Jan
1
Sat
Freezer Challenge – 2022
Jan 1 – Jul 1 all-day

Ultra-low temperature freezers consume as much electricity annually as a typical single-family home. Hopkins laboratories can lower their lab’s carbon footprint and challenge your cold storage practices by taking part in the Freezer Challenge. Supported by the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) and My Green Lab, this challenge is designed to promote best practices in cold storage management for laboratories around the world.

The annual competition operates from January to July and the top Johns Hopkins winners will be awarded a cash prize. In addition, the overall winner of the international challenge will be featured in Nature magazine and awarded during the annual I2SL conference.

To learn more about our other Green Labs initiatives at Johns Hopkins, please visit the Office of Sustainability website or email sustainability@jhu.edu. You can learn more from Freezer Challenge Asks Labs to Put Costly Energy Consumption on Ice.

Jul
1
Fri
Adopt-a-Student Uniform & Supply Drive
Jul 1 – Aug 22 all-day
Adopt-a-Student Uniform & Supply Drive

Since 2011, Johns Hopkins employees have stepped up with generous donations to the Adopt-a-Student Uniform Drive, which assists families in purchasing the uniforms required for elementary, middle, and high school students in Baltimore City Public Schools. Donations were also expanded last year to include the purchase of essential school supplies. You can adopt one or more students by making a donation to uniforms, school supplies, or both.

If you have a question or need technical assistance, email Arnetta Shelton, Community Programs manager in the Johns Hopkins Office of Economic Development & Community Partnerships, at communityprograms@jhu.edu.

Jul
28
Thu
CARES Symposium 2022 @ Virtual
Jul 28 @ 11:00 am – 2:20 pm
CARES Symposium 2022 @ Virtual

We invite you to see presentations by our summer students in INBT’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the CARES Symposium. Registration is required as the event is virtual.

The Hopkins C.A.R.E.S. Symposium (Career, Academic, and Research Experiences for Students) is on July 28, 2022, from 11 AM – 2:20 PM EST. The symposium provides opportunities for students who participated in a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine pathway program to share their summer research presentations to the Hopkins community, faculty, recruits from local colleges and universities, and network with high-achieving undergraduates. All efforts will be made to make this event inclusive and accessible. To request accommodations or discuss other accessibility needs, please contact somdiversity@jhmi.edu.

INBT presenters include

Ayanna Horsford – poster presentation
Gaby Bentolila – poster presentation
Nyssa Engebo – oral presentation
Peyton Panovich – oral presentation
Christine Wei – oral presentation
Sulaiman Jenkins, Director of Academic Programs – moderator and closing remarks

 

Aug
8
Mon
Summer 2022 REU Student Presentations @ Malone Hall and Zoom
Aug 8 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Summer 2022 REU Student Presentations @ Malone Hall and Zoom

Every summer for 12 years, the INBT has welcomed undergraduate students to the Nanotechnology for Biology and Bioengineering Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.  Students spend 10-weeks with INBT faculty and mentors heavily engaged in research projects ranging from developing cancer therapies and diagnostic tools to using regenerative engineering to heal the body. They also participate in professional development training, networking activities, and explore Baltimore and other surrounding cities. We welcome you to join us to see presentations by our 2022 summer students as they showcase their research projects.

This event is hybrid. Space is limited in Malone Hall G33/G35 to 35 people. If space is unavailable we ask you to join by Zoom.

Zoom information
https://wse.zoom.us/j/94977263610?pwd=WFRNRU1TbEFhclBOdkxvdkxwNGI0Zz09
Meeting ID: 949 7726 3610
Passcode: 146035

 

Aug
15
Mon
FastForward U Accelerator Program
Aug 15 – Aug 21 all-day
FastForward U Accelerator Program

FastForward U’s accelerator programming is an opportunity for student teams from across the University to work collaboratively to make progress on their ventures. These engaging, cross-disciplinary initiatives build skills, grow networks, and connect founders with other entrepreneurial students.

Teams are grouped by stage to allow students to learn together at a pace that makes sense for where they are on their entrepreneurial journey. Spark and Fuel tracks include a stipend and the chance to win additional funds at Demo Days.

Learn more about each track.

Sep
15
Thu
Seminar with Mechanical Engineer Assistant Professor Yun Chen @ Hodson Hall 210
Sep 15 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Seminar with Mechanical Engineer Assistant Professor Yun Chen @ Hodson Hall 210

“The Discovery of Viscosity Sensor that Facilitates the Counterintuitive Acceleration of Migrating Cells in Highly Viscous Fluids”

Yun Chen is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins University.  Her research is focused on developing tools to measure key parameters in mechanobiology, understanding the fundamental biophysical mechanisms that contribute to diseases, and applying knowledge gained from basic mechanobiology research to clinical applications. While a vast amount of effort has been invested in characterizing the biophysical properties in diseased cells and tissues, most of these efforts are limited to measuring the stiffness, diffusion, and viscosity of samples. Those properties are regarded as consequences of the diseases, rather than the causes. The abnormal biophysical traits can be the causes of the diseases, and her research has been dedicated to uncovering this commonly overlooked causality. Similarly, the unusual biophysical properties associated with diseases have been exploited as diagnosis tools, but few treatments, if any, employ biophysical principles to correct the errant biological processes known as pathology. Chen’s research group has been making significant progress on these uncharted territories. Their goal is to understand how altered biophysics in biological systems contribute to pathological processes in order to develop treatments for diseases. Their efforts include developing measurement tools to quantitatively characterize biophysical phenomena, such as axial stiffness of twisted DNA strands, differential force generation profiles and viscoelasticity of cancer cells compared to their normal counterparts, and identifying the underlying mechanisms for such differences, which can be exploited for disease diagnosis and treatment.

Extracellular fluid (ECF) is a critical component of the body.  Cells are surrounded by and move through biological fluids that span orders of magnitudes of viscosity in vivo, including mucus, saliva, blood, and synovial fluid, among others. Interstitial fluid in the tumor microenvironment is viscous, ascites in cancer patients is highly viscous, and the mucus of patients with cystic fibrosis is highly viscous. Elevated viscosity in the tumor microenvironment and in ascites can increase the rate of cancer cell motility and promote metastasis.  Elevated viscosity in mucus can inappropriately increase the migration of fibroblasts to airway wounds incurred in patients with cystic fibrosis, resulting in the worsening of fibrosis. Increases in ECF viscosity are also associated with aging and many other diseases.  Despite the profound implications of ECF viscosity, our understanding of the mechanosignaling pathways that allow cells to respond to viscosity changes and the underlying mechanism leading to increased cell speeds is very limited. To gain more insights, we used bio-compatible polymers to mimic viscous ECF, aims to fill this knowledge void. We conducted detailed characterization of the cellular responses to viscosity – from the time point immediately after viscosity is increased to hours afterwards, and from single molecule force measurement to dynamic 3D cellular morphology profiling. We observed that cells immersed in highly viscous medium, which had a consistency similar to that of honey, drastically changed morphology and began moving nearly twice as fast.  Step by step, we dissected the molecular cascade leading to the cell speed increase in response to elevated viscosity.  Combining numerical simulation and experimental data, we showed that membrane ruffling, a common feature of adherent cells, acts in effect as a sensor of ECF viscosity, probing the hydraulic resistance of the surrounding fluid and triggering adaptive responses. In summary, we demonstrate for the first time that a universal viscosity sensing mechanism exists in adherent cells to actively probe and adapt to changes in the viscosity of the microenvironment.  The physical interplay between mechanical forces that power membrane ruffling and the counteracting hydraulic resistance is at the heart of this sensing mechanism.

Sep
20
Tue
Mechanisms Governing Organ Size Dynamics in the Skin Seminar with Sashank Reddy @ Hodson Hall 305
Sep 20 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Mechanisms Governing Organ Size Dynamics in the Skin Seminar with Sashank Reddy @ Hodson Hall 305

Uniquely among mammalian organs, skin is capable of dramatic size changes in adulthood, yet the mechanisms underlying this striking capacity are unclear. The Reddy lab recently developed a method to induce controlled skin growth in genetically tractable mice. Using machine learning-guided three dimensional tissue reconstruction, they discovered that skin growth is driven by proliferation of the epidermis in response to mechanical tension, with more limited changes in dermal and subdermal compartments. Epidermal growth is in turn achieved through preferential activation and differentiation of Lgr6+ stem cells of the epidermis, controlled in part by the Hippo pathway. Single-cell RNA sequencing uncovered further changes in mechanosensitive and metabolic pathways underlying growth control in skin. These studies point to therapeutic strategies to enhance skin growth and establish a platform for understanding organ size dynamics in adult mammals.

Those who cannot attend in person can watch on Zoom.

About the speaker
Dr. Sashank Reddy completed his undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins as a Beneficial Hodson Scholar, followed by MDPhD studies at Harvard Medical School and MIT under the auspices of the NIH Medical Scientist Training Program. Following his clinical training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Reddy joined the faculty in 2019. His NIH-funded laboratory studies developmental biology and regenerative medicine with a particular focus on soft tissues. Dr. Reddy is also an accomplished biomedical innovator and a founder of venture-backed companies. In his role at INBT, Dr. Reddy works to grow the scientific and translational excellence of the Institute.

Sep
29
Thu
Vernon Rice Memorial Holiday Turkey Program
Sep 29 – Nov 7 all-day
Vernon Rice Memorial Holiday Turkey Program

The INBT is pleased to participate for the fifth year with the Johns Hopkins community in the Vernon Rice Memorial Holiday Turkey Program, which supports the Baltimore community. For every $45 raised, a basket with a fresh turkey and vegetables from a local farm will be provided to a family in need. In the past five years, the INBT has provided 61 meals to families in need.

Learn more about Vernon Rice, the program, and how to donate.

Donations for the Thanksgiving holiday are due November 7, 2022. If you donate, email Gina at ginawadas@jhu.edu so we can continue tracking how many meals we supported.

 

 

Nov
3
Thu
Johns Hopkins Translational Immunoengineering Seminar: Stephen Miller, PhD
Nov 3 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

From Bench to Bedside: Translation of a Novel PLGA Nanoparticle Delivery System for Tolerogenic Therapy of Immune-Medicated Diseases

Seminar Take-Home Points

  • Tolerance induction using antigenencapsulating PLG nanoparticles (Ag-PLG) recapitulates how self-tolerance is induced and maintained in the hematopoietic system.
  • Ag-PLG uptake by splenic marginal zone and liver APCs via the MARCO scavenger receptor confers a tolerogenic phenotype and induces activation of CD4+Foxp3+, CD4+ Tr1, andCD8+CD122+ regulatory T cells which regulate effector T cell responses in a IL-10-dependentmanner.
  • Gliadin-encapsulating PLG nanoparticles have proven efficacious in a phase 2 double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in celiac disease patients significantly reducing the gliadin-specific T cell response and preventing intestinal damage upon gluten challenge.
  • Future disease indications under clinical development include multiple sclerosis (MS),neuromyelitis optica (NMO), and peanut allergy.

About the speaker
Dr. Stephen Miller is the Judy E. Gugenheim Research Professor Emeritus of MicrobiologyImmunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. He received his Ph.D. in 1975 from the Pennsylvania State University and did postdoctoral training at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center before joining the faculty at Northwestern in 1981 where he founded and served as Director of the Northwestern University Interdepartmental Immunobiology Center from 1992-2021. Dr. Miller is internationally recognized for his research on pathogenesis and regulation of autoimmune diseases. His current work is geared towards understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of T cell tolerance and translating the use of antigen-encapsulating biodegradable PLG nanoparticles for the treatment of other human immunemediated diseases including autoimmunity, allergy, protein and gene replacement therapy, and tissue/organ transplantation.

Zoom link.

 

 

Nov
11
Fri
Mucus Gels and Innate Lung Defense Seminar with Gregg Duncan @ Hodson Hall 210
Nov 11 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

All are welcome to a seminar with guest speaker Gregg Duncan and his presentation on, “Mucus Gels and Innate Lung Defense.” This is a hybrid event. Guests are welcome to come in-person in Hodson Hall 210 on the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus or by Zoom.

Zoom link and passcode: 530803

Mucus is a biological gel within the lung designed to behave like an “escalator” with the ability to capture potentially harmful inhaled materials (e.g. pathogens, particulates) and carry these materials via mucociliary clearance up to the throat to be swallowed and sterilized. A breakdown in lung mucus barrier function can lead to increased infections by respiratory viruses, such as influenza, rhinovirus, and coronaviruses, as they are not effectively removed from the airway. For these seasonal and emerging human viral pathogens, it is important to understand the mechanisms through which viral particles avoid adhesion to the mucus barrier and transport to the underlying epithelium to cause infection. To examine this, we measured influenza A virus and nanoparticle diffusion in mucus from human donors using high-speed fluorescent video microscopy and multiple particle tracking. Through these measurements, we can directly determine binding affinity and mode of adhesion for influenza A and other respiratory viruses in 3D human mucus matrices. MUC5B and MUC5AC are large, gel-forming mucins that assemble to form airway mucus gels. However due to the lack of appropriate models, it is not yet fully understood how MUC5B and MUC5AC individually or synergistically contribute to the biological function of mucus. To understand their unique roles in respiratory health, I will also discuss our studies on the rheological properties and transport function of mucus in human airway tissue cultures genetically engineered to secrete either MUC5B or MUC5AC. These bioengineered models provide key insights on how MUC5B and MUC5AC work in concert to enable host mucosal barrier function providing a highly valuable means to understand their roles in health and disease.

Speaker Bio: Gregg Duncan earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering under the guidance of Michael Bevan at Johns Hopkins University. He then completed his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the Center for Nanomedicine directed by Justin Hanes. Dr. Duncan is currently an Assistant Professor in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland. Dr. Duncan leads the Respiratory Nano Bioengineering (RnB) lab, which aims to understand airway micro-physiology in health and disease to engineer new therapeutic strategies for obstructive lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cystic fibrosis. Dr. Duncan is the recipient of several honors and awards including the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface, BMES Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award, the CMBE Young Innovator Award, and the NSF CAREER Award