopkins Center for Molecular Cardiobiology and a professor in cellular and molecular medicine. view more
The Lima Lab’s research is concentrated on the development and application of imaging and technology to address scientific and clinical problems involving the heart and vascular system.
Specifically, our research is focused on developing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast techniques to investigate microvascular function in patients and experimental animals with myocardial infarction; functional reserve secondary to dobutamine stimulation and myocardial viability assessed by sodium imaging; and cardiac MRI and computed tomography (CT) program development of techniques to characterize atherosclerosis in humans with cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease.
Current projects include:
• The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study
• The MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) Study
• The Coronary Artery Evaluation using 64-row Multidetector Computed Tomography Angiography (CORE64) Study
Joao Lima, MD, is a professor of medicine, radiology and... epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. view more
Research in the Mary Beth Brady Lab focuses primarily on topics within the fields of anesthesiology, imaging and cardiology. Our work has explored transesophageal echocardiography simulation, echocardiography, cardiac and vascular-thoracic anesthesiology, and other areas within critical care medicine. A recent study involved obtaining 3-D images of the heart, which were then used to build computer programs to help cardiac surgeons improve their treatment of heart defects.
Hypertension in children is a major cause of disease, including early onset heart disease. Up to 25% of children who are overweight or obese have hypertension (high blood pressure), and children with obesity are at greater risk for having other cardiovascular disease risk factors such as high cholesterol and diabetes. The ReNEW Clinic at The Johns Hopkins University provides an innovative multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation and treatment of obesity-related hypertension to help prevent and treat cardiovascular disease. This clinic is designed for children with elevated blood pressure (prehypertension and hypertension) and a BMI at or above the 85th percentile. Many children in this clinic are enrolled in a longitudinal registry to help researchers learn how to better care for children with multiple risk factors for heart disease.
Read more about the ReNEW clinic: Childhood Obe...sity: A Focus on Hypertensionview more
The O’Rourke Lab uses an integrated approach to study the biophysics and physiology of cardiac cells in normal and diseased states.
Research in our lab has incorporated mitochondrial energetics, Ca2+ dynamics, and electrophysiology to provide tools for studying how defective function of one component of the cell can lead to catastrophic effects on whole cell and whole organ function. By understanding the links between Ca2+, electrical excitability and energy production, we hope to understand the cellular basis of cardiac arrhythmias, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and sudden death.
We use state-of-the-art techniques, including single-channel and whole-cell patch clamp, microfluorimetry, conventional and two-photon fluorescence imaging, and molecular biology to study the structure and function of single proteins to the intact muscle. Experimental results are compared with simulations of computational models in order to understand the findings in the context of the system as a whole....
Ongoing studies in our lab are focused on identifying the specific molecular targets modified by oxidative or ischemic stress and how they affect mitochondrial and whole heart function.
The motivation for all of the work is to understand
• how the molecular details of the heart cell work together to maintain function and
• how the synchronization of the parts can go wrong
Rational strategies can then be devised to correct dysfunction during the progression of disease through a comprehensive understanding of basic mechanisms.
Brian O’Rourke, PhD, is a professor in the Division of Cardiology and Vice Chair of Basic and Translational Research, Department of Medicine, at the Johns Hopkins University. view less
Pediatric Cardiology Core Imaging Laboratory
The lab’s assets include three MRI systems available for pediatric studies, cardiac imaging processing, cardiovascular imaging and therapeutic ultrasound. A robust echocardiogram program conducts 10,000 transthoracic echocardiograms and 1,300 fetal echocardiograms per year, and maintains a database with 10 years of data.
Pediatric Proteome Center
Allen Everett, M.D., and his colleagues are identifying new biomarkers — measurable, physical signs — to help in identifying pediatric heart disease. Everett is the program leader at Johns Hopkins in pediatric biomarker discovery, initially in sickle cell disease and subsequently in other pediatric clinical conditions (birth injury, congenital heart disease repair, ECMO, prematurity and pulmonary hypertension).
Reid Thompson Laboratory
Reid Thompson’s research interests include evaluation of ventricular function in patients with muscular dystrophy and Barth syndrome, and in patients who have completed chemotherapy. He also studies novel methods of teaching and diagnosing heart disease through cardiac auscultation.
Research in the Retrovirus Laboratory focuses on the molecular virology and pathogenesis of lentivirus infections. In particular, we study the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) to determine the molecular basis for the development of HIV CNS, pulmonary and cardiac disease.
Research projects include studies of viral molecular genetics and host cell genes and proteins involved in the pathogenesis of disease. We are also interested in studies of lentivirus replication in macrophages and astrocytes and their role in the development of disease. These studies have led us to identify the viral genes that are important in neurovirulence of SIV and the development of CNS disease including NEF and the TM portion of ENV. The mechanisms of the action of these proteins in the CNS are complex and are under investigation. We have also developed a rapid, consistent SIV/macaque model in which we can test the ability of various antiviral and neuroprotective agents to reduce the severity of CNS and ...pulmonary disease. view more
Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology
Shelby Kutty Laboratory
Shelby Kutty, M.D., Ph.D., is an authority on cardiovascular imaging, including echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography of congenital heart disease. His areas of academic interest have focused on myocardial function assessment, therapeutic ultrasound and cardiovascular outcomes. Kutty’s research includes developing new imaging technology applications such as a smartphone application that uses patients’ echocardiographic images to track their progress. His work gives pediatric cardiologists better ways to predict outcomes in their patients and provide the most effective and appropriate treatments.