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The overall goal of the Auditory Brainstem Library is to understand how abnormal auditory input from the ear affects the brainstem, and how the brain in turn affects activity in the ear through efferent feedback loops. Our emphasis is on understanding the effects of different forms of acquired hearing loss (genetic, conductive, noise-induced, age-related, traumatic brain injury-related) and environmental noise. We are particularly interested in plastic changes in the brain that compensate for some aspects of altered auditory input, and how those changes relate to central auditory processing deficits, tinnitus, and hyperacusis. Understanding these changes will help refine therapeutic strategies and identify new targets for treatment. We collaborate with other labs in the Depts. of Otolaryngology, Neuroscience, Neuropathology, the Wilmer Eye Institute, and the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins, in addition to labs outside the university to increase the impact and clinical relev...ance of our research. view more
Research in the Bakker Memory Laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanisms and brain networks underlying human cognition with a specific focus on the mechanisms underlying learning and memory and the changes in memory that occur with aging and disease. We use a variety of techniques including neuropsychological assessments, experimental behavioral assessments and particularly advanced neuroimaging methods to study these questions in young and older adults and patients with mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
Through our collaborations with investigators in both basic science and clinical departments, including the departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Neurology and Public Health, our research also focuses on brain systems involved in spatial navigation and decision-making as well as cognitive impairment in neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, eating disorders, obsessiv...e-compulsive disorders, depression and anxiety. view more
Mitochondrial dysfunction has long been a consistent observation in Parkinson's disease. To understand the consequences of Parkinson's disease causing genetic mutations on the function of mitochondria, the Bioenergetics Core B will provide the following analyses to the projects in the Udall Center at Johns Hopkins: (1) Measuring rates of respiration, oxygen consumption and ATP generation, (2) Measuring calcium dynamics, (3) Measuring reactive oxygen and reactive nitrogen species, (4) Measuring the activity of the electron transport chain enzymes and metabolic enzymes, and (5) Measuring plasma versus mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial membrane permeability
The Brain Science Institute (BSi) brings together both basic and clinical neuroscientists from across the Johns Hopkins campuses. The BSi represents one of the largest and most diverse groups in the university. The BSi's mission is to solve fundamental questions about brain development and function and to use these insights to understand the mechanisms of brain disease. This new knowledge will provide the catalyst for the facilitation and development of effective therapies. The goals of our research are to foster new programs in basic neuroscience discovery; initiate a translational research program that will develop new treatments for brain-based diseases; and encourage collaboration, interdisciplinary teams, and new thinking that will have a global influence on research and treatment of the nervous system.
C. David Mintz Lab
Researchers in the C. David Mintz Lab seek to better understand the specific methods by which anesthesia can impair a patient’s brain development. Recent studies have investigated the ways in which anesthetics interfere with axon guidance in developing mouse neocortical neurons via a GABAA receptor mechanism, as well as the method by which anesthetics interfere with the polarization of developing cortical neurons.
Donald Shaffner Lab
Work in the Donald Shaffner Lab investigates several topics within critical care medicine. Our team conducts research on the mechanisms involved in neurologic injury from global ischemia as a result of cardiac arrest and resuscitation. We also study neurologic outcomes of pediatric patients who experience cardiac arrest.
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
Dr. Haughey directs a disease-oriented research program that address questions in basic neurobiology, and clinical neurology. The primary research interests of the laboratory are:
1. To identify biomarkers markers for neurodegenerative diseases including HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. In these studies, blood and cerebral spinal fluid samples obtained from ongoing clinical studies are analyzed for metabolic profiles through a variety of biochemical, mass spectrometry and bioinformatic techniques. These biomarkers can then be used in the diagnosis of disease, as prognostic indicators to predict disease trajectory, or as surrogate markers to track the effectiveness of disease modifying interventions.
2. To better understand how the lipid components of neuronal, and glial membranes interact with proteins to regulate signal transduction associated with differentiation, motility, inflammatory signaling, survival, and neuronal excitab...ility.
3. To understand how extracellular vesicles (exosomes) released from brain resident cells regulate neuronal excitability, neural network activity, and peripheral immune responses to central nervous system damage and infections.
4. To develop small molecule therapeutics that regulate lipid metabolism as a neuroprotective and restorative strategy for neurodegenerative conditions. view more
Healthy Brain Program
The Brain Health Program is a multidisciplinary team of faculty from the departments of neurology, psychiatry, epidemiology, and radiology lead by Leah Rubin and Jennifer Coughlin. In the hope of revealing new directions for therapies, the group studies molecular biomarkers identified from tissue and brain imaging that are associated with memory problems related to HIV infection, aging, dementia, mental illness and traumatic brain injury. The team seeks to advance policies and practices to optimize brain health in vulnerable populations while destigmatizing these brain disorders.
Current and future projects include research on: the roles of the stress response, glucocorticoids, and inflammation in conditions that affect memory and the related factors that make people protected or or vulnerable to memory decline; new mobile apps that use iPads to improve our detection of memory deficits; clinical trials looking at short-term effects of low dose hydrocortisone and randomized to 28 day...s of treatment; imaging brain injury and repair in NFL players to guide players and the game; and the role of inflammation in memory deterioration in healthy aging, patients with HIV, and other neurodegenerative conditions. view more