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The research in the Kecken Zhang Laboratory is focused on theoretical and computational neuroscience. We use mathematical analysis and computer simulations to study the nervous system at multiple levels, from realistic biophysical models to simplified neuronal networks. Several of our current research projects involve close collaborations with experimental neuroscience laboratories.
Michael A. Rosen Lab
Research in the Michael A. Rosen Lab primarily focuses on patient safety and simulation-based health care training and technology. Recent work provided examples of how human factors experts can collaborate with health care professionals and simulationists (experts in the design and implementation of simulation) to use contemporary simulation to improve health care delivery. Another recent study examined the anesthesia practice at two tertiary care hospitals in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where anesthesia is associated with high mortality rates. We identified gaps in the application of internationally recommended anesthesia practices at both hospitals, likely caused by lack of available resources.
Work in the Nicole Shilkofski Lab aims to improve patient safety in critical care settings, with a focus on resuscitation scenarios. Our research is conducted as part of the research group of the Johns Hopkins Medical Simulation Center. We investigate the communication and functionality of teams during medical crisis situations. As part of those efforts, we are designing a web-based curriculum to teach pediatric resuscitation through mannequin simulation and computer-based simulation techniques.
The O’Rourke Lab uses an integrated approach to study the biophysics and physiology of cardiac cells in normal and diseased states.
Research in our lab has incorporated mitochondrial energetics, Ca2+ dynamics, and electrophysiology to provide tools for studying how defective function of one component of the cell can lead to catastrophic effects on whole cell and whole organ function. By understanding the links between Ca2+, electrical excitability and energy production, we hope to understand the cellular basis of cardiac arrhythmias, ischemia-reperfusion injury, and sudden death.
We use state-of-the-art techniques, including single-channel and whole-cell patch clamp, microfluorimetry, conventional and two-photon fluorescence imaging, and molecular biology to study the structure and function of single proteins to the intact muscle. Experimental results are compared with simulations of computational models in order to understand the findings in the context of the system as a whole....
Ongoing studies in our lab are focused on identifying the specific molecular targets modified by oxidative or ischemic stress and how they affect mitochondrial and whole heart function.
The motivation for all of the work is to understand
• how the molecular details of the heart cell work together to maintain function and
• how the synchronization of the parts can go wrong
Rational strategies can then be devised to correct dysfunction during the progression of disease through a comprehensive understanding of basic mechanisms.
Brian O’Rourke, PhD, is a professor in the Division of Cardiology and Vice Chair of Basic and Translational Research, Department of Medicine, at the Johns Hopkins University. view more