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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.
Michael B. Streiff Lab
The Michael B. Streiff Lab conducts clinical and laboratory research of thrombophilia associated with malignancy. We are interested in the application of novel coagulation assays to explore the pathogenesis of thrombosis and the development of strategies to enhance the clinical management of anti-thrombotic agents.
Our laboratory conducts basic and translational research aimed at better understanding the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and the role of the immune system in CNS disease, particularly the processes that drive progressive disability such as neurodegeneration and remyelination failure. We currently have three parallel research programs: 1. Metabolism as a modulator of MS: We are studying how basic metabolic pathways regulate the immune system and how these pathways might be exploited to protect neurons and myelin-forming oligodendrocytes from injury. 2. Identifying pathways by which nitric oxide (NO) and other free radicals cause neuronal and axonal damage. Our lab is identifying specific signaling pathways initiated by NO and other free radicals that can be targeted by drugs to produce neuroprotection. 3. Modulating the innate immune system in MS: In collaboration with others at Johns Hopkins, we are studying ways to enhance the reparative functions of microglia while preventi...ng maladaptive responses. This work has identified bryostatin-1 as a potential drug that may be re-purposed for this task. view more
Mohamed Atta Lab
Dr. Atta and his research team explore the epidemiological and clinical interventions of a variety of kidney diseases. Our goal is not only to advance the understanding of many kidney diseases but also to capitalize on novel discoveries of basic science to treat a wide range of rare and common kidney disorders.
- Multi-international observational study of a rare form of amyloid (LECT2 amyloid) to understand its natural history with the ultimate interest of treating this condition.
- Our group has launched a project investigating the impact of COVID19 on the kidney to identify risk factors influencing outcome across different clinical phenotypes
- In collaboration with the Division of Infectious Diseases and the School of Public Health, our research has focused on the epidemiology of HIV and kidney disease. We also study clinical markers and contributing factors in the progression of kidney disease, and the association between kidney disease and h...eart disease.
- Our research group is participating in a multicenter consortium serving as a clinical core site to study the pathogenesis of HIV-associated kidney disease by providing well-characterized clinical specimens and corresponding clinical and laboratory data.
The research activities of the Neuroimmunopathology Laboratory focus on studies of immunological and molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders. Our main areas of research include studies of neurological complications of HIV infection and AIDS, multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, autism and epilepsy. We seek to explore and identify immunopathological mechanisms associated with neurological disease that may be the target of potential therapeutic interventions. The laboratory collaborates with other researchers and laboratories at Johns Hopkins and other institutions in projects related with studies of the interaction between the immune and central nervous systems in pathological processes leading to neurological dysfunction.
Research in the Nicola Heller Lab focuses on the immunobiology of macrophages. Our team explores how these cells impact diseases with an inflammatory element, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Using a variety of techniques, including molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, mouse models and more, we study the role of IL-4/IL-13 signaling in asthma and allergic disease, as well as the role of alternatively activated macrophages (AAM) in the pathogenesis of allergic inflammation. Currently, we are researching the links between asthma and obesity, with a focus on the roles of gender and race.
The Philip Wong Lab seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms and identification of new therapeutic targets of neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer's disease (AD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Taking advantage of discoveries of genes linked to these diseases (mutant APP and PS in familial AD and mutant SOD1, dynactin p150glued ALS4and ALS2 in familial ALS), our laboratory is taking a molecular/cellular approach, including transgenic, gene targeting and RNAi strategies in mice, to develop models that facilitate our understanding of pathogenesis of disease and the identification and validation of novel targets for mechanism-based therapeutics. Significantly, these mouse models are instrumental for study of disease mechanisms, as well as for design and testing of therapeutic strategies for AD and ALS.
The Post Lab is involved in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), a collaborative study of the characteristics of subclinical cardiovascular disease (that is, disease detected non-invasively before it has produced clinical signs and symptoms) and the risk factors that predict progression to clinically overt cardiovascular disease or progression of the subclinical disease.
As MESA researchers, we study a diverse, population-based sample of 6,814 asymptomatic men and women aged 45-84. Approximately 38 percent of the recruited participants are white, 28 percent African-American, 22 percent Hispanic, and 12 percent Asian, predominantly of Chinese descent.
Participants were recruited from six field centers across the United States, including Johns Hopkins University. Each participant received an extensive physical exam to determine a number of conditions, including coronary calcification, ventricular mass and function, flow-mediated endothelial vasodilation, standard coron...ary risk factors, sociodemographic factors, lifestyle factors, and psychosocial factors.
Selected repetition of subclinical disease measures and risk factors at follow-up visits have allowed study of the progression of disease. Participants are being followed for identification and characterization of cardiovascular disease events, including acute myocardial infarction and other forms of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and congestive heart failure; for cardiovascular disease interventions; and for mortality.
Wendy S. Post, MD, MS, is an associate faculty, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, Johns Hopkins University, and a professor of medicine. view more
The Retinal Cell and Molecular Laboratory has three major areas of interest, each of which deals with some aspect of growth factor signaling and function in the retina and retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE): 1. Investigations aimed at gaining a better understanding of the pathogenesis of retinal and choroidal neovascularization and developing new ways to treat them.
2. Investigations aimed at understanding the molecular signals involved in retinal and RPE wound repair and scarring. The prototypical disease in this category is proliferative vitreoretinopathy and our laboratory is seeking to identify new treatments for it. 3. Investigations aimed at understanding why retinal degenerations occur and how they might be treated, with particular emphasis on neurotrophic factors.
Research in the Retrovirus Laboratory focuses on the molecular virology and pathogenesis of lentivirus infections. In particular, we study the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) to determine the molecular basis for the development of HIV CNS, pulmonary and cardiac disease.
Research projects include studies of viral molecular genetics and host cell genes and proteins involved in the pathogenesis of disease. We are also interested in studies of lentivirus replication in macrophages and astrocytes and their role in the development of disease. These studies have led us to identify the viral genes that are important in neurovirulence of SIV and the development of CNS disease including NEF and the TM portion of ENV. The mechanisms of the action of these proteins in the CNS are complex and are under investigation. We have also developed a rapid, consistent SIV/macaque model in which we can test the ability of various antiviral and neuroprotective agents to reduce the severity of CNS and ...pulmonary disease. view more
Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology
Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus are found in association with a variety of cancers. Our laboratory studies are aimed at better defining the role(s) of the virus in the pathogenesis of these diseases and the development of strategies to prevent, diagnose or treat them. We have become particularly interested in the unfolded protein response in activation of latent viral infection. Among the notions that we are exploring is the possibility that activation of virus-encoded enzymes will allow the targeted delivery of radation. In addition, we are investigating a variety of virus-related biomarkers including viral DNA, antibody responses, and cytokine measurements that may be clinically relevant.
Our research laboratory is staffed by a dedicated and experienced team of sleep scientists, fellows, technicians, engineers, and students. Currently, we are focused on the following areas:
-Novel treatments for sleep apnea using electrical and nerve stimulation and chemogenetic techniques
-Cardiovascular and metabolic effects of sleep apnea and hypoxia
-Leptin and its impact on breathing and cardiovascular physiology
-Sleep disordered breathing at high altitude
-Dietary impacts on asthma
The Stivers Lab is broadly interested in the biology of the RNA base uracil when it is present in DNA. Our work involves structural and biophysical studies of uracil recognition by DNA repair enzymes, the central role of uracil in adapative and innate immunity, and the function of uracil in antifolate and fluoropyrimidine chemotherapy. We use a wide breadth of structural, chemical, genetic and biophysical approaches that provide a fundamental understanding of molecular function. Our long-range goal is to use this understanding to design novel small molecules that alter biological pathways within a cellular environment. One approach we are developing is the high-throughput synthesis and screening of small molecule libraries directed at important targets in cancer and HIV-1 pathogenesis.
Susheel Patil Lab
Research in the Susheel Patil Lab focuses on the origination and development obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Specifically, we’re interested in how obesity, adipokines and inflammation affect mechanisms that contribute to upper airway collapsibility. We’ve studied various patient groups affected by OSA, including patients who've had bariatric surgery, are HIV-infected or have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Tamara O'Connor Lab
The O'Connor Lab studies the molecular basis of infectious disease using Legionella pneumophila pathogenesis as a model system.
We are looking at the network of molecular interactions acting at the host-pathogen interface. Specifically, we use L. pneumophila pathogenesis to examine the numerous mechanisms by which an intracellular bacterial pathogen can establish infection, how it exploits host cell machinery to accomplish this, and how individual proteins and their component pathways coordinately contribute to disease.
We are also studying the role of environmental hosts in the evolution of human pathogens. Using genetics and functional genomics, we compare and contrast the repertoires of virulence proteins required for growth in a broad assortment of hosts, how the network of molecular interactions differs between hosts, and the mechanisms by which L. pneumophila copes with this variation.
The Ted Dawson Laboratory uses genetic, cell biological and biochemical approaches to explore the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) and other neurologic disorders. We also investigate several discrete mechanisms involved in cell death, including the role of nitric oxide as an endogenous messenger, the function of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 and apoptosis inducing factor in cell death, and how endogenous cell survival mechanisms protect neurons from death.
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.
David Hackam’s laboratory focuses on necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a devastating disease of premature infants and the leading cause of death and disability from gastrointestinal disease in newborns.
The disease strikes acutely and without warning, causing sudden death of the small and large intestines. In severe cases, tiny patients with the disease are either dying or dead from overwhelming sepsis within 24 hours. Surgical treatment to remove most of the affected gut results in lifelong short gut (short bowel) syndrome.
The Hackam Lab has identified a critical role for the innate immune receptor toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis. The lab has shown that TLR4 regulates the development of the disease by tipping the balance between injury and repair in the stressed intestine of the premature infant. Developing an Artificial Intestine A key goal is to create, in the laboratory, new intestines made from patients’ own cells, which can then ...be implanted into the patient to restore normal digestive function. This innovative design could transform child development and quality of life in necrotizing enterocolitis survivors without the risks of conventional donor transplant. view more
The mission of the Transplant and Oncology Infectious Diseases (TOID) Center is to expand institutional expertise in clinical and academic activities focused on infectious complications in transplant (solid organ and stem cell) and oncology patients at Johns Hopkins medical institutions. Key efforts include developing standardized algorithms for the prevention and treatment of infections in these vulnerable patients and to establish an expanded infrastructure to facilitate clinical and translational studies at TOID. Current research projects focus on diagnostics for invasive fungal infections and specialized studies of the pathogenesis of candidiasis and aspergillosis.