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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
J. Hunter Young Lab
Research in the J. Hunter Young Lab focuses on the genetic epidemiology and physiology of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, especially hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Current activities include an observational study of hypertension among African Americans; a genetic epidemiology study of worldwide cardiovascular disease susceptibility patterns; and several population-based observational studies of cardiovascular and renal disease. A recent focus group study found that changes in housing and city policies might lead to improved environmental health conditions for public housing residents.
Jochen Steppan Lab
Research in the Jochen Steppan Lab primarily focused on vascular stiffness related to aging. We are currently researching LOXL2 (lysine-oxidase-like-2), which might be intimately involved in the development or progression of vascular stiffness. We aim to better understand LOXL2's role in the vasculature and hope that this work leads to the characterization of a novel therapeutic target. This is important in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases in the aging population.
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.
Kathleen Gabrielson Laboratory
Research in the Kathleen Gabrielson Laboratory focuses on the signal transduction of cardiovascular toxicities in vitro, in cardiomyocyte culture and in vivo using rodent models. Specifically, the research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of various cancer therapies that induce cardiac toxicities.
Currently, we are testing prevention strategies for these toxicities by studying the cardiac effects of the anthracycline doxorubicin (adriamycin) and the immunotherapeutic agent, Herceptin, anti-erbB2. We are focusing on the signal transduction pathways in the heart that are modulated by anti-erbB2 treatment, which in turn, worsens doxorubicin toxicity. Thus, understanding the mechanisms behind the combined toxicity of doxorubicin and anti-erbB2 will pave the way for the design of strategies to reduce toxicity, identify patients at risk and potentially allow higher levels of this effective combination therapy to be used with an improved long-term survival in patients.
Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology
Lakshmi Santhanam Lab
Investigators in the Lakshmi Santhanam Lab examine the fundamental mechanisms behind cardiovascular disease. They are particularly interested in better understanding how nitric oxide-mediated S-nitrosylation (a post-translational protein modification) impacts protein function and trafficking in the vasculature as well as how this relationship influences matrix remodeling and vascular stiffening.
Lee Bone Lab
Research in the Lee Bone Lab uses community-based participatory approaches to promote health in underserved urban African-American populations. We conduct randomized clinical trials on cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer detection and control in order to test the success of community interventions. We focus in particular on making interventions sustainable and on implementing electronic education to improve communication.
Work in the Lewis Romer Lab focuses on the responses of vascular systems to disease and injury. Using cultured human endothelial cells and fibroblasts from mice that lack expression of the FAK- or Src-family kinases, we’re exploring several topics. These include the effect of inflammatory cytokine on cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix; the role of FAK signaling in inhibiting apoptosis; and the function of FAK- and Src-family kinases in cell-matrix interactions during adhesion and motility.
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
The Lisa Cooper Lab is dedicated to researching patient-centered interventions for improving health outcomes and overcoming racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Our primary focus is on the factors of physician communication skills and cultural competence training, patient shared decision-making and self-management skills training. Recently, we have explored patient-centered depression care for African Americans, tactics for improving patient-physician communication about management of hypertension, and reducing ethnic and social disparities in health. In addition, we are currently researching racial disparities in cardiovascular health outcomes for patients living in Baltimore.
Lisa Yanek Lab
Research in the Lisa Yanek Lab focuses on cardiovascular disease in families and risk factor modification. Recently, we conducted a study to determine the association of lean versus fat mass with fitness in healthy, overweight and obese African Americans from families with early-onset coronary disease.
Maryam Jahromi Lab
The Maryam Jahromi Lab researches infectious diseases such as influenza, tuberculosis, endocarditis, viral hemorrhagic fevers, brucellosis, Clostridium difficile and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. We are particularly interested in the impact of the influenza vaccine on systemic inflammation. Recent areas of focus include the relationship between influenza vaccination and cardiovascular outcomes, the emergence of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever in Iran, and prospects for vaccines and therapies for Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.
Michael Klag Lab
The Michael Klag Lab focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Our research determined that the U.S. was experiencing an epidemic of end-stage kidney disease, pinpointed the incidence of kidney disease and published scholarship on risk factors for kidney disease such as race, diabetes and socioeconomic status. Our Precursors Study has shown that serum cholesterol measured at age 22 years is a predictor for midlife cardiovascular disease, a finding that has influenced policy about cholesterol screening in young adults. We also research health behaviors that lead to hypertension and study how differences in these behaviors affect urban and non-urban populations.
Naresh Punjabi Lab
The Naresh Punjabi Lab primarily studies sleep apnea, epidemiology, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Our current research focuses on the epidemiology of sleep apnea with a particular emphasis on associated sequelae, including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. We have been part of the multi-center Sleep Heart Health Study, an epidemiological study on the longitudinal effects of sleep apnea on hypertension, cardiovascular disease and mortality. Our lab is examining the independent effects of intermittent hypoxia on various pathways to help elucidate the links between sleep apnea, insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction.
The Nauder Faraday Lab investigates topics within perioperative genetic and molecular medicine. We explore thrombotic, bleeding and infectious surgical complications. Our goal is to uncover the molecular determinants of outcome in surgical patients, which will enable surgeons to better personalize a patient’s care in the perioperative period. Our team is funded by the National Institutes of Health to research platelet phenotypes, the pharmacogenomics of antiplatelet agents for preventing cardiovascular disease, and the genotypic determinants of aspirin response in high-risk families.
The Nicholas Flavahan Lab primarily researches the cellular interactions and subcellular signaling pathways that control normal vascular function and regulate the initiation of vascular disease. We use biochemical and molecular analyses of cellular mediators and cell signaling mechanisms in cultured vascular cells, while also conducting physiological assessments and fluorescent microscopic imaging of signaling systems in isolated blood vessels. A major component of our research involves aterioles, tiny blood vessles that are responsible for controlling the peripheral resistance of the cardiovascular system, which help determine organ blood flow.
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.
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 more