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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.
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
Dr. Geetha’s team 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