Perspectives in Research

A Life or Debt Decision: Tackling Unaffordable Drug Prices in Maryland

A Life or Debt Decision: Tackling Unaffordable Drug Prices in Maryland

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research

I first became concerned about unaffordable drug prices when I did one of my first-year research rotations in a lab that studied the hepatitis C virus. The timing of my rotation was in the midst of the (continuing) hepatitis C epidemic and just after the development of Harvoni, an exorbitantly expensive cure ($50,000–$100,000). I learned(...)

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Discussing the NIH Mandate to Study Sex as a Biological Variable in Basic Biomedical Research

Discussing the NIH Mandate to Study Sex as a Biological Variable in Basic Biomedical Research

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research

In one of my courses in the neuroscience Ph.D. program at Johns Hopkins, we recently discussed the 2016 National Institutes of Health (NIH) mandate requiring consideration of sex as a biological variable in grant applications to NIH agencies. Citing the success of the initiative to include both men and women in human clinical trials, the(...)

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Are llamas the Key to Curing the Flu?

Are llamas the Key to Curing the Flu?

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research

Influenza kills up to 646,000 people worldwide each year. While we have all heard about the importance of receiving the annual flu vaccine, it reduces the risk of illness by approximately 60 percent at best. Last year, during one of the deadliest flu seasons in recent memory, the vaccine was only about 40 percent effective.(...)

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The Interplay of Hormones and Infectious Diseases: How Our Sex Can Impact Our Risk of Getting the Flu

The Interplay of Hormones and Infectious Diseases: How Our Sex Can Impact Our Risk of Getting the Flu

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research

With the long days of summer well behind us, and crunchy leaves and cool temperatures beckoning us forward, we all have to prepare for winter in our own ways. For most, hopefully, that includes getting a flu vaccine! The vaccine is an important tool in our arsenal against influenza, but unfortunately, it is not sufficient(...)

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Solving the CAR-T Conundrum

Solving the CAR-T Conundrum

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research

The development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapies, a class of treatments that fights cancer by fortifying the immune system, has advanced at a rapid pace. Prior to 2017, most cancer immunotherapies were composed of antibodies that selectively flag cancer cells for destruction by other cells in the immune system. In mid-2017, the FDA approved Kymriah(...)

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The Puppets of Parasites

The Puppets of Parasites

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research

We’ve all experienced illnesses where parasites or small infectious agents such as bacteria and viruses are the culprits. But what happens when those pathogens start to influence the behavior of their hosts? Here I’ll discuss three different parasites that manipulate host behavior, delineate some potential mechanisms for their influence and outline some of the theory(...)

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Understanding the Epidemics of Today to Prevent Those of Tomorrow

Understanding the Epidemics of Today to Prevent Those of Tomorrow

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research, Recently Published

Though it may seem distant now, 2014 was a tumultuous year for the global health community. One of the worst Ebola epidemics in history was ravishing communities in West Africa, spreading to health care workers, sparking superstitions among locals and demonstrating how devastating a single virus can be on the world stage. Many likely remember(...)

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Open Access: Making Scientific Findings Available to All

Open Access: Making Scientific Findings Available to All

Posted by  | A Day in the Life, Perspectives in Research

Most would agree that a principal goal of scientific research is to enhance society’s understanding of the world around us. In biomedical research, we are particularly interested in discovering the workings of the body to find better treatments for disease and enact better guidelines and policies for healthy living. A crucial element of this endeavor(...)

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The Science of Snoring

The Science of Snoring

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research

There are few disciplines in science and medicine as broadly important, or as inherently relatable, as the study of sleep. During the annual Johns Hopkins Sleep and Circadian Research Day, a disparate group of clinicians, epidemiologists, geneticists and basic researchers gather to share posters and present new findings at the vanguard of sleep research on(...)

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