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  • Head and Neck Cancer Clinical Trials and Tissue Bank

    The Johns Hopkins Head and Neck Cancer Tissue Bank enrolls patients and collects research speci...mens from Head and Neck Tumor patients, both cancerous and benign, with particular focus on Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancer patients. It provides specimens to researchers both within the institution and outside. view more

    Research Areas: benign, malignant, cancer, tumor, head and neck tumors, Squamous cell carcinoma
  • In-vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Center

    Lab Website

    The In-vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Center conducts multidisciplinary research on cellul...ar and molecular imaging related to cancer. We provide resources, such as consultation on biostatistics and bioinformatics and optical imaging and probe development, to understand and effectively treat cancer. Our molecular oncology experts consult on preclinical studies, use of human tissues, interpretation of data and molecular characterization of cells and tumor tissue. view more

    Research Areas: optical imaging, molecular characterization of tumor tissue, bioinformatics, molecular oncology, biostatistics, probe development, molecular characterization of cells, cancer imaging
  • Ivan Borrello Lab

    Lab Website
    Principal Investigator:
    Ivan Borrello, M.D.
    Oncology

    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. view more

    Research Areas: immunology, vaccines, multiple myeloma, cancer, translational research, immunotherapy, T cells
  • Jinyuan Zhou Lab

    Lab Website

    Dr. Zhou's research focuses on developing new in vivo MRI and MRS methodologies to study brain ...function and disease. His most recent work includes absolute quantification of cerebral blood flow, quantification of functional MRI, high-resolution diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), magnetization transfer mechanism, development of chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) technology, brain pH MR imaging, and tissue protein MR imaging. Notably, Dr. Zhou and his colleagues invented the amide proton transfer (APT) approach for brain pH imaging and tumor protein imaging. His initial paper on brain pH imaging was published in Nature Medicine in 2003 and his most recent paper on tumor treatment effects was published in Nature Medicine in 2011. A major part of his current research is the pre-clinical and clinical imaging of brain tumors, strokes, and other neurologic disorders using the APT and other novel MRI techniques. The overall goal is to achieve the MRI contrast at the protein and peptide level without injection of exogenous agents and improve the diagnostic capability of MRI and the patient outcomes. view more

    Research Areas: magnetic resonance, functional magnetic resonance imaging, brain, stroke
  • John T. Isaacs Laboratory

    Lab Website
    Principal Investigator:
    John Isaacs, Ph.D.
    Oncology

    While there has been an explosion of knowledge about human carcinogenesis over the last 2 decad...es, unfortunately, this has not translated into the development of effective therapies for either preventing or treating the common human cancers. The goal of the Isaacs’ lab is to change this situation by translating theory into therapy for solid malignancies, particularly Prostate cancer. Presently, a series of drugs discovered in the Isaacs’ lab are undergoing clinical trials in patients with metastatic cancer.

    The ongoing drug discovery in the lab continues to focus upon developing agents to eliminate the cancer initiating stem cells within metastatic sites of cancer. To do this, a variety of bacterial and natural product toxins are being chemically modified to produce “prodrugs” whose cytotoxicity is selectively activated by proteases produced in high levels only by cancer cells or tumor associated blood vessel cells. In this way, these prodrugs can be given systemically to metastatic patients without un-acceptable toxicity to the host while being selectively activated to potent killing molecules within metastatic sites of cancer.

    Such a “Trojan Horse” approach is also being developed using allogeneic bone marrow derived Mesenchymal Stem cells which are genetically engineered to secrete “prodrugs” so that when they are infused into the patient, they selectively “home” to sites of cancers where the appropriate enzymatic activity is present to liberate the killing toxin sterilizing the cancer “neighborhood”.
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    Research Areas: anti-cancer drugs, stem cell biology
  • Kenneth W. Kinzler Laboratory

    Lab Website
    Principal Investigator:
    Kenneth Kinzler, Ph.D.
    Oncology

    Dr. Kinzler’s laboratory has focused on the genetics of human cancer. They have identified a va...riety of genetic mutations that underlie cancer, including mutations of the APC pathway that appear to initiate the majority of colorectal cancers and IDH1/2 mutations that underlying many gliomas. In addition, they have developed a variety of powerful tools for analysis of expression and genetic alterations in cancer.
    Most recently, they have pioneered integrated whole genome analyses of human cancers through expression, copy number, and mutational analyses of all the coding genes in several human cancer types including colorectal, breast, pancreatic and brain. The identification of genetic differences between normal and tumor tissues provide new therapeutic targets, new opportunities for the early diagnosis of cancer, and important insights into the neoplastic process.
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    Research Areas: cancer, molecular genetics
  • Komatsu Lab

    Malfunction and malformation of blood vessels are associated with a broad range of medical cond...itions, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurological disorders. The ultimate goal of the Komatsu lab is to find a way to reverse the process of abnormal vessel formation and restore normal function to these vessels. In cancer, normalization of tumor blood vessels facilitates lymphocyte infiltration, potentiating anti-tumor immunity, and enhances the efficacy of immunotherapies as well as conventional cancer treatments. Normalization of regenerating blood vessels is also necessary for reestablishing blood flow to ischemic hearts and limbs, and preventing blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration. Komatsu lab’s research is uncovering key molecular pathways important for the normalization of pathological vasculature. view more

    Research Areas: Tertiary lymphoid structure (TLS) in cancer, Drug targeting, High endothelial venules and their role in lymphocyte recruitment, Vascular normalization
  • Lei Zheng Lab

    Lab Website
    Principal Investigator:
    Lei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D.
    Oncology
    Surgery

    Zheng’s research focuses on two R01-funded projects; first, the group has developed a pancreati...c 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. view more

    Research Areas: cancer, pancreatic cancer, translational research, tumor microenvironment, immunotherapy
  • Marie-France Penet Lab

    Lab Website

    The Penet lab is within the Division of Cancer Imaging Research in the Department of Radiology ...and Radiological Science. The lab research focuses on using multimodal imaging techniques to better understand the microenvironment and improve cancer early detection, especially in ovarian cancer. By combining MRI, MRS and optical imaging, we are studying the tumor microenvironment to understand the role of hypoxia, tumor vascularization, macromolecular transport and tumor metabolism in tumor progression, metastasis and ascites formation in orthotopic models of cancer. We also are studying the role of tumor-associated macrophages in tumor progression. view more

    Research Areas: tumor vascularization, prostate cancer, tumor metabolism, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, macromolecular transport, optical imaging, pancreatic cancer, MRI, tumor-associated macrophages, hypoxia, ovarian cancer, cancer-induced cachexia, cancer imaging
  • Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery Lab

    Lab Website
    Principal Investigator:
    Alan Cohen, M.D.
    Neurology
    Neurosurgery

    Directed by Alan R. Cohen, M.D., Carson-Spiro Professor of Neurosurgery, Oncology and Pediatric...s, the laboratory is focused on developing novel instruments and approaches to enhance the safety and efficacy of neurosurgical procedures. Current investigations include work in microsurgery, endoscopy, image guidance and robotic surgery. A cadaveric skills lab offers training in neurosurgical techniques. view more

    Research Areas: brain tumor surgery, minimally invasive surgery, brain tumor
  • Mohamed Farah Lab

    Lab Website
    Principal Investigator:
    Mohamed Farah, Ph.D.
    Neurology

    The Mohamed Farah Lab studies axonal regeneration in the peripheral nervous system. We've found... that genetic deletion and pharmacological inhibition of beta-amyloid cleaving enzyme (BACE1) markedly accelerate axonal regeneration in the injured peripheral nerves of mice. We postulate that accelerated nerve regeneration is due to blockade of BACE1 cleavage of two different BACE1 substrates. The two candidate substrates are the amyloid precursor protein (APP) in axons and tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1) on macrophages, which infiltrate injured nerves and clear the inhibitory myelin debris. In the coming years, we will systematically explore genetic manipulations of these two substrates in regard to accelerated axonal regeneration and rapid myelin debris removal seen in BACE1 KO mice. We also study axonal sprouting and regeneration in motor neuron disease models. view more

    Research Areas: genomics, nerve regeneration, nervous system
  • Molecular Oncology Laboratory

    Principal Investigator:
    Valsamo Anagnostou, M.D., Ph.D.
    Oncology

    Our Molecular Oncology lab seeks to understand the genomic wiring of response and resistance to... immunotherapy through integrative genomic, transcriptomic, single-cell and liquid biopsy analyses of tumor and immune evolution. Through comprehensive exome-wide sequence and genome-wide structural genomic analyses we have discovered that tumor cells evade immune surveillance by elimination of immunogenic mutations and associated neoantigens through chromosomal deletions. Additionally, we have developed non-invasive molecular platforms that incorporate ultra-sensitive measurements of circulating cell-free tumor DNA (ctDNA) to assess clonal dynamics during immunotherapy. These approaches have revealed distinct dynamic ctDNA and T cell repertoire patterns of clinical response and resistance that are superior to radiographic response assessments. Our work has provided the foundation for a molecular response-adaptive clinical trial, where therapeutic decisions are made not based on imaging but based on molecular responses derived from liquid biopsies. Overall, our group focuses on studying the temporal and spatial order of the metastatic and immune cascade under the selective pressure of immune checkpoint blockade with the ultimate goal to translate this knowledge into “next-generation” clinical trials and change the way oncologists select patients for immunotherapy. view more

    Research Areas: integrative mutli-omic analyses, Cancer genomics, liquid biopsies, tumor evolution, lung cancer, immunogenomic biomarkers
  • Richard W. TeLinde Endowed Gynecologic Pathology Lab

    Lab Website

    Our scientists pursue out-of-the-box approaches at the very edge of knowledge to:
    1) Elucidat...e the molecular/cellular/physiological landscapes of ovarian and uterine cancers.
    2) Understand the earliest events in their development and mechanisms of tumor evolution/dormancy and drug resistance.
    3) Deliver promises for better prevention, detection and treatment to women who have diseases or are at an increased risk to have these cancers.
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    Research Areas: uterine cancer, gestational trophoblastic disease, ovarian cancer
  • Samuel R. Denmeade Laboratory

    Lab Website

    The main research goals of my laboratory are: (1) to identify and study the biology of novel ca...ncer selective targets whose enzymatic function can be exploited for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes; (2) to develop methods to target novel agents for activiation by these cancer selective targets while avoiding or minimizing systemic toxicity; (3) to develop novel agents for imaging cancer sites at earliest stages. To accomplish these objectives the lab has originally focused on the development of prodrugs or protoxins that are inactive when given systemically via the blood and only become activated by tumor or tissue specific proteases present within sites of tumor. Using this approach, we are developing therapies targeted for activation by the serine proteases prostate-specific antigen (PSA), human glandular kallikrein 2 (hK2) and fibroblast activation protein (FAP) as well as the membrane carboxypeptidase prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). One such approach developed in the lab consists of a potent bacterial protoxin that we have reengineered to be selectively activated by PSA within the Prostate. This PSA-activated toxin is currently being tested clinically as treatment for men with recurrent prostate cancer following radiation therapy. In a related approach, a novel peptide-cytotoxin prodrug candidate that is activated by PSMA has been identified and is this prodrug candidate is now entering early phase clinical development. In addition, we have also identified a series of potent inhibitors of PSA that are now under study as drug targeting and imaging agents to be used in the treatment and detection of prostate cancer.
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    Research Areas: cancer therapies, prodrugs, cancer, protease inhibitors, protoxins, cancer imaging
  • Schneck Lab

    Lab Website
    Principal Investigator:
    Jonathan Schneck, M.D., Ph.D.
    Pathology

    Effective immune responses are critical for control of a variety of infectious disease includin...g bacterial, viral and protozoan infections as well as in protection from development of tumors. Central to the development of an effective immune response is the T lymphocyte which, as part of the adaptive immune system, is central in achieving sterilization and long lasting immunity. While the normal immune responses is tightly regulated there are also notable defects leading to pathologic diseases. Inactivity of tumor antigen-specific T cells, either by suppression or passive ignorance allows tumors to grow and eventually actively suppress the immune response. Conversely, hyperactivation of antigen-specific T cells to self antigens is the underlying basis for many autoimmune diseases including: multiple sclerosis; arthritis; and diabetes. Secondary to their central role in a wide variety of physiologic and pathophysiologic responses my lab takes a broad-based approach to studying T cell responses. view more

    Research Areas: t-cell responses, pathologic diseases, autoimmune diseases, pathology, immune system
  • Suzanne Topalian Lab

    Principal Investigator:
    Suzanne Topalian, M.D.
    Oncology

    Our lab currently focuses on three areas of immunotherapy research: gaining a deeper knowledge ...of the biological underpinnings of human autoimmune response; discovering biomarkers that will help us identify which patients and tumor types are most likely to respond to various immune therapies; and developing immune-based treatment combinations that could deliver a more powerful anti-tumor response than monotherapies. view more

    Research Areas: cancer, PD-1, melanoma, immunotherapy, cancer immunology
  • Systems Biology Laboratory

    The Systems Biology Lab applies methods of multiscale modeling to problems of cancer and cardio...vascular disease, and examines the systems biology of angiogenesis, breast cancer and peripheral artery disease (PAD).

    Using coordinated computational and experimental approaches, the lab studies the mechanisms of breast cancer tumor growth and metastasis to find ways to inhibit those processes.

    We use bioinformatics to discover novel agents that affect angiogenesis and perform in vitro and in vivo experiments to test these predictions. In addition we study protein networks that determine processes of angiogenesis, arteriogenesis and inflammation in PAD. The lab also investigates drug repurposing for potential applications as stimulators of therapeutic angiogenesis, examines signal transduction pathways and builds 3D models of angiogenesis.

    The lab has discovered over a hundred novel anti-angiogenic peptides, and has undertaken in vitro and in vivo studies testing their activity under different conditions. We have investigated structure-activity relationship (SAR) doing point mutations and amino acid substitutions and constructed biomimetic peptides derived from their endogenous progenitors. They have demonstrated the efficacy of selected peptides in mouse models of breast, lung and brain cancers, and in age-related macular degeneration.

    view more

    Research Areas: peripheral artery disease, breast cancer, systems biology, computational biology, cancer, cardiovascular, age-related macular degeneration, bioinformatics, angiogenesis, microcirculation
  • Victor Velculescu Lab

    Lab Website

    The lab currently focuses on identifying genetic alterations in cancer affecting sensitivity an...d resistance to targeted therapies, and connecting such changes to key clinical characteristics and novel therapeutic approaches. We have recently developed methods that allow noninvasive characterization of cancer, including the PARE method that provided the first whole genome analysis of tumor DNA in the circulation of cancer patients. These analyses provide a window into real-time genomic analyses of cancer patients and provide new avenues for personalized diagnostic and therapeutic intervention. view more

    Research Areas: cancer, genomics, immunotherapy
  • Zaver M. Bhujwalla Lab – Cancer Imaging Research

    Lab Website

    Dr. Bhujwalla’s lab promotes preclinical and clinical multimodal imaging applications to unders...tand and effectively treat cancer. The lab’s work is dedicated to the applications of molecular imaging to understand cancer and the tumor environment. Significant research contributions include 1) developing ‘theranostic agents’ for image-guided targeting of cancer, including effective delivery of siRNA in combination with a prodrug enzyme 2) understanding the role of inflammation and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in cancer using molecular and functional imaging 3) developing noninvasive imaging techniques to detect COX-2 expressing in tumors 4) understanding the role of hypoxia and choline pathways to reduce the stem-like breast cancer cell burden in tumors 5) using molecular and functional imaging to understand the role of the tumor microenvironment including the extracellular matrix, hypoxia, vascularization, and choline phospholipid metabolism in prostate and breast cancer invasion and metastasis, with the ultimate goal of preventing cancer metastasis and 6) molecular and functional imaging characterization of cancer-induced cachexia to understand the cachexia-cascade and identify novel targets in the treatment of this condition. view more

    Research Areas: molecular and functional imaging, preventing cancer metastasis, metastasis, image-guided targeting of cancer, cancer-induced cachexia, cancer imaging
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