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Susan Michaelis Lab
The Michaelis Laboratory's research goal is to dissect fundamental cellular processes relevant to human health and disease, using yeast and mammalian cell biology, biochemistry and high-throughput genomic approaches. Our team studies the cell biology of lamin A and its role in the premature aging disease Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS). Other research focuses on the core cellular machinery involved in recognition of misfolded proteins. Understanding cellular protein quality control machinery will ultimately help researchers devise treatments for protein misfolding diseases in which degradation is too efficient or not enough.
Tamara O'Connor Lab
The O'Connor Lab studies the molecular basis of infectious disease using Legionella pneumophila pathogenesis as a model system.
We are looking at the network of molecular interactions acting at the host-pathogen interface. Specifically, we use L. pneumophila pathogenesis to examine the numerous mechanisms by which an intracellular bacterial pathogen can establish infection, how it exploits host cell machinery to accomplish this, and how individual proteins and their component pathways coordinately contribute to disease.
We are also studying the role of environmental hosts in the evolution of human pathogens. Using genetics and functional genomics, we compare and contrast the repertoires of virulence proteins required for growth in a broad assortment of hosts, how the network of molecular interactions differs between hosts, and the mechanisms by which L. pneumophila copes with this variation.
The Ted Dawson Laboratory uses genetic, cell biological and biochemical approaches to explore the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) and other neurologic disorders. We also investigate several discrete mechanisms involved in cell death, including the role of nitric oxide as an endogenous messenger, the function of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 and apoptosis inducing factor in cell death, and how endogenous cell survival mechanisms protect neurons from death.
The Arking Lab
The Arking Lab studies the genomics of complex human disease, with the primary goal of identifying and characterizing genetics variants that modify risk for human disease. The group has pioneered the use of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), which allow for an unbiased screen of virtually all common genetic variants in the genome. The lab is currently developing improved GWAS methodology, as well as exploring the integration of additional genome level data (RNA expression, DNA methylation, protein expression) to improve the power to identify specific genetic influences of disease.
The Arking Lab is actively involved in researching:
• autism, a childhood neuropsychiatric disorder
• cardiovascular genomics, with a focus on electrophysiology and sudden cardiac death (SCD)
• electrophysiology is the study of the flow of ions in biological tissues
Dan E. Arking, PhD, is an associate professor at the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine and Department of Medicine, D...ivision of Cardiology, Johns Hopkins University. view more
The Cohen Lab
Combining microbiology and bioinformatics, the Cohen Lab conducts translational research on mycobacteria. By application of advanced genomic techniques to the problems of tuberculosis and nontuberculous mycobacteria, the Cohen Lab aims to develop improved tools for the diagnosis and management of mycobacterial disease.
The Tom Woolf Lab studies the quarter of the genome devoted to membrane proteins. This rapidly growing branch of bioinformatics, which includes computational biophysics, represents the main research direction of our group. We aim to provide insight into critical issues for membrane systems. In pursuit of these goals, we use extensive computer calculations to build an understanding of the relations between microscopic motions and the world of experimental measurements. Our calculations use our own Beowulf computer cluster as well as national supercomputer centers. An especially strong focus has been on the computed motions of proteins and all-atom models of the lipid bilayers that mediate their influence. To compute these motions, we use the molecular dynamics program CHARMM. We hope to use our understanding of the molecular motions for the prediction of membrane protein structures using new computational methods.
The lab currently focuses on identifying genetic alterations in cancer affecting sensitivity and resistance to targeted therapies, and connecting such changes to key clinical characteristics and novel therapeutic approaches. We have recently developed methods that allow noninvasive characterization of cancer, including the PARE method that provided the first whole genome analysis of tumor DNA in the circulation of cancer patients. These analyses provide a window into real-time genomic analyses of cancer patients and provide new avenues for personalized diagnostic and therapeutic intervention.
The Wheelan Lab focuses on DNA sequence analysis. Her team creates new techniques to mathematically analyze and biologically interpret high-throughput sequencing data and other high-dimensional biological datasets. The team examines spatial relationships across genomes and uses transposons to query genomic sequence/structure relationships.
The William Bishai Laboratory studies the molecular pathogenesis of tuberculosis. The overall goal of our laboratory is to better understand tuberculosis pathogenesis and then to employ this understanding toward improved drugs, vaccines and diagnostics. Since Mycobacterium tuberculosis senses and adapts to a wide array of conditions during the disease process, it is clear that the regulation of expression of virulence factors plays an important role in pathogenesis. As a result, a theme of our research is to assess mycobacterial genes important in gene regulation. We are also interested in cell division in mycobacteria and the pathogenesis of caseation and cavitation.
The Wolberger Lab is interested in the structural and mechanistic basis for transcriptional regulation and ubiquitin signaling as it relates to the integrity and expression of the genome. We use x-ray crystallography, enzymology, cell-based assays and a variety of biophysical tools to gain insights into the mechanisms underlying these essential cellular processes.