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Douglas Ball Lab
The Douglas Ball Lab conducts clinical trials and pre-clinical laboratory studies of thyroid cancer. Our clinical trials, performed in collaboration with research staff in the upper aero-digestive group in the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, have included protocols for advanced radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer and medullary thyroid cancer. Our pre-clinical research, conducted with Dr. Nelkin, Dr. Agrawal and other Kimmel Cancer Center researchers, includes pathogenesis and mechanisms of treatment resistance in medullary thyroid cancer, and pathogenesis and immune-directed therapy of anaplastic thyroid cancer.
Duvuru Geetha Lab
Research in the Duvuru Geetha Lab focuses on renal diseases in patients with systemic vasculitis as well as BK virus nephropathy in patients who have undergone renal transplant. Our studies include clinical trials on the effectiveness of rituximab versus cyclosporine in treating idiopathic membranous nephropathy and a multinational study of belimumab with azathioprine for maintaining remission of granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis. We also have conducted research on the treatment of ANCA vasculitis, particularly in kidney transplant patients.
The goal of the lab's research is to identify molecular abnormalities that can improve the outcome of patients with pancreatic cancer and those at risk of developing this disease. Much of our work is focused on translational research evaluating markers and marker technologies that can help screen patients with an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Thus, marker efforts have been focused mostly on identifying markers of advanced precancerous neoplasia (PanINs and IPMNs) that could improve our ability to effectively screen patients at risk of developing pancreatic cancer. We lead or participate in a number of clinical research protocols involved in the screening and early detection of pancreatic neoplasia including the CAPS clinical trials. We maintain a large repository of specimens from cases and controls with and without pancreatic disease and use this repository to investigate candidate markers of pancreatic cancer for their utility to predict pancreatic cancer risk.
In addition, we have been working to identify familial pancreatic cancer susceptibility genes and identified BRCA2 as a pancreatic cancer susceptibility gene in 1996. We participate in the PACGENE consortium and the familial pancreatic cancer sequencing initiative. My lab also investigates pancreatic cancer genetics, epigenetics, molecular pathology, tumor stromal interactions and functional analysis of candidate genes and miRNAs. Dr. Goggins is the principal investigator of a phase I/II clinical trial evaluating the Parp inhibitor, olaparib along with irinotecan and cisplatin for patients with pancreatic cancer. view more
Grant (Xuguang) Tao Lab
Research in the Grant (Xuguang) Tao Lab explores environmental and occupational epidemiology topics, including workers' compensation and injuries, and nosocomial infections. We conduct research through clinical trials and systematic literature reviews, and also use cancer registry data and GIS applications in environmental epidemiological research. Our recent studies have explored topics such as the effectiveness of lumbar epidural steroid injections following lumbar surgery, the effect of physician-dispensed medication on workers' compensation claim outcomes and how the use of opioid and psychotropic medications for workers' compensation claims impacts lost work time.
Head and Neck Cancer Clinical Trials and Tissue Bank
The Johns Hopkins Head and Neck Cancer Tissue Bank enrolls patients and collects research specimens from Head and Neck Tumor patients, both cancerous and benign, with particular focus on Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancer patients. It provides specimens to researchers both within the institution and outside.
Healthy Brain Program
The Brain Health Program is a multidisciplinary team of faculty from the departments of neurology, psychiatry, epidemiology, and radiology lead by Leah Rubin and Jennifer Coughlin. In the hope of revealing new directions for therapies, the group studies molecular biomarkers identified from tissue and brain imaging that are associated with memory problems related to HIV infection, aging, dementia, mental illness and traumatic brain injury. The team seeks to advance policies and practices to optimize brain health in vulnerable populations while destigmatizing these brain disorders.
Current and future projects include research on: the roles of the stress response, glucocorticoids, and inflammation in conditions that affect memory and the related factors that make people protected or or vulnerable to memory decline; new mobile apps that use iPads to improve our detection of memory deficits; clinical trials looking at short-term effects of low dose hydrocortisone and randomized to 28 day...s of treatment; imaging brain injury and repair in NFL players to guide players and the game; and the role of inflammation in memory deterioration in healthy aging, patients with HIV, and other neurodegenerative conditions. view more
HPTN (HIV Prevention Trials Network) Network Laboratory (NL) is responsible for collecting, testing and reporting results from biological samples; assisting in the development and quality assurance assessment of local laboratory capacity at the Clinical Trials Units (CTUs) participating in HPTN clinical trials (www.hptn.org); and identifying and implementing state-of-the-art assays and technologies to advance the scientific agenda of the Network.
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.
Jean Kim Lab
The Jean Kim Laboratory performs translational research in the
area of chronic rhinosinusitis, with a niche interest in the pathogenesis of hyperplastic nasal
polyposis. Studies encompass clinical research to basic wet laboratory research in
studying the underlying immune and autoimmune mediated mechanism of polyp growth and
perpetuation of disease. Human cell and tissue culture models are used. Techniques in the
laboratory include cell and tissue culture, real time PCR, immunoblot, ELISA, flow cytometry,
immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, gene array analysis, and other molecular
approaches including genetic knockdowns. Approaches used in Dr. Kim’s clinical study
designs include prospective and retrospective analysis of patient outcomes and clinical
biomarkers, as wells controlled clinical trials.
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