The Allan Gelber Lab conducts research on the clinical epidemiology of rheumatic disorders. Our recent studies have explored topics that include the predicting factors of prevalent and incident gout; cardiovascular disease burden and risk in patients with rheumatoid arthritis; autoantibodies in both primary and secondary SjogrenÕs syndrome; and predictors of outcomes in patients with scleroderma. In addition, we have a long-standing interest in the ways in which racial differences affect disease manifestations in relation to rheumatic disorders.
Research in the David S. Cooper Lab focuses primarily on hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer. Topics of recent published studies include the NTCTCS staging systems for differentiated thyroid cancer, radioiodine remnant ablation in low-risk differentiated thyroid cancer, and the link between race/ethnicity and the prevalence of thyrotoxicosis in young Americans.
The Debra Roter Lab focuses on patient-provider communication. Our work includes basic social psychology studies of communication dynamics and interpersonal influence; studies of health education and services; clinical investigation of patient and physician interventions aimed at enhancing communication quality and its positive impact on patient outcomes; and educational applications for training and evaluating teaching strategies to improve physician communication skills. We have recently examined links between the ethnicities and genders of patients and physicians and their communication styles and care outcomes.
Research in the Kimberly Skarupski Lab focuses on depression, geriatric medicine, psychiatry and the behavioral sciences. Recent studies have investigated various aspects of cognitive decline in biracial older adult and urban older adult community-based populations. Additional studies have investigated depression symptoms, disability and worship practices in older adults, with particular attention to racial disparities in these areas.
The Lisa Cooper Lab is dedicated to researching patient-centered interventions for improving health outcomes and overcoming racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Our primary focus is on the factors of physician communication skills and cultural competence training, patient shared decision-making and self-management skills training. Recently, we have explored patient-centered depression care for African Americans, tactics for improving patient-physician communication about management of hypertension, and reducing ethnic and social disparities in health. In addition, we are currently researching racial disparities in cardiovascular health outcomes for patients living in Baltimore.
Research in the Meredith McCormack Lab deals primarily with pulmonary diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and the role of environmental exposures in lung diseases. We have researched the factors that contribute to inner-city asthma, with a focus on how particulate matter air pollution impacts pulmonary function. We are also part of the LIBERATE clinical study, which is focused on patients who experience difficulty breathing and have been diagnosed with severe emphysema. We also have a longstanding interest in the effects of race/ethnicity, poverty and urbanization on nutrition and food allergies.
The Michael Klag Lab focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Our research determined that the U.S. was experiencing an epidemic of end-stage kidney disease, pinpointed the incidence of kidney disease and published scholarship on risk factors for kidney disease such as race, diabetes and socioeconomic status. Our Precursors Study has shown that serum cholesterol measured at age 22 years is a predictor for midlife cardiovascular disease, a finding that has influenced policy about cholesterol screening in young adults. We also research health behaviors that lead to hypertension and study how differences in these behaviors affect urban and non-urban populations.
The Nae-Yuh Wang Lab concentrates on a wide range of multicenter studies and randomized controlled trials. Recent studies have focused on pediatric cochlear implantation and longitudinal data analysis. One recent study found that partnering with primary care providers to deliver weight loss programs may promote greater participant satisfaction and weight loss. Another active study is assessing the effectiveness of promising interventions to reduce race disparities in live donor kidney transplantation.
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 Bigos Lab focuses on a Precision Medicine approach to the treatment of psychiatric illness. In addition, this lab employs functional neuroimaging and genetics as biomarkers in neuropsychiatric drug development. A recent study used functional MRI to test the neural effects of a drug with the potential to treat cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. Other studies aim to identify patient-specific variables including sex, race, and genetics that impact drug clearance and clinical response to better select and dose antipsychotics and antidepressants.