A New Signaling Pathway Involving the Golgi Apparatus Identified in Cells With Huntington’s Disease

Working with cells grown in the lab, Johns Hopkins researchers have identified a biochemical pathway that allows a structure within cells, called the Golgi apparatus, to combat stress caused by free radicals and oxidants. The research team showed that this pathway can be activated by a drug called monensin, which is commonly used as an antibiotic in animal feed. The findings, they say, could help scientists develop new ways to protect cells against the type of oxidative stress linked to Huntington’s disease. Details of the pathway, which involves the response from a series of proteins, are reported in the Jan. … Continue reading

ICTR in the News: Study Advances Research in Pelvic Organ Prolapse Among Women

The following article profiles work performed by ICTR researcher Victoria Handa, M.D., director of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. “Understudied” condition found to progress slowly By measuring the sagging of the vaginal walls in more than a thousand volunteers for up to nine years annually, a team of Baltimore physicians reports the creation of a long-awaited baseline measure of the rate of progression of so-called pelvic organ prolapse. The baseline, they say, should provide a foundation for reliable studies and a more rational search for factors that prevent or ease the condition. “The good news is … Continue reading

ICTR in the News: Link Found Between Pediatric Osteoporosis and Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

The following article profiles work performed in part by ICTR researchers Peisong Gao, Janet Crane and Xu Cao. Mouse study suggests poor childhood bone mass may result from early “retirement” of bone cell precursors By studying mice in late adolescence, Johns Hopkins University researchers have discovered that the rapid bone growth associated with puberty is slowed not only by fewer cartilage cell divisions but also by the “aging” of bone cell precursor cells. After investigating the signaling molecules that promote this transition, the scientists conclude that some weak and brittle bone conditions in both children and adults may be due … Continue reading

ICTR in the News: One Year Posttransplant, Recipients of Hepatitis C Kidneys Disease-Free

The following article profiles work performed by ICTR researcher Niraj Desai, M.D., an assistant professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In a small study, doctors at Johns Hopkins have successfully transplanted 10 hepatitis C-infected kidneys into patients without hepatitis C and prevented the patients from becoming infected by hepatitis C. The success of these transplants could mean more organs being available for the nearly 100,000 people in the U.S. currently waiting for a kidney transplant. “Right now, most of the usable organs from donors with hepatitis C are discarded because there are very few hepatitis C-positive … Continue reading

‘Filter’ Hones Gwas Results to Help Researchers Avoid Dead Ends

A new strategy by Johns Hopkins researchers gives scientists a biologically informed way to select genes to study A genetics research team at the Johns Hopkins Institute of Genetic Medicine has solved a dilemma facing researchers who use genomewide association studies (GWAS) by developing a new approach that strategically “filters” which genes are worth further study. The researchers hope this strategy will accelerate the study of diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and even addiction by helping researchers avoid “dead-end paths.” They are optimistic that this strategy will gain widespread use and will save researchers time and money. The findings were … Continue reading

New Grant Opportunities: Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer 2018 Omnibus Solicitation

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invites small business representatives to apply for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) 2018 Omnibus Grant Solicitation. The next application deadline is April 5, 2018, 5:00 p.m. local time for the following two opportunities: ·     SBIR: PA-18-574 (R43/R44) ·     STTR: PA-18-575 (R41/R42)   Applicants to NCATS may address a range of its research priorities relevant to any stage of translational science, from target validation through pre-clinical and clinical evaluation, to intervention implementation … Continue reading

ICTR in the News: Minimally Invasive Surgeries Underused in Older Patients, New Study Finds

The following article profiles work performed by ICTR researcher Martin Makary, M.D., M.P.H., professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a widely published expert on health care disparities and quality improvement programs. Underutilization a “Missed Opportunity” to Lower Costs and Improve Outcomes for Those on Medicare A study of more than 200,000 Medicare patients who had common surgical procedures shows that, compared to the general population, they underwent far fewer minimally invasive operations, whose benefits include lower rates of complications and readmissions, along with shorter hospital stays. A report of the findings, published Feb. 26 … Continue reading

ICTR in the News: Johns Hopkins Researchers Invent New Technology for Cancer Immunotherapy

The following article profiles work performed in part by ICTR researchers Rajani Ravi, Ranee Mehra, Sridhar Nimmagadda, Luigi Marchionni, and Ivan Borrello. Johns Hopkins researchers have invented a new class of cancer immunotherapy drugs that are more effective at harnessing the power of the immune system to fight cancer. This new approach, which was reported in Nature Communications, results in a significant decrease of tumor growth, even against cancers that do not respond to existing immunotherapy. “The immune system is naturally able to detect and eliminate tumor cells. However, virtually all cancers — including the most common cancers, from lung, … Continue reading

ICTR in the News: Records Study Suggests Gender Affirming Surgeries On The Rise Along with Insurance Coverage

The following article profiles work performed by ICTR researcher Brandyn D. Lau, M.P.H., C.P.H., assistant professor in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science and Health Sciences Informatics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and director of quality and research for the new Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender Health. New study represents a key step toward improving the quality of care for transgender patients, authors say In a national medical records analysis, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine say there is evidence that the number of gender affirming surgeries performed in hospitals for transgender individuals is on the rise, … Continue reading

ICTR in the News: Common Knee Operation in Elderly Constitutes Low Value Care, New Study Concludes

The following article profiles work performed by ICTR researcher Martin Makary, M.D., M.P.H., professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an expert on health disparities and quality measurement. A new Medicare records study by Johns Hopkins researchers has added to mounting evidence that a common surgery designed to remove damaged, worn ends of the thin rubbery cartilage in the knee joint brings little or no benefit to people over the age of 65. The operation, called arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (APM), accounted for an estimated two-thirds of all orthopaedic knee arthroscopy procedures in older patients in … Continue reading

ICTR in the News: Researchers Discover Receptor That Protects Against Allergies, Asthma

The following article profiles work performed by ICTR researcher Marsha Wills-Karp, PhD, Anna M. Baetjer Professor in Environmental Health at the Bloomberg School and chair of the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering. Finding helps explain how allergic sensitivity originates and suggests new targets for allergy and asthma drugs A special receptor on cells that line the sinuses, throat and lungs evolved to protect mammals from developing a range of allergies and asthma, according to a study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The scientists found that the receptor, dectin-1, recognizes a protein found in house dust mites, … Continue reading