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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.
We are interested in how immune responses occur in the cervix. The focus of our translational research is on developing immune therapies for disease caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV infection causes more cancers than any other virus in the world. Cervical cancer is the most common cancer caused by HPV, and although we have known how to screen for it for over half a century, it remains the second most common cause of cancer death in women. Although the preventive vaccines are a public health milestone, they prevent HPV infections, but are not designed to make immune responses to treat HPV. We are testing different strategies to make immune responses that could treat HPV disease. Our dedicated researchers are working to extend the techniques used in HPV vaccine development to the creation of vaccines targeting other cancers with defined tumor antigens.
Dr. Parikh's research focuses on the translation and validation of novel biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of acute kidney injury. Progress in kidney diseases has been hamstrung by significant heterogeneity within the current disease definitions, which are largely based on serum creatinine. Dr. Parikh's research has addressed this critical challenge by developing biomarkers of renal tubular injury, repair, and inflammation to dissect this heterogeneity. He has assembled multicenter longitudinal prospective cohorts for translational research studies across several clinical settings of acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease for the efficient translation of novel biomarkers.
His research is dedicated to the process of applying discoveries generated in the laboratory and in preclinical experiments, the development of clinical studies, and the design of clinical trials. Dr. Parikh's studies have refined the clinical definition in perioperative acute kidney injury and hep...atorenal syndrome, developed strategies to reduce kidney discard in deceased donor transplantation, and advanced regulatory approvals of kidney injury biomarkers. He has also developed biomarkers to identify rapid progressors of early diabetic kidney disease before derangements in serum creatinine. Dr. Parikh's research goal is to translate our understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms into clinical practice and improve the outcomes in patients with kidney disease.
Dr. Parikh has also been the recipient of numerous honors, including the 2017 Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Nephrology. view more
Christine Durand Lab
Dr. Christine Durand, assistant professor of medicine and oncology and member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, is involved in clinical and translational research focused on individuals infected with HIV and hepatitis C virus who require cancer and transplant therapies. Her current research efforts include looking at outcomes of hepatitis C treatment after solid organ transplant, the potential use of organs from HIV-infected donors for HIV-infected solid organ transplant candidates, and HIV cure strategies including bone marrow transplantation.
Dr. Durand is supported by multiple grants:
• R01 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to study HIV-to-HIV organ transplantation in the US.
• K23 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to study antiretroviral therapy during bone marrow transplant in HIV-1 infection.
• U01 from the NIAID to study HIV-to-HIV deceased donor kidney transplantation.
U01 from the NIAID to study HIV-to-HIV deceased ...donor liver transplantation. view more
Work in the Christopher Chute Lab involves the management of clinical data to enable effective evidence-based clinical practice and translational research. Recently, we developed an EHR-based genetic testing knowledge base to be integrated into the genetic testing ontology (GTO) and identified potential barriers to pharmacogenomics clinical decision support (CDS) implementation.
The goal of the lab's research is to identify molecular abnormalities that can improve the outcome of patients with pancreatic cancer and those at risk of developing this disease. Much of our work is focused on translational research evaluating markers and marker technologies that can help screen patients with an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Thus, marker efforts have been focused mostly on identifying markers of advanced precancerous neoplasia (PanINs and IPMNs) that could improve our ability to effectively screen patients at risk of developing pancreatic cancer. We lead or participate in a number of clinical research protocols involved in the screening and early detection of pancreatic neoplasia including the CAPS clinical trials. We maintain a large repository of specimens from cases and controls with and without pancreatic disease and use this repository to investigate candidate markers of pancreatic cancer for their utility to predict pancreatic cancer risk.
In addition, we have been working to identify familial pancreatic cancer susceptibility genes and identified BRCA2 as a pancreatic cancer susceptibility gene in 1996. We participate in the PACGENE consortium and the familial pancreatic cancer sequencing initiative. My lab also investigates pancreatic cancer genetics, epigenetics, molecular pathology, tumor stromal interactions and functional analysis of candidate genes and miRNAs. Dr. Goggins is the principal investigator of a phase I/II clinical trial evaluating the Parp inhibitor, olaparib along with irinotecan and cisplatin for patients with pancreatic cancer. view more
The mission of the Elisseeff Lab is to engineer technologies to repair lost tissues. We aim to bridge academic research and technology discovery to treat patients and address clinically relevant challenges related to tissue engineering. To accomplish this goal we are developing and enabling materials, studying biomaterial structure-function relationships and investigating mechanisms of tissue development to practically rebuild tissues. The general approach of tissue engineering is to place cells on a biomaterial scaffold that is designed to provide the appropriate signals to promote tissue development and ultimately restore normal tissue function in vivo. Understanding mechanisms of cellular interactions (both cell-cell and cell-material) and tissue development on scaffolds is critical to advancement of the field, particularly in applications employing stem cells. Translation of technologies to tissue-specific sites and diseased environments is key to better design, understanding, and... ultimately efficacy of tissue repair strategies. We desire to translate clinically practical strategies, in the form of biomaterials/medical devices, to guide and enhance the body's natural capacity for repair. To accomplish the interdisciplinary challenge of regenerative medicine research, we maintain a synergistic balance of basic and applied/translational research. view less
GI Early Detection Biomarkers Lab
Dr. Meltzer is an internationally renowned leader in the molecular pathobiology of gastrointestinal malignancy and premalignancy. He invented molecular methods to detect loss of heterozygosity in tiny biopsies, triggering an avalanche of research on precancerous lesions. He was the first to comprehensively study coding region microsatellite instability, leading to the identification of several important tumor suppressor genes. He performed several groundbreaking genomic, epigenomic and bioinformatic studies of esophageal and colonic neoplasms, shifting the GI research paradigm toward genome-wide approaches. He directed an ambitious nationwide validation study of DNA methylation-based biomarkers for the prediction of neoplastic progression in Barrett’s esophagus.
Dr. Meltzer founded and led the Aerodigestive Cancer and Biomarker Interdisciplinary Programs at the University of Maryland, also becoming associate director for core sciences at that school’s Cancer Center. He currently hol...ds an endowed professorship and is the director of GI biomarker research at Johns Hopkins.
The laboratory group focuses its efforts on the molecular genetics of gastrointestinal cancers and premalignant lesions, as well as on translational research to improve early detection, prognostic evaluation, and treatment of these conditions. Below, some examples of this work are described. view less
Investigators in the IBD and Autoimmune Liver Diseases Laboratory conduct basic and translational research in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and autoimmune liver diseases. One area of focus is discovering and developing biomarkers for diagnosing and prognosticating IBD and other autoimmune liver diseases (AILDs). We also are exploring the molecular pathogenesis of—and developing novel therapies for—IBD. In addition, we are working to understand the molecular reason why many IBD patients fail to respond to mainstay drug therapies—and to develop diagnostic assays that can predict non-responders before starting them on those therapies. These biomarker studies have led to our application for four U.S. and international patents.
The Ivan Borrello Lab focuses on the development of a novel approach of adoptive T cell therapy utilizing marrow-infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs) as a more tumor-specific T cell approach. This has led to establishing the first adoptive T cell trials at Johns Hopkins and an exploration of this approach in other diseases, including nonhematologic malignancies. The lab also examines strategies for treating minimal residual disease (MRD) in myeloma with the combination of immune modulation and whole cell-based vaccines.
Jean Kim Lab
The Jean Kim Laboratory performs translational research in the
area of chronic rhinosinusitis, with a niche interest in the pathogenesis of hyperplastic nasal
polyposis. Studies encompass clinical research to basic wet laboratory research in
studying the underlying immune and autoimmune mediated mechanism of polyp growth and
perpetuation of disease. Human cell and tissue culture models are used. Techniques in the
laboratory include cell and tissue culture, real time PCR, immunoblot, ELISA, flow cytometry,
immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, gene array analysis, and other molecular
approaches including genetic knockdowns. Approaches used in Dr. Kim’s clinical study
designs include prospective and retrospective analysis of patient outcomes and clinical
biomarkers, as wells controlled clinical trials.
Johns Hopkins Evidence-Based Practice Center
The Johns Hopkins Evidence-Based Practice Center conducts comprehensive, systematic reviews of important medical topics using interdisciplinary teams that integrate clinical expertise in evidence-based methods, including meta-analysis, decision analysis, benefit-harms analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis.
Kathryn Carson Lab
The Kathryn Carson Lab investigates ways to improve medical research, particularly in the areas of brain and thyroid cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, hypertension, HIV and lupus. Our team seeks to help researchers optimize their studies through better study design, protocol and grant writing, data cleaning and analysis, and publication writing. We work with investigators from a wide range of departments through the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.
Kayode Williams Lab
The Kayode Williams Lab conducts translational research on neuromodulation. We primarily examine the mechanisms and efficacy of spinal cord stimulation in treating neuropathic pain, peripheral neuropathies and peripheral vascular disease. Our clinical trials explore spinal cord stimulation in the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy and the treatment of critical non-reconstructible critical leg ischemia. We also have a longstanding interest in the business of medicine and seek to enhance value propositions for hospitals and physician groups through more effective management of resources.
Zheng’s research focuses on two R01-funded projects; first, the group has developed a pancreatic cancer immunotherapy research program on a neoadjuvant therapy platform as well as a number of preclinical models of pancreatic cancer for developing innovative immunotherapy strategies. The group has applied the knowledge gained from pancreatic cancer immune-based therapies to the development of a colorectal cancer GVAX vaccine. Second, the group is aimed at understanding the mechanistic roles of the tumor microenvironment in cancer development and metastasis and identifying new targets for pancreatic cancer therapies by dissecting the tumor microenvironment of pancreatic cancer.
Li Gao Lab
The Li Gao Lab researches functional genomics, molecular genetics and epigenetics of complex cardiopulmonary and allergic diseases, with a focus on translational research applying fundamental genetic insight into the clinical setting. Current research includes implementation of high-throughput technologies in the fields of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), massively parallel sequencing, gene expression analysis, epigenetic mapping and integrative genomics in ongoing research of complex lung diseases and allergic diseases including asthma, atopic dermatitis (AD), pulmonary arterial hypertension, COPD, sepsis and acute lung injury/ARDS; and epigenetic contributions to pulmonary arterial hypertension associated with systemic sclerosis.
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
Nicholas Rowan Lab
Dr. Rowan is actively involved in both outcomes and translational research relating to chronic rhinosinusitis and endoscopic skull base surgery. He has a keen interest patient-reported quality of life outcomes as well as those that pertain to smell and taste. Dr. Rowan is also involved in sinus-related clinical trials, pursuing new medical therapies and technological advancements for the treatment of patients with chronic rhinosinusitis.
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 less