Our Networks & Projects

The Koliatsos Lab

The Koliatsos Lab is the main site where basic and translational research of BIDR is taking place. It is fully equipped for animal modeling, stem cell work, and has all the molecular, cellular and high-resolution neuroanatomical assets for research into the brains of various species, from mouse to human. The main interests of the Koliatsos lab are diseases of the white matter, especially traumatic axonopathies, with an eye for prevention or early interventions. Investigators in the laboratory are also interested in the link between injury and neurodegenerative disease and in regenerative medicine. Research in the lab is funded by NIH (NINDS and NEI), DOD (CDMRP), Maryland TEDCO, the Goldman Foundation, and other private funds.

Johns Hopkins Brain Resource Center

The Johns Hopkins BRC is one of the greatest institutional resources for brain tissues in the US, with a variety of neurodegenerative disorders including AD, PD, HD, and other dementias. In recent years, Dr. Troncoso working with Dr. Koliatsos has developed a collection of human brains with various classical types of TBI from falls and motor vehicle accidents and histories of contact and collision sports and have also collected brains with history of hypoxia-ischemia. One of the main efforts involving the Hopkins BRC is characterizing the systemic/transsynaptic effects of focal or diffuse TBI and other types of brain injury. Research is funded, in part, via the Hopkins ADRC and private funds.

The Martin Lab

The Martin Lab offers expertise in techniques and methodologies on animal and cell physiology, small and large animal neuroanatomy, human neuroanatomy, cell biology, biochemistry, epigenetics, and various cell and animal models of disease. Synthetic approaches bringing together molecular, cellular, brain connectome analyses with methods such as viral-based tract tracing methods, and neuropathology, are heavily emphasized. Contributions to the Marten Lab to the BIDR will focus on hypoxic-ischemic injury to the brain.

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Wilmer Eye Institute, Zack Laboratory

The Koliatsos Lab has an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Don Zack, that has been funded via two DoD grants and also an RO1 from NIH, on TBI in the visual system. Emphasis here is molecular investigations of traumatic axonopathy with focus on the optic nerve and on DLK/LZK signaling. Dr. Eberhart is closely affiliated with Dr. Koliatsos and his colleagues in these efforts. More recently, the Koliatsos and Zack laboratories have started a project to repair the injured visual system with transplants of human retinal ganglion cells into the rodent retina. This research is funded by NIH (NEI) and DOD (CDMRP).

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Venkatesan Lab

The Venkatesan laboratory is affiliated with Dr. Koliatsos and other investigators in the BIDR and focuses on axon-glial interactions, neuronal and axon protection, and mechanisms of CNS autoantibody-mediated disease. Dr. Venkatesan and his colleagues focus on in vitro models using human embryonic stem or induced pluripotent stem cells (ESCs, iPSCs) on specialized microfluidic platforms. Contributions of the Venkatesan Lab to the BLDR repair merrily focused on humanized in vitro models of axonopathies using these platforms. This research is funded, in part, by the Maryland TEDCO.

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Calabresi Lab

The Calabresi Lab explores the molecular mechanisms of demyelination and related targeted therapies and interacts with other investigators in the BIDR including scientists in the Koliatsos Lab on the topic of axonal mechanisms of demyelination and the role of SARM1-targeted therapies. Main methodologies are animal models of demyelination, advanced imaging techniques, and in vitro work with human iPSCs. This research is funded by a grant from the Saul Goldman Foundation.

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology, Lauer Lab

As a part of the Center for Hearing and Balance at Johns Hopkins, the Lauer Lab studies the functional and anatomical consequences of various forms of acquired hearing loss and the efferent pathways providing brain-controlled modulation of activity in the ear. Dr. Lauer and her postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Kali Burke, work with investigators in the Koliatsos Lab to assess the impact of TBI on hearing and the effects of SARM1-targeting therapies.

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Neuromodulation Lab

We have recently embarked on a pilot project using neuromodulation in a stable cohort of patients with chronic TBI. These subjects have histories of moderate to severe traumatic brain injury and an assortment of cognitive, mental, and behavioral disorders. With Dr. Tsapkini, we will first apply TDCS targeting attentional and mood disorders, but TMS and more invasive strategies may be implemented in the future. This research is funded through private donations.

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry &Neuropsychiatry

In an effort to bridge bench with bedside, and the realization that chronic TBI is essentially not a psychiatric illness with profound cognitive, behavioral, and mental disorders, we are joined by Dr. Durga Roy, dually boarded in Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurology/Neuropsychiatry, who also runs the Neuropsychiatric TBI Clinic at the Bayview Medical Campus.

Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering/Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI)

The mechanical nature of TBI lends itself to engineering formulations of pathogenesis, and engineering inputs into animal models and clinical solutions, especially with respect to head protection. The Koliatsos Lab has been historically affiliated with the team of Dr. KT Ramesh at HEMI to develop high-precision equipment to study the contributions of impact and acceleration to traumatic axonopathies, using the Marmarou model as foundation.

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)

The Koliatsos Lab has had a 12-year collaboration with biologists and bioengineers at the APL, especially on modeling of blast injury and the effects of primary blast to the brain. More recent interactions have focused on the role of systemic factors and optimization of body gear for the prevention of blast TBI and deep learning approaches to quantify the outcome of concussion in multivariate models of axonopathy, vasculopathy, BBB disruption, and neuroinflammation. This research has been funded by DoD (CDMRP).

Uniformed Services University in the Health Sciences (USUHS)

Drs. Koliatsos and Troncoso have had longstanding interactions with the (now retired) Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and Dr. Koliatsos has an ongoing relationship with the Neuropathology Laboratory of USUHS (Drs. Perl and Iacono). The examination of large brains from humans and swine could benefit enormously from the extraordinary capacity of that site. The two groups are working together on a TBI project using swine brains understand mechanisms for poor outcomes after high energy impact injuries to the gyrencephalic brain. Research is founded by the DOD.

Army Research Laboratory

The Koliatsos Lab and investigators in the Soldier Protection Sciences Branch of the Army Research Laboratory (Dr. William Mermagen, now retired, Karin Rafaels and colleagues) have worked together for 8 years on a swine model of behind-helmet ballistic blunt model of TBI. The current findings provide a fresh look into the problem of impact and injury to the meninges as a cause of diffuse axonal and vascular injuries, especially in gyrencephalic brains, and invite a rethinking of current protective strategies.