Johns Hopkins University
Research Highlights and Innovations
Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have:
Demonstrated that a specific enzyme is essential to production of a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, the amyloid plaques that collect and surround brain cells (2000).
Pinpointed areas in the brain that may generate mice mothers' violent response to protect their babies, an accomplishment that could help scientists better understand aggression's origins in humans (2000).
Restored movement to recently paralyzed rodents by injecting stem cells into their spinal fluid, raising hope for improved treatment of paralyzing motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (2000).
Isolated and identified human stem cells and proved them capable of forming the fundamental tissues that give rise to distinct human cells such as muscle, bone and nerve (2000).
Discovered a family of genes that contributes to the process of malignancy, shedding new light on the abnormalities that give rise to lymphoma, leukemia and prostate, ovarian, lung and breast cancer (2000).
Developed a modified form of vitamin D that helps delay the onset and reduce the number of skin cancers in lab mice without causing vitamin D-induced loss of bone calcium (2000).
Co-developed a DNA vaccine that protects against measles, the most conclusive work to date demonstrating that DNA vaccines may be useful in the fight against human disease
Dramatically improved the accuracy of blood tests for colon cancer predisposition, to the point where genetic mutations associated with certain hereditary diseases can be detected nearly 100 percent of the time (2000).
Linked the ability to "pay attention" to one particular occurrence among a flood of incoming sensory information to the sudden firing of a brain cell "chorus" amidst the cacophony of normal brain cell activity (2000).
Demonstrated that, as the number of passengers increases in a car driven by a teenage driver, so does the likelihood of fatal injury to the driver (2000).
Guided the NEAR spacecraft to the first-ever orbit around an asteroid (433 Eros), allowing closeup scientific study of a body still composed of primitive material from the time of the formation of the solar system (2000).
Identified a single gene variation that may explain some of the key individual differences in pain sensitivity (1999).
Invented a micro-pump powered by the repeated growth and collapse of a single bubble (1999).
Showed that vitamin A supplements can reduce malaria and maternal death, and that zinc supplements reduce infant mortality, pneumonia and diarrhea in developing countries (1999).
Identified a drug that stops the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the eye, an advance that could have sight-saving implications for millions of people with complications of diabetes (1999).
Participated on a team that discovered that the first alphabet -- from which modern alphabets all evolved -- is centuries older than previously believed (from the 1900s B.C.) and was probably invented in Egypt (1999).
Showed that children as young as 6 months begin to comprehend words, linking sound patterns with specific meanings (1999).
Isolated and cultivated human embryonic stem cells, the undifferentiated cell from which an entire human being eventually develops (1998).
Provided the first reliable evidence of genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia (1998).
Identified broccoli sprouts as an especially rich source of the cancer-fighting compound sulforaphane (1997).
Identified the first genetic mutation known to cause familial colorectal cancer, and invented a simple blood test to allow carriers to detect the mutation and take measures to guard against the disease (1997).
Led a team that was the first ever to detect fluorine in interstellar space (1997).
Hopkins researchers have flown the space probe NEAR to within 750 miles of 253 Mathilde, the closest-ever human encounter with an asteroid (1997).
Invented the first all-plastic battery (1996).
Mapped the first specific prostate cancer gene to chromosome 1 (1996).
Discovered a genetic basis for violent and excessive sexual behavior in mice (1995).
Helped develop the first effective treatment for sickle cell anemia (1995).
Identified the gene that causes most forms of polycistic kidney disease, the most common inherited kidney disease (1995).
Identified a form of low blood pressure as a probable cause of chronic fatigue disorder (1995).
Presented the first conclusive physical evidence for the existence of supermassive black holes (1994).
Identified sulforaphane, a chemical in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables that appears to inhibit the development of cancer (1993).
Identified a gene responsible for a widespread form of colon cancer (1993).
Announced findings expected to lead to simple urine test to aid in early detection of cancer (1991).
Synthesized a new form of Vitamin D, with possible future application as an anti-cancer drug (1990).
Conducted astronomical observations in the ultraviolet that discredited a widely circulated theory on the source of the missing "dark matter" in the universe (1990).
Induced apparently normal human brain cells to multiply in the test tube, opening the possibility that such cells could be used in treating neurological diseases (1990).
Discovered how the brain "hears" -- how bioelectrical signals from the inner ear to the brain are encoded -- findings with important implications not only for understanding the hearing process but also for how the brain operates (1989).
Created a new process for spray-painting cars, furniture, and appliances which reduces air pollution from that source by as much as 70 percent (1989).
Discovered that E. coli, a bacterium found in the human gastrointestinal tract, can repair its own DNA when damaged by ultraviolet light, thus providing a method for the investigation of DNA repair proteins in molecular and cell biology (1987).
Invented a pill-size ingestible electronic capsule to telemeter deep-body temperatures (1987).
Developed parallel processor technology, permitting the upgrading of existing computer installations by providing supercomputing capabilities at greatly reduced costs (1987).
Established techniques whereby the history of motion within fault zones can be traced and used to decide whether particular fault zones should be considered dangerous or inactive (1980s).
Studied the physics and chemistry of magma, leading to an understanding of the dynamics of molten rock within the earth and beneath volcanoes and advancing knowledge of how to alleviate volcanic hazards and extract geothermal energy from such reservoirs (1980s).
Developed the Multisensory Authoring Computer System which enables teachers to generate individualized instruction lessons for students with moderate to severe handicaps (1985).
Discovered that Oltipraz, a compound found in cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower) offered protection for the body from the effects of radiation therapy for cancer (1983).
Discovered that pennies worth of vitamin A supplements administered to Indonesian children as part of a blindness prevention program were accompanied by a dramatic drop in infant death rates, leading to similar vitamin treatments for thousands of children in developing countries (1983-1986).
Developed the first magnetometer sensor to remotely locate regions of gas pipeline corrosion (1982).
Developed a heat-shrinkable polymer used as a sleeve, which took the place of sutures in vascular surgery (1981).
Showed how deposits of metallic ores are formed within the earth and under what conditions they can be located, work that was central to understanding the dispersal and collection of oil (1980s).
Conducted fundamental research on the crystal structure and general properties of asbestos which enabled physicians to understand why such material is harmful to mankind (1980s).
Identified a protein which controls the assembly and disassembly of the structures responsible for the shape and movement of living cells, a major contribution to understanding the fundamental mechanisms of cell motility, one of the most important problems in cell biology (1980).
Conducted basic research on the sea surface and problems of air-sea interaction, leading to an understanding of the generation of water waves, including highly destructive rogue waves which are a threat to ocean-going vessels (1970s-1980s).
With an experiment aboard the Voyager 2 spacecraft, discovered a 400-million degree plasma in the magnetosphere of Jupiter, a finding which challenged conventional understanding of some of the basic physics of planets and stars (1979).
Developed the first successful treatment to desensitize people against bee stings (1975).
Identified high rates of infant deaths in motor vehicle accidents, leading to the passage of child safety restraint laws throughout the United States (1979).
Discovered that ketoacids as a substitute for dietary protein were useful in forestalling dialysis in kidney failure and in treating protein depletion or intolerance (1976).
Invented the first microcomputer-controlled implantable medication delivery system (1975).
Provided the first successful demonstration of the effect of a planned health education program in decreasing morbidity and mortality from a chronic disease (hypertension) (1975).
Developed the first method for routinely visualizing the choroidal blood vessels of the eye (1973).
Showed that use of oral contraceptives by women was associated with increased risk of thromboembolism (1969) and of breast cancer (1973).
Identified the sites where heroin and other opiates act in the brain, a discovery which had important applications for the treatment of drug addicts and for the screening and development of new and potentially non-addictive pain-killing drugs (1972).
Invented the first implantable, rechargeable pacemaker for cardiac disorders (1972).
Based on research with the Framingham Heart Study, first directed attention to the importance of social factors in the etiology of heart disease (1970).
Devised the "Self-Directed Search," an inexpensive but accurate self- administered test providing occupational guidance for students and adults (1970).
Developed the first clinically useful Argon photocoagulator, providing ophthalmologists with a technique for repairing damaged retinal vasculature (1969).
Took the first color photograph of the whole earth from space (1967).
Discovered restriction enzymes, the so-called "biochemical scissors," which gave birth to the entire new field of genetic engineering (1960s). The discoverers were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1978 for their achievement.
Were among the first to warn of possible dangers to women who used oral contraceptives, indicating the need for further study of the effects of the pills (1965).
Developed the Limulus lysate test, a sensitive and inexpensive detector of the bacterial endotoxins associated with such diseases as meningitis and septicemia (1963).
Synthesized luciferin, the substance which lights the tail of the firefly, furthering research on ATP, the primary energy source in biological action (1962).
Described the structure and function of the complement system, a complex set of enzymes which play an important role in human immunological defenses against cancer, bacteria, and viruses (1961).
Conducted the first major, large-scale research study of conditions of inequality in American schools, which resulted in the landmark report, "Equality of Educational Opportunity" (1960).
Developed oral rehydration therapy, which replaces food and electrolytes lost from the body during attacks of diarrheal disease (1960s).
Invented cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the lifesaving first-aid technique, thanks to a chance observation during work on the defribillating machine (also invented at Hopkins) that weight placed on the chest increases blood pressure. (1958).
Conceived and developed Transit satellites, the first navigation system operating on the principle of the Doppler shift and making possible navigational "fixes" of unprecedented accuracy (1957-1960).
Demonstrated that the spread of tuberculosis in hospitals could be inhibited by the use of ultraviolet light to kill airborne bacteria (1957).
Showed that retrolental fibroplasia, which causes blindness in premature infants, was related to high concentrations of oxygen used in babies' incubators (1954).
First established a link between chromates and lung cancer among factory workers, a pioneering step in the field of occupational health (1950s).
Developed the Lumicon, one of the earliest light intensification systems, which increased brightness as much as 50,000 times and proved of great value in improved fluoroscopy and x-ray therapy (1950).
Developed Hank's Solution, a defined salt solution to meet the needs of cells growing in tissue culture, dramatically extending the possibilities of in vitro cultivation of many types of cells (1949).
Took the first photograph of the Earth's curvature, from a V-2 rocket (1948).
Confirmed the authenticity of the Dead Sea Scrolls, speeding acceptance as genuine of these earliest biblical manuscripts (1948).
Immunized chimpanzees with inactivated vaccines, essential to the development of the first widely used polio vaccine and a major step toward the prevention of poliomyelitis in human beings (1947-1952).
Discovered dramamine's effectiveness in alleviating motion sickness (1948).
Developed the first supersonic ramjet engine (1944).
Developed the "blue baby" operation to correct congenital heart defects, ushering in a new era in open heart surgery (1944).
Found the causes and developed treatment and preventive measures for scrub typhus which afflicted American and Australian troops in the South Pacific during World War II (1943).
Produced the human serum needed to provide 1 million doses of yellow fever vaccine for U.S. troops during World War II (1942).
Put the chronology of Middle Eastern pottery on a firm footing for the first time, making possible the accurate dating of excavations in the Holy Land (1938).
Invented Hopcalite, a catalyst which converts carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and reduces the danger from automobile exhaust fumes (1930).
Identified and described the most dangerous malaria carrier in Latin America, the Anopheles mosquito (1926).
Developed the system of water purification by chlorination which was eventually adopted by every major municipal and industrial water supply system in the country and many other parts of the world (1920s).
Developed a method of growing rickettsia in fertile egg membranes, thereby permitting the development of vaccines (1920s).
Discovered and developed the absorptive agent silica gel, which became a key ingredient in many industrial processes (1920s).
Discovered vitamin D and its role in preventing rickets, vastly extending scientific knowledge of nutrition and laying the groundwork for food enrichment and nutritional planning (1922).
Conducted spectroscopic investigations which contributed to the formulation of the quantum theory (1920s).
Developed mercurochrome, a widely used antiseptic (1919).
Discovered heparin, a drug used to prevent blood coagulation, now widely used in the treatment of thrombosis and in cardiac surgery (1916-1918).
Developed the first successful renal dialysis in an animal model (1913).
Isolated epinephrine (adrenalin), sales of which now exceed $6 million a year (1897).
Published the first modern edition of the "Gilgamesh Epic," making available to the world the most significant extra-biblical work of ancient Near Eastern literature (1891).
Introduced the rubber glove for use during surgery (1889).
Invented the ruling engine for making diffraction gratings, making possible spectacular advances in astronomy and laying the foundation for the modern sciences of atomic and molecular spectroscopy (1880).
Discovered the sweetening agent saccharine (1879).
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