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Research in the Anderson laboratory focuses on cellular signaling and ionic mechanisms that cause heart failure, arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death, major public health problems worldwide. Primary focus is on the multifunctional Ca2+ and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). The laboratory identified CaMKII as an important pro-arrhythmic and pro-cardiomyopathic signal, and its studies have provided proof of concept evidence motivating active efforts in biotech and the pharmaceutical industry to develop therapeutic CaMKII inhibitory drugs to treat heart failure and arrhythmias.
Under physiological conditions, CaMKII is important for excitation-contraction coupling and fight or flight increases in heart rate. However, myocardial CaMKII is excessively activated during disease conditions where it contributes to loss of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis, membrane hyperexcitability, premature cell death, and hypertrophic and inflammatory transcription. These downstream targets a...ppear to contribute coordinately and decisively to heart failure and arrhythmias. Recently, researchers developed evidence that CaMKII also participates in asthma.
Efforts at the laboratory, funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, are highly collaborative and involve undergraduate assistants, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty. Key areas of focus are:
• Ion channel biology and arrhythmias
• Cardiac pacemaker physiology and disease
• Molecular physiology of CaMKII
• Myocardial and mitochondrial metabolism
• CaMKII and reactive oxygen species in asthma
Mark Anderson, MD, is the William Osler Professor of Medicine, the director of the Department of Medicine in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and physician-in-chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. view more
The Bergles Laboratory studies synaptic physiology, with an emphasis on glutamate transporters and glial involvement in neuronal signaling. We are interested in understanding the mechanisms by which neurons and glial cells interact to support normal communication in the nervous system. The lab studies glutamate transport physiology and function. Because glutamate transporters play a critical role in glutamate homeostasis, understanding the transporters' function is relevant to numerous neurological ailments, including stroke, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Other research in the laboratory focuses on signaling between neurons and glial cells at synapses. Understanding how neurons and cells communicate, may lead to new approaches for stimulating re-myelination following injury or disease. Additional research in the lab examines how a unique form of glia-to-neuron signaling in the cochlea influences auditory system development, whethe...r defects in cell communication lead to certain hereditary forms of hearing impairment, and if similar mechanisms are related to sound-induced tinnitus. view more
Enid Neptune Lab
Work in the Enid Neptune Lab focuses on topics within the fields of pulmonary and critical care medicine. Our research centers primarily on therapeutic strategies for Marfan syndrome and hepatocyte growth factor signaling in airspace homeostasis. We also conduct research on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with a focus on its mechanisms and potential methods for preventing its progression. Our research within critical care has most recently involved investigating superoxide dismutase 3 dysregulation in neonatal lung injuries.
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.
Gregg Semenza Lab
The Gregg Semenza Lab studies the molecular mechanisms of oxygen homeostasis. We have cloned and characterized hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor.
Current research investigates the role of HIF-1 in the pathophysiology of cancer, cerebral and myocardial ischemia, and chronic lung disease, which are the most common causes of mortality in the U.S.
Guang William Wong Lab
The Wong Lab seeks to understand mechanisms employed by cells and tissues to maintain metabolic homeostasis. We are currently addressing how adipose- and skeletal muscle-derived hormones (adipokines and myokines), discovered in our lab, regulate tissue crosstalk and signaling pathways to control energy metabolism. We use transgenic and knockout mouse models, as well as cell culture systems, to address the role of the CTRP family of hormones in physiological and disease states. We also aim to identify the receptors that mediate the biological functions of CTRPs.
Herschel Wade Lab
The emergence of structural genomics, proteomics and the large-scale sequencing of many genomes provides experimental access to regions of protein sequence-structure-function landscapes which have not been explored through traditional biochemical methods. Protein structure-function relationships can now be examined rigorously through the characterization of protein ensembles, which display structurally convergent--divergent solutions to analogous or very similar functional properties.
In this modern biochemical context, the Herschel Wade Lab will use protein libraries, chemistry, biophysics, molecular biology and structural methods to examine the basis of molecular recognition in the context of several important biological problems, including structural and mechanistic aspects of multi-drug resistance, ligand-dependent molecular switches and metal ion homeostasis.
Laboratory of Airway Immunity
We are interested in understanding how innate immune responses regulate lung health. Innate immunity involves ancient, and well-conserved mediators and their actions regulate the balance between homeostasis and pathogenesis. In the lungs, innate immunity play a critical role in response to environmental exposures such as allergen and ambient particulate matter. My lab focuses on how these exposures can promote aberrant mucosal responses that can drive the development of diseases like asthma.
Landon King Lab
The Landon King Lab studies aquaporins water-specific membrane channel proteins. We hope to understand how these proteins contribute to water homeostasis in the respiratory tract and how their expression or function may be altered in disease states.
Investigators in the Pablo Iglesias Lab use analytic tools from control systems and dynamical systems to study cell biology, including biological signal transduction pathways. Our research interests include the ways cells interpret directional cues to guide their motion, regulatory mechanisms that control cell division, and the sensing and actuation that enable cells to maintain lipid homeostasis.
Suzanne Jan de Beur Lab
Researchers in the Suzanne Jan de Beur Lab are interested in bone and mineral metabolism, endocrinology and osteoporosis. In addition, we focus on hormonal regulators of phosphate homeostasis, parathyroid hormone signaling and the molecular basis of hypophosphatemic disorders.
The research in the Svetlana Lutsenko Laboratory is focused on the molecular mechanisms that regulate copper concentration in normal and diseased human cells. Copper is essential for human cell homeostasis. It is required for embryonic development and neuronal function, and the disruption of copper transport in human cells results in severe multisystem disorders, such as Menkes disease and Wilson's disease. To understand the molecular mechanisms of copper homeostasis in normal and diseased human cells, we utilize a multidisciplinary approach involving biochemical and biophysical studies of molecules involved in copper transport, cell biological studies of copper signaling, and analysis of copper-induced pathologies using Wilson's disease gene knock-out mice.
The nervous system has extremely complex RNA processing regulation. Dysfunction of RNA metabolism has emerged to play crucial roles in multiple neurological diseases. Mutations and pathologies of several RNA-binding proteins are found to be associated with neurodegeneration in both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). An alternative RNA-mediated toxicity arises from microsatellite repeat instability in the human genome. The expanded repeat-containing RNAs could potentially induce neuron toxicity by disrupting protein and RNA homeostasis through various mechanisms.
The Sun Lab is interested in deciphering the RNA processing pathways altered by the ALS-causative mutants to uncover the mechanisms of toxicity and molecular basis of cell type-selective vulnerability. Another major focus of the group is to identify small molecule and genetic inhibitors of neuron toxic factors using various high-throughput screening platforms. Finally, we are also highly i...nterested in developing novel CRISPR technique-based therapeutic strategies. We seek to translate the mechanistic findings at molecular level to therapeutic target development to advance treatment options against neurodegenerative diseases. view more