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The Division of Medical Imaging Physics conducts state-of-the-art research in medical imaging physics, particularly in the areas of nuclear medicine, including PET and SPECT, CT and X-ray imaging. Our research aims to advance instrumentation technologies, image reconstruction techniques and image processing and analysis methods that lead to improved quality and quantitative accuracy in radiological images for better clinical diagnosis and other biomedical applications.
The Jacobs lab is within the Division of Cancer Imaging Research in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science. The lab translates radiological imaging (MRI/PET/CT) from research to the clinical setting. The Jacobs lab is establishing the use of multi-parametric/multinuclear/modality imaging to monitor treatment response in different cancers and co-developed a new metric for DWI/ADC mapping to discern treatment response. They are developing and implementing a new method for diagnosis of cancer using machine and deep learning to measure different types of lesions. The Jacobs lab is also developing novel segmentation of radiological images using non-linear dimensionality reduction. In addition, we are investigating methods to integrate Radiomics and Informatics and prognostic markers for disease. Other research areas include diagnostic medical physics and novel computer science applications. The medical physics research includes MRI quality assessments, X-ray, fluoroscopy, ultr...asound and applications to therapeutic medical physics. We are developing a residency using the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Program in Diagnostic Medical Physics. view more
Michael Caterina Lab
The Caterina lab is focused on dissecting mechanisms underlying acute and chronic pain sensation. We use a wide range of approaches, including mouse genetics, imaging, electrophysiology, behavior, cell culture, biochemistry and neuroanatomy to tease apart the molecular and cellular contributors to pathological pain sensation. A few of the current projects in the lab focus on defining the roles of specific subpopulations of neuronal and non-neuronal cells to pain sensation, defining the role of RNA binding proteins in the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain, and understanding how rare skin diseases known as palmoplantar keratodermas lead to severe pain in the hands and feet.
Established in 2004, the MRB Molecular Imaging Service Center and Cancer Functional Imaging Core provides comprehensive molecular and functional imaging infrastructure to support the imaging research needs of the Johns Hopkins University faculty. Approximately 55-65 different Principal Investigators use the center annually.
The MRB Molecular Imaging Service Center is located behind the barrier within the transgenic animal facility in the basement of MRB. The MRB location houses a 9.4T MRI/S scanner for magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, an Olympus multiphoton microscope with in vivo imaging capability, a PET-CT scanner, a PET-SPECT scanner, and a SPECT-CT scanner for nuclear imaging, multiple optical imaging scanners including an IVIS Spectrum, and a LI COR near infrared scanner, and an ultrasound scanner.
A brand new satellite facility in CRB2-LB03 opens in 2019 to house a simultaneous 7T PET-MR scanner, as well as additional imaging equipment, to meet the growing molec...ular and functional imaging research needs of investigators.
To image with us, MRB Animal Facility training and Imaging Center Orientation are required to obtain access to the MRB Animal Facility and to the MRB Molecular Imaging Center (Suite B14). The MRB Animal Facility training group meets at 9:30 am on Thursdays at the Turner fountain/MRB elevator lobby. The Imaging Center orientation group meets at 1 pm on Thursdays at the Turner fountain, and orientation takes approximately 30 min. Please keep in mind that obtaining access to both facilities requires time, so please plan in advance. view less
The neuroimaging and Modulation Laboratory (NIMLAB) investigates neural correlates of cognition and behavior using neuroimaging methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and neuromodulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). We are looking in depth at the contributions of the cerebellum and cerebro-cerebellar circuits to cognition; the effects of chronic heavy alcohol consumption on cognition and brain activation underlying cognitive function; how aging in humans affects neural systems that are important for associative learning and stimulus awareness; and the integration of transcranial magnetic stimulation with functional MRI.
Neuromodulation and Advanced Therapies Center
We investigate the brain networks and neurotransmitters involved in symptoms of movement disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, and the mechanisms by which modulating these networks through electrical stimulation affects these symptoms. We are particularly interested in the mechanisms through which neuromodulation therapies like deep brain stimulation affect non-motor brain functions, such as cognitive function and mood. We use imaging of specific neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine and dopamine, to understand the changes in brain chemistry associated with the clinical effects of deep brain stimulation and to predict which patients are likely to have changes in non-motor symptoms following DBS. Through collaborations with our neurosurgery colleagues, we explore brain function by making recordings during DBS surgery during motor and non-motor tasks. Dr. Mills collaborates with researchers in the Department of Neurosurgery, the Division of Geriatric and Neuropsychiatry in the Depar...tment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and in the Division of Nuclear Medicine within the Department of Radiology to translate neuroimaging and neurophysiology findings into clinical applications. view less
Nicholas Dalesio Lab
Research in the Nicholas Dalesio Lab is currently examining pre-surgical predictors of post-surgical respiratory complications in children with obstructive sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing; the impact of anesthesia and pharmacological agents on upper airway physiology; and techniques for pediatric airway imaging.
The Nicholas Flavahan Lab primarily researches the cellular interactions and subcellular signaling pathways that control normal vascular function and regulate the initiation of vascular disease. We use biochemical and molecular analyses of cellular mediators and cell signaling mechanisms in cultured vascular cells, while also conducting physiological assessments and fluorescent microscopic imaging of signaling systems in isolated blood vessels. A major component of our research involves aterioles, tiny blood vessles that are responsible for controlling the peripheral resistance of the cardiovascular system, which help determine organ blood flow.
Nicholas Zachos Lab
Researchers in the Nicholas Zachos Lab work to understand variations in protein trafficking that occur during pathophysiological conditions that cause ion and water transport that result in diarrhea. We recently identified a clathrin-independent endocytic pathway responsible for elevated intracellular calcium-mediated inhibition of NHE3 activity in intestinal epithelial cells. We use advanced imaging techniques, including confocal and multi-photon microscopy, to characterize protein trafficking of intestinal transporters. We also perform functional assays using fluorescent probes (ratiometric and non-ratiometric) to measure ion transport in cell culture models, intact intestinal tissues and human small intestinal enteroids.
How do brain dynamics give rise to our sensory experience of the world? The O'Connor lab works to answer this question by taking advantage of the fact that key architectural features of the mammalian brain are similar across species. This allows us to leverage the power of mouse genetics to monitor and manipulate genetically and functionally defined brain circuits during perception. We train mice to perform simple perceptual tasks. By using quantitative behavior, optogenetic and chemical-genetic gain- and loss-of-function perturbations, in vivo two-photon imaging, and electrophysiology, we assemble a description of the relationship between neural circuit function and perception. We work in the mouse tactile system to capitalize on an accessible mammalian circuit with a precise mapping between the sensory periphery and multiple brain areas. Our mission is to reveal the neural circuit foundations of sensory perception; to provide a framework to understand how circuit dysfunction causes ...mental and behavioral aspects of neuropsychiatric illness; and to help others fulfill creative potential and contribute to human knowledge. view more
The O’Rourke Lab uses an integrated approach to study the biophysics and physiology of cardiac cells in normal and diseased states.
Research in our lab has incorporated mitochondrial energetics, Ca2+ dynamics, and electrophysiology to provide tools for studying how defective function of one component of the cell can lead to catastrophic effects on whole cell and whole organ function. By understanding the links between Ca2+, electrical excitability and energy production, we hope to understand the cellular basis of cardiac arrhythmias, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and sudden death.
We use state-of-the-art techniques, including single-channel and whole-cell patch clamp, microfluorimetry, conventional and two-photon fluorescence imaging, and molecular biology to study the structure and function of single proteins to the intact muscle. Experimental results are compared with simulations of computational models in order to understand the findings in the context of the system as a whole....
Ongoing studies in our lab are focused on identifying the specific molecular targets modified by oxidative or ischemic stress and how they affect mitochondrial and whole heart function.
The motivation for all of the work is to understand
• how the molecular details of the heart cell work together to maintain function and
• how the synchronization of the parts can go wrong
Rational strategies can then be devised to correct dysfunction during the progression of disease through a comprehensive understanding of basic mechanisms.
Brian O’Rourke, PhD, is a professor in the Division of Cardiology and Vice Chair of Basic and Translational Research, Department of Medicine, at the Johns Hopkins University. view more
Psychiatric Neuroimaging (PNI) is active in neuropsychiatric research using imaging methods such as MRI, fMRI, PET and DTI to understand the mechanisms and brain networks underlying human cognition. PNI faculty have published hundreds of papers on a variety of brain disorders which include but are not limited to Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, bipolar disorder, and eating disorders. Faculty in the division have been awarded numerous peer-reviewed grants by the National Institutes of Health, foundations and other funding organizations.
The main research goals of my laboratory are: (1) to identify and study the biology of novel cancer selective targets whose enzymatic function can be exploited for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes; (2) to develop methods to target novel agents for activiation by these cancer selective targets while avoiding or minimizing systemic toxicity; (3) to develop novel agents for imaging cancer sites at earliest stages. To accomplish these objectives the lab has originally focused on the development of prodrugs or protoxins that are inactive when given systemically via the blood and only become activated by tumor or tissue specific proteases present within sites of tumor. Using this approach, we are developing therapies targeted for activation by the serine proteases prostate-specific antigen (PSA), human glandular kallikrein 2 (hK2) and fibroblast activation protein (FAP) as well as the membrane carboxypeptidase prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). One such approach developed in the l...ab consists of a potent bacterial protoxin that we have reengineered to be selectively activated by PSA within the Prostate. This PSA-activated toxin is currently being tested clinically as treatment for men with recurrent prostate cancer following radiation therapy. In a related approach, a novel peptide-cytotoxin prodrug candidate that is activated by PSMA has been identified and is this prodrug candidate is now entering early phase clinical development. In addition, we have also identified a series of potent inhibitors of PSA that are now under study as drug targeting and imaging agents to be used in the treatment and detection of prostate cancer.
The Shanthini Sockanathan Laboratory uses the developing spinal cord as our major paradigm to define the mechanisms that maintain an undifferentiated progenitor state and the molecular pathways that trigger their differentiation into neurons and glia. The major focus of the lab is the study of a new family of six-transmembrane proteins (6-TM GDEs) that play key roles in regulating neuronal and glial differentiation in the spinal cord. We recently discovered that the 6-TM GDEs release GPI-anchored proteins from the cell surface through cleavage of the GPI-anchor. This discovery identifies 6-TM GDEs as the first vertebrate membrane bound GPI-cleaving enzymes that work at the cell surface to regulate GPI-anchored protein function. Current work in the lab involves defining how the 6-TM GDEs regulate cellular signaling events that control neuronal and glial differentiation and function, with a major focus on how GDE dysfunction relates to the onset and progression of disease. To solve the...se questions, we use an integrated approach that includes in vivo models, imaging, molecular biology, biochemistry, developmental biology, genetics and behavior. view less
The Stewart Hendry Laboratory uses a strategy that exploits the unique molecular characteristics of neurons to understand how these streams are organized and the types of visual signals they carry. We identify those characteristics and then use them to study distinct neuronal populations in isolation. We use anatomical approaches to study the position of these neurons in the path of visual information transfer and the circuits whereby they accomplish an analysis and synthesis of information. Collaborative studies determine by optical imaging and electrophysiological methods the physiological properties of neuronal populations previously identified by their molecular characteristics. Such a strategy exploits the robust but selective expression of neuronal genes to address questions of visual system organization, function and plasticity across the primate order, including humans.
The Sujatha Kannan Lab works to develop therapeutic strategies for preventing perinatal brain injuries from occurring during development. We use a unique combination of nanotechnology, animal model development and in vivo imaging to better understand the mechanism and progression of cellular and metabolic conditions that lead to perinatal brain injury, with a focus on autism and cerebral palsy.
The Pathak lab is within the Division of Cancer Imaging Research in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science. We develop novel imaging methods, computational models and visualization tools to ‘make visible’ critical aspects of cancer, stroke and neurobiology. Our research broadly encompasses the following areas: Functional and Molecular Imaging; Clinical Biomarker Development; Image-based Systems Biology and Visualization and Computational Tools. We are dedicated to mentoring the next generation of imagers, biomedical engineers and visualizers. Additional information can be found at www.pathaklab.org or by emailing Dr. Pathak.
The Weiss Lab, which features a multi-disciplinary team at Johns Hopkins as well as at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, is dedicated to identifying the most important clinical, genetic, structural, contractile and metabolic causes of sudden cardiac death as well as the means to reverse the underlying pathology and lower risk.
Current projects include research into energy metabolism in human heart failure and creatine kinase metabolism in animal models of heart failure.
Robert G. Weiss, MD, is professor of medicine, Radiology and Radiological Science, at the Johns Hopkins University.
Wojciech Zbijewski Lab
Research in the Wojciech Zbijewski Lab — a component of the Imaging for Surgery, Therapy and Radiology (I-STAR) Lab — focuses on system modeling techniques to optimize the x-ray CT imaging chain. We’re specifically interested in: 1) using numerical models to improve the task-based optimization of image quality; 2) exploring advanced modeling of physics in statistical reconstruction; 3) using accelerated Monte Carlo methods in CT imaging; and 4) conducting experimental validation of such approaches and applying them to the development of new imaging methods.
Dr. Wu leads a multi-disciplinary team with collaborators from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, JHU Whiting School of Engineering, and JHU Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. She conducts ongoing investigations with the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study and Women’s Inter-agency Health Study. Her lab’s goals are to develop, implement, and validate novel imaging-based metrics of cardiac structure and function to improve risk prediction and stratification at the individual patient-level.
Predictors of Sudden Cardiac Death by Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Subclinical myocardial disease in people living with HIV
Individualized risk prediction
Cardiac structural and mechanical modeling