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Johns Hopkins Discovery Awards: 2024 Awardees

In 2024, 44 Discovery Awards were given to interdisciplinary faculty teams across eleven units of Johns Hopkins.

The Discovery Awards encourage faculty from various disciplines to collaborate in addressing multifaceted challenges and pushing the boundaries of understanding. 2024 awarded projects will launch a wide range of inquiry – creating DNA-based hydrogel bioinks with enhanced mechanical properties for advanced 3D bioprinting applications, such as smart bandages, biosensors, and water filtration membranes, gaining a better understanding of how trust in the healthcare system is formed and how it influences patient behavior and outcomes, with the goal of identifying strategies to improve trust and, consequently, public health, and designing a novel influenza vaccine to overcome the challenges of immunosenescence and inflammaging in the elderly, which currently limit the effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccines.

Altogether, the winning project teams—chosen from 286 proposals—include 148 individuals representing 11 Johns Hopkins entities.

3D-LAMMBS: Data-Driven, Deep Learning Architectures for Multiscale Modeling of Biological Systems – Michael Lapera (Applied Physics Lab), Melissa Yates (Applied Physics Lab), Vicky Nguyen (Engineering) & Somdatta Goswami (Engineering) *Co-Funded with the Data Science and AI Institute*

A Bone Marrow Targeting Vehicle for IL-15 to Enhance NK Cell Anti-leukemic Effect – Maxim Rosario (Medicine), Scott Wilson (Medicine) & Jay Bream (Public Health)

A Long-read-based, Epigenome-first Approach for Molecular Diagnosis – Carolina Montano (Engineering), Nara Sobreira (Medicine), Kasper Hansen (Public Health) & Winston Timp (Engineering)

Advancing Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Informed by Circulating Tumor Cell-Derived Membrane Fragments – Jelani Zarif (Medicine), Claire Hur (Engineering), David Kamson (Medicine) & Stavroula Sofou (Engineering)

Brain-wide Mapping of Astrocyte Activity Using Genetically Encoded Crystal Recorders (GECRs) – Dwight Bergles (Medicine) & Dingchang Lin (Engineering)

Characterizing the Acute Impact of Air Pollution Exposures on Blood Pressure and Implications for Clean Cooking – Kendra Williams (Public Health), Yvonne Commodore-Mensah (Nursing) & William Checkley (Medicine)

Climate Change-Proofing the US Healthcare System – Understanding and Cultivating Resilience to Climate-Driven Compound and Cascading Disasters – Crystal Watson (Public Health), Tara Kirk Sell (Public Health), Christopher Lemon (Medicine), Toner Eric (Public Health), Rob Carter (Medicine) & Jon Links (Public Health)

Cross-species Examination of Supporting Cell-to-progenitor Cell Fate Transitions During Hair Cell Regeneration – Erin Jimenez (Arts & Sciences) & Angelika Doetzlhofer (Medicine) *Co-Funded with the OneNeuro Initiative*

Data Valuation in Distributed and Private Large-Scale Radiology – Jeremias Sulam (Engineering), Harrison Bai (Medicine), Mahyar Fazlyab (Engineering) & Nicolas Loizou (Engineering)

Deep Learning Applications in ECG Analysis for Atrial Fibrillation Patients: A New Horizon in Diagnosis and Monitoring – Eugene Kholmovski (Engineering), Natalia Trayanova (Engineering), David Spragg (Medicine) & Yazan Mohsen (Engineering)

Developing a Framework to Address the Needs of Persons with Cancer Pain and Opioid Guidelines in the Age of the Opioid Epidemic – Sydney Dy (Public Health), Travis Rieder (Berman) & Julie Waldfogel (Medicine)

Developing Innovative Implementation Methods: Coastal Resilience Solutions for the Baltimore Area – Jennifer Boothby (Applied Physics Lab), Benjamin Zaitchik (Arts & Sciences) & Chris Overcash (Engineering)

DNA Bioinks for Next-Generation 3D Bioprinting – Angelo Cangialosi (Applied Physics Lab) & Rebecca Schulman (Engineering)

Eliminating Cataract-related Vision Loss Through a New, Artificial Intelligence-based Screening Modality – Kunal Parikh (Medicine), Nakul Shekhawat (Medicine), Rama Chellappa (Engineering/Medicine), Nathanael Kuo (Applied Physics Lab), Rai Munoz (Applied Physics Lab) & Jordan Shuff (Medicine)

Employing Lung Organoid Models to Test Carcinogenicity Associated with Electronic Cigarette Exposure (ELUCIDATE Study) – Michelle Vaz (Medicine) & Ana Rule (Public Health)

Estrogen Receptor Mutations as a Novel Biomarker in Gynecological Malignancies – Utthara Nayar (Public Health) & Stephanie Gaillard (Medicine)

Exploring the Neural Architecture of Psychedelic Experience with High-density Electrophysiology – Austin Graves (Engineering), Tim Harris (Engineering) & Kellie Tamashiro (Medicine)

Extracellular Vesicle (EV) RNA as Functional Biomarkers of Clinical ASD Heterogeneity – Lena Smirnova (Public Health), Sarven Sabunciyan (Medicine) & Constance Hicks-Smith (Medicine) *Co-Funded with the OneNeuro Initiative*

‘Feels Like Home’: Lived Experiences of Children with Medical Complexity and Their Families – Rebecca Seltzer (Medicine) & Lauren Arora Hutchinson (Berman)

Harnessing Single-Atom Plasmonic Catalysis for High-Efficiency Energy Transformations – Anthony Shoji Hall (Engineering) & Thomas Kempa (Arts & Sciences) *Co-Funded with the Ralph O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute*

Health Education and Training (HEAT) Corps: Novel Strategy for Community Health in Schools through Community Health Workers – Panagis Galiatsatos (Medicine), Annette Anderson (Education), Catherine Ling (Nursing), Mindi Levin (Public Health) & Jennifer Ross (University Administration)

High-throughput Identification of Cell-state Induced Changes in Subcellular mRNA Localization in the Brain – Solange Brown (Medicine), Loyal Goff (Medicine), Genevieve Stein-O’Brien (Medicine) & Jean Fan (Engineering)

Identification of Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms Regulating Sleep Need Using Automated, Selective and Non-stressful Sleep Deprivation in larval Zebrafish – Seth Blackshaw (Medicine), Claire Hur (Engineering) & Mark Wu (Medicine) *Co-Funded with the OneNeuro Initiative*

Infrastructure Climate Adaptation/Resiliency in the US (ICARUS) – Marisel Villafane-Delgado (Applied Physics Lab), Yuri Dvorkin (Engineering), Dennice Gayme (Engineering), Enrique Mallada (Engineering), Rebecca Eager (Applied Physics Lab), Krista Rand (Applied Physics Lab), Jared Markowitz (Applied Physics Lab) & Valerie Washington (Applied Physics Lab) *Co-Funded with the Ralph O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute*

Investigating Structural Bases for Active and Inactive Condensate Formation by Cyclic-G/AMP (cGAMP) Synthase (cGAS) – Jungsan Sohn (Medicine), Anthony Leung (Public Health) & Edward Twomey (Medicine)

Large Language Models for Knowledge Discovery in the Opioid Industry Documents Archive – Anjalie Field (Engineering), G. Caleb Alexander (Public Health) & Louis Hyman (KSAS) *Co-Funded with the Data Science and AI Institute*

Modeling the Dynamic Nucleocytoskeletal Interface in Cycling Cells – Karen Reddy (Medicine) & Sean Sun (Engineering)

NanoPorous Catalysts and Adsorbents for a Circular, Energy-Efficient, and Sustainable Silicone Economy – Michael Tsapatsis (Engineering), Rebekka Klausen (Arts & Sciences) & Brandon Bukowski (Engineering) *Co-Funded with the Ralph O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute*

Non-invasive Imaging for Cardiovascular Evaluation – Austen Lefebvre (Medicine), Sung-Min Cho (Medicine), David Blodgett (Applied Physics Lab) & Nikki Steiner (Applied Physics Lab)

Novel Europium-Based Fluorination for Prostate Imaging – Laurence Carroll (Medicine) & Thomas Lectka (Arts & Sciences)

Novel Materials for Custom-Tuned Earplugs for Musicians: A Multifaceted Approach – Michael Kessler

(Engineering), Kris Chesky (Peabody/Medicine) & Gurumurthy Ramachandran (Public Health)

Pharmaceutical Market Dynamics and Competition: The Impact of New Drug Formulations on Marketing and Spending – Ravi Gupta (Medicine), Joseph Levy (Public Health) & Michael DiStefano (Public Health) *Co-Funded with the Hopkins Business of Health Initiative*

Plasmonic Probe and Control of Topological Magnetic States – Natalia Drichko (Arts & Sciences) & Susanna Thon (Engineering)

Preventing Blindness Using AI-enabled, Point-of-care Diagnosis of Corneal Infections – Nakul Shekhawat (Medicine), Kunal Parikh (Medicine), Rama Chellappa (Engineering/Medicine), Nathanael Kuo (Applied Physics Lab), Rai Munoz (Applied Physics Lab) & Jordan Shuff (Medicine)

Programmed Regenerative Inflammation for Functional Recovery in Repairing Volumetric Muscle Loss – Laszlo Nagy (Medicine), Hai-Quan Mao (Engineering) & Warren Grayson (Medicine)

Spatial Mapping of the Cortico-striatal-basal Ganglia Circuit Using Flexible Nonlinear Neural Probes – Dingchang Lin (Engineering) & Patricia Janak (Arts & Sciences)

Spatial Transcriptomics for the Clinical Setting: Capturing an Elusive Cell Population in a Rare Disease with Spatial Transcriptomics of Rosai-Dorfman Disease – Eugene Shenderov (Medicine), Ezra Baraban (Medicine) & Hongkai Ji (Public Health)

The Dynamics of Trust: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Improving Health Care Outcomes – Michael Darden (Business), Mario Macis (Business), Christina Yuan (Business), Kathy McDonald (Nursing/Medicine/Public Health/Business) & Mary Catherine Beach (Medicine)

The Impact of Sex-Dependent Glycosylation on Nitros(yl)ation in Myocardial Infarction – Natasha Zachara (Medicine), Brian Foster (Medicine), Mark Kohr (Public Health) & Priya Umapathi (Medicine)

The Neural Basis of Continual Learning in the Face of Early Life Adversity – Kishore Kuchibhotla (Arts & Sciences), Maya Opendak (Medicine), Adam Charles (Engineering) & Chris Honey (Arts & Sciences)

This IS Your Grandma’s Vaccine!: Engineering Immunity in the Elderly – Scott Wilson (Medicine) & Sabra Klein (Public Health)

Using Nanopore Sequencing of TET3-deficient Cells to Understand and Abrogate Disrupted DNA Methylation States in Human Neurons – Jill Fahrner (Medicine), Winston Timp (Engineering) & Kasper Hansen (Public Health)

Using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit for Assisted Living? Mapping the Current Environment and Charting a Path Forward – Kali Thomas (Nursing) & Craig Pollack (Public Health) *Co-Funded with the Hopkins Business of Health Initiative*

Virtual Neurology Clinic: A Human-AI Interface for Remote Autonomous Augmented/Virtual Reality Neurologic Screening and Triaging – Kemar Green (Medicine), John Probasco (Medicine), Ayah Zirkly (Engineering), Ziang Xiao (Engineering), Vishal Patel (Engineering), Peter Kazanzides (Engineering) & Youseph Yazdi (Medicine) *Co-Funded with the Institute for Assured Autonomy*

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