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The C. Kwon Lab studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing heart generation and regeneration.
The limited regenerative capacity of the heart is a major factor in morbidity and mortality rates: Heart malformation is the most frequent form of human birth defects, and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Cardiovascular progenitor cells hold tremendous therapeutic potential due to their unique ability to expand and differentiate into various heart cell types.
Our laboratory seeks to understand the fundamental biology and regenerative potential of multi-potent cardiac progenitor cells – building blocks used to form the heart during fetal development — by deciphering the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control their induction, maintenance, and differentiation. We are also interested in elucidating the maturation event of heart muscle cells, an essential process to generate adult cardiomyocytes, which occurs after terminal differentiation ...of the progenitor cells. We believe this knowledge will contribute to our understanding of congenital and adult heart disease and be instrumental for stem cell-based heart regeneration.
We have developed several novel approaches to deconstruct the mechanisms, including the use of animal models and pluripotent stem cell systems. We expect this knowledge will help us better understand heart disease and will be instrumental for stem-cell-based disease modeling and interventions for of heart repair.
Dr. Chulan Kwon is an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University Heart and Vascular Institute. view more
Research in the Elizabeth Tucker Lab aims to find treatments that decrease neuroinflammation and improve recovery, as well as to improve morbidity and mortality in patients with infectious neurological diseases. We are currently working with Drs. Sujatha Kannan and Sanjay Jain to study neuroinflammation related to central nervous system tuberculosis – using an animal model to examine the role of neuroinflammation in this disease and how it can differ in developing brains and adult brains. Our team also is working with Dr. Jain to study noninvasive imaging techniques for use in monitoring disease progression and evaluating treatment responses.
The Hoffmann Lab is focused on reducing TB and HIV morbidity and mortality in the low and middle income settings through behavioral and implementation science approaches. Work has focused on understanding individual-level behavior towards linkage to care and continued care engagement for HIV and TB and using this knowledge to develop approaches to increase HIV testing, linkage to care, HIV viral load suppression, and retention in care. Other work has focused on health system strategies to improve service delivery and improve adherence to best practice to guidelines-based care. The group's research includes work on the general population, corrections inmates and ex-inmates, men at risk for HIV, and recently hospitalized individuals. Most of the research has been in South Africa and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa.
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 more
Spinal Oncology Lab
The bony skeleton is one of the most common sites of metastatic spread of cancer and a significant source of morbidity in cancer patients, causing pain and pathological fracture, impaired ambulatory ability and poorer quality of life.
In our continuous investigation of the mechanism of metastasis in spine tumors and of developing animal models and treatments, our team seeks to understand how cancer cells metastasize to the bony spine.
Our laboratory develops novel techniques to evaluate our animal models of metastatic spine disease.
The Ramanathan Lab
Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a leading cause of morbidity globally and is the single most common self-reported chronic health condition and accounts for billions of dollars in health care costs and lost work days annually. Exposure to air pollutants is thought to be a critical modifier of CRS susceptibility. Despite marked reductions in air pollution levels in the United States, the fine particulate component of air pollution (PM2.5) and ultrafine pollutants secondary to traffic continue to remain a recalcitrant issue globally and in the United States. The Ramanathan Lab focuses on studying the role of air pollution (PM2.5) in CRS. In collaboration with scientists at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, we have utilized a state of the art air pollution exposure system to develop a novel mouse model of air pollution induced rhinosinusitis that mimics many of the features of CRS in humans. Our lab uses transgenic mouse models and novel immunologic/genomic techniques to study the mec...hanisms by which PM2.5 causes eosinophilic inflammation and sinonasal epithelial barrier dysfunction. We are also interested in the role of the antioxidant transcription factor, Nrf2, which has shown to stabilize the epithelial barrier and reduce eosinophilia in PM induced rhinosinusitis as a potential therapeutic target. view more