Science: Out of the Box

Why is cancer so hard to treat—and what new strategies are researchers considering? What do cells do when their DNA gets tangled up? How do brain cells build connections to each other? Our researchers use toys to help answer these and other questions in the video series Science: Out of the Box.

Immunotherapy and Antibodies | Slaying Lung Cancer


Medical oncologist Julie Brahmer, M.D., explains how immunotherapy works as a tool in treating lung cancer. Using toys and finger paints, she demonstrates how the immune system attacks cancer cells. Dr. Brahmer discusses why immunotherapy is a promising new treatment that can extend lives in certain cases, helping some people with lung cancer live longer and better lives.


Driving Towards a Cure for ALS


Jeffrey Rothstein, Neurologist, ICTR Deputy Director for Pilot Research Initiatives and Director of the ICTR’s Accelerated Translational Incubator Pilot (ATIP) Program explains how sticky DNA causes ALS. He shows how one drug he identified works to de-stick the DNA so it no longer globs up proteins in the cell.


Understanding Niche Cells


Johns Hopkins cell biologist Erika Matunis explains how understanding the cells that take care of stem cells may shed light on cancer.


Programming Cancer Cells to Self-Destruct


Johns Hopkins biomedical engineer and TRC Advisory Board member Jordan Green talks about a goal of his research: making nanoparticles that could program cancer cells to self-destruct.


Muscling DNA Around Using Protein Nanomachines


Johns Hopkins biophysicist James Berger explains why he studies the nanomachines that pry apart and untangle DNA.


Shining Light on Cellular Processes: Seeing Molecules at Work


Johns Hopkins’ molecular biologist Jin Zhang explains how she uses light to see where and when within cells specific molecular processes occur and what happens when they go wrong.


Building Stronger Brain Cell Connections


Johns Hopkins’ neuroscientist Mollie Meffert explains how brain cells use microRNAs to grow new connections to “talk” to each other and store memories.


Stopping Breast Cancer Leader Cells


Johns Hopkins’ cell biologist Andy Ewald explains his latest finding on how breast cancer cells spread and how they might be stopped.