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The mission of the Johns Hopkins University Dermatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology (DACI) Reference Laboratory is to provide comprehensive, high-quality diagnostic allergy and immunology testing to patients throughout North America with asthma, allergy and immunologic disorders. We offer an extensive menu of laboratory tests that includes allergen-specific IgE measurements to approximately 300 pollen, epidermal, mold spore, mite, food, drug, venom and occupational allergen specificities. We specialize in Hymenoptera (insect sting) venom-specific IgE and IgG antibody measurements. In addition, the DACI Laboratory performs hypersensitivity pneumonitis precipitin panels, serum cotinine, and environmental mold measurements.
Joseph Margolick Lab
Research in the Joseph Margolick Lab focuses on the many effects of HIV/AIDS on human health. We are particularly interested in the mechanisms of T-cell loss and preservation among people infected with HIV and the evaluation of human immune functions.
Dr. Sohn's lab is interested in understanding how biological stress-sensors are assembled, detect danger signals and initiate stress response.
Innate immunity is the first line of defense against invading pathogens in higher eukaryotes. We are using in vitro quantitative biochemical assays and mutagenesis and x-ray crystallography to investigate the underlying operating principles of inflammasomes, a component of the innate immune system, to better understand biological stress sensors.
Kelly Metcalf Pate Lab
The Kelly Metcalf Pate Lab focuses on the role of platelets in the innate immune response to viral infection, and how modulating the response of platelets to infection alters the course of disease.
Platelets are known to participate in innate immunity through cytokine signaling and direct interactions with other cells, and the platelet has the potential to significantly influence disease outcomes. However, platelet immunology is still a relatively new discipline, and the downstream effects of platelet interactions with other immune cells have yet to be determined in the context of viral infection.
Current research in our lab aims to further characterize the platelet-monocyte interaction during acute viral infection with the goals of establishing methods of pharmacologically manipulating this association, and establishing how platelet binding to a monocyte influences the monocyte's susceptibility to lentiviral infection and the monocyte's interactions with endothelium.
Additio...nally, we are interested in the effect of physiologic stress on the platelet's future immune response to infection, and in the development and optimization of novel in vitro systems that better model in vivo conditions.
Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology
Mary Philogene Lab
Research in the Mary Philogene Lab focuses on the field of histocompatibility and transplant immunology. Our studies in immunogenetics have included topics such as immunologic risk factors in transplant patients, the role of non-HLA antibodies in primary graft dysfunction following cardiac transplantation, and immunosuppression withdrawal and allograft function in pediatric liver transplant recipients.
Michael Edidin Lab
The Michael Edidin Lab studies membrane dynamics and organization in cells from lymphocytes to epithelial cells using biochemistry, biophysics (especially fluorescence methods), cell biology, biochemistry and immunology. We are interested in transplantation immunology, particularly in the cell biology of class I MHC molecules, and are working to understand the relationship between plasma membrane biophysics and antigen presentation by MHC molecules. We are currently studying the clustering of T cell receptors for the antigen TCR.
The Mikhail Pletnikov Laboratory is interested in the neurobiology of neurodevelopmental diseases such as schizophrenia and autism. The major focus of our laboratory is to evaluate how adverse environmental factors and vulnerable genes interact to affect brain and behavior development. We address these experimental questions by using methods of cell and molecular biology, neuroimmunology, neurochemistry, psychopharmacology and developmental psychobiology. The current projects in our laboratory are: (1) Genetic risk factors in neuron-astrocyte interaction during neurodevelopment, (2) Gene-environment interplay in the pathogenesis of psychiatric conditions, and (3) The neuroimmune interactions in abnormal neurodevelopment
Nadia Hansel Lab
Research in the Nadia Hansel Lab investigates the clinical, pathophysiologic and public health aspects of pulmonary diseases, with a focus on asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We have explored how environmental exposures, nutrition and diet, comorbidity and other factors influence the outcomes of diseases such as asthma and COPD.
Robert Siliciano Laboratory
Research in the Robert Siliciano Laboratory focuses on HIV and antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART consists of combinations of three drugs that inhibit specific steps in the virus life cycle. Though linked to reduced morbidity and mortality rates, ART is not curative. Through our research related to latently infected cells, we've shown that eradicating HIV-1 infection with ART alone is impossible due to the latent reservoir for HIV-1 in resting CD4+ T cells.
Our laboratory characterized the different forms of HIV-1 that persist in patients on ART. Currently, we are searching for and evaluating drugs that target the latent reservoir. We are also developing assays that can be used to monitor the elimination of this reservoir. We are also interested in the basic pharmacodynamic principles that explain how antiretroviral drugs work. We have recently discovered why certain classes of antiretroviral drugs are so effective at inhibiting viral replication. We are using this discovery along w...ith experimental and computational approaches to develop improved therapies for HIV-1 infection and to understand and prevent drug resistance. Finally, we are studying the immunology of HIV-1 infection, and in particular, the ability of some patients to control the infection without ART. view less
Sean Leng Lab
The Sean Leng Lab studies the biology of healthy aging. Specific projects focus on chronic inflammation in late-life decline; immunosenescence and its relationship to the basic biological and physiological changes related to aging and frailty in the human immune system; and T-cell repertoire analysis.
Sean T. Prigge Lab
Current research in the Sean T. Prigge Lab explores the biochemical pathways found in the apicoplast, an essential organelle found in malaria parasites, using a combination of cell biology and genetic, biophysical and biochemical techniques. We are particularly focused on the pathways used for the biosynthesis and modification of fatty acids and associated enzyme cofactors, including pantothenate, lipoic acid, biotin and iron-sulfur clusters. We want to better understand how the cofactors are acquired and used, and whether they are essential for the growth of blood-stage malaria parasites.
The Soloski Lab works to understand how infection can lead to the development of chronic immune-mediated diseases. Our lab studies the role of cellular immune response in controlling infection with gram-negative bacterial pathogens, such as Salmonella typhimurium. Our work has recently focused on the role of the intestinal mucosal immune compartment in controlling oral infection. This effort has identified a new unrecognized subset of T cells residing within the epithelial barrier that expands following infection. Current efforts concentrate on understanding the recognition properties and effector function of this T cell subset and determining if an analogous population exists in the human mucosa. We also strive to understand the human host immune response to infection with Borrelia burgdorfer, the causative agent of Lyme disease.
Chronic viral hepatitis (due to HBV and HCV) is a major cause of liver disease worldwide, and an increasing cause of death in persons living with HIV/AIDS. Our laboratory studies are aimed at better defining the host-pathogen interactions in these infections, with particular focus on humoral and cellular immune responses, viral evasion, inflammation, fibrosis progression, and drug resistance. We are engaged in synthetic biology approaches to rational vaccine development and understanding the limits on the extraordinary genetic variability of HCV.
Suzanne Topalian Lab
Our lab currently focuses on three areas of immunotherapy research: gaining a deeper knowledge of the biological underpinnings of human autoimmune response; discovering biomarkers that will help us identify which patients and tumor types are most likely to respond to various immune therapies; and developing immune-based treatment combinations that could deliver a more powerful anti-tumor response than monotherapies.
The Cihakova research laboratory is an immunology laboratory dedicated to the investigation of autoimmune diseases. Our most active research is focused on myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy. We expanded our interest in inflammatory heart diseases to include the study of immune mechanisms driving pericarditis and myocardial infarction. In addition, we are interested in the pathogenesis of a broad range of autoimmune diseases such as, Sjogren's syndrome, congenital complete heart block, and APECED (autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy). Through several collaborative projects we also investigate rheumatoid arthritis and the immune components of schizophrenia.
We are devoted to developing and deploying cutting edge technologies that can be used to define human immune responses. Much of our work leverages ‘next generation’ DNA sequencing, which enables massively parallel molecular measurements. Examples of our technologies include:
- bacteriophage display of synthetic peptidome libraries for comprehensive, quantitative profiling of antibodies;
- display of ORFeome libraries for antigen discovery, protein-protein interaction studies, and drug target identification;
- ultrasensitive, multiplex RNA quantification techniques to monitor gene expression and detect microbes;
- pooled genetic screening to elucidate immune cell function and identify new therapeutic targets.
The Larman Laboratory uses these and other approaches to identify opportunities for monitoring and manipulating immune responses.