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Adrian Dobs Lab
Researchers in the Adrian Dobs Lab study topics that include gonadal dysfunction, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, and the relationship between sex hormones and heart disease. We currently are investigating male gonadal function—with particular interest in new forms of male hormone replacement therapy—and hormonal changes related to aging.
Allan Gelber Lab
The Allan Gelber Lab conducts research on the clinical epidemiology of rheumatic disorders. Our recent studies have explored topics that include the predicting factors of prevalent and incident gout; cardiovascular disease burden and risk in patients with rheumatoid arthritis; autoantibodies in both primary and secondary SjogrenÕs syndrome; and predictors of outcomes in patients with scleroderma. In addition, we have a long-standing interest in the ways in which racial differences affect disease manifestations in relation to rheumatic disorders.
Researchers in the Ami Shah Lab study scleroderma and Raynaud’s phenomenon. We examine the relationship between cancer and scleroderma, with a focus on how and if cancer causes scleroderma to develop in some patients. We are currently conducting clinical research to study ways to detect cardiopulmonary complications in patients with scleroderma, biological and imaging markers of Raynaud’s phenomenon, and drugs that improve aspects of scleroderma.
Research in the Anderson laboratory focuses on cellular signaling and ionic mechanisms that cause heart failure, arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death, major public health problems worldwide. Primary focus is on the multifunctional Ca2+ and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). The laboratory identified CaMKII as an important pro-arrhythmic and pro-cardiomyopathic signal, and its studies have provided proof of concept evidence motivating active efforts in biotech and the pharmaceutical industry to develop therapeutic CaMKII inhibitory drugs to treat heart failure and arrhythmias.
Under physiological conditions, CaMKII is important for excitation-contraction coupling and fight or flight increases in heart rate. However, myocardial CaMKII is excessively activated during disease conditions where it contributes to loss of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis, membrane hyperexcitability, premature cell death, and hypertrophic and inflammatory transcription. These downstream targets a...ppear to contribute coordinately and decisively to heart failure and arrhythmias. Recently, researchers developed evidence that CaMKII also participates in asthma.
Efforts at the laboratory, funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, are highly collaborative and involve undergraduate assistants, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty. Key areas of focus are:
• Ion channel biology and arrhythmias
• Cardiac pacemaker physiology and disease
• Molecular physiology of CaMKII
• Myocardial and mitochondrial metabolism
• CaMKII and reactive oxygen species in asthma
Mark Anderson, MD, is the William Osler Professor of Medicine, the director of the Department of Medicine in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and physician-in-chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. view more
The main focus of the Becker lab has been on the mechanisms and consequences of post-ischemic myocardial inflammation.
Genomic control of platelet function:
Aggregation of blood platelets initiates clotting in coronary arteries, the main cause of heart attacks. Our laboratory conducts experiments to understand how genes control platelet function. Through funding by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, we have performed candidate gene analysis, linkage studies, whole genome association studies, and now whole genome sequencing in about 2000 healthy subjects from families with early onset coronary artery disease. The subjects are siblings or offspring of an individual identified with coronary artery disease before age 60 in the GeneSTAR Research Program (Genetic Studies of Atherosclerosis Risk). We have identified a large number of common and rare genetic variants associated with platelet aggregation, and although some variants are located in genes known to be important in... the biology of platelet function, most are in non-protein coding regions of genes (introns) or in intergenic regions of the genome. To understand better how these variants influence platelet function, we created pluripotent stem cells from blood mononuclear cells in 257 genotyped GeneSTAR subjects and then transformed the stem cells to megakaryocytes, the source of platelets in the bone marrow. We have determined the entire transcriptome of these megakaryocytes to measure gene expression levels in an effort to functionally link genetic variation with platelet function. We are also interested in epigenetic effects which regulate the amount of gene transcription and resulting protein formation. We have done similar transcriptomic and proteomic studies in blood platelets as we have in stem cell-derived megakaryocytes.
Our goal is to identify new therapeutic targets for drug development to control excessive platelet aggregation and reduce the risk of heart attack in susceptible individuals. We also hope to use the genetic information to predict who is at greatest risk for platelet aggregation or bleeding, and tailor treatment to effectively apply individualized precision medicine.
The Becker laboratory also extends its cardiovascular work well beyond platelet function, as noted on the GeneSTAR Research Program website. view less
Research in the Cheryl Dennison Lab aims to improve cardiovascular care for high-risk groups through multidisciplinary and health information technology-based methods. Our studies focus on reducing system and provider obstacles to implementing cardiovascular guidelines in various health care environments. Additional research interests include chronic illness management, quality of care, interdisciplinary teamwork and provider behavior.
The C. Kwon Lab studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing heart generation and regeneration.
The limited regenerative capacity of the heart is a major factor in morbidity and mortality rates: Heart malformation is the most frequent form of human birth defects, and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Cardiovascular progenitor cells hold tremendous therapeutic potential due to their unique ability to expand and differentiate into various heart cell types.
Our laboratory seeks to understand the fundamental biology and regenerative potential of multi-potent cardiac progenitor cells – building blocks used to form the heart during fetal development — by deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control their induction, maintenance, and differentiation. We are also interested in elucidating the maturation event of heart muscle cells, an essential process to generate adult cardiomyocytes, which occurs after terminal differentiation ...of the progenitor cells. We believe this knowledge will contribute to our understanding of congenital and adult heart disease and be instrumental for stem cell-based heart regeneration.
We have developed several novel approaches to deconstruct the mechanisms, including the use of animal models and pluripotent stem cell systems. We expect this knowledge will help us better understand heart disease and will be instrumental for stem-cell-based disease modeling and interventions for of heart repair.
Dr. Chulan Kwon is an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University Heart and Vascular Institute. view more
The Daniel Nyhan Lab studies vascular changes that accompany aging to determine the underlying causes and find ways to reverse the process. One goal of our research is to identify the factors that cause vascular stiffness. Our hope is that our work in vascular biology will lead to new ways to improve vascular compliance and thereby improve cardiovascular function and perioperative risk.
The Dara Kraitchman Laboratory focuses on non-invasive imaging and minimally invasive treatment of cardiovascular disease. Our laboratory is actively involved in developing new methods to image myocardial function and perfusion using MRI. Current research interests are aimed at determining the optimal timing and method of the administration of mesenchymal stem cells to regenerate infarcted myocardium using non-invasive MR fluoroscopic delivery and imaging. MRI and radiolabeling techniques include novel MR and radiotracer stem cell labeling methods to determine the location, quantity and biodistribution of stem cells after delivery as well as to noninvasively determine the efficacy of these therapies in acute myocardial infarction and peripheral arterial disease.
Our other research focuses on the development of new animal models of human disease for noninvasive imaging studies and the development of promising new therapies in clinical trials for companion animals.
David Graham Lab
The David Graham Lab studies the consequences of HIV interactions with the immune system, the resulting pathogenesis and how to sabotage these interactions. We apply advanced technologies like mass spectrometry to dissect processes at the molecular level. We are also actively involved in cardiovascular research and studies the ways proteins are organized into functional units in different cell types of the heart.
Major projects in our lab are organized into three major areas: (1) H/SIV pathogenesis and neuropathogenesis, (2) Cardiovascular disease, and (3) High technology development
Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology
David Thompson Lab
Researchers in the David Thompson Lab examine the outcomes of patients treated in intensive care units (ICUs), patient safety efforts, quality improvement efforts, and multidisciplinary teamwork and safety curriculum development. We're taking part in a study aimed at reducing hospital-acquired infections among cardiovascular surgery patients. Our investigators also participated in a clinical research collaboration that saw an 81 percent reduction in bloodstream infections related to central lines.
Dhananjay Vaidya Lab
Research conducted in the Dhananjay Vaidya Lab focuses on the prevention of heart disease, with special emphasis on cardiometabolic risk factors, genetics in high-risk families, cardiovascular epidemiology, statistics and vascular biology. We also provide consultation on study design as well as plan and oversee data analyses for projects supported by the Center for Child and Community Health Research.
Eliseo Guallar Lab
Research in the Eliseo Guallar Lab focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. We have a special interest in the roles played by mercury, arsenic, lead and cadmium in cardiovascular disease development. Our methodological interests include determining threshold effects in epidemiological studies and applying statistical methods to epidemiological problem-solving.
Elizabeth Selvin Lab
The Elizabeth Selvin Lab examines the intersection of epidemiology, clinical policy and public health policy. One of our key goals is to use the findings of epidemiologic research to inform the screening, diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. Much of our work looks at biomarkers and diagnostics related to diabetes and diabetes complications. Our findings — linking hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) to diabetic complications and identifying the role of A1c in diabetes diagnosis — have influenced clinical practice guidelines.
Ernesto Freire Laboratory
The Ernesto Freire Lab studies the use of novel drugs to treat disease. Our research has resulted in the development of a thermodynamic platform for drug discovery and optimization. Our aim is to achieve high binding affinity and selectivity as well as appropriate pharmacokinetics with the platform. We are currently focusing on drug targets such as HIV/-1 protease inhibitors (HIV/AIDS), plasmepsin inhibitors (malaria), HCV protease inhibitors (hepatitis C), coronavirus 3CL-pro protease inhibitors (SARS and other viral infections), HIV-1 gp120 inhibitors (HIV/AIDS), chymase inhibitors (cardiovascular disease) and beta lactamase inhibitors (antibiotic resistance).
Felicia Hill-Briggs Lab
Research in the Felicia Hill-Briggs Lab focuses on assessment methods and clinical intervention in behavioral medicine, with an emphasis on patient self-management and outcomes in ethnic minorities with chronic diseases. We are interested in the application of problem-solving and decision-making models to self-management and health behavior change. Our recent research involves examining problem-solving training for cardiovascular disease risk self-management in African Americans with type 2 diabetes. We also have a long-standing interest in cognitive/neuropsychological processes in chronic diseases, translation of research to clinical practice settings and community-based settings, and evidence-based behavioral medicine.
The Foster Lab uses the tools of protein biochemistry and proteomics to tackle fundamental problems in the fields of cardiac preconditioning and heart failure. Protein networks are perturbed in heart disease in a manner that correlates only weakly with changes in mRNA transcripts. Moreover, proteomic techniques afford the systematic assessment of post-translational modifications that regulate the activity of proteins responsible for every aspect of heart function from electrical excitation to contraction and metabolism. Understanding the status of protein networks in the diseased state is, therefore, key to discovering new therapies.
D. Brian Foster, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of medicine in the division of cardiology, and serves as Director of the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Biochemistry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Gail Daumit Lab
Research in the Gail Daumit Lab is devoted to improving overall health and decreasing premature mortality for people with serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. We have conducted observational studies to determine and convey the burden of physical health problems in this vulnerable population, and are currently leading a randomized trial funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to test a comprehensive cardiovascular risk reduction program in people with serious mental illness.
Work in the Hsin-Chieh Yeh Lab focuses on clinical trials and cohort studies of diabetes, obesity and behavioral intervention, cancer and hypertension. Recent investigations have focused on novel risk factors and complications related to obesity and type 2 diabetes, particularly lung function, smoking and cancer. We recently co-led a randomized clinical trial of tailored dietary advice for consumption of dietary supplements to lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular disease risk factors in hypertensive urban African Americans.
Interventional Cardiology Research Group
Our group is interested in a broad array of clinical and translational investigations spanning the evaluation of basic pathophysiology in patients undergoing cardiac procedures, development and evaluation of new therapeutic strategies, and improving patient selection and outcomes following interventional procedures. We are comprised of a core group of faculty and dedicated research nurses as well as fellows, residents, and students. Projects range from investigator-initiated single-center observational studies to industry-sponsored multicenter phase 3 randomized controlled trials. We have established a database of all patients who have undergone TAVR at Johns Hopkins, which is providing the basis for several retrospective analyses and will serve as the foundation for future studies of TAVR. We are also engaged in collaborative projects with other groups from the Department of Medicine and other Departments including Cardiac Surgery, Anesthesiology, Radiology, Psychiatry, and Biomedical... Engineering. Members of our group are actively involved with the Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID) in the development of novel minimally-invasive cardiovascular devices. view less