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Research Lab Results for cell biology

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  • Andrew McCallion Laboratory

    Principal Investigator:
    Andy McCallion, Ph.D.
    Medicine

    The McCallion Laboratory studies the roles played by cis-regulatory elements (REs) in controlling the timing, location and levels of gene activation (transcription). Their immediate goal is to identify transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) combinations that can predict REs with cell-specific biological control--a first step in developing true regulatory lexicons.

    As a functional genetic laboratory, we develop and implement assays to rapidly determine the biological relevance of sequence elements within the human genome and the pathological relevance of variation therein. In recent years, we have developed a highly efficient reporter transgene system in zebrafish that can accurately evaluate the regulatory control of mammalian sequences, enabling characterization of reporter expression during development at a fraction of the cost of similar analyses in mice. We employ a range of strategies in model systems (zebrafish and mice), as well as analyses in the human population, to illu...minate the genetic basis of disease processes. Our long-term objective is to use these approaches in contributing to improved diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic strategies in patient care. view more

    Research Areas: cell biology, genomics, gene regulation, nervous system
  • Bioenergetics Core

    Lab Website
    Principal Investigator:
    Valina Dawson, Ph.D.
    Surgical Pathology

    Mitochondrial dysfunction has long been a consistent observation in Parkinson's disease. To understand the consequences of Parkinson's disease causing genetic mutations on the function of mitochondria, the Bioenergetics Core B will provide the following analyses to the projects in the Udall Center at Johns Hopkins: (1) Measuring rates of respiration, oxygen consumption and ATP generation, (2) Measuring calcium dynamics, (3) Measuring reactive oxygen and reactive nitrogen species, (4) Measuring the activity of the electron transport chain enzymes and metabolic enzymes, and (5) Measuring plasma versus mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial membrane permeability

    Research Areas: enzymes, cell biology, bioenergetics, respiration, Parkinson's disease, mitochondria, neurology
  • Chulan Kwon Laboratory

    Lab Website

    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

    Research Areas: stem cells, cell biology, heart regeneration, congenital heart disease, cardiovascular, molecular biology, cardiac cells
  • Devreotes Laboratory

    Lab Website

    The Devreotes Laboratory is engaged in genetic analysis of chemotaxis in eukaryotic cells. Our long-term goal is a complete description of the network controlling chemotactic behavior. We are analyzing combinations of deficiencies to understand interactions among network components and carrying out additional genetic screens to identify new pathways involved in chemotaxis. A comprehensive understanding of this fascinating process should lead to control of pathological conditions such as inflammation and cancer metastasis.

    Research Areas: biochemistry, cell biology, chemotaxis, cancer, genomics, inflammation
  • Espenshade Lab

    Lab Website

    The Espenshade Lab uses a multi-organismal and multidisciplinary approach to understand how eukaryotic cells measure insoluble lipids and dissolved gases. We have chosen cholesterol and oxygen as our model molecules, based on their essential roles in cell function and the importance of their proper homeostasis for human health.

    Research Areas: cell biology, oxygen, eukaryotic cells, cholesterol
  • Fu Lab

    Lab Website
    Principal Investigator:
    Dax Fu, Ph.D.
    Nephrology

    The Fu Lab is a basic research lab that studies zinc transport, with a particular focus on which step in the zinc transport process may be modulated and how. Dr. Fu's lab uses parallel cell biology and proteomic approaches to understand how these physiochemical principles are applied to mammalian zinc transporters and integrated to the physiology of pancreatic beta cells. This research has implications for understanding how zinc transport is related to diabetes and insulin intake.

    Research Areas: cell biology, proteomics, zinc, pancreatic cells, diabetes
  • Gabelli Lab

    Lab Website

    The Gabelli lab research is focused on structural, mechanistic and functional aspects of enzyme activation that play a role in the biology of human diseases such as cancer, parasitic infection and cardiovascular disease. Their work seeks to:

    1. Understand how molecular events at the recognition level coordinate and trigger events in the cells
    2. Translate structural and mechanistic information on protein:protein interactions at the cytoplasmic level into preventive and therapeutic treatment for human disease.

    To achieve a comprehensive understanding, they are studying cytoplasmic protein-protein interactions involved in regulation of pathways such as PI3K and Sodium Voltage gated channels. Their research integrates structural biology and chemical biology and it is focused on drug discovery for targeted therapies.

    Research Areas: biochemistry, chemical biology, cell biology, structural biology, proteomics, cancer, diarrhea, diabetes, drugs, cellular signaling, inflammation, pharmacology
  • Goley Lab

    Lab Website
    Principal Investigator:
    Erin Goley, Ph.D.
    Research Animal Resources

    The Goley Lab is broadly interested in understanding cellular organization and dynamic reorganization, with particular focus on the roles of the cytoskeleton in these phenomena. We use cell biological, biochemical, genetic and structural approaches to dissect cytoskeletal processes with the aim of understanding how they work in molecular detail. Currently, we are focused on investigating the mechanisms underlying cytokinesis in bacteria. A deep understanding of cytoskeletal function in bacteria will aid in the identification of targets for novel antibiotic therapies and in efforts in synthetic biology.

    Research Areas: biological chemistry, cell biology, genomics, cytoskeleton
  • Greider Lab

    Lab Website

    The Greider lab uses biochemistry to study telomerase and cellular and organismal consequences of telomere dysfunction. Telomeres protect chromosome ends from being recognized as DNA damage and chromosomal rearrangements. Conventional replication leads to telomere shortening, but telomere length is maintained by the enzyme telomerase. Telomerase is required for cells that undergo many rounds of divisions, especially tumor cells and some stem cells. The lab has generated telomerase null mice that are viable and show progressive telomere shortening for up to six generations. In the later generations, when telomeres are short, cells die via apoptosis or senescence. Crosses of these telomerase null mice to other tumor prone mice show that tumor formation can be greatly reduced by short telomeres. The lab also is using the telomerase null mice to explore the essential role of telomerase stem cell viability. Telomerase mutations cause autosomal dominant dyskeratosis congenita. People with ...this disease die of bone marrow failure, likely due to stem cell loss. The lab has developed a mouse model to study this disease. Future work in the lab will focus on identifying genes that induce DNA damage in response to short telomeres, identifying how telomeres are processed and how telomere elongation is regulated. view more

    Research Areas: telomerase, biochemistry, stem cells, cell biology, DNA
  • Haig Kazazian Lab

    Lab Website

    The Kazazian Lab focuses on the biology of LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposons. Retrotransposons are pieces of genomic DNA that have the ability to duplicate themselves and insert into a new genomic location. Current studies use innovative DNA sequencing to locate all human-specific L1s in any genome. By understanding L1 biology, we hope to better understand the role of these genomes and their behavior in complex human disease, such as cancer and mental disorders. The lab is also examining how to carry out gene therapy of hemophilia A using AAV vectors.

    Research Areas: cell biology, cancer, retrotransposons, DNA, genomics, mental disorders
  • Holland Lab

    Lab Website

    Research in the Holland Lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms that control accurate chromosome distribution and the role that mitotic errors play in human health and disease. We use a combination of chemical biology, biochemistry, cell biology and genetically engineered mice to study pathways involved in mitosis and their effect on cell and organism physiology. One of our major goals is to develop cell and animal-based models to study the role of cell-division defects in genome instability and tumorigenesis.

    Research Areas: cancer, genomics, molecular biology
  • Inoue Lab

    Lab Website

    Complexity in signaling networks is often derived from co-opting one set of molecules for multiple operations. Understanding how cells achieve such sophisticated processing using a finite set of molecules within a confined space--what we call the "signaling paradox"--is critical to biology and engineering as well as the emerging field of synthetic biology.

    In the Inoue Lab, we have recently developed a series of chemical-molecular tools that allow for inducible, quick-onset and specific perturbation of various signaling molecules. Using this novel technique in conjunction with fluorescence imaging, microfabricated devices, quantitative analysis and computational modeling, we are dissecting intricate signaling networks.

    In particular, we investigate positive-feedback mechanisms underlying the initiation of neutrophil chemotaxis (known as symmetry breaking), as well as spatio-temporally compartmentalized signaling of Ras and membrane lipids such as phosphoinositides. In parallel,... we also try to understand how cell morphology affects biochemical pathways inside cells. Ultimately, we will generate completely orthogonal machinery in cells to achieve existing, as well as novel, cellular functions. Our synthetic, multidisciplinary approach will elucidate the signaling paradox created by nature. view more

    Research Areas: biochemistry, cell biology, chemotaxis, cancer, signaling paradox, signaling networks, molecular biology, synthetic biology
  • Jeremy Nathans Laboratory

    Lab Website

    The Jeremy Nathans Laboratory is focused on neural and vascular development, and the role of Frizzled receptors in mammalian development. We use gene manipulation in the mouse, cell culture models, and biochemical reconstitution to investigate the relevant molecular events underlying these processes, and to genetically mark and manipulate cells and tissues. Current experiments are aimed at defining additional Frizzled-regulated processes and elucidating the molecular mechanisms and cell biologic results of Frizzled signaling within these various contexts. Complementing these areas of biologic interest, we have ongoing technology development projects related to genetically manipulating and visualizing defined cell populations in the mouse, and quantitative analysis of mouse visual system function.

    Research Areas: vascular development, biochemistry, cell biology, neurodevelopment, genomics, Frizzled receptors, neuroscience
  • John Schroeder Lab

    The John Schroeder Lab focuses on understanding the role human basophils and mast cells play in allergic reactions, as it relates not only to their secretion of potent inflammatory mediators (e.g., histamine and leukotriene C4) but also to their production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. We have long utilized human cells rather than cell lines in order to address the parameters, signal transduction and pharmacological aspects underlying clinically relevant basophil and mast cell responses. As a result, the lab has established protocols for rapidly isolating large numbers of basophils at high purity from human blood and for growing culture-derived mast cells/basophils from human progenitor cells. A variety of assays and techniques are also in place for concurrently detecting cytokines and mediators following a wide range of stimuli. These have facilitated the in vitro testing of numerous anti-allergic drugs for inhibitory activity on basophil and mast cell activation. The lab also studie...s counter-regulation between the IgE and innate immune receptors on human immature dendritic cell subtypes. view more

    Research Areas: cell biology, allergies, inflammation
  • John T. Isaacs Laboratory

    Lab Website
    Principal Investigator:
    John Isaacs, Ph.D.
    Pathology

    While there has been an explosion of knowledge about human carcinogenesis over the last 2 decades, unfortunately, this has not translated into the development of effective therapies for either preventing or treating the common human cancers. The goal of the Isaacs’ lab is to change this situation by translating theory into therapy for solid malignancies, particularly Prostate cancer. Presently, a series of drugs discovered in the Isaacs’ lab are undergoing clinical trials in patients with metastatic cancer.

    The ongoing drug discovery in the lab continues to focus upon developing agents to eliminate the cancer initiating stem cells within metastatic sites of cancer. To do this, a variety of bacterial and natural product toxins are being chemically modified to produce “prodrugs” whose cytotoxicity is selectively activated by proteases produced in high levels only by cancer cells or tumor associated blood vessel cells. In this way, these prodrugs can be given systemically to metastati...c patients without un-acceptable toxicity to the host while being selectively activated to potent killing molecules within metastatic sites of cancer.

    Such a “Trojan Horse” approach is also being developed using allogeneic bone marrow derived Mesenchymal Stem cells which are genetically engineered to secrete “prodrugs” so that when they are infused into the patient, they selectively “home” to sites of cancers where the appropriate enzymatic activity is present to liberate the killing toxin sterilizing the cancer “neighborhood”.
    view more

    Research Areas: anti-cancer drugs, stem cell biology
  • Jungsan Sohn

    Lab Website

    Dr. Sohn's lab is interested in understanding how biological stress-sensors are assembled, detect danger signals and initiate stress response.

    Innate immunity is the first line of defense against invading pathogens in higher eukaryotes. We are using in vitro quantitative biochemical assays and mutagenesis and x-ray crystallography to investigate the underlying operating principles of inflammasomes, a component of the innate immune system, to better understand biological stress sensors.

    Research Areas: immunology, cell biology, cancer, eukaryotes, stress sensors
  • Karen Reddy Laboratory

    Principal Investigator:
    Karen Reddy, Ph.D.
    Research Animal Resources

    The focus of the research in the Reddy Laboratory is to begin to understand how the nuclear periphery and other subcompartments contribute to general nuclear architecture and to specific gene regulation. Our research goals can be broken down into three complementary areas of research: understanding how genes are regulated at the nuclear periphery, deciphering how genes are localized (or "addressed") to specific nuclear compartments and how these processes are utilized in development and corrupted in disease.

    Research Areas: biological chemistry, cell biology, nuclear structure, epigenetics, gene regulation
  • Katherine Wilson Lab

    Research in the Wilson Lab focuses on three components of nuclear lamina structure: lamins, LEM-domain proteins (emerin), and BAF.

    These three proteins all bind each other directly, and are collectively required to organize and regulate chromatin, efficiently segregate chromosomes and rebuild nuclear structure after mitosis. Mutations in one or more of these proteins cause a variety of diseases including Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD), cardiomyopathy, lipodystrophy and diabetes, and accelerated aging.

    We are examining emerin's role in mechanotransduction, how emerin and lamin A are regulated, and whether misregulation contributes to disease.

    Research Areas: cell biology, Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD), accelerated aging, chromatin, diabetes, genomics, emerin, nuclear lamina, lipodystrophy, cardiomyopathy
  • Laboratory of Richard L. Huganir

    Lab Website
    Principal Investigator:
    Richard Huganir, Ph.D.
    Medicine

    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
  • Liudmila Cebotaru Lab

    Research in the Liudmila Cebotaru Lab studies cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) mutants. We also investigate corrector molecules that are currently in clinical trials to get a better understanding of their mechanism of action. A major focus of our research is on developing more efficient gene therapy vectors with the ultimate goal of developing a gene therapy for cystic fibrosis.

    Research Areas: cell biology, cystic fibrosis, kidney diseases, gene therapy, corrector molecules
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